I John 2:15-17 (NLT)
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
It’s that time of years when it is so easy to get our focus off of what is truly important. If we love the Lord we want our focus and priorities to be on Him and doing His will, keeping our attention on what is truly important. There are a lot of distractions especially at this time of year. Christmas is a wonderful time of year but we can get so wrapped up in all the activities and gift giving that we forget why we are celebrating.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) 19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
How do we do this. I think I struggle with this every year. I love decorating for the holidays, having my kids come home, giving them gifts, the music, Christmas plays, seeing the lights, and all the things we do at this time of year. But it can get so distracting that I don’t have time (or energy) for focusing on Jesus and what His life, death, and resurrection means for all of us. Focusing on the true miracle that His birth was. Focusing on how much the Lord loved us to send His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
I think what we need is balance, we (I) need to look at what I am doing and see where I can scale back. Maybe it’s one less Christmas tree in my house, one less activity, or just setting aside time to spend with the Lord throughout the season. Maybe its reading and studying more carefully the messages Jesus gave us and looking for areas in my life where I need to work at being more like Him. Where does my money go? Are there people in need that I should be helping rather than buying that extra gift for someone who already has too many gifts?
Jesus is the greatest gift of all. How are we sharing Him this season?
James 1:17 (NKJV) Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.
John 3:16 (NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I plan to try my best this season to put the Lord first and then trust Him to help me with the other things that need done. As with most things this starts with prayer and making that commitment to make Him first in my life and share Him with others. I pray you will make this commitment also.