Christmas in July

Luke 2:8, 10 
And there were in the same county shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night . . . And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, warmed by family gatherings, and thoughtful deeds to show others that we care. It’s a time of caroling, helping the poor and needy, visiting the sick and the elderly, and inviting others into our homes. Yes, Christmas is the time of year when our focus shifts from “me” to “others” and that brings us great joy.

God the Father started the tradition by giving His only begotten Son to those who needed a Savior. That includes you and me. As we reflect on the birth of Christ, we see Him as the Great Gift that God gave to the world. In turn, we’ve developed the habit of giving to others at that special season.  We give gifts, time, kind words and deeds, and the message of salvation. Yes, giving is what Christmas is all about.  

Sadly, by the time we pull the December page off the calendar, old feelings and habits often have returned and we spend most of the rest of the year thinking about ourselves and our own pleasure. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could keep the joy of Christmas all year round?  Well, we can and we should. At no place in Scripture does it say that we should keep the Good News of Christ’s birth and the joy it brings just for Christmas. Why not think of something you can do for someone else today, something you wouldn’t ordinarily do this time of year, that will make his or her day a little more special. Then do it! But watch out!  Once you start doing things for others as a reflection of God’s love the joy that begins to bubble up inside you can be intense—and contagious!

Lord Jesus, help me demonstrate the spirit of kindness and caring throughout the whole year.  May those who see my life see Your love.

By Ann Shorb
©Copyright Ann Shorb, 2006

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Related articles and devotionals:
Jessica's Christmas List
Immanuel - God WIth Us
Hang On to the Promises!

Changes that HealChanges That Heal: How to Understand Your Past to Ensure a Healthier Future
By Dr. Henry Cloud / Zondervan

In Changes That Heal, Dr. Cloud takes the reader step-by-step through the four basic tasks of becoming mature image bearers of God. They are: Bonding to others, Separating from others, Sorting out good and bad in ourselves and others, and Becoming an adult. Dr. Cloud not only explains and describes each task, he also identifies the problems that result when we fail to accomplish that task, and he shows us what changes to make in our lives in order to bring about healing.