It also is a reminder that God loves us and has put certain people in our life to pass on that love. It is a wonderful tradition and one that everyone in the group looks forward to each year. Which makes me think about what the year is culminating to.
Jesus was born over 2000 years ago and was, and will be the greatest gift anyone of us will ever receive. Jesus was God's gift to the world and it proved to all mankind just how loving our heavenly Father is. So what gifts have you bought for this year, what gifts are you hoping to receive. I certainly hope that one gift you may want to consider giving someone this year, without any expense, would be the gift of a loving, kind, encouraging word.
Words said in love produce a blessing
When words are said in love you can bet your bottom dollar that the receiver is going to feel blessed. As Paul states in 1 Corinthians, "It (love) always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails" (7-8 NIV). God wants us to love one another, He wants to speak His loving words through us. God is setting us up for victory, for as we believe in love, in God's love, we can be assured that it will not fail us, it will protect us, we can trust it, we can find hope in it, and we can persevere in it.
God has a heart that has burned for you before you were even born. He wants you to know how much He loves you, and sometimes He will use a friend to convey that to you.
On the other hand, if you have a firm belief in what Christmas is truly about, prepared to be attacked by the evil one. Just as God can use us to convey love, Satan can use our hate, anger and deceit to advance evil. If you are attacked (verbally) try to remember that it is Satan who comes to "steal, kill and destroy" (Jn 10:10) and he will do anything to tear your focus away from God. Don't allow these people to upset you as they are probably only listening to an evil whisper in their ears.
Stand firm with encouragement
Stand firm on the truth of God's word and his promises and do not give Satan an inch. Just as encouraging words of love come from God, discouraging hateful words come from the prince of this world. Satan want all the attention this year, even if it is dressed up as a jolly old fat guy in a red suit. Anything that draws your attention away from God, brings your attention the the deceit the world has to offer. Stay strong in the word of God and stand firm against the persecution that could be coming.
So bring someone this year a gift of love, straight from God's heart, from your mouth. God loves you and that is what we should remember at Christmas. God delivered on his promise, He bought Jesus into this world by a miracle, He gave us his only son, as our gift, so we could enter his house and spend eternity basking in his love and grace. Do not be deceived by Satan in hearing or speaking, hold firmly unto the love that never fails.
It brings joy, encouragement, praise, thanksgiving and so much more. It is inexpensive, it delivers love and it may be the most welcome, enjoyable gift that someone receives this Christmas.
Tim McDonald lives and works in Mackay Queensland with a family of four children and is the drummer in his church's youthful band.
Tim's archive of articles can be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/tim-mcdonald.html