While I love Christmas, the lights, the glitter, the celebration with family and friends, I know that for those 'on the outside' Christmas can be a time of acute loneliness and pain.
I think we often forget that Jesus Himself came to be on the 'outside' - He was born to suffer and die. As He lay in the cradle, the cross hovered nearby.
We too know that death is a given that we will all one day experience, but we are also called to a 'living' death. We are called to crucify those things that are of self so that we can shine forth the love and life of Christ that indwells us.
The devotional for today from a book gifted to me by a friend was very insightful and I share it with you here - food for thought and self examination.
It was written by Thomas Watson who lived from 1620-1686.
"I have been crucified with Christ , it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." Gal. 2:20 NKJV
He who loves God will have nothing to do with sin unless to give battle to it. Sin strikes not only at God's honor but also at His being.
Does he who loves his prince protect a traitor to the Crown?
Is he a friend to God who loves that which God hates?
The love of God and the love of sin cannot dwell together. A man cannot love health and lvoe poison, too. He who allows any secret sin in his heart is as far from loving God as heaven and earth are distant one from the other.
He who is a lover of God is dead to the world. He who is in love with God is not much in love with anything else. The love of God and ardent love of the world are inconsistent. Love to God swallows up all other love. When a man's heart is raised above the world in the admiring and loving of God, how poor and slender are those things on earth below!
Will God ever bestow heaven upon them who so basely undervalue Him, preferring glittering dust before the glorious Deity? What is there in the earth that we should so set our hearts upon it? The world has no real intrinsic worth; it is but paint and deception.
Thomas Watson (1620-1686)