Are you ready for Christmas?

By Tyson Thorne                                                                                                                                                      Nov 18, 2013



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The Christmas season is at hand, are you ready? I don’t mean have you decorated the tree and finished your shopping or even having planned the menu for the big family dinner. I mean are you ready to answer the questions and challenges that are a natural part of the occasion. It may be a coworker who asks if you really believe Jesus was born of a virgin. It may be a family member whose heart is turned hard against God. How will you answer their inquiries? What will you do to reveal the light in your life? The articles we’ve published this week will hopefully help prepare you, but sometimes it helps to have a living example of hope, one that points to our greatest hope in Jesus.

On December 5, 2013 Nelson Mandela passed away after several months of declining health. At 95 years of age he had seen much, and perhaps more importantly he had done much. He helped lead South Africa away from oppression and tyranny into a world of equality. He once said, “If there are dreams about a beautiful South Africa, there are also roads that lead to that goal. Two of those roads could be named Goodness and Forgiveness.” He may as well have said the road to a more beautiful nation is named Jesus, for only he perfectly personifies those two important virtues.

Likewise actor Paul Walker, who died in a horrific car accident on December first, lead a life dedicated to helping others. Born into a Mormon family, Paul became a Christian and learned to follow Jesus. He volunteered often and started Reach Out Worldwide, a not-for-profit organization, to assist Filipino victims of typhoon Haiyan. IMDb quotes him as saying, "I'm a Christian now. The things that drove me crazy growing up was how everyone works at fault-finding with different religions. The people I don't understand are atheists. I go surfing and snow boarding and I'm always around nature. I look at everything and think, 'Who couldn't believe there's a God? Is all this a mistake?' It just blows me away."

Too frequently it is in death that our greatest accomplishment, attributes and beliefs are put on display. Yet one has to have fought for those accomplishments, disciplined themselves to achieve those attributes and have fought for those beliefs in order for them to be remembered.

Living for God is a two-part invention. On the one hand we live lives of obedience to our heavenly father, lives full of conflict and adventure. On the other hand we do so while pointing not to ourselves but to God, the one who makes all things possible. Whether it’s a free South Africa, or helping victims of natural disasters, or being the glue in one’s family and hope in the workplace, all are possible only in Jesus, who strengthens us, and in the Spirit that indwells us and offers us the wisdom to see the path to a more beautiful future.

This Christmas be a light that illuminates the gospel of grace, be a hope that points to man’s only Hope, be a leader that shows others not only how beauty can reign but the Beautiful One who makes it all possible.



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