You’re just as big or small as your vision is, and if you’ve a mind to work and make something of yourself, you can do it.”
–Louis L’Amour (The Daybreakers)
“Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own business and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before.”
–1 Thessalonians 4:11 (NLT)
This time of the year it is easy to envy others. The world seems to have more to offer: the parties, the spiked egg nog, the drinks. Then there are the big spenders, the stores telling you to spend more than your means.
God calls us to a life in a temporal world that is characterized by faith. Romans 1:17, states, “This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, ‘It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'” (NLT) We are to be zealous in doing this walking in the fear of the Lord.
Take a look at Proverbs 23:17-18, “Do not let your heart envy sinners, but always be zealous for the fear of the Lord. There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.” The sinner has hope only in this life and in what he is doing. Tomorrow he may have a hangover; tomorrow he may be broke–there is no hope.
I have heard it said many times, “that he is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good.” That may be true, only partially. It is more true to say of most Christians that they, “are so earthly minded that they are no heavenly good.” Our treasure is to be in heaven, yet we crave the pleasures of earth. We much prefer temporal satisfactions rather than the rewards in heaven. Christians, if not careful, will throw a pity-party for themselves and envy the wicked. However, they must remember that they are called to live by a different set of rules–God’s Word.
It is true that the Christian will be disciplined by God for something sinners do with applause from others. So, be careful this holiday season not to get caught up in the “glamour” of the world. Become more “heavenly minded.”
“Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years… Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.”
–George Matthew Adams
I rarely give money outside my church. There are a couple of organizations that I know well that I will give to, but at Christmas I am apt to give to the Salvation Army outside a store. I started to go up to one and all she was saying was “Happy Holidays.” Now in this more conservative climate of Christmas, especially here in Texas, I expected from the Salvation Army a “Merry Christmas.” Let me tell you, they did not get my quarter this year.
Listen, all of creation changed with the birth of Christ. Through His life we see the heart of the heavenly Father. Through His death we see the love for mankind by the heavenly Father. Through His resurrection we see the power and the victory over sin and the grave. Think for a few minutes this Christmas on those gifts.