Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”

Luke 2: 1-14 (ESV)

Great story. Brings a tear to my eye every time I read or hear it read.

But do we really believe it? Our actions will be a dead give-away as to whether we do, or not.

Here we are two weeks on the other side of yet another Christmas celebration, and I wonder if we really know, and remember, where we have been.

We know that we tried during the busy season, amidst all the shopping for presents, and decorating and meals with family and friends, to make room for Him in our lives—and through that to begin to reclaim afresh and anew His peace for our lives.

But even were we to try to make some room for Him, we too often simply go through the motions of some things like attending a church service, listening to a bit of scripture being read, maybe a nice sermon, or talking about God with a friend. But too often it’s just going through some motions—rather than spending some time with Him.

Do we really believe that the birth of Christ actually happened? Do we really believe that it is more than just a neat story of an unwelcome family and an unwelcome Savior in a little town called Bethlehem?

Did we just read with our eyes and listen with our ears, again, the words of the Angel spoken so long ago—

For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.”

Or—be honest with yourself—did we hear those words with our hearts, so that when are here on the other side of Christmas, not only will people we come in contact with in the days after, and in the weeks, months, and in the year ahead, know where we have been; but that we, too, will know deep within our being, that we have been to the manger, that it’s all true and we have once again experienced its truth, and have been with Christ.

And as a result our approach to life is, and will be different.

Do we know that we have been with God?

And do we know that because of what God did over two thousand years ago which we celebrated again two weeks ago, that no matter what we face or confront in life—God is always with us?

Do we know, that no matter what we face or experience in life—both good or bad, up or down, success or failure—not only is God with us, but that Paul’s words written in Romans 8:28 are true, absolutely true, when he says—

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those

who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Listen again to those words by the Angel to the Shepherds set out above—

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,

who is Christ the Lord.”

Do we really believe that?

Do our lives reflect an inner and outer peace in moments of doubt and fear, in both successful and failing times, and during joyful times and moments of heartache? Do they reflect a peace even in moments of uncertainty?

Do we embrace Christ within—not religiously—but relationally?

Do we feel His power and peace in the midst of every aspect, corner and moment of our life?

Do we know where we have been?

Do we really believe? We need to—it’s all true.

God has come—for you and me. What will our lives look like?

In His Name—Scott

Copyright 2016. Scott L. Whitaker. All rights reserved.