Christmas isn’t just a time of turning inward and looking into our homes through frosted windowpanes. It’s a matter of looking out our windows at a cold world in which people are stranded in great need.
The Bible speaks this way of the “windows of heaven.” Malachi 3:10 contains a famous verse about the blessings coming on those who tithe of their income. The Lord promises to open the windows of heaven and pour out such blessings there won’t be room enough to receive them. Imagine the Heavenly Father looking through the windowpanes of the ramparts of heaven, gazing down on a world in need.
That’s what He did.
Psalm 102:19-21 says, “He looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven the Lord viewed the earth, to hear the groaning of the prisoner, to release those appointed to death, to declare the name of the Lord in Zion.” Looking through heaven’s windowpanes, God saw a self-destructive world. He saw a world under the control of the evil one, and He did something about it. Leaving His glorious throne, He laid aside His glory and descended to die for us and to rise again.
What, then, should we notice when we look at the world through the frosted windowpanes of our homes and the stained-glass windows of our churches?
We should see the lost needing the Gospel. Perhaps you’ve seen the tragic photo from the Vietnam era of a naked girl running from a napalm attack. Her clothes were literally burned off her body. Her name was Kim Phuc, and she spent many months recovering in an American medical facility in Saigon. Seeking emotional healing, she prayed to many gods, to the river, to the ocean, to the mountains, to her dead ancestors. “But no answer,” she told a reporter in broken English. “I still suffering. I was still bitter, still angry, I wanted to die.”
One day she picked up a copy of the New Testament and started reading. When she got to John 14:6, where Jesus said He was the way, the truth, the life, she was struck with conviction and subsequently came to Christ—on Christmas Day, 1982.
So many people outside our windowpane have been hurt by others and are bearing physical and emotional scars. The message of Christmas Day can be a turning point in their lives. Ask God to give you an opportunity to share the One who is the way, the truth, and the life.
As we gaze at the world outside our windows, we should also notice the imprisoned who need attention. In jails and prisons near us are thousands of teens and young adults who have had a bad start in life. They need the Lord. The Christmas season is a great time to reach through frosted windowpanes into prison cells and love those who are so lonely and lost. Do you know someone behind bars? If not, perhaps you know someone with connections to a prison ministry. Christmas is a great time to reach out, even if it’s simply a supportive handwritten message inside a Christmas card. Your note and the Scripture you share might be the greatest moment of some prisoner’s Christmas.
Speaking of cards, don’t forget the sick or those needing a visit in a nursing home or hospital. Remember what James said: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27). Could you take an hour or two this month to visit an elderly person who is in a nursing home or unable to leave their home?
I’m also burdened for the world’s children who need Christ. We know that many of those who become Christians do so before the age of sixteen. Perhaps you know of a child somewhere on your street, among your relationships, or in your church or community. Can you do something appropriately designed to share the love of Jesus with that child?
Time won’t permit my mentioning more groups and individuals who need the Lord—but with a global population of more than seven billion people, I’m certain the Lord will put a few names on your heart. They need you and the One you represent.
Pray and ask God for the names of a handful of people whose lives you can impact this season. Ask Him to open the windows of your heart this Christmas.
Dr. Jeremiah is the founder and host of Turning Point for God and senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California.
For more information on Turning Point, go to www.DavidJeremiah.org.
A “day” has arrived—a day I never thought I’d live to see. It’s a day when many things that I took for granted growing up are no longer the norm in America and in many churches.
When I was growing up, I knew exactly what married and family meant. I knew that the moral compass in my home, my church, my schools, and my nation generally pointed in the same direction—right and wrong meant the same thing in all those venues. Jesus Christ was honored—respected even by non-Christians. Churches and pastors had a relevant role in the life of most communities.The Land of Fruit and Nots
A fruit is an edible product of a plant that’s designed to mature and detach from the plant for the sake of reproduction—like an apple falling from the tree.
On the other hand, a vegetable is the edible portion of a plant that isn’t specifically designed to separate from the plant for reproduction. Typically a vegetable is an edible part of a plant that typically involves leaves (lettuce), stalks (celery), roots (potatoes), bulbs (onions), or flowers (broccoli). We need to reproduce fruit in our lives and to avoid the “nots.”.
The Bible says mature believers are like trees firmly planted. But that’s not the only way we resemble trees. Christians also produce fruit! Dr. David Jeremiah continues his series on spiritual growth by examining that fruit—evidence to others of the difference Jesus has made in our lives.All Sermons by Dr. David Jeremiah