What are you anticipating this Christmas Eve?
Americans are great at coming up with our own reasons to celebrate Holidays. MostThanksgiving PAID are used to take time off from work so we can get caught up or just take some time off. Rarely do we really focus on the reason for the holiday. Thanksgiving has become a time for football and being with family. When we finally get around to giving thanks, too often we fail to acknowledge the one to whom the thanks should be addressed.

We do a little better with Christmas, but too often all the distractions keep us from fully comprehending the magnitude of this holiday. In a previous article I stressed the meaning of one of Christ’s names, Immanuel–God with us. Today, I’d like to follow up on that.

It’s the night before Christmas. What is the expectation that has spread all throughChristmas Tree your house? I remember vividly what it was like as a child. Christmas was the most wonderful day in the year. I thought about what might be under the tree. I couldn’t wait for Christmas morning. Now I’m grown up (at least chronologically), and the sense of eager anticipation is gone. We have our traditions and they will proceed as everyone makes their way into the living room. Christmas will be pretty much as we plan it to be.

The events of the past year have caused me to take a deeper look at a lot of things inGifts under tree my life. One of them is Christmas. I sense that God is asking me why the sense of eager anticipation is no longer there. Knowing what I know about the First (and Second) Coming of Christ and what He has already done for me, why am I not more excited about what lies ahead?

Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him (1 Cor. 2:9)

Most of us have not even begun to tap into the riches that Christ has for us, and one ofHands full of gifts the reasons is that our hands are too full of other stuff-stuff we think is important but is of little consequence to God. We are too dedicated to following our agenda to truly becoming a follower of Jesus. God knows that we respond to rewards, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him (Heb. 11:6).

Herein lies one of our biggest problems. If our focus is on how God will bless us, we’re no different than a child on Christmas Eve. Even if we’re focusing on our kids or grand kids, the result is the same. All we’re thinking about is the pile of gifts. If our focus this Christmas, however, is on seeking Him and knowing and loving Him intimately, the results will be far greater, beyond anything we’ve ever seen, heard or even imagined.

So, what’s the spirit all through your house tonight? Is it a quiet anticipation ofbless your socks off Christmas as usual, or an eager expectation that Christ wants to bless the Christmas stockings off those who are seeking Him more than anything?

The choice is ours.



Biblical far side 3