Daily Devotional for Friday November 14, 2003

Christmas is less than 6 weeks away, and now is the time for the season to get into full swing

(Luke 2:11)

Christmas is less than 6 weeks away, and now is the time for the season to get into full swing. Christmas parties, shopping, special events at church, Holiday programming on television, time with family....it is a very busy time of the year for many. While we all know what this time of year is really about, while we all know the catchy phrases like "Jesus is the reason for the season," many of us get so wrapped up in all of the seasonal events that we really do forget the true meaning of Christmas. Singing "Silent Night" in a Christmas Eve service puts our mind back on the birth of our Lord...for a moment...but the way we have fallen into the world's celebration of Christmas has really motivated me to use this time today to challenge you as we enter into the heart of the Christmas season.

The best advice I can give you is to again keep that close, intimate, daily relationship with the Lord through prayer and reading the Word. Knowing Him in a personal way, having that relationship fresh each and every day, can go a long way in keeping us from falling into the holiday trap. Let me say right here, I AM NOT one of those extreme people who believe that Christmas is evil and we should not enjoy this time of year. I LOVE CHRISTMAS! I am fully aware that Jesus was probably born sometime in September, and of the various pagan holidays during this time of year. The fact is, there are pagan holidays at ALL times of the year. This is simply the day of the year we have designated to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. THAT, and that alone is what Christmas is all about.

My purpose today is to simply help you stay focused not just on the birth of Christ, but on WHY He came. He came to give you, me, and everyone an opportunity to spend eternity with God. His life was to be that perfect sacrifice for the sin condition we were all born into. He came to bring peace, joy, and life to this world. Don't just remember that He was born, but WHY He was born.

This time of year, more than ever, people's hearts are at least open to who Jesus really is. I have said here many times that your greatest witness is not what you say but how you live your life each day. You will be around schoolmates, coworkers, family members in some casual settings in the coming weeks. Take advantage of those moments to share with them the love of Christ, and what He has done in your life. There is no greater time to witness to others about Jesus than during the Christmas season.

My challenge to you is that while you are busy with the various things you will be doing in the coming weeks, don't forget to add sharing Christ with others to that list. Hearts are never more open nor more receptive than during the Christmas season. This can be the greatest Christmas ever if you will allow the Lord to use you to share Christ with others. I want you to focus on that today. Pray about that today. Ask Him to use you in the coming weeks to share Christ with the people you come across that need more than anything this Christmas, a personal relationship with Jesus.

I love you and care about you. I pray for you daily. I am praying today that this will be the most blessed Christmas of your life. More than anything, I am praying that you will use these coming days to be a vessel God can use to reach others with His love. May you be richly blessed today as we begin the busy Christmas season in earnest. Avoid the distractions and keep your daily walk with the Lord first in your life. Never forget that He loves you, cares about you, and wants to use you to reach others with the Gospel. Let me be the first to say to you, HAVE A MERRY AND MOST BLESSED CHRISTMAS!!!

In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller