Dear friends in Christ,
It’s hard to believe that in a couple of weeks it will be Christmas and before we know it 2014 will be here. How blessed we are to be alive and able to look forward to yet another festive season and a whole new year! I just want to thank our God for keeping His Hand over us and protecting us so we can be alive here and now. As always, it is a blessing to share some thoughts with you.
While many of us are looking forward to the Festive Season, spending time with family and friends, celebrating our Saviour’s birth and taking a well deserved break from work, it is easy to forget that there are many people who do not feel this way and who do not have these things to look forward to. There are many people who face tremendous challenges during this time of the year and I find myself wondering how many of us actually take the time to: 1. Be thankful for what we have as we draw closer to the end of 2013 and; 2. Be there for those who need us.
Hebrews 13:15 “ Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His Name.” Wow, what powerful words if we think about it for a moment. God sacrificed His Son to die for us, so that we, who choose to accept Him as our God, can have life everlasting. What a terrible thing to have to sacrifice!
Then the author of Hebrews comes and tells us to give God our sacrifice of praise. What a blessing it is to us when we spend time praising God! Praise opens our hearts to connect to God on such a deep en satisfying spiritual level and it feeds our spirits with His love. Best of all – we get to do THAT as a SACRIFICE AND it is actually PLEASING to God! God gave us so much and then the sacrifices He asks from us are in themselves blessings to us! So how can we not remember to praise Him with thanksgiving especially during this time of year when we are constantly being reminded of the sacrifice that He gave for us? Everything we say and do should be said and done with thanksgiving. Phil 4:6 tells us that even our requests to God should be done with thanksgiving.
As we then reflect and thank God during this special time of the year, I feel that we need to also be there for those who find it hard to be thankful due to the challenges they are facing in their lives. This world is full of people who find it difficult to even smile especially during the Festive Season and God wants us as His Children to share His love- the same love that puts a smile and a song of thanksgiving on our lips- with those whose hearts are broken.
Dear friends, look around you at your place of work, in the malls, in your church and even in your own family and group of friends. Open your eyes and really look and you will see how many eyes around you are filled with sorrow, hopelessness, pain, anger, regrets and loneliness. For some of them just a smile will be enough to make them realise that there is hope, others may need a hug or a kind word and others may need so much more than you or I are able to give to them. Still our God puts a smile on our faces and joy in our hearts and we need to share that with the world around us. Even if your smile does not seem to make much of a difference in someone’s life, you will never know how far that smile really goes. It takes nothing but maybe a minute or two of our time to show an act of kindness to someone. To them it may just be the little seed that God wanted us to plant, the little seed that God Himself will water and make to grow into a whole new being, one who can soon join us in giving a sacrifice of praise to the God who touches hearts and saves lives!
Dear Lord, I thank You that we have so much to be thankful for. Thank You for everything You have given us and thank You that our praises bring joy to You. Lord, please help us to share Your love with those who find it hard to feel thankful and who need to be touched by Your Love. Father You are all and You are everything to me. Amen.
Be fearless in Christ.
(PS: Scriptures are taken from the NKJV unless stated differently.)