Ecclesiastes 4:6 says, “Better one handful with tranquility than two handfuls with toil and chasing after the wind.” Instead of working ourselves so hard to chase after more stuff, we should look at the blessings we already have and use our free time for the things that matter most to us like family and a relationship with God. We may need to cut back on spending or our schedules or throw out clutter and turn off the TV, but when we do, we will have time for the simple, but important, things in life. We need to let go of what doesn’t matter to us and fight for what does.
Who doesn’t want to make 2018 better? The question is, though, what is better? Do you want to be better financially, relationally, physically, or spiritually? Pursuing a “good” life is pursuing comfort, enjoyment, and material things. Pursuing a “better” life is pursuing a presence with God. Better is one day in God’s court than a thousand days elsewhere. Life with Christ offers us forgiveness, hope, joy, power, purpose, and provision. It doesn’t mean that you will never have any problems but when you do come to storms you will have peace knowing that He is there with you to help you and guide you.
Words are instrumental in the expression of our thoughts and feelings. Words of love, hatred, anger, happiness, or jealousy can leave a deep impact on our life. Words of encouragement can help change someone’s destiny. Words are powerful, they can save or destroy, they can change a life, and inspire. They can be venomous or mend a broken sole. As role models, anything we say can be taken as truth from those who look up to us. We have the responsibility to chose the right words to build people up and not tear them down. Words of encouragement can unleash a winner, words of motivation strengthens a fighter, and words of love magnify life.
Pastor Michael talked about the Christmas story through Paul’s eyes. Paul wrote about it 55 years after Jesus’ birth, so he was able to listen to the Holy Spirit and take notes from others who witnessed it to give us a unique significance and how it relates to us. In four simple verses, Galatians 4:4-7, we find out that God has a set time for everything, His son was born to redeem us, by this redemption we are adopted into God’s family and now have Him as a Father, and with this adoption we are no longer slaves but heirs to God. Christmas is about God sending His Son so that we may become His children. When you feel unworthy, remember, You are worth Christmas to God, He chose you to adopt.
Remember, as a child, waiting for Christmas, counting down the agonizingly long days? When Christmas finally came, you were so excited to find presents under the tree for you. Imagine, for hundreds of generations, waiting for Christmas to come, not knowing when it would happen. Before Jesus came, many lived their whole lives in obedience to God with the hope that each day would be the day the Messiah arrived, and most would never see that day. Could you devote your life to a promise that may not happen for 700 years? In Luke chapter 1 we find out that Zechariah and Elizabeth did, and because of their faith and hope, God blessed them.