It is Christmas time. For many people it is the absolute best time of the year. Christmas lights, Christmas music, kids plays, presents, family, friends, extra time off work, and the list goes on and on. So many great things going on.
For others, it is a very difficult time of the year. Some have to work extra hours, have to miss the Christmas festivities, and miss spending time with families. Military men and women are spending Christmas away from their families and friends. Many people are missing loved ones who are no longer here this Christmas and just long for one more family Christmas together with them.
For me this Christmas hasn't even felt like Christmas. I can't quite put my finger on one specific reason why, but I just am not feeling it this year. Even among all the hustle and bustle, the lights, the music, the plays; I feel like a Scrooge. I feel like I would rather just skip Christmas all together.
I just keep reminding myself what Christmas is really all about. It isn't about the lights and big productions. It is about the birth of Jesus, without which we would still be a people who could only reach God through priests and sacrifices. Because of Jesus birth, we are able to reach the throne of heaven directly through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We have a hope of a future because of the birth of one special baby.
I may not be excited about Christmas this year but I am always excited about that baby that was born on Christmas, not for any other reason but to save you and me and give us the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven with Him. I may not be feeling the holiday spirit but am blessed tonight to be feeling the Holy Spirit hug me and wipe my tears just like a true friend does in the hard times.
So for those reasons, all bah humbugs aside, I pray you all have a very Merry Christmas!
Monday, December 17, 2012
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A friend of mine has a Bible that has been used for a long time now. The cover is worn, peeling off and almost gone. The inside is all marked up with underlined verses and notes written in the margins. At times I think maybe I should at least buy her a Bible cover or something. But then I stop and think about the beauty in seeing that Bible that way. Some days it is even convicting for me to look at it.
What is it about a worn out Bible that is so precious? For me, seeing it is a reminder of several things.
- The Word of God will always be and will stand the test of time.
- The Word of God never changes. No matter how many changes happen to the cover, what is written inside is forever intact (spiritually speaking).
- God speaks through his Word. The notes in the margins and the underlines are there because during times of reading that Word, the Lord spoke to the person reading it.
The picture below is a picture of her Bible next to my Bible. This is the convicting part for me. My Bible (though it is only about a year old) just last week started getting marked up and has not gotten much wear. I used to think that I shouldn't write in my Bible and that I need to protect it. Well, if I am not marking in it then what am I doing? Reading the Word of God is wonderful, but if I only read, I am probably not retaining much and I am certainly not focusing on studying. We encourage our kids to highlight and underline in their books while they study for school, so why would we not do the same thing while studying the Word of God.
So, I know it will take some time, but my challenge to myself, is to one day make my Bible look like hers. I want to one day be able to say that my Bible looks like this because I use it so often. I want one day for someone else to tell me that my Bible makes them wish they read theirs more.