Only 3 Days Left – December 22, 2014

Today’s Scripture… “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” – John 13:34-35

Thoughts for Today… By the time you read this, it will be December 22.  Which means… only 3 shopping days left until Christmas.

At this time of year, we wade through the long lines to purchase gifts for our loved ones.  While many people do actually buy presents for those they don’t care much about (obligation at a company party, courtesy for someone who purchased you a gift, etc.) we generally give these gifts to show our love towards our family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. And hopefully to remember that we are celebrating the most precious love of all, when God loved us enough “that He gave His only begotten Son” as the very first Christmas gift.

Wow, we’ve only got 3 more shopping days until Christmas. Which means, we’re running out of time.  For most of us, ok for us men, our lists aren’t even halfway completed.  We’ve got our family members – mom, dad, kids, siblings, aunt and uncles and cousins — whew there’s a lot of people!  We’ve got our friends and church family and neighbors and coworkers and the list could (and sometimes does) go on and on. And so we strap ourselves financially to make certain we show every single loved one that we care about them.  And we call this Christmas. But, I wonder, yes I wonder, if perhaps we are a bit amiss on this most precious of holidays.  What I mean by that is this:  for too many people, Christmas is like Exam Day in high school.  It isn’t thought much about until it is a few days away…and then we frantically cram everything into those last few days trying to make sure we pass the test.

Is that how Christ called us to “love one another”?  Do we shower our loved ones with gifts once a year and expect that to be enough? Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to give Christmas present, but, it seems to me that too often, if we’re not careful, we let a once-a-year-gift substitute for the love we should be showing year round. Consider this:  get out your shopping list and look at the names on it.  Ask yourself… When was the last time that I truly showed each of these people that I love them?  How often have I given my gift of time and appreciation towards them throughout this past year?  How many times during the past 12 months have I opened my heart and my mouth to let them know that I care so deeply about them, and that my life is better, and blessed, because they are a part of it?

It seems to me that the spirit of Christmas isn’t to be celebrated just on December 25, but rather on each and every day of the year.  Why wait until the Lord’s birthday to do what the Lord has commanded us to do throughout the year? And so, I would encourage you to make a list — a different kind of list.  Not a list of those you will buy presents for on Christmas, but rather a list of those that you will give the gift of love to TODAY and TOMORROW and the DAY AFTER THAT.  Make a list of those that you care about…and then tell them.  Send them a surprise email and tell them how much you appreciate them.  Call them up on the phone just to say “I love you.”  Drop a card in the mail to let them know you care.  Go by and visit – and give them a hug.

Don’t wait until Christmas to share the gift of love.  And don’t stop sharing once the holiday has passed.  The love of Jesus, and the commandment of Jesus, isn’t an annual event……it’s a daily event.

Have a “Merry Christmas,”
Pastor Terry
Family Worship Center

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