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Money or the Manger

December 27, 2010

Christmas is over and reports are coming in that it was a ‘good’ Christmas. The evidence to back this conclusion comes to us from the economic sector. What we hear is that retail spending is up more than three percent from last year. This brings total holiday spending to over 451 billion dollars, almost to the record level set in 2007.

I am thankful that my family thought enough of me to help with this wonderful economic recovery by spending money on presents for me. However, I am quite certain that God did not send his Son to earth to stimulate the economy. Isn’t it ironic that the best gift of the season is free? 

When did we start measuring the meaning of Christmas in terms of spending? Maybe more importantly, how do we recapture the real significance of Christmas? It is not change in our pocket, but the change in our hearts.

Just like the economists, I’d be happy to start with a three percent up-tick. I’d like to see three percent more people in the world come to know Jesus personally. I’d like to see all those who currently believe in Jesus grow three percent stronger in their faith. I think it would be awesome if there could be three percent more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in the world. 

That news will not come from Wall Street; it has to come from Main Street. The place this change begins in not the White House, but my house. I can’t wait for someone else to change; I need to be the one to change. So now, I’m going to slip on my warm, new socks, but before I read my Christmas book, I’m going to pray that Jesus will grow at least three percent in me! 

As you look back on Christmas and forward to the New Year, what kind of change are you pursuing in 2011? It does not take a huge percentage to make a significant difference. As you are thinking about your potential resolutions, why not try to write down what it would look like if your heart changed just three percent next year?

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