By Maria Fontaine
I’m excited about Christmas this year, because I believe that the Lord is going to do wonderful things, and that He will be working in new ways through each of us. As we employ the “God factor” and follow where the Lord leads us—no matter what He guides us to do—we will experience results. Christmas is an opportune time to infuse greater energy and power into the mission as we keep our eyes peeled for hungry souls, open doors‚ new friends and contacts to meet, potential members and supporters to connect with, miracles, and more.
As you know so well, Christmas is a unique and special time of year. In many non-Christian countries, it provides opportunities to more easily give a clear, deep witness about Jesus and His love and to reach people who might not be as receptive the rest of the year. It’s a great time for getting out lots of the message, saving souls, and reaching people. It’s the perfect time of year for shows, benefits, and other high-profile events. There are doors that open at Christmastime that are bolted shut the rest of the year, if we are willing to walk through those doors as the Lord presents them.
My Christmas prayer is that in all the busyness of life, in the abundance of urgent needs and priorities, we don’t lose sight of how important love is—how important it is in the big picture and in our daily choices and priorities. Sometimes we forget that all our accomplishments are nothing without love. “And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2–3) If we’re not loving, our sacrifice and our hard work isn’t worth all that much, and won’t bear the right kind of fruit.
The Lord said in prophecy: “You have to keep the conscious mentality that love is still the most important thing. It will never become of lesser importance. It’s one of those timeless spiritual principles. It’s My love that the world needs and My love that will solve their problems, and in sharing that, you are representatives of that love. But it’s easy to get so busy in your work—reaching your ministry and career goals—that you lose sight of the reason for it all, which is love.”
And in another message He said: “What you do for love multiplies forever. What you give on earth for love is magnified in eternity. Keep giving away whatever you have to give, keep loving and serving in love, and you’ll more than win in the long run.”
Learning to care for others is an art, and it’s one that there is always room to grow in. Everyone is very busy, it’s true, but if we could become more skilled in this area of caring for others, it could strengthen and renew us. For example: learning how to manifest love for others in the ways that they appreciate and need; learning how to nurse them when they’re ill or afflicted physically, how to encourage them when they’re discouraged, how to support them when they’re busy, how to be a friend to them when they’re lonely, or a safeguard to them when they’re tempted or weak; learning how to care for others spiritually with faith and hope that brings out the best in the other, that overlooks the mistakes. It takes time to learn how to be these things for others, but it’s part of winning the world.
One of the beautiful things about love is that it’s adaptable. It adapts to the need. For some people, love might mean being quiet and respecting someone’s need for silence. For some, it might mean being more outgoing toward them and talkative. There’s no set formula for love, so part of the work of loving is finding out what the need is and how to meet it.
It’s motivating to think about what a commitment of love will do, and what a difference it will make for you, personally, because you will be benefiting from the Lord’s love flowing through you. Your spirit will be strengthened. Your spirit will be fulfilled in new ways. It will create a huge vacuum for the Lord’s blessings, for miracles and supply. May the joy of Christmas be with you today and always.
Christmas is more than a day at the end of the year,
More than a season of joy and good cheer,
Christmas is really God’s pattern for living
To be followed all year by unselfish giving…
For the holiday season awakens good cheer
And draws us closer to those we hold dear,
And we open our hearts and find it is good
To live among men as we always should…
But as soon as the tinsel is stripped from the tree
The spirit of Christmas fades silently
Into the background of daily routine
And is lost in the whirl of life’s busy scene,
And all unawares, we miss and forgo
The greatest blessing that mankind can know…
For if we lived Christmas each day, as we should,
And made it our aim to always do good,
We’d find the lost key to meaningful living
That comes not from getting, but from unselfish giving.
And we’d know the great joy of Peace upon earth,
Which was the real purpose of our Saviour’s birth.
For in the Glad Tidings of the first Christmas night,
God showed us the Way and the Truth and the Light!
—Helen Steiner Rice
Copyright © The Family International