What Really Happens at Christmas?

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Christmas is a wonderful time of year and should be celebrated as such.  The problem is that there are a few things that can sap the joy right out of the season.  Leading up to Christmas there can be a sense of anxiety about buying gifts and having money to finance Christmas.  Decisions are considered about who to buy for, whether or not to re-gift an item from last year, buying gifts for drawings at school, church, work place, and sometimes within the family.  Then there is the back and forth over where to have the Christmas meal, who to invite, and what to eat…and eat, and eat.  For months, Christmas decorations have been bought and who doesn’t enjoy that dreaded uncoiling of Christmas lights each year.  Do you have a Christmas tree in every room, or most rooms?  If you have more than one tree, you need prayer.  The Christmas shows are lined up and watched for the hundredth time, and there are the tear-jerker movies that always have a happy ending.  Then Christmas Eve arrives and the kids are determined to stay up and catch Santa in the act.  The big day arrives—Christmas day.  Over the years I have mentally timed how long it takes for the gifts to be opened and the meal eaten.  It usually averages about 30 minutes to an hour.  I know…someone had to wrap gifts and cook that over-abundant meal we love so much.  The wrappings, boxes, twist ties, and gift name tags are gathered up and put in the trash.  The food is eaten, but it still looks like nobody ate anything.  Naps are taken, kids fuss over playing with each other’s toys, and the hunters take off to get that deer.  By evening, everything settles down.  Everyone is tired, sleepy, and finally go to bed…except for the kids who are still fussing over the ownership of toys.  Grown-ups exchange gifts—and yes, wives, we husbands try to get you what you want.  However, after that one day, many people are disillusioned because many of their expectations were not met.  They were happy during the holidays, but as we all know, happiness is elusive and fleeting.  January comes and depression can rear its ugly head because of diminished joy, bills coming in the mail, and the rush of “Christmas adrenaline” is gone.  The real world comes back.

As you review all I described above, did you notice the most important aspect about Christmas that was omitted?  Christ.  The reality is that we can be guilty of relegating the birth of Christ to a lesser importance as we focus more on buying gifts and eating a big meal.  Think about this.  God, who dwells in a timeless eternity, came to earth to be born as a helpless baby and live in this world He created, but He did because we needed a Savior.  Sin to our soul is like food laden with salmonella, or succulent looking fruit that is rotten on the inside when we take a big bite.  It taints everything in our life.  To us it is that burden and weight conflicting with our soul that we can’t get rid of.  The birth, death, and resurrection of Christ is one event in the Bible.  We are saved from eternal death when we “confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in our heart that God (Jesus) raised Himself from the dead.” (Reworded from Romans 10:9-10)  I’ll ask you two questions that I first saw in a book many years ago called, “Evangelism Explosion.”  (1) Have you ever made a decision for Christ where you know that if you died right now you are assured to enter heaven?  (2) Suppose that you died today and you are standing before God and He asks you, “Why should I let you into My kingdom?” What would your answer be?  You need to have a talk with God and ask Him into your heart, mind, and soul as your Savior.  Don’t assume you are going to heaven when you can know for sure.  Follow the link in the next paragraph.  The information will guide you as you consider making your decision to know Christ today, before Christmas.  I am sure you will then experience joy like you have never had and you will finally have the peace in your soul for which you have so desperately searched.  Christmas will finally have meaning for you.

Click HERE to learn more about how to know Christ as your Savior, and have a Merry Christmas!

You are cordially invited to attend worship at 1st Baptist Church Sanford, Alabama this Sunday.  Christmas day our services will be at 10am.  Our Sunday Services are 10am-Bible Study, and 11am-Worship Service.  Click the Tab on the main page and learn about our church.

Merry Christmas!

Experience Joy!

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23

Everywhere I go I see people of all ages with some type of electronic device that captivates their attention. Whether it’s a Blackberry, IPhone, IPad, Kindle, Droid, Gameboy, or Blue Tooth, people want the latest device. The over use of these devices can lead to addiction. Try taking it away, or you leave it alone for a day and you will see what I mean. My question is does all this give a person joy? I doubt it.

Joy

Paul identified the spiritual fruit of joy. This is something we as Christians are able to express to others. It comes from your heart and soul and is not dependent on the most current fad in technology, clothing, or hobby. If we want real joy, we need to have a good relationship with God, be content without craving more, and live in the belief that true joy comes from acknowledging the presence of the Christ in our life. The Holy Spirit always focuses on Christ, so pay attention to His ministry of joy in your life.

Happiness is temporary and reactive to something that has given us pleasure. Joy is not a reaction. It is a deep-rooted part of our new nature because of our salvation. Joy will survive the worst thing that can ever happen to you. Although nothing can take it away, sin and doubt can diminish our awareness of joy and rob us of our trust in God. Paul wrote a letter to the Philippian Church while he was in jail for preaching about Jesus. In the Philippian letter Paul said, “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!” (Philippians 4:4)

Are you happy right now? If so, is it because things are going your way or something good has happened? Will it last? God wants something better for you. He wants you to have joy, so talk to Him about it.

 

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