Sunday, December 04, 2011

My Christmas Gift to Each of You...Early!

A large part of Christmas is “gift-giving.” Now believe me, I love gift-giving at Christmas but sometimes it is a hectic part of the Holiday Season that can steal our joy. We have to find the right gift for each person. Then we have to get them all wrapped and in some cases mailed in time for them to be opened on Christmas morning.

So between all of the list-making, shopping, wrapping and mailing, the whole process of “gift-giving” often causes us more stress than it does joy. And in most every case, the gift always focuses on the physical. But what if we were going to do something different this year and instead of a physical gift we were going to give each other a spiritual wish for Christmas. Let me share with you what Christmas wish I would give to you.

My Christmas wish for each of you comes from the little postcard of a letter called Third John found in our New Testament. This letter was written by the Apostle John and is one of the shortest books in the New Testament. John writes this letter to a man named Gaius who was a convert of John and an influential person in the church.

In this book, John makes a wish for Gaius. It is seen in the phrase in verse two, “
I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health just as your soul prospers.” This first part of this phrase was a standard greeting. The word “prosper” simply means to succeed or to have things go well. John refers to two specific areas…Gaius’ “health” and “soul.” The word “health” is obviously speaking of physical health and the word “soul” refers to his spiritual health. John’s desire for Gaius was that his physical advancement (and the advancement of every other area of his life) would be equal to his spiritual advancement.

Gaius’ spiritual life was vibrant and growing, characterized by the description, “walking in the truth.” This is the ultimate goal of every Christian pastor and parent - That we would teach the truth; that our people (children) would understand the truth; and that our people (children) would live out the truth. If you really want to give a gift that brings joy to people this year, give them the gift of being a spouse, a parent, a child, a friend, a neighbor or a coworker that walks in the truth of Jesus Christ.

So that is my Christmas gift to you. You can’t physically open it. You can’t necessarily wear it on your body. And you can’t take it back to the store and exchange it. It is a wish. It is a wish that your spiritual life would be so vibrant and your love for Jesus so genuine that I could say that my wish for you this Christmas is that your life as a whole and your physical health would prosper in the same way that your spiritual life is prospering as you walk in the truth of God.

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