There is a line in the famous story, “a Christmas Carol” from the pen of Charles Dickens and it comes from the heart of transformed Mr. Scrooge: “I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!”

The transformation that Jesus Christ brings to us through faith is not a temporary experience.  It is not a fad or a passing fantasy nor is it a once a week Sunday fuzzy emotional feeling that quickly passes at the beginning of the week.

The Christmas that Christ brought us is the power of God to change our lives, to change the sinful direction in which we are going into a life of purpose, meaning and fulfillment. When we truly receive Christ into our lives and begin to honor Him, we have no desire to return to the former life of rebellion. When we are born again, the Bible which we may have previously thought boring becomes exciting reading. Prayer which we ignored or declared a waste of time becomes a delight. Worship is no longer drudgery or duty but an expectation and excitement of a fresh encounter with God. Giving tithes and offerings is not an obligation or a dreaded payment but rather a joy and privilege and an expression of love from a generous and grateful heart. Sharing our faith is not a frightening, reluctant experience but rather a privilege with expectation that our testimony will enable someone else to know, love and serve Christ as we do.

Being a Christian and honoring Christ is for every day, every week, all year long, and until our Lord calls us home.  Being a Christian means that we have come to grips with our past personal sins, acknowledged them, confessed them, repented of them and accepted the fact that Jesus took upon himself the punishment that we deserve and died on the cross, rose again and offers to us forgiveness, grace, mercy, peace and eternal life. Being a Christian means that in the present we faithfully serve Christ and use the talents that he has given us to do so.  Being a Christian means that we may not know what the future holds but we know who holds the future.  Our future is secure in His hands and we have peace in our hearts because He is preparing a place for us in eternity with Him. Being a Christian means that we will not shut out the lessons that Christ taught us in word and deed.  We honor him because he is Lord of Lord, King of Kings, our redeemer and Savior. Our Christmas is truly MERRY because we have an inheritance and a peace that cannot be taken from us.

In His love, Charles

Thought of the Week for: December 20