Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Give Up, by Heidi Avery

I’m praying that we’ve all been blessed by these 25 days of giving. I know I have, but as I look back at it and as we approach Christmas day there is really only one act of giving that counts. It’s the single motivating factor to all other acts of giving and it says everything about who we are. It’s the type of giving that separates us from the rest of this world and it’s what identifies us as His children.

Before we can give anything in the name of God we must “give up” ourselves in complete abandon to Christ. Matthew 16:25 tells us… “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, our savior. He came to save us from ourselves and yet we still seem to be in battle with our flesh over sin. The Spirit has laid questions on my heart lately and I know whatever my answers are clearly identifies whether or not I am living for Christ or for me. Some of my personal questions look like this…

Am I glorifying God with my attitude today or submitting to the feelings of my flesh?

Am I eating this food right now so my body is healthy and equipped for kingdom work or am I feeding the desires of my flesh?

Am I spending my time wisely today, getting my direction from God or am I wandering around aimlessly, letting my lazy flesh lead me?

Am I giving and working as if for Christ himself or am I looking for my own satisfaction?

These are just a few of the questions in my life that help me keep God on His throne and me off of it. As we celebrate Christ and remember what His birth meant to us, lets also consider what we can do to keep the celebration going, what we can do to keep the giving of ourselves for Him going. Pray for the Spirit to lay personal questions on your own heart and continue to “give up” yourselves not just for 25 days, not just for Christmas, but everyday we live here in this world.

I’ll end with this quote from Stuart Briscoe that sums up my feelings on Christmas completely … “The spirit of Christmas needs to be superseded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world.

Father, thank you that you "gave up" your son for us and thank you that Jesus “gave up” his life for us. You love us, there’s no question about that. Forgive us God when we are not living for you… help to also “give up” our lives for You. It’s not too much to ask and as you search our hearts you know it’s our desire. Free us from the distractions of this flesh we live in, give us all consuming life in the Spirit.

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