Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Greatest Gift of All....

As we reflect on the holiday season that has just passed and the new year that is upon us, we would do well to remember what is really important during the holiday season and throughout the year as well. A dear friend of mine---actually my wife's grandmother---asked me a rather thought-provoking question: What was the FIRST Christmas gift? She said that a lot of people did not answer right, and interestingly enough, I stretched my mind trying to determine what the gifts of the three wise men were in order to answer her question. Finally, I said that I believed it to be the "gold, frankincense, and myrhh given by the wise men."

"That's a good answer," my wife's wise grandmother replied, "but not the correct one. The answer is that Jesus Himself was the first Christmas gift."

Wow! When one realizes the magnitude of that statement and the implications it is truly eye-opening and humbling. Three areas then become important:

1) The materialism and commercialization of Christmas becomes much less important to the believer.

After realizing that Jesus truly is the "Reason for the Season", so to speak, then everything secular becomes less important. What is important is thanking God for getting us through another year and most of all, thinking Him for Christ's sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary.

2) Doing good for others becomes more important to the believer.

Visiting shut-ins, helping the homeless, volunteering in a soup kitchen, stocking the food pantry, helping those who cannot the commercial aspect of Christmas, and helping ring the bell for the Salvation Army become more important for the believer as a ministry during the holiday season. The reason? It can and does expand the testimony of the believer to the Salvation that is in Jesus Christ. We must all bear in mind that we never what good things and good works we do for others might have eternal value, because as James states, "faith without works is dead." (James 2:17)

3) Letting your light shine becomes more important to the believer.

As Christians, we need to be people of peace, love, and joy. During the Christmas season and the rest of the new year, we must exhibit the fruits of the spirit in all that we say and do and pray for God to help us in these areas as well. To all who are reading this who are Christians, I pray God's blessings on you this new year and that He will use in a mighty way!

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