Did Christmas you get what you wanted or did you get what you expected? Did you come away satisfied, or are you kind of discouraged by it all? I have some great memories of Christmas as a little boy, but there were also some times of great disappointment. That is probably true for many folks. Christmas holds such promise for what could be and then the reality sets in.
Let me remind you of a conversation that most of you have had over the last few weeks. It probably went something like this. "You know it is almost Christmas? I can't believe it will be here so soon!" Remember that? Well Christmas is over, now what do we do?
I. It's Time To Put Things Away.
A. Decorations, Lights, and other seasonal items
B. If you decorated…it is time to put them away.
C. Wrapping paper, gift bags, bows, etc.
D. Just as we put these away, we should put away our hurts, our unfulfilled expectations
E. Put away the comparisons…
F. Let's not forget what Christmas is supposed to be about.
Acts 20:35, "...and to remember the words of our Lord Jesus, how He said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
II. It's Time To Express Gratitude For What We Have Received.
A. Certainly we should be thankful for the gifts we have received from those who love us.
B. But don't forget about the multitude of other gifts.
C. Perhaps the most important is our salvation through Jesus Christ.
(Romans 6:23) For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
1. Paul reminds us that it cannot be purchased.
2. It is beyond our comprehension.
3. He calls it the 'unspeakable gift' which means words cannot describe it.
(2 Corinthians 9:15) Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.
D. Has the Lord blessed you? This is a great time of year to remember that and thank Him.
III. It's Time To Get Back To A Normal Routine.
A. Christmas has been fun...but it is time to get back to normal (whatever that may mean)
1. For some of us that will mean a change in what we eat.
2. For others it will mean going back to work and getting back on schedule.
3. For students it means getting back to classes.
4. For believers it means getting back to the basics of living for Him daily.
B. The glory of the grind.
1. That's how one fellow describes it.
2. It is in the details…the boring routines that we do our best work.
3. It is time for us to get back to work!
4. There are people who need to hear the Gospel message.
5. There are co-workers, friends, and family who still do not know Christ.
6. Living for the Lord isn't always exciting, but it is always rewarding.
(1 Corinthians 4:2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
7. It has been nice to have a break, and enjoy the holidays, but it is required of us that we be found faithful.
IV. It's Time To Start Thinking About The New Year
A. 2007 is nearly history!
1. Certainly it is good for us to reflect upon what we have accomplished in this past year…
2. But more important is for us to plan for what we will do in the year to come.
3. 2008 is like a blank canvas…what will we paint with our lives?
B. One wise bit of information I was given many years ago was this…
1. Plan your work, and then work your plan.
2. It simply means that we need to give consideration to what we will do with the time that God gives us.
3. Will we redeem the time…or will we waste it?
4. Clearly God's Word tells us that we must make good use of the time we have been given.
(John 9:4) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.
(Proverbs 27:1) Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth.
C. Instead of New Years resolutions, that are usually forgotten long before Valentine's Day.
D. Why don't we make lifetime commitments?
1. If you have never trusted Christ as Savior, commit your life to Him today.
2. Christians, why not make a commitment to His local church…join with us as we serve the Lord together in the New Year.
3. Church members, how about a commitment to become more involved in serving others this year?
4. There isn't an area or ministry of our church that couldn't use some additional folks who are willing to faithfully serve.
Christmas is over…It is time to put away the things that would hinder us in our service. It is time to express our gratitude for all we have received. It is time to get back to the normal routine. And it is time to start thinking about the New Year.