Saturday, December 26, 2009

You Are the Reason for the Season

Well Christmas is behind us. Or is it? Personally, I would like to keep the spirit that is part of Christmas going. There is something very sentimental, joyous and uplifting about this time of year. I love the whole idea of giving and showing love to others. I love time spent with family and friends. I love celebrating the birth of Christ. The feel of it all is something that we should carry with us throughout the entire year.

This Christmas I felt like God was showing me something new and it all started with a song. Music is very inspiring to me. I appreciate how God uses music to speak to our hearts.

The song is by Avalon and it’s called “We Are the Reason.” Apparently this isn’t a new song. A friend mentioned that Amy Grant sang a version of this but I don’t know it. I only recently heard this for the first time. Some of the lyrics are:

As little children
We would dream of Christmas morn'
Of all the gifts and toys
We knew we'd find
But we never realized
A baby born one blessed night
Gave us the greatest gift of our lives

We were the reason
That He gave His life
We were the reason
That He suffered and died
To a world that was lost
He gave all He could give
To show us the reason to live

We often hear during this time of year that “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Although that is very true, that we celebrate His birth this time of year, I felt like God was showing me through this song that WE are the reason for the season.

We must never forget that in celebrating the birth of Jesus, we have another reason to celebrate. You see, if there was never a need for us to be saved, Jesus would never have had to come to this earth. There would have been no reason for Him to leave His place in heaven and come to this earth, born as a baby in a manger.

The greatest gift that we ever received was Jesus Christ—His birth, His life, His death, His resurrection—it was all for us! But not only did He give us the gift of Him, He gives us other gifts. Sometimes these gifts are beautifully wrapped and when we open them, we squeal with delight. Other times our gifts come in plainly wrapped paper and when we open them, there is a sense of disappointment. We may be let down. This wasn’t what I asked for! This wasn’t what I wanted!

What gifts have you received this past year? Were you blessed in some way? Those are the gifts we joyfully open up. But did you receive other gifts, such as illness, death, or some type of loss whether it was in a job or in a relationship? Perhaps something you have been wanting for a long time still hasn’t come. Those are gifts we don’t ask for. But all the same, they are gifts from Jesus.

You see, sometimes we believe that gifts are supposed to be all good, the things we want. We become like children (or teens) at Christmastime that have this long list. They want everything on that list and if they don’t get it, they are going to be very disappointed!

Did you ever receive something you didn’t ask for but the truth was you really needed it? Those are some of the gifts that we receive from Jesus. God knows what we have need of. It is not always about what we want. The key is how we receive that gift. Are you going to stomp your feet, pout and proclaim, “This isn’t what I wanted!” Or will you obediently and joyfully accept what has been given you?

James 1:2 says to Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds… Sometimes our gifts are trials. Sometimes we receive many gifts of this kind. Are we going to try and exchange those gifts? Are we going to sulk about it? Are we going to become angry? Or will we joyfully accept and receive those gifts?

It’s the day after Christmas and many will be out exchanging their gifts. What are you going to do with the gifts that God has given you this season? What are you going to do about the greatest gift that you have ever received? For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23). YOU are the reason for this season. YOU are the reason that Jesus came to this earth. YOU are the reason we celebrate His birth. YOU are the recipient of the greatest gift of all.

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