RAP SHEET 12/6/20
Message: Christmas Lights
Every year we get out the Christmas lights and it seems like every year there is a strand that just won't light up! You stored them perfectly, wrapped them neatly, placed them gently - and still there is no light for some reason.
Perhaps you resonate with these burnt out strands this Christmas season. 2020 has been an incredibly tough year! The idea of being burnt out is not one foreign to many of us!
What areas of your life do you feel burnt out in?
How have the last 9 months affected your life? Emotionally? Mentally? Physically? Relationally?
No one wants to live life in the dark! Fortunately for us, Jesus came to show us how to walk in the light! The Gospel of John opens with the Christmas story from Heaven's perspective. In it, we learn that Jesus IS the light of the world. Not only that, but the darkness - as scary and consuming as it is - CAN NOT DEFEAT THE LIGHT!
We learned two simple steps to make sure the lights are on in your life.
Plug in to the Source
Secure Your Connection
Number 1 is for people who have not yet believed in Jesus. He IS the light of the world. If your Christmas lights are not plugged in to the house, they have no chance of shining! If your life is not plugged in to Jesus, the spiritual source of light, then you will always be struggling with darkness! Not only is Jesus the light, the darkness CAN NOT overcome Him!
Number 2 is for those who have believed in Jesus, but are not maintaining a strong connection to Him. We often take for granted the cheesy church answers like - Read your Bible, Pray, Serve others... - that is a grave mistake! Those are the things that keep us connected in Fellowship with Jesus.
If you have believed in Jesus, your eternity is secure. However, just because you are going to Heaven, does not mean you are living in light of your new eternal home. Spend some time thinking through your life.
What healthy habits have you let go of this year?
What new habits are you needing to add?
Do you feel closer or more distant from God than you did last Christmas?
Staying close to Jesus does not guarantee rainbows and sunshine all of the time. In fact, we will often suffer for Jesus! However, when we are connected to the source our light will shine in all circumstances. We will have peace, joy, patience, and love - even when life is hard!
If you have never believed in Jesus, and are ready to make that decision, you can acknowledge that with a simple prayer like this:
"Jesus today I choose to believe in You. Thank you for loving me, for dying for my sins, and for rising again to come back for me someday. Thank you for a new, eternal, life!"
For those who are believers, but feel disconnected from the source, pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the areas of your life where you are not strongly connected to Jesus. Ask for strength to step back into those spiritual disciplines that will bring you the peace you are looking for.