Works belong to the workshop; fruit belongs to the garden. One comes from the engines of the factory; the other is the silent growth of abounding life. The factory operates with dead stuff; the garden cultivates living forces to their appointed end. Works are always in the realm of dead things. Every building is built out of dead material.
Fruit does not come of man’s labor. It requires his diligence, but it is neither his invention nor his product. He does not make the flowers. No skill of his brings the golden harvest of the fields, or the luscious fruit upon the trees. When man has done all he can, then God begins, and life proceeds. – Samuel Chadwick
Christmas is not about the infancy of Jesus. It’s about His diety, His divine status.
God became a human baby without giving up His divine nature. God loves us. He loves you. He loves the people we struggle to love.
God sent His son into the world to save it.
What frustrations do you have this season? Does “Merry Christmas” still mean anything? Are you looking for the light? Is it in you? Is it being smothered by the craziness and baggage this season sometimes brings with it?
It’s easy to get consumed by the issues we’ve attached to Christmas. It’s easy to look inward and be unhappy about all the things that aren’t right. But Jesus is asking us to die to our selfish selves and look outward, asking how we can bring Jesus into the life of everyone we meet. People run ragged making Christmas happen. What words of life can you speak into someone else’s situation today?
But we only have something to give if we’re growing in God’s garden. Jesus willingly laid His power and independence aside to come to us. He had to lay aside everything that belonged to Him, choosing to do only the things God was asking of Him.
Take the time to be planted in the garden today.
God asked obedience of Abraham, but he stopped him so Isaac might live. Then hundreds of years later, He gave His own son, Himself. He did that which He wouldn’t ask of us.
How are you spending Christmas this year? Who are you spending it with? Do you look like a Christian on the outside? Are you the same person when you’re with your family and no one else is watching? If not, plant yourself in the garden.
1 Corinthians 13
Love is patient. Will you be patient with people this Christmas? Will you take the time to thank the gift giver?
Love does not boast. Will you share in other’s joy and celebrate their successes? Would you be able to give a gift anonymously?
Love is not rude. Are you getting together with family? Will you treat them rudely, or like guests of honor? Will you consider others more highly than yourself?
Love is not self-seeking; it keeps no record of wrongs.
Let this Christmas be the beginning of God expressing His love through you.