TRUE CHRISTMAS



If you've been blue because this year doesn't measure up, because the kids won't be coming home for Christmas, because you can't buy all the things you want to buy, because you just haven't been able to get in the spirit of things — it's not too late. You still have time to get on the right track. I encourage you to take some time between now and Christmas Day to thank God for the people he has brought your way. Thank him for the blessings he has put in your life. You may be struggling with unmet needs right now and you may be dealing with some difficult relationships — we all are. But you can take a few minutes to forget about what’s missing, and focus instead on what exists — the many blessings that God has given you.

We have a bad habit of making Christmas all about “me” — my expectations, my wants, my needs, my preferences. The result is, often, that Christmas disappoints us or frustrates us in one way or another, year in and year out.

In Psalm 80 David repeats the same phrase three times. He says, “Turn us again to yourself, O God. Make your face shine down upon us. Only then will we be saved.” (Psalm 80:3) By sending his Son Jesus Christ into the world, he turned the world back to him, and he made his face to shine upon us. This is the only way we could be saved.

The paradox is that Christmas really is about you — you are the reason that God sent his Son into the world. It was the only way you could be saved. He sent Jesus to be born in a manger and to die on the cross for your sins so that you could turn back to him, so that you could experience the forgiveness of sin, so that God’s face could shine upon you. Only then can you be saved.

Do you want to have a true Christmas? Do you want to make this one the best one ever? Then, before you think about what you can give, be willing to receive God’s gift to you. His gift of love. His gift of acceptance. His gift of new life. When you receive God’s gift to you, you are able to give back to him, and give to those around you. This is how you have a true Christmas.

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