December 25, 2016
MERRY CHRISTMAS to all of you in our Stepping Stones Community! Our hope and prayer for you is the gift of growing closer to God, maturing in your Christian walk (not just accumulating knowledge), and further developing the mind of Christ. If you can do this short list of three activities, then you will bask in peace, joy, fulfillment, purpose, passion, acceptance, safety, security, consistency, passion, and power, everyday. On top of eternal life, these are the amazing icing-on-the-cake gifts from the King of Kings to you. But today is only the starting point of unwrapping, opening, engaging, enjoying, and growing in this gift.
However, a dangerous trap lies along the path, ready to devour many of us. It looks something like this. Today is the day for great celebration, remembering the greatest gift ever given to us. Many went to church Christmas Eve or will go today. We will celebrate with those we love, exchanging gifts as symbols of our love, laughing and hugging, stuff ourselves on your own traditional dinner and treats, and add another chapter of Christmas memories. But to be honest with you, a small part of me gets angry about Christmas Day.
You see, the amazing truth is, we are truly blessed that Christmas is not just today, but is truly everyday, especially for Christians. All 365 days a year, God gives His grace to us in extraordinary portions. Christmas is about our sin, God’s grace, God’s gift – Jesus, humiliating Himself to become as a human baby to us – and ultimately God’s love. Because this is true every day, then every day is Christmas!
Satan has put out a lie that other days are not special, that they are just ordinary at best, often mundane, and at times dreadful. Unfortunately, we often fall into the trap of believing those lies. So, we celebrate Christmas just one day a year. And I believe this boxes people into receiving the rewards of Christmas only one day each year. Then we remove it from our daily lives as we pack it back into the attic with the ornaments, lights, wreaths, wrapping paper, nativity set, and tablecloth until December 25th comes around again.
Today, make a commitment to yourself and to God that you won’t put Christmas away in the attic of your mind … but instead keep it in the kitchen of your heart … accessible along with the rest of your daily staples for surviving and living to the fullest. All 365 days will have new meaning. Your lenses will be more God-centered and the goal of the mind of Christ will be at your doorstep. Whether you pack Christmas away for 364 days or you enjoy it fully every day is your decision, so choose well. MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!
Dear Father God, Christmas is beautiful and I am overwhelmed with Your love, gift, and death for me … really and truly for me, a sinner like me. It is still so unbelievable that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords would actually pursue me. I regret that I sometimes put Christmas away in the attic instead of living in that joy every day. Help me see Your gift and presence daily, and to allow me to shine like a Lighthouse bringing Christmas to all those I contact each day of the year. I pray in the name of the star of Christmas, Jesus Christ; and all God’s children said – AMEN!
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:21-23
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. John 10:10
Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them. Hebrews 7:25
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:24-26