By David Brandt Berg
For the Christian, every day can be Christmas! Jesus showers His love down on us every day of the year. But sad to say, it’s not that way for so many poor folks who haven’t yet found the real meaning of Christmas.
So many people are lost, lonely, downtrodden, weak, and weary. Some are weak in their bodies, others are weak in their minds, and yet others are weak in body, mind, and spirit.
There are those who are trampled on: the poor, the persecuted, the hungry, victims of war and crime and exploitation; those nobody wants or cares about, those who have so little in the way of worldly goods, those who lack even the basic necessities.
Then there are others who do have material goods and who appear to “have it together” in the eyes of others, but who are lost and lonely prisoners of their own selfish desires. They are weary and heavy laden with problems, stress, fears, and phobias.
There are those who wear a smile, yet ache inside; those who are engulfed in a sea of emptiness; those who suffer from pain, guilt, bitterness, and condemnation; those who feel remorse over the past or fear the future.—So many lost and desperate folks in the world today!
It reminds me of the words to that old Beatles song, “All the lonely people, where do they all come from?” Well, I’ll tell you where they come from—all the lonely people come from selfish living.
All the lonely people, the lost and the forlorn, come from a society where people look to their own needs and not to the needs of others. That’s where all the lonely people come from—from a dog-eat-dog society, from a lot of wrongful living. They’re products of the Devil’s own doctrines of “do your own thing” and “to each his own.” That’s where all the lonely people come from. All those lonely people are the product of a world that has forgotten its Creator. They’re victims, the sad result of what happens when people’s lives aren’t ruled by love.
It’s getting darker and colder all the time, and many people can feel it. They may not understand it, and they don’t always want to admit it, but it’s happening. The sun is setting, the darkness is falling, and the world is looking for hope, for some ray of light.
Event after event has left the nations questioning. “Why this and why that? Why all the pain and strife in the world? Why the slaughter of the innocents? Why troubles and sorrows?” These questions are being raised in people’s hearts and minds, and those whose foundations have been built on the sand, or others who had no foundations to begin with, have no answers. Never has the world been hungrier for true love and real answers than now!
It’s reminiscent of that famous Christmas carol “O Holy Night”: “O holy night, the stars are brightly shining! It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth. Long lay the world in sin and [sorrow] pining …”
There’s never been a time in all of history when the world has been in such sin and sorrow as it is now. There’s so much talk about the “advancement” and “betterment” of mankind—advanced medicine, modern technology, new inventions, better governments to make it a better world to live in—so much talk of progress, when in reality things are regressing all the more. Look around! Today people are lying in sin, sorrowful and pining away on the inside. Never before has there been so much confusion, so many voices saying, “This is the way to go,” so many false claims deceiving the people. Never in all of history has the world needed to hear the truth like they do today!
How does the rest of that song go? “A thrill of hope! The weary soul rejoices, for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!” Never before has the world needed a ray of hope like they do now! Never before have people so needed to hear about the new and glorious morning that is just around the corner.
The refrain is also very significant: “Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels’ voices!” Just like the shepherds heard the angels announce the birth of Christ, the Lord wants the people of the world to hear those angels’ voices today.
And I’ve got news for you: You can be one of those angels. You can be one of those Christmas angels sent from Jesus Himself to proclaim the good news to the lost and lonely of the world, to give them the ray of hope they have been waiting for. Who better for Him to use than His own children who have the Words of life, who know His truth, and who He’s made rich in faith!
In this day of hatred and hardness of hearts, of confusion and deception, of scheming and sly words, of false fronts and coverups, there is a great need for His love to shine through. As the darkness falls and the cold winds blow, you must hold up the light. You must hold it up steady and firm for all to see.
If you will shine His light on people, He’ll do all the rest. He’ll cause it to accomplish His purpose in their lives and hearts and minds.
Love in action
Not only does the world need to hear the truth today, but never before has the world been in such great need of seeing the truth. People not only need to hear about true love, they need to see it. They need to see love put into action!
It’s just human nature to sometimes by confused by the words you say, but there’s no confusion when they see it put into practice. It’s like that poem by Edgar A. Guest, which says: “I’d rather see a sermon, than to hear one any day. I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way.” For most people to accept the truth, they not only need to hear the sermon, but they need to see the sample as well.
Jesus said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you have love one toward another” (John 13:35). Why do you think He said that? Wouldn’t it have been enough for you to simply tell others about the love of Jesus? Couldn’t the Lord just as well have said, “By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you preach My message”? Wouldn’t that have been enough?
Evidently not, because the Lord said that all men would know that you are His if you have love one for another. And if you have love one for another, you’re certainly going to show it throughout the day in obvious, tangible ways that others can see.
It’s not good enough to just talk about love. Jesus said you have to have love, you have to live love. The Lord knew that there would be no denying that sample.
What can you give Him?
This Christmas and throughout the coming year, give the Lord the gifts that He’s most pleased with—gifts of love! Give your love! Give of yourself! Shine forth the love and sweetness of Jesus through the light of your eyes, a loving look, kind speech, and kind deeds. Be like Jesus for others. Be the living sample of the message, the living proof that it works!
What better way to live Christmas each and every day of the year than to continually give to those around you, to truly live as He taught us, to show His love in all the little ways throughout the day, to show the world living proof that the love of Jesus works!
Back to the carol: “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love, and His Gospel is peace!” He’s entrusted you, His child, with His law, which is love. Now He’s trusting you to follow it, to make it work, and to live in love, that by this all men may know that you are His disciples.
And the next line of the song? “Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.” Praise the Lord! Love is powerful!
So if you want to know what to give the Lord this Christmas, what to give the One who has everything, then give your love not only to Him, but reach out and give your love to others. His Gospel is love. Will you live it? Will you give it? You might not feel equal to the task, but God is, and He’ll help you if you try.
Pray and ask the Lord to help you live Christmas each and every day of the year by helping you to follow His great commandment to love your neighbor as yourself. This is the real meaning of Christmas. This is the reason for it all. This is the reason Jesus came down at Christmas in the first place—so we could have life eternal, yes, but also to teach us to love, so we could turn around and give that life to others.
Give of yourself! Give others your love, your prayers, your time, your attention, your care. Love God by loving your neighbor! Expand your love this Christmas, and together we’ll all sing the rest of this carol with our whole hearts, as we proclaim His power and glory!
“Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we. Let all within us praise His holy name! Christ is the Lord! Oh, praise His name forever! His power and glory evermore proclaim! His power and glory evermore proclaim!”
Will you praise His name forever? Will you go out and proclaim His power and glory forevermore? How can you do that? The best way you can tell of His power and glory is by showing love to others, by giving love!
Your life will tell it all, because you’ll be the living proof. As you live in His love, it will bring down His power upon you. And as He pours out His power upon you, His power and glory will be made known to all the world forevermore—the power of love! “Christ is the Lord! Oh, praise His name forever! His power and glory evermore proclaim!”
Let others see Jesus in you! That’s what Christmas is all about! Merry Christmas!
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