Daily Devotional for Wednesday December 18, 2019
Christmas on a Sunday!!!
(Psalms 122:1; Hebrews 10:25; Luke 2:15)
***DAILY PERSONAL PRAYER FOR YOU: Dear Lord, Thank You for Your love and blessings. I pray today that You help me to touch even just ONE life for You. If it is a kind act, a kind word, or the opportunity to tell someone about Your love, USE ME TODAY FOR YOUR GLORY! In the name of Jesus...AMEN!!!
***THE DAILY LIVEPRAYER TV NUGGET: It has been interesting to see so many articles written lately in secular publications about the state of our culture. Even non-Christian, worldly publications, people are starting to realize the depth of depravity our culture has sunken into. One lamented that the state of so much of our population is “lonely,” “miserable,” and “depressed.” They noted possible reasons being the lack of family, faith, and patriotism. Interesting! Another spoke of the low percentage of people in a “traditional marriage,” meaning God’s plan for marriage which is one man, one woman, for one lifetime. The pointed out the ever growing numbers of people who are divorced, most multiple times. They point out many who aren’t divorced are currently in a relationship with different people. While not talking about the perversion of same-sex marriages, they do point out the number of people involved in various relationships such as with multiple people of both sexes. It is also noted the growing percentage of adults still living with their parents. A recent report spoke of the fact we are currently in the worst drug and alcohol abuse crisis in our nation’s history. My friend, as I have been warning people here at Liveprayer for 20+ years now, speaking of for 17 years on the Liveprayer TV program, God’s plan for marriage and the family is the foundation of our culture. The breakdown of God’s plan for marriage and the family has led to the cultural decimation we have witnessed in real time over the past 40 years! The abuse of drugs and alcohol, large percentages of people lonely, miserable, and depressed is all due to being hopeless! That hopelessness is a byproduct of the vase percentage of the last 2 generations having never been to church, of being without any faith. Hopelessness fills the void that only God and faith in His Son Jesus can fill. The cultural woes even non-Christians are now writing about has as their root cause a population living void of Biblical Truth and a faith in God our Creator!!!
*Don’t miss the Liveprayer TV program, airing “LIVE” every Monday thru Friday from 11pm EDT to Midnight! For details on viewing options for the Liveprayer TV program, “LIVE” or “On Demand,” go to: https://liveprayer.com/liveprayer-show-about.cfm
***SINGLE MOTHERS CHRISTMAS!!! Thank You to all who prayer, and those led to help with this effort. We were able to give $200 to 16 more single mothers and their children than the 30 we initially planned on. This was due to several of our friends being led to make the sacrifice to bless those in need this Christmas. I still here every year from moms and some of the children we helped going back to 2005 when we first began this special Christmas outreach. God is great and those seeds of kindness will always have an impact in the lives they are sown in. May we all never forget that this season is about giving, as God gave His very best, His Son Jesus!
Christmas on Sunday! Every several years, Christmas day falls on a Sunday. Recently, in 2005, 2011, and 2016 we celebrated Christmas day on a Sunday. The next time will be in 2022. I distinctly remember the year 2005, the first time this happened during the history of Liveprayer.
In early December that year, I started getting emails from people asking me what I thought about the fact their church was going to be closed on Christmas, since that year Christmas was on a Sunday. I assumed that these were isolated cases of some very misguided pastors. As Christmas Day got closer, I was getting more and more emails about churches being closed on Christmas Sunday, and it is became an issue that needed to be addressed. Please understand me, we were not talking about businesses closing on Christmas, we were talking about CHURCHES!
This only makes my point when last week I addressed the "controversy" surrounding secular department stores that won't say "Merry Christmas." We, as Believers, are outraged at a lost world who won't celebrate and promote the birth of the Jesus they reject, yet, the very churches that are God's instruments on this earth for that purpose choose to close because Christmas is on a Sunday! As I have stated often, rather than influencing our world, we have allowed this world to influence us!
I remember in 2005 speaking to a few pastors who have decided NOT to hold services on Christmas Sunday. In fairness to them, I really wanted to hear their heart and reasoning for making this decision. I had to assume that there was something I was missing. In each case, I heard the same basic reasons for not holding services on Christmas Day. "It is a day for families to be together." "We need so many people to logistically be able to hold services, and wanted those people to be able to have the day off with their families." "Not enough people come out to service when Christmas is on a Sunday."
These pastors I spoke to were right about one thing. It IS a day for families and there is NO BETTER PLACE for a family to start their Christmas Day celebration than at church! As for the people who serve their churches in so many different capacities on Sunday, what better way to spend a few hours on the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus than by serving Him!
Lastly, since when was opening the doors of the church about how may showed up? The reality is, Christmas and Easter are the two time of the year a HUGE portion of people who call themselves Christmas ever darken the doorstep of a church. It is also the time of year many who are not Believers have a desire to be in church. Other than Easter Sunday, Christmas is the greatest evangelistic opportunity of the year!!!
I would like to encourage any pastors out there who plan to close your church down on the next time Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, PRAY ABOUT THIS! Having Christmas on a Sunday is gift from God and rather than closing, you should be having EXTRA services!!! This should not only be a time of great celebration for your church family, but for your community. Don't you realize that in EVERY family there are people who are lost and without the hope we have in Jesus? If there was EVER a day to get that family member in church it is on Christmas Sunday!
In addition to holding services for your church family, you need to hold services for your community. Again, there are more people than you realize who profess to being a Christian who will only go to church on Easter and Christmas. In addition, there are those who are not saved, who spent their childhood in church and Christmas is the one day of the year that are open to coming to church. Every church should be advertising and promoting in their community their Christmas Day services, knowing that you will have people come just because it is Christmas. This is the day you bring out your best salvation message and give those who come an opportunity to accept Christ as their Savior!
Let me encourage you today that if your church chooses to be "closed on Christmas," don't let that stop you from going to a service and celebrate the birth of our Lord this Christmas Day. Get your family, get your neighbors, load up the car and find a church that is open and holding services on Christmas morning. If there was EVER a day to be in church it is Christmas Day. There is NO BETTER WAY for you to celebrate this blessed event than by being in God's house.
I love you and care about you so much. I am praying today for those pastors who will face the choice to close their churches on Christmas Day in a few years. Don’t miss one of the greatest opportunities ever to do what God has called you to do, bring hope to the hopeless and lead lost souls to faith in Jesus Christ!
I am also praying for each person who is reading this today to make the time this Sunday to go to church, take as many of your family and friends as you can, and experience the great joy of celebrating that wonderful event that took place over 2000 years ago in Bethlehem when God sent the greatest gift ever to this world--Jesus! There is no greater time to be in church than on Christmas celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!!!
In His love and service,
Your friend and brother in Christ,