Thanksgiving? Christmas? Do you remember those days? As I write this, it is almost Thanksgiving. I just drove through a neighborhood where almost half of the houses already have their Christmas decorations up. Of course, the stores have been advertising Christmas for weeks and “Black Friday” Christmas shopping and special prices have sprawled out into the week and even onto Thanksgiving Day itself.
I wonder how many of us really remember (or even know) the reasons behind these holidays. Thanksgiving Day was decreed as a national holiday in 1941 by the U.S. Congress as a day of “prayer and thanksgiving to God.” It is supposed to be a day when we the people of the nation along with our fellow citizens give thanks to God for the blessings in our lives, communities, and nation. However, Thanksgiving is now mostly about travel, food, football, and especially consumerism as Christmas pricing arrives.
I wonder how many of us really remember (or even know) that Christmas is a national holiday in the United States set aside to remember the birth of Jesus, the Messiah. Christmas is a time in which we remember that God entered into our world fulfilling hundreds of prophecies from the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) in order to live, love, die, and eventually be raised from the dead for the salvation of human beings. However, Christmas is mostly about holiday decorations, extravagant gifts (whether you have the money to pay for them or not), Santa Claus, flying reindeer, and special music.
The ancient Church calendar reminds us that Christmas begins on December 25 (or the 24th on the Eve) and lasts for 12 days. It is preceded by the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the Messiah’s return and for remembering the Messiah’s birth.
Do you remember the holidays? I hope you will this year. Thanksgiving can be a day of worship and gratitude with those you love. Christmas can be a deeply spiritual and meaningful time as one recalls the birth of Jesus, prays for spiritual renewal, and celebrates the transformation He brings to one’s life and community. Both holidays also bring a unique opportunity to provide for those in need. Take time to remember the real holidays this year! Give of yourself to help someone. Go to church somewhere on Christmas Eve. Spend some extra time in prayer. It will make all the difference in your holiday!
In our busyness, we can neglect some important aspects of following Jesus, which would help us to know Him better, to understand Him better, and to deepen our relationship with Him. These aspects of following Jesus are usually not screaming for our attention; therefore, they are often overlooked in the hectic pace at which most of us live. While not an exhaustive list, these relationship attributes are offered to encourage you to go deeper with the Lord.Generosity: A Gift from God Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist who made millions of dollars from inventing and selling dynamite. One day in 1888, he was shocked to open the newspaper and see this headline: “The Merchant of Death is Dead.” It was his obituary! After reading his own obituary, Alfred Nobel realized that the legacy of his life was not what he had hoped. He set out to make a change becoming a generous person who shared his resources to make a positive difference in the world. Learn to become a generous person.
We Need Your Help, Today, in Closing America’s “Gospel Gap”
MESSAGE SUMMARY: Word From The Lord ministry (AWFTL) strives to, effectively and efficiently, deliver the Lord’s Word through Gospel-focused messages to large numbers of people whom neither the Gospel nor Jesus play a significant role in their lives.
Today, this Gospel message is needed more than ever because America is rapidly repositioning its environment and culture away from America’s founding principles and the Gospel’s principles of Love and Trust. This repositioning is being driven by the change in roles and focus of America’s key institutions (e.g., family, churches, judicial, media, government, education, military). The negative consequences of this institutional repositioning are created and promulgated by a “Gospel Gap”.
The “Gospel Gap” occurs when the prime thesis of Jesus’ Gospel’s “Great Commandment”, “Love thy neighbor as thyself”, has either been lost or never really considered by vast numbers and segments of Americans. The “Gospel Gap” is further exacerbated by the institutional failure of churches and ministries to focus on fulfillment of Jesus’ “Great Commission” – “Go and make disciples”. It is this “Gospel Gap” that presents AWFTL with both the opportunity and, indeed, the obligation to reach and begin the change of people who will close the “Gospel Gap”.
A Word From The Lord (AWFTL) is driven by the Holy Spirit and God’s will. We need your continuing prayers and financial support to provide increasing opportunities for people to have “contacts” with God’s Word. We hope that you will continue help AWFTL to “be a part of fulfilling Jesus’ ‘Great Commission’” and, therefore, being a participant in addressing the “Gospel Gap”!
A Word From The Lord is a 501 [c] not-for-profit ministry; and you can contribute, directly, to AWFTL using the secure facilities of the National Christian Foundation (NCF) using the link below (DONATE TO AWFT; or through the DONATE button on our Website (www.awftl.org ); or
· with a check to:
A Word From The Lord
P. O. Box 636
Monroe, GA. 30655
TODAY’S PRAYER: Father, I confess that when difficulties and trials come into my life, large or small, I mostly grumble and complain. I realize the trials James talks about are not necessarily “walls,” but they are difficult to bear, nonetheless. Fill me with such a vision of a transformed life, O God, that I might actually consider it “pure joy” when you bring trials my way. I believe, Lord. Help my unbelief. In Jesus’ name, amen. Scazzero, Peter. Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day (p. 94). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.
TODAY’S AFFIRMATION: Today, Because of who I am in Jesus Christ, I will not be driven by Hatred. Rather, I will abide in the Lord’s Love. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5).
SCRIPTURE REFERENCE (ESV): 1 John 4:7–21; 1 Corinthians 13: 1-9; Psalms 40:1-17; 3 John 5:8.
A WORD FROM THE LORD WEBSITE: www.AWFTL.org.
DONATE TO AWFTL: https://mygiving.secure.force.com/GXDonateNow?id=a0Ui000000DglsqEABAll Sermons by Archbishop Foley Beach