I am certain that most of us are making preparations for the Christmas season. It is a wonderful time of the year; one that is set aside to honor and worship our blessed Lord as we remember and celebrate His birth.
Sadly it is becoming more and more evident that Christ is being left out of Christmas. Especially in America, Christmas has become so commercialized that few ever take the time to reflect upon the true meaning of Christmas. We have become so consumed with giving and receiving gifts that we forget about the greatest Gift that was ever given. How would you and I feel if year after year there was a celebration to honor our birthday, but somehow we were never thought of on that day? Each year people celebrate the birthday of Jesus, but they never consider the Guest of honor. Make Him the focus of Christmas this year; teach your children the real meaning of Christmas; take the time to read the account of our Lord's birth in the Scripture, and be sure to attend the house of God to worship Him on Christmas day!
This is a topic that is often discussed each year at Christmas; and it seems that the problem is only getting worse, but what we experience at Christmas is just a reflection of the reality of the 364 days leading up to Christmas. We have forgotten about the Main thing. Many have no problem with a baby in a manger, but they refuse to submit to the sovereignty of a holy God. Others are content to leave Jesus upon the cross, but I rejoice that the cross was not the end of the story. I am glad that the tomb is empty! Had He not bled and died for our sins, there would be no restoration and redemption, but had He not risen our faith would be in vain. We need to celebrate the birth of One who came to earth, robed in a body of flesh, lived a perfect and sinless life, died for our sin, was buried, and rose again triumphant. That is the Christ of Christmas.
While I am here I might as well address an alarming trend among the modern church. Many churches have lost their focus when it comes to the Main thing. They are more concerned with the approval of the world and programs that receive the praise of men than they are focusing upon the birth, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. We could spend all of our time and effort feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and even comforting those who are in despair, but if we fail to mention Jesus, the Main thing, then we have failed in our labor. We must be committed to presenting the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray that God will touch our hearts and move us from our complacency so that we will once again make Jesus the focus of our lives, our churches, and our worship. I know that isn't popular today, but it is biblical. And by the way, we need to live and serve the Lord according to His Word.
1 Cor. 2:1-5
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
I am Chris Benfield, pastor of Shady Grove Baptist Church in Boonville, NC. Here you will find some of my thoughts, particularly relating to the church and serving our Lord.
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