In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:1-11 NIV
Those of us who understand that being a Christian means we follow Christ know why we celebrate this season. We are not concerned with saying, Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays (specifically for the secular segment of society) but in knowing that at some point in time, over 2000 years ago, we were given the greatest gift that could ever be given, and it couldn’t be purchased in a mall for any amount of money. The birth of a Savior, God coming in the likeness of sinful flesh, to save all who choose to believe in Him. Though He made the sacrifice–giving His life for ours almost 34 years later–we still celebrate His birth for without it–there would not have been a crucifixion or a Resurrection–paving the way for us to enter into Heaven.
Today, on the eve of the celebration for many of us–I just wanted to remind people that we do indeed have a reason to celebrate this season for it had not been for The Lord, where would we be?
Fortunately, for us–He loves us enough to respect our choices in doing whatever we do–whether He approves our choices or not–He respects our right to choose–both what we do and the consequences. I really wish–we who proclaim to be Christians–followers of Christ–not people–could get to that same place of understanding. We don’t have to agree or approve what others choose to do, but we should respect their right to choose–just as God does.
Personally, I’m thankful that God allowed me to choose some of the paths I’ve taken in life–though I know He didn’t approve–He allowed me to make the choices and deal with the consequences and in dealing with those consequences, I learned just how much He loves me. Who are we to get in the way of those who will learn from the consequences of their choices, no matter what they are?
I encourage all Christians (true Believers) to think about how we can best encourage (not command or make) others to believe in the Savior we know. The best sermon–as many have said before me–is the one we live, not the one we talk about. If I never utter another word about how good God is–I would hope that everything I do–says it much louder than I could ever hope to say and more people would turn to Him–not me, because of who He is!
This is the time of year we should think even more about the plight of others and make a commitment to help those who are simply not in a position to help themselves. Thoughtfulness, consideration of others–is one way we can live The Word, instead of just talking The Word.
For tomorrow–I’m spending time with family–as I prepare our dinner–doing things that families do. I’m praying for peace in the world and joy in the hearts in every person and for those who feel abandoned in shape or form, know that there is someone praying for you and if I knew who you were, I’d invite you to share our dinner because we always find room and food for more.
Enjoy this day doing your last minute shopping! Stay safe and alert for the enemy would love to steal your joy by destroying hope and faith in Jesus by influencing someone to do a dastardly act. And then spend tomorrow loving others and enjoying life while we live. Luv2LuvU!