Getting ready for advent!

A lot of people right now are preparing for Christmas!  There is less than a month until the big day arrives and the hustle and bustle has begun.  The Black Friday sales caused havoc and brought out the worst in some and the Cyber Monday sales had people up all hours of the night trying to be the first to close the deal.  A penny saved is a penny earned, right?  Too bad the penny has been retired in Canada because that penny began to cost more than it was worth.

Every year industries sell billions of dollars of stuff that cost more than they are worth and yet the only reason they do it is because we keep buying it.  I’m just as guilty as the next person because my kids’ presents are purchased and wrapped already.  I love Christmas!  I love the excitement, the giving, the treats and the laughter.  I love spending time with family and friends, cookie exchanges and the lights!  I love the singing, the bells and driving around to good old Rudolph.  It is the most wonderful time of the year!

But that isn’t all there is to it…  And even though the world forgets, we as Christians cannot.

There was a baby born into this world to save us… all of us.  He came and He will come again one day, and it might just be sooner than we think.  Are we as prepared for that as we are for Christmas this year?  I’m not.  I don’t admit that with joy, I admit that with the reality that during a panic attack before bed last night, I realized that my faith is being attacked and I’m not ready.

I listened to a sermon a couple weeks ago and the pastor was very much about brimstone and hell fire but he said something along the lines of, “Does He know you?  Lots of people know Him, in fact the demons shake at His name, but the real question is does He know you?”

In the hustle and bustle of celebrating His birth are we forgetting that the person we are celebrating is our savior?  In the running around, watching Christmas plays and doing the good deeds are we forgetting that our light cannot shine without Him?  Are we forgetting that we are still in a war and every action we make the enemy wants to break it down?  If He came to our celebration of His birth on December 25 would He be proud of us?  Would we actually have room for Him at our table or does He just leave room for us at His?

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age,[a] against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—

This week is the beginning of our 24 day advent.  I am extremely excited and I have put a lot of work into this one.  Every day we will read a little bit further into the scriptures to learn the real meaning of Christmas and every day we go out and serve someone in our community.  I do this because it helps us keep our focus on what really matters.  I do this because I want to be able to stand strong against the enemy but mostly because I want to serve Him.  

For He is called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace…. He is called Jesus!

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