Summary: A message about God speaking to each of us and asking what if we were to know that this was to be our last Christmas, and would it change our thinking and attitude.
I sat and watched a Christmas show on Tuesday night and thought how emotional do we become when we sit and see human nature affecting us. I thought about every Christmas that we celebrate from when we were kids to now as adults. For many of us the Christmas’s we grew up with probably did not have the same spiritual meaning as they do for us today especially as we get older. Each Christmas it seems becomes different in our outlook from a natural perspective as well as a spiritual. Many of us grew up with the Santa Claus mentality and when we became followers of Jesus our thinking changed. The words of the Apostle Paul gave us a new understanding of the outlook on life when he said in 1Co 13:11 .When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. I focused on this and tried to put my own life into perspective. Do we still hang onto childish behavior that hinders our spiritual walk. Do we still have a way about us that says I still have an agenda and it’s more important than yours. I want to go back to each of us as we watch emotional movies on TV. If you are anything like me then you reflect on your life now and all kinds of thoughts come into being. I think to myself that from this moment on I am going to be a better person and I am going to stop doing the things that irritate and maybe hurt people . All of a sudden I seem to have a change of heart or conscience and I feel bad about the way I am. Yet the funny thing is when I awake in the morning these thoughts are no longer there and I continue to be the same person as I was before I watched the movie. If I said to each of us here this morning that I believe that this is our last Christmas how would you react. If you knew that you weren’t going to be here next year what would you think. Oh I know that for some of us we would simply say “Praise God, to be absent from the body s to be present with the Lord.” As Paul said in 2 Cor 5:8. But if you knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is your last Christmas what would you do. The difficulty I have now with Christmas is how I see it. From being raised to wish everybody a merry Christmas and see children singing Christmas carols to being called political incorrect today for maintaining these beliefs. To see so many of our traditional beliefs being taken from us and yet we allow it to happen without even a mumur. I look in Wal Mart and I see the people busy buying gifts and presents but I also look at their faces. They are frustrated with the line-ups, they are angry at the crowds, they are impatience with the elderly who have difficulty making their way through the aisles and yet they are supposingly buying with a heart of love. It seems that Christmas is the time when we as a human race show good will and peace towards all men. We extend our hands in merriment and friendship because it’s the thing to do at this special time of year. My question is, why aren’t we like this all year long when we know it is what is expected of us. We have been given commands by Christ and yet we do not follow them. In Joh 15:11 He said .”These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.” Is this joy only to be shared at Christmas or did He mean that we are to live it 24/7. Oh but you say that’s impossible. You don’t know what I have to go through each day, you don’t know the troubles and trials that I have to face. Why if you had to walk in my shoes for a day, you would see what I mean, it’s just impossible to have that joy. That’s like saying I can’t do all things through Christ Jesus who strengthens me. Php 4:13. Why is it that we live in a society that has a celebration of the birth of Christ and a funeral at His death. There is great joy in His birth and there is great joy in His death simply for the fact that because of what He did for me I can stand and proudly proclaim, It’s no longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me. So let’s go back to my original question, what would you do if you knew that 2009 was to be your last Christmas. Would you hurry around and make sure that all your affairs were in order, would you make sure that your children were looked after financially? Would you change your lifestyle around your home and be a different husband or wife than your are now. Would you be less inclined to gossip, would you be less inclined to get your own way rather than try to be humbler than you are. What if you left this church this morning and all of a sudden in the next five minutes you found yourself standing in front of God. Would you be tempted to say, Uh God can I go back for just another day and do a few things that I should have done before I meet you face to face. Poor timing. Have you ever just sat back and did a inventory of yourself from as far back as you can remember up until now. How do you think that you would feel as you look back on your life. Oh sure I know that all the sins are under the blood and that I have been forgiven because of what Jesus did for me on the cross. but would you have any regrets about changes that you would have liked to do. As you look at your Christian life does it measure up to what God has expected of you. And now the questions come that become so personal Were you committed to your church or did you go from church to church looking for that perfect Pastor and family or did you stay planted where God called you. Will you stand before God and say yes Lord I took you at your word and I proved you with what you said in Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. Did I love everyone with an unconditional love as much as humanly possible. There are two things in life that are extremely difficult to do, #1 Love unconditionally and forgive unconditionally. But isn’t this the theme and message that Christmas calls for us to do. You see the more I say concerning our Christian walk the more we realiaze that it isn’t easy. No one said that following Jesus was going to be easy in fact just read about the Hall of hero’s in Hebrews. Read about the Christian faithful who refused to denounce their Savior in Fox’s Book of Martry’s. If we could only ask John Calvin Brought forth to the place of execution, he was tied to the stake, strangled by the hangman, and afterwards consumed with fire, at the town of Vilvorde, a.d. 1536; crying at the stake with a fervent zeal, and a loud voice, “Lord! open the king of England’s eyes.” Or of the many others while burning at the stake sang praises to God and cried out for forgiveness to their tormentors. We truly live in a country and age that doesn’t demand we stand and defend our faith, at least not yet. Think with me if you will. We are standing in a manager in a stable on a cold night in the far east. A bright star lights up the sky, the heavens open and angels proclaim the news that we are in the midst of baby Jesus who is to become the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings. The baby who is to take the sins of all the world on His shoulders so that mankind might find redemption because He knew that on their own they could do nothing. We stand in the presence of the baby who will only live to reach the age of 33 as His mother looks at the cross on which her son hangs thinking this is not the way it is supposed to be, yet realiazing that He is only on loan to her and that His real Father has to call Him home. Do we really understand that what we have is not ours and there will be an accountability of how we looked after our children, our fiends, our family, our church. What was God really saying to me. I struggled with this and finally understood. He was telling me that it’s ok to make plans but they may not come to pass, it’s ok to make decisions but He may change them. It’s not ok to take everything for granted because life is so fragile . What he was saying was that it’s ok to celebrate Christmas but the spirit of Christmas is 24/7. It is a spirit that determines how people see our Christian maturity and our walk. So let’s go back to the beginning. What would happen if we came to church on the 27th and left the service at 12:30, walked through the doors of the church to go home and five minutes later at 12:35 found ourselves standing before God? Take the time today, do a searching and fearless moral inventory, stack up your priorities of life, check your relationship with your family, friends, church. Once you have done this and surrendered to God everything mentioned and say Lord I surrender all, then wait and allow Him to show you the next step. Be prepared.