Monday, November 30, 2009
Sometimes We Have It Easy
Yes, sometimes we have it easy and we just don't realize it.
I was reading in Philippians this morning and came upon one of my favorite verses. Paul was encouraging the church in Philippi to be anxious for nothing, to let their gentle spirit be known to all men, to let the peace of God guard their hearts and then he said, "Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." (4:8)
Wow...that's quite a list - true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, excellent and worthy of praise. If I asked you to name something that fit all these categories to set your mind on, what would you say? Of course there is really only one answer - Jesus. He alone is worthy of praise. "...keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth..." (Colossians 3:1,2) The instruction to set our minds on Christ is not a new one from Paul and I think its the key to the Christian walk. If we set our minds, or dwell, on Christ, our feelings and our actions will be directly affected.
So, this holiday season, how hard is it to dwell on Christ? Do we get caught up in Christmas shopping, decorating, baking and addressing Christmas cards that we don't have time to dwell on Christ? I know it sounds ridiculous, but if we are truthful, the weeks in between Thanksgiving and Christmas can be some of the most hectic and stress-filled of the whole year. It seems that we dwell in List-land, or in Preparation-ville, or in How-Do-I-Keep-Everyone-Happy-This-Year Town instead of dwelling in Christ.
Well, might I suggest that of the whole year this should be the easiest time to dwell in Christ? Here's why: He's everywhere you go. Try this - go to the mall and do an hour or two of shopping. When you get back into your car, before turning on the engine, just sit quietly and listen to what is playing in your head. It should be Christmas music. Joy to the World. O Come All Ye Faithful. Possibly even Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. The radio, the stores, the television - they are all filled with Christmas music and remember gals, there is no Christmas without Christ! So even if it is a secular song, let your mind drift to the Lord - think about His incarnation, His sinless life, His selfless sacrifice, His resurrection and His ascension. Without those things, December would simply be another February, or June, or October.
But in this crazy, lost world, a whole month out of the year is dedicated to remembering Jesus Christ! Dave and I went out for a drive the other day and passed a house whose lawn was covered with secular Christmas decorations. He turned to me and asked, "Isn't it strange that they celebrate Christmas without Christ?" It really makes no sense whatsoever! So as you drive and see the lights, let your mind see Jesus. As you hear the music, thank the Lord for the cross. As you wrap the gifts, remember the most precious gift of all. Gals - take advantage of this wonderful season, where everywhere you go points to Christ!
Sometimes we have it so easy and we miss it...let's not miss it this year.
Thank you, Lord, for the gift of your Son. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for giving us a month to immerse ourselves in Your story, Your sovereignty and Your grace. May we develop a habit during the next five weeks that continues on throughout the next year, of dwelling on Christ who is truly honorable, truthful, right, pure and lovely, of good repute, excellent and completely and utterly worthy of praise. Thank you for making it so easy for us to dwell here...