Saturday, November 26, 2011

Christmas hype??? It breeds greed and covetousness.

by David Stapp
(Disclaimer: This isn't intended to offend but to enlighten how selfish we really are. I saw WE because I am as much at fault as well. God has really brought conviction on my life because of selfishness.)

I think I may be labeled a "scrooge" but so be it. Could it be that the title of this blog might possibly be true? I know, I know but it is Jesus' birthday. That's what it's all about...right? WRONG! I don't care how much we sugar coat it with Jesus' birthday, deep down inside we are "longing" to get and give presents. Did I mention giving? Once someone mentioned to me that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). That is true but lets look at our motives in giving. Are we giving to please God?
3 Things about Christmas that clearly we have wrong motives about:

1) Only during this time of year are we really willing to "help" those who are less fortunate. Now lets be real for a moment. What about the hungry, poor, etc folks we pass every other time of year. How much attention do we show them? Those may be the folks we are afraid to give money to because they may "buy alcohol or drugs" with it. Matthew 25:36 mentions those people who are in prison. How do people get into prison. By breaking the law, drugs for example. Jesus commanded to do the opposite of what the world does, bypass them. I am getting to away from the main here so on to #2.

2) This is similar to #1 but of course in includes gift giving. How hard is it to you to shop for people? I find it terribly hard for some folks that I know. Why is that? Because they want for nothing or in better terms "have everything". How offended would they be if we didn't buy them a gift after they so graciously gave us one? Too bad our gift giving motives most of the time is out of obligation. That may not be the case all the time, but more than not. All this selfish gift giving while folks who have next to nothing...still have next to nothing.

3) This is where the rubber meets the road. I have heard it said that someone would get a good Christmas this year or that someone will not even have a Christmas this year. What do those statements mean? Oh I know let me translate: 1. that person will have a good Christmas = or a lot of presents this year 2. that person will not even get Christmas this year = or they will not get any presents. So a good Christmas depends on whether we or someone else gets presents or not? You see how greedy we have become. What does that teach our children. How to be greedy little monsters instead of raising them in the admonition of the Lord.

So I hope you can see where I am coming from. I know it sounds pretty harsh, but them again so was our Savior to the religious bunch and how often do we act like them?

Finally, may God help us in our selfish pride and have enough mercy to give us time to repent.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Learning through Scripture

1. If I love my sin God doesn't listen to my babbling because it is disobedience. If I hate my sin and confess it and strive for righteousness...He then directs attention to me. (Psalm 66:18-20)

2. Had I never experienced God's greatness in past circumstances which includes salvation, then I would definitely be without hope. God has proven Himself to be trustworthy and I praise Him! (Psalm 27:13)

3. As much as it may hurt, we are called to be true disciples of Christ and that WILL guarantee suffering and persecution. Thanks be to Him to where our strength to endure comes from. (2 Timothy 3:12)

4. When it seems that I am at my wits end due to these worldly things and they seem to surround me and cave in on me. He is there to help me overcome. (Psalm 121:1-2)