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Friday, December 21, 2012

The cost of Christmas

Well first and foremost Merry Christmas! Just a few days left and it will be here. Food, family, gifts, lights, and eggnog. Yet we also must remember that immediately following Christmas, depression hits like a lead balloon for many people. A major build up that climax's and then drops off like the first hill of a roller coaster. Along with that is one of the most active times in churchs and fitness clubs. Churches enjoy seeing new faces, or faces of those who have faded away as lifes demands escalate leaving us to choose priorities. The same is true for fitness clubs, a large boost to membership and attendance that over the first quarter dwindles down to where they were before. Why is this? Simply put, people are looking for something. Happiness, acceptance, love and appreciation. Some of us try to make this happen through our appearance, or if we look good we feel good. Kind of like the guy in the hair commercial who states that, everyone knows that 90% of feeling good is looking good, good grief! If a new mop on my head brings happiness, the world is even more shallow than I have realized. But yet another group search the church for what they feel is missing. From childhood most people have had some exposure to a church of some sort and when crisis comes or gloom something within us pushes us toward the church. Some fight it and others reluctantly go, but the truth is the church is no more of a fix than 500 squat thrusts or a new mop on your head. Ironically the very thing that creates the excitement of Christmas isn't the gifts, glitter and gluttony, but the infant who brings, love, hope, and faith. Simply put the baby we celebrate brings salvation. Salvation is what frees you and I from our feelings of lonliness, depression and anxiety. This humbly born, infant is the God child and came to seek and to save that which was lost. Healthy people don't seek out a doctor, but those who are ill need to see a physician. So it is with your spiritual life. Jesus is just what you need to take care of those holiday blues. Here are some facts for you to consider: All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23 Because of our sin, we are deserving of Gods wrath. Or another way to view it is our sin has earned us death. Romans 6:23 BUT, God has recognized that you are guilty and unable to fix your situation. Nothing you have and no amount of good works can pay the penalty that is due, so God Himself takes on your punishment and wipes the slate clean. Romans 5:8 If you place your faith in Christ and in Him alone to act in your place as an advocate before the Father, and confess Him as Lord you will be saved. Romans 10:9-10&13 John 3:16 and John 14:6 indicate the commitment and love of God the Father as well as the truth that there is no other way by which we must be saved. If this is your first time or 100th time of hearing this, don't hesitate to get right with God. He will lead you through the challenges this week and this next year and forevermore. Also get plugged into a Bible teaching church that you may grow in the grace and knowledge of our Heavenly Father. If this is your first time ever hearing these truths it is simple to talk to God and ask Him to be your Savior. A short prayer similar to this will be sufficient: God, I recognize my sin before you and my helplessness to make it right. I claim the promises in your Word and ask Jesus to be my savior. I understand He came and lived among us and took my sins, nailing them to the cross at Calvary. Upon accepting you as my Savior, my sins are forgiven, both past, present and future. Thank you for saving me and help me to live for you. If you prayed to recieve the Lord please shoot me a note and I will send out some helpful information, and if you need a Bible one of those as well. May this be the year that we look at the baby in the manger as a gift from God for salvation and eternity. Merry Christmas Pastor Mark