FULLY ALIVE!

Your life will be as bright as the noonday sun. Job 11:17


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Come Let Us Adore Him

Adore.

Now there’s a word we don’t use every day.

Well, unless it’s late November or one of the first 25 days of December. During that narrow window out of our year, we use that word quite a bit. You know, “O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant…O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.”

Just today I heard the song three times while readying for church, and I joined in – loud, joyous and off key. I’m sure I’ll hear the song a few more times as we end the season and bring 2016 to a close.

Then what?

Wait for the next season of adoration?

No!

Advent was not just about waiting and watching for Jesus; we know from Genesis that God promised a Savior (Genesis 3:14-15), and we know from all of Scripture that God is faithful. Specifically, from 2 Corinthians 1:20 (NIV) we know that “no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.” With certainty then we knew the Savior would come. With certainty we know He will return. Advent, then, and all the days before and after are not about waiting. Rather, Advent and Christmas are about adoring our Savior.

At Christmas time and always, the faithful adore Him – joyfully and triumphantly!

Who’s faithful?

Wise men! (And wise women!) The lesson of the wise men we read about in the Scriptures – the star-gazing, pagan, camel-riding astrologers – is that if they can approach the Christ and fall down in worship, so may all. So must all.

David Mathis (Desiring God.org) wrote that as we “know more, we adore Him all the more and come to Christmas with no less joy than” the magi. Mathis notes that “because He is marvelously merciful,…because His advent is Grace (Titus 2:11),…because He came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10),…to heal the sick and call the sinners (Matthew 2:17), to serve the spiritually broken (Mark 10:45) and destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8) we come joyful and triumphant.”

We have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate all year long!

“O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant…O come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.

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Second Sunday of Advent

Gallup, a world-renowned social research lab and polling institute, conducted telephone interviews early November 2015 to gauge spending “intentions” for Christmas. Participants were aged 18 and older, and were sourced from each of the 50 states within the US and the District of Columbia.

The results of the study indicate that Americans planned to spend $830 on average in 2015 for various Christmas-related purposes. Those numbers reflected a considerable increase, about 15% more, from the 2014 spending average. That statistic was the highest since 2007, when the average Christmas spending of Americans was found to be $866. Since then, the said spending had constantly declined over subsequent years. Similar research predicts that spending will be even more this year.

Gallup found in 2015 that 30% all US adults planned to spend $1,000 or more on gifts. One in five Americans planned to spend between $500 and $999, whereas 14% planned to spend between $250 and $499 just for Christmas gifts. Of all those interviewed, 8% of adults claimed not to celebrate Christmas or otherwise did not plan to spend anything on gifts. Another 7% were unsure as to how much they might spend; in other words, they were operating without a plan and might spend more or less. Excluding the numbers of people who planned to not spend anything on Christmas in 2015, the average spending of American adults on Christmas would register an all-time high of around $908.

The United States Census Bureau echoes Gallup’s findings reporting that over the past few years:

  • Americans spent 30.5 billion dollars at retail stores during the Christmas season.
  • Americans spent 40+ billion dollars for Christmas gifts over the Internet.
  • Nearly 500 million dollars were spent on Christmas trees.
  • The United States imported approximately 594 million dollars worth of Christmas tree ornaments (from China alone).
  • A total of 3.4 billion dollars were spent on dolls, toys, and games that were shipped from manufacturers to retailers.
  • Twenty billion pieces of mail passed through the US Postal Service between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Again, similar research predicts that spending will be even more this year.

So?

So, one of the persistent and most effective maneuvers of the world system is to create a false sense of Christmas. There’s a false sense of excitement, a false idea of what is real, a false belief of what is important and a very false sense of purpose. How does this happen? We easily get caught up in the trappings of secular Christmas celebrations – the lights, the food, the shopping, the gifts. And what is wrong with lights, food, shopping and gifts? Nothing…if we keep them in proper perspective and understand that these are not the purpose of Christmas.

What is the purpose of Christmas? It is as simple as Hebrews 12:3a (NKJV) – “Consider Him.”

As you count down the days to Christmas, consider Him, the One who came that you and I might be forgiven our sins and enjoy eternal life (Luke 19:10, Galatians 4:4-5, 2 Corinthians 5:21).