It’s that wonderful season again, a season to celebrate the Lord’s love in coming to earth to redeem us! It’s a season when people in the world are more open than usual to receiving a witness, and it’s a wonderful time to witness and reach out to others with our Savior’s love and truth. I won’t say that this could be our last Christmas, but it will be the last Christmas for many people. For many in the world, this will be their last chance to receive Jesus on earth.
Most of us have enjoyed many Christmases in our lifetimes, but we don’t know how many more we can count on. Let’s take advantage of this one, and as many more as we have, to preach the Gospel in all the world for a witness, so that the end can come. (Matthew 24:14)
But even when it isn’t Christmastime‚ we should feel compelled to share the faith, love, joy, and hope that we so abundantly have with the people the Lord brings across our path. As Paul said, we are “compelled by God to preach the Good News.” (1 Corinthians 9:16)
God is so good to us. He gives us so much. And what does He most desire? He wants as many of His children as possible to know Him, to love Him, and to be not only redeemed from death but also from the fear and emptiness of the world, and to have heaven in their hearts through a personal connection with Him.
Doing all we can to bring that to pass is a calling worth living for. We’re familiar with the concept of making sacrifices and forsaking to follow Jesus, and we try to die daily to ourselves so that we can live for Him and others. (Luke 14:33; 1 Corinthians 15:31) The Christmas season is a great time to ask the Lord to renew our passion for Him and for witnessing.
I pray that as we each determine to share His life-giving message with those He places in our path, we’ll have the best Christmas possible, and the Lord will receive the best gifts He could ever hope to receive—more of His children entering into an eternal relationship with Him.
For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. … We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.
—Titus 2:11–14 NLT
I speak to you from the depths of eternity. Before the world was formed, I am! You hear Me in the depths of your being where I have taken up residence. I am Christ in you, the hope of glory. I, your Lord and Savior, am alive within you. Learn to tune in to My living presence by seeking Me in silence.
As you celebrate the wonder of My birth in Bethlehem, celebrate also your rebirth into eternal life. This everlasting gift was the sole purpose of My entering your sin-stained world. Receive My gift with awe and humility. Take time to explore the vast dimensions of My love. Allow thankfulness to flow freely from your heart in response to My glorious gift. Let My peace rule in your heart and be thankful.
—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
We all enjoy receiving gifts from friends and loved ones. We look forward to birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and presents we receive on anniversaries and other special occasions. But especially treasured are those “just because” gifts that come on ordinary days, simply to show that a loved one is thinking of us. Spontaneous gifts represent the love of the sender—someone demonstrating his or her love by giving something away.
A heart filled with Christ’s love is eager to show that love in any number of ways. As we experience more and more of Christ’s love, our hearts are filled and we are eager to pour out that love to others at the first awareness of a need.
This love has no limits, as Christ demonstrated to the world when he died on the cross. His love, now living and moving in us, should daily overflow our hearts to comfort and restore a broken world.
The Christmas tree can be made a witness and a testimony to others, symbolizing the beauty of life and living. In wintertime the evergreen is a symbol of everlasting life. In spite of the hardships of winter, the evergreens survive and stay ever green and continue to be living and beautiful all winter long—just like the Lord!
In recent years I’ve become a little bit more liberal about the world celebrating Christmas. I used to say, “Oh, how horrible! Look at the millions of dollars they spend every Christmas, and look at all the crazy celebration and the trees and the decorations and the Merry Christmas”—and no Jesus! But I have gotten to where I’m glad to see the world celebrate Christmas. If they don’t think about Jesus any other time of year, that’s one time of year they think about Him.
I don’t believe that December 25th is necessarily the exact day that Jesus was born, but so what! As long as the world celebrates Jesus, I think it’s a good idea for them to celebrate it, especially if they don’t forget who it’s about. And what difference does it make what day they celebrate, as long as it’s Jesus they’re celebrating and it encourages them to remember Him once a year by giving each other presents and giving the kids presents and making the little children happy on Christmas and making them look forward to Christmas?
That’s one nice thing about Catholic countries: they never let you forget what Christmas is about. They have manger scenes, nativity scenes, and they showcase them in the windows and they have them under their trees and they sing Christmas songs, and you can’t forget that Christmas is about Jesus!
We can make the Christmas tree a reminder of Jesus, the evergreen tree of the Spirit.—Of Jesus, Son of the everlasting, eternal God of heaven, and His gifts hung upon us continually, and of our everlasting evergreen eternal life. Let’s never lose the true meaning of Christmas, nor let the true symbolism of the tree and the genuine Christ Spirit of Christmas become drowned in all the confusion of this world and its worldliness. Let’s glorify the Lord at Christmastime!
—David Brandt Berg
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