He who has pity on the poor lends to the Lord, And He will pay back what he has given. (Proverbs 19:17 NKJV)
Everything you have God has graciously given to you. God has richly blessed you. Look around and consider the wealth, which flows far beyond money and possessions, the love of your family and friends, the health of your mind and body, the beauty of your surroundings.
God loves your tender heart and your benevolent spirit. When you give generously, you honor God. When you give of yourself through acts of service and return your tithe to the Father, He will pour out His blessings on you.
He is ever merciful, and lends; And his descendants are blessed. (Psalms 37:26 NKJV)
But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you —see that you also excel in this grace of giving. (2 Corinthians 8:7 NIV)
That you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, (Philippians 2:15 NKJV)
A candle should burn until it is all consumed; likewise a man’s testimony should continue until his death. If one candle’s light is to live on, then it needs to kindle another before it is completely burned out. By kindling candle after candle, the light can shine on and on until it covers the whole world. Such is the testimony of the Church.
When the Son of God came to the earth, He kindled a few candles; later on He ignited another candle in Paul, and of course many more. During the 2000 years since then, the Church’s light continued burning on in candle after candle. Many have even sacrificed their lives to ignite others, but although the first candle gutters out, the second one continues, and so on and so on. Go therefore and witness for the Lord! Let His testimony shine out in the earth unceasingly.
Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. (Matthew 2:7 NIV)
Christmas is first and foremost an attitude of the heart. There are many people who shared in Herod’s attitude. He is the prototype of those people who live in sin and in enmity with God; who want to banish Christ from their lives. They hide their disapproval behind a mask of hypocrisy.
They also want to go to worship the Child. They also celebrate the Christ feast, but in reality their hearts do not belong to Him. Their motives are impure as they search for a Child.
They want to use religion to advance their careers and to keep the crown on their own heads.
Advent proclaims the following message: Christ can be found in Bethlehem, but only those who have the right attitude in their hearts and whose worship is true in spirit.
This is the attitude of the wise men. They came from a distant land, in the same way that we have to come from the distant land of sin as lost sons and daughters. They persisted in their search and did not allow anything to distract them from their purpose.
Jesus Himself promised that those who seek Him will find Him. The wise men stipulated no conditions. They expected a palace and a golden cradle, what they found was a stable and a manger. Like them, everyone who seeks can experience the joy of finding what God intended for each of us during this Christmastime.