Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Season For...

'Tis the season for...a lot of things.
It's a whirlwind!
This time of year means so many things to different people.

For many it's the season to overeat.
For others it's the season to become a media junkie, vegging out on movies, tv, etc.
Others think it's the season to elevate traditions above all...
Or worship the family,
Or be lazy,
Stressed out,

How should the Jesus-follower, who finds himself in the middle of all this, treat this season?

1. Stay focused on Jesus. Don't get distracted by craziness - even while pretending it's for Jesus. Ask yourself what Christ would have you focused on. The truth of the incarnation - that the eternal Son of God took on flesh and became a Man in order to save us - is a glorious and healthy thing to set our minds on! Meditate on the glories of Christ, and the wonder of his becoming flesh!

2. Evaluate the Traditions. Ask yourself why you do what you do - or why you don't do what you avoid - when it comes to holiday traditions. There may be some pointless, distracting traditions that need to be canned. And there may be some really Christ-exalting things you and your family can do to celebrate the Word becoming flesh.

3. Look for Opportunities to Share the Gospel. Since we find ourselves in this culture, we may as well use it to share the gospel! People could be more open to hearing about Christ this time of year. Give gifts, cards, and smiles - with the gospel. Write a letter to your neighbors explaining the gospel of Christ and hand deliver them as a family...with some baked goodies. Ask God to show you how you can utilize this culture to share his good news.

4. Remember the Awe and Wonder of God's Glory and Love. Think afresh on the glory and holiness of God. He did not owe us salvation when we sinned (He didn't offer salvation to the angels who sinned...). Be blown away, once again, with the grace of God: how he chose to set his love and affection on us, and redeem us at great cost to himself. Stand, by faith, at the foot of the cross and look upon the One who poured out his lifeblood to ransom our sin-stained souls! Repent of hard-heartedness, grumpiness and selfishness. Receive from the Lord a tender, gracious and loving heart.

5. Show Love and Joy to Others. After #4, you'll want to overflow by just being nice to people - in the power of Jesus. Look around at all the distracted, stressed out people around you. Yield to the Holy Spirit and then go and love on people. Are there needs you can meet in Jesus' name? People you can encourage?

What a season of joy, when we remember the glory of God in Christ!

"And the angel said to them, 'Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.'" Luke 2:10-11, ESV

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