Christmas Faith, Hope and Love to You in the most wonderful season of all, Have you ever stopped to consider what our gift to the one born King really is? It has always been my conviction that Christ deserved more than just a consensus of opinion from me. He is worthy of my total commitment and allegiance. In my surrender to Christ it was evident to me that my responsibility was to live and be in agreement with Him. My immediate response to Christ became known by my faithfulness to His love for me. I realized that my church attendance was one way in which I could steward my influence to those around me.
My Church Attendance
Habits Affect My Church
(What my presence does.)
1. It caused people to have confidence in me.
2. It made people know that I regard my spiritual welfare and that of others, as a matter of great importance.
3. It had a good effect on the service.
4. It made my friends feel more welcome.
5. It encouraged the brethren and helped the preacher in his work.
6. It caused others to come to the house of God.
7. It made my life stronger week after week.
8. It caused others to stay away from the path that leads to destruction.
9. It pleased God and I was happy for it.
10. It caused others to think and even say, “He practices what he preaches.”
(What my absence does.)
1. It made some question, the reality of my faith.
2. It made some think I was a pretender.
3. It made many think that I regard my spiritual welfare and that of others of small concern.
4. It weakened my effect of the church services.
5. It made it more difficult for the ministry of the church to fulfill their assignment.
6. It was a means of discouragement to church family.
7. It caused others to stay away from church.
8. It became a means by which I had a void in my life, whereby I was more susceptible to temptation.
9. It kept me from the place where the fire of God for lost souls was stoked weekly.
10. It encouraged the habit of non-church going.
You could call this missed opportunities. Through the years I have suggested that the Inn Keeper who had no room for Mary to give birth to her son, had cold indifference toward the young couple knocking at his door late one night. However, that is not necessarily the total picture. The Word of God does not imply that he was mean, cruel, vulgar or rude; he was just busy. Many have charged him with a cold indifference but that is not the case, as I see it, at all. He did not know Mary was the mother of the Savior of the World, nor did he recognize the opportunity at his door that lonely night in Bethlehem.
No! He was not rude or ruthless; he was just busy. Some may consider what took place at the little Inn in Bethlehem a travesty. I look at it as a lost opportunity to have hosted in the hostel, the most celebrated and memorable of all maternity moments in history. The Inn Keeper in our story was not hostile; he was just busy.
We could call it LOST OPPORTUNITY, as we revisit the story or we could call it a lost chance, because business got in the way of the most important event in human history. What then is the moral of the story? Business still clouds the real meaning of Christmas. He was not born in the Inn; but the real question is — has He been born in your hearts? Beyond the sparkle, the lights, the trees, the melancholy of memories, the giving, the getting, and all the Yuletide festivities; He is knocking at the door of men’s hearts today. Let us all make sure business is not getting in the way of our Christmas. The spirit of Christmas is ours; 365 days a year.