When I stop to consider what the “heart” or center of what Christmas means, the following 3 components come to mind. There’s something about the Christmas holiday that causes most of us to take inventory of the past 12 months and focus on what means the most to us.
For me, I’d like to share the following.
The Christian journey begins for must of us with the story of the tiny babe wrapped in swaddling clothes found in a manger with three wise men adoring his existence. For some this has remained just that… a story. But for those who have surrendered their lives to this Christ child, it is more than a story but an integral aspect of our faith and the demonstration of God becoming man to restore humanity back to fellowship with Him.
The miracle of this virgin birth was only part of this restoration process. This child grew to be a man perfect in all of His ways and completed the will of God by becoming sin for us on the cross and defeating death, hell and the grave so that you and I could have eternal life.
Of all the gifts we have been given or will ever receive in our lifetime, none will ever compare to the greatness of being a child of God with the promise of one day living forever with Him!
As grateful as I am for my family, I’m also blessed to have those in my life who have proven family extends DNA. Take a moment to appreciate the family, the community God has blessed your life with. Don’t allow time to pass without your loved ones knowing how appreciative you are of them.
One of my dearest friends is currently facing a situation where a miracle is needed for the health of a loved one. She shared with me as she was praying one night she could hear her loved one snoring loudly. For many of us the sound of snoring could be annoying and disrupting but for my friend she found gratitude because the sound of snoring meant her loved one was resting peacefully.
Let’s overlook what is trivial and meaningless and choose to focus on what is most important. Let’s not place value on things, but rather on people, especially those closest to us.
We’ve all heard that forgiveness is more for you than the person you are in offense with and it’s so very true. Living life with bitterness and resentment is only keeping venom in your own system. It’s damaging a heart that was meant to be pure.
As mentioned in previous articles, forgiveness does not mean you allow yourself to be treated as a doormat and abused or abandoned. However, examine your heart and ask God to purify you of any feelings that still bring about hurt or resentment when you think of any particular person or situation. I encourage you to reach out to anyone you need to who has hurt you or vice versa. Offer the gift of forgiveness and grace. If the gift is rejected it is no longer on you, you did your part. Hold your head high and keep it moving. When you walk in forgiveness you free yourself from the bondage that an initial hurt caused. Do not go into the New Year carrying the baggage of this year or years passed. Give yourself permission to walk in freedom found in forgiveness.
Christ offers us hope and as we celebrate His birth, let us embrace the fullness of all that He has given us. There are a variety of gifts He’s given us to enjoy, let us start with these three, Faith, Family and Forgiveness.
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
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