Good Morning Ladies (and few gents),
GiG, by far this will be my “leanest” Christmas ever; not because financial resources aren’t available, but because of a shift in thinking and prioritizing within my household. As many of you know the journey my family has been on in 2019 has been very consuming of time, talent, treasures, and energy. So, Darrell and I have decided to forgo the traditional trappings and instead gift time. Does doing so make us “super spiritual” not by any stretch of the imagination. What it has done is made us aware of how precious the gift of life we’ve been gifted and not to take it for granted.
We’ve been reminded of how many Christmas’s we’ve seen come and go and with each passing year family members, friends, and/or acquaintances are no longer here to share in the festivities. This Christmas is about honoring those who have gone home to glory and placing a greater emphasis on CHRIST in Christmas. We’ve focused on Jesus in the past with our traditional reading of the Christmas story in Matthew’s gospel, attending Christmas services, but also under the tree was a lot of stuff. Ah, we’ve decided to focus on Jesus and less on stuff.
Maybe you’ve been wrestling with the Christmas shopping stuff and more stuff and thought you were alone. Actually, more people are feeling this way but don’t know how to get off the merry-go-round of commercialization.
Please, if reading this causes you in any way to feel guilty about buying gifts for your loved ones, and/or friends that’s not my intent. Celebrate, lavish love and gifts on your family and/or friends. However, prayerfully plan out where you will focus upon Jesus—Whom is the Reason for the Season throughout your festivities.
GiG, to be content is to accept in faith, with a thankful heart and submissive spirit, that which God in his grace and wisdom ordains for us. There are many scriptures that provide us with instructions that cautions us to ward off coveting, obtain contentment, and set priorities. For example,
Life doesn’t consist of what we possess.
Speaking to the people, he (Jesus) went on, “Take care! Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” Luke 12:15 MSG
Nor does laying up earthly treasures matter over heavenly treasures.
19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. 21 Wherever your treasure is, the the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew6:19-21 NLT
I cannot fail to mention the parable of the rich fool. In this parable Jesus teaches us that life is more than material riches. The rich fool stored up things for himself but was not rich toward God, so his life was demanded of him.
16 Then he told them a story: “A rich man had a fertile farm that produced fine crops. 17 He said to himself, ‘What should I do? I don’t have room for all my crops.’ 18 Then he said, ‘I know! I’ll tear down my barns and build bigger ones. Then I’ll have room enough to store all my wheat and other goods. 19 And I’ll sit back and say to myself, “My friend, you have enough stored away for years to come. Now take it easy! Eat, drink, and be merry!”’ 20 “But God said to him, ‘You fool! You will die this very night. Then who will get everything you worked for?’ 21 “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.” Luke 12:16-21
For the Andrews family, we’re neither seeking poverty nor riches, but instead choosing wisdom over wealth. We’ve recognized that for us, it’s better to have a simple lifestyle than to have wealth with a lot of conflict in the home or wearing ourselves out to get rich.
8 Keep falsehood and deceitful words far from me. Give me neither poverty nor wealth; feed me with the food I need. 9 Otherwise, I might have too much and deny You, saying, “Who is the Lord?” or I might have nothing and steal, profaning the name of my God. Proverbs 30:8-9 HCSB
16 Get wisdom—it’s worth more than money; choose insight over income every time. 17 The road of right living bypasses evil; watch your step and save your life. Proverbs 16:16-17 MSG
16 Better to have little, with fear for the Lord, than to have great treasure and inner turmoil. 17 A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate. Proverbs 15:16-17 NLT
4 Don’t wear yourself out trying to get rich. Be wise enough to know when to quit. 5 In the blink of an eye wealth disappears, for it will sprout wings and fly away like an eagle. Working often with the homeless population has caused me to reevaluate a lot of things, but one thing that remains the same is Jesus loved us so much that died for us. This truth can’t be bought or sold only freely accepted. Proverbs 23:4-5
May we be encouraged this Christmas to (1) seek first God’s kingdom (Matthew 6:33) and (2) keep the main thing the main thing—fearing God (respect, reverence) and keeping his commandments (Eccl 12:13-14).
God’s Got It…so we can BELIEVE—Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne. Hebrews 12:2