27th December 2012

How To Make Christmas Merry

“…for the Kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”
Romans 14:17 (NKJV)

“Have a Merry Christmas” means for many an excess of food and drink, and expensive gifts.  The day after Christmas is not always merry, as the head, stomach and bank account demand their post festivity attention.

The Christian perspective is well put by the Apostle Paul: “Let your moderation be known to all men.” (Philippians 4:5 KJV)  Self-control, which brings moderation, is a fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:23)  This can remove the problem of the post Christmas blues.

God is very happy that we should enjoy life, that there are times when we will be merry.  In fact he is so happy about it that he tells us that to be merry in the right way will have lasting effects on us. “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance…All the days of the afflicted are evil, but he who is of a merry heart has a continual feast.” (Proverbs 15:13, 15 NKJV)  “A merry heart does good, like medicine.” (Proverbs 17:22 NKJV)

Whilst these things are good they are all superficial and ephemeral.  But there is a merriment or joy that is not just for Christmas.  There is a joy that is permanent that does not need outside stimulation but rather flows from within.  That is the joy of our headline scripture.  It too is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

The events of Christ’s birth were the springboard that was to provide us with the chance to enjoy these benefits because Christmas celebrates the birth of the Saviour of the world.  The God-man who would redeem us from the misery of our fallen state and open the way to this inner joy surely must reach some sort of crescendo at this time of year.  And all that is required of us to enjoy this blessed state is to believe in the one who was born King of kings, Lord of lords and Prince of peace.

If you choose to accept Jesus as your saviour you will indeed have a very merry Christmas.

Father in heaven, thank you so much for the significance of our festivity at this time of year.  Thank you that you loved us so much that you gave us your beloved son to redeem us from our sins and to make available a wonderful, intimate relationship with you that guarantees an inner joy. We shall truly have a merry Christmas as we remember the cause and meaning of this festival season.

Study by David Stirk

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