CHRISTMAS BEGINS WITH CHRIST
It is our hope that in this season, more than anything else, make Christ the reason why we gather, give gifts, and celebrate
Luke 2:10-11--I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. MSG
Jesus is who, what and why we celebrate. The real story, the full story, begins with a manager and a birth, and ends with the cross and a resurrection. Without the cradle, there can be no cross.
Yet recent research reveals that 40% of people do not even realize that Jesus was a real person who actually lived. For without Christmas there can be no Easter; and without Easter there is no point in Christmas.
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT FAMILY AND COMMUNITY
Keep reaching out to your family members and to the people in your sphere. Let them experience the love of Christ through your speech and actions. Make all efforts to make Him known especially at this time of the year.
Matthew 2:10-11—And now the star, which they had seen in the east, went in front of them as they travelled until at last it shone immediately above the place where the little child lay. The sight of the star filled them with indescribable joy. They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh. MSG
This first Christmas pictures family and community found by a purpose. We can see that heaven and earth have come together to witness God’s greatest promise: to save the world from the death caused by sin.
A GENEROUS MINDSET
Remember who, what and why we are celebrating this and every Christmas. Life brings us ample opportunities to give and be a blessing to someone else all year round.
2 Corinthians 9:7Giving grows out of the heart—otherwise, you’ve reluctantly grumbled “yes” because you felt you had to or because you couldn’t say “no,” but this isn’t the way God wants it. For we know that “God loves a cheerful giver.” VOICE
Gift giving is honorable, generous, and says, “You were on my mind.” We resemble our Heavenly Father when we offer gifts to others. It’s normal and expected to give presents at Christmastime, but what if we were generous all the time? If we made giving a regular part of our lives, we might not have to focus so much on doing it during one month of the year.
Maybe you’re thinking that you don’t have the money to buy gifts and make donations all year long.
Here are a few thoughts when it comes to giving:
A Gift is a Gift—It means you were thinking of someone besides yourself. You might spend a little bit, a lot, or nothing at all! The amount isn’t the point; the thought is. So be creative in the things that you want to give to someone. And don’t wait until December.
Give Beyond a Gift—Being generous isn’t just about a physical gift that we purchase at a store. It is about offering something to bless someone else. An act of service or a thoughtful word are great ways to give.
Every Little Bit Helps—We often wait to give until the final two months of the year. But we can change that and become good at giving during the other 11 months. Any amount will make a difference.
Life brings us ample opportunities to give and be a blessing to someone else.
What is one thing you can do to increase your giving spirit to last through the year?
Acts 20:35—I’ve left you an example of how you should serve and take care of those who are weak. For we must always cherish the words of our Lord Jesus, who taught, “Giving brings a far greater blessing than receiving.” TPT
CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT HOPE
Christmas is a renewal of hope. It reconfirms it for us if our vision has grown dim. It was settled long ago, so we don't have to doubt anymore. Jesus is the fulfillment of our hope, our deepest longings come true.
Romans 15:13—Now may God, the fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! TPT
God wants us to live with hope and assurance that all His promises will come true for us and that our future is firmly and safely secure in his hand for our good.
If you are feeling down and hopeless, this is a time to reflect on the promises of God in your life. Let all the sounds and smells of this season point you to the faithfulness of God. Remember His goodness and His providential care. Keep the hope alive and burning in your heart. What He has promised, He will do!