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Galatians 6:9

Recently, my son saw, “Paula was here” on a whiteboard.  You’ve probably seen many similar messages here and there.  I don’t know how writing “I was here” got started, but if you think about it, it’s not really saying much.  That you were simply at a location and decided to write that fact on something is usually pretty insignificant.

What is significant is the impact of our Christian love.  We can do more than simply write evidence that we were standing somewhere.

In Toby Mac’s, “Light of Christmas,” he raps, “Our eyes, our smiles, you know we could shine on through all the good that we do for the people that don’t have it so good.”  Yes, even a smile can make a positive Christian impact on people.  One smile could brighten an otherwise gloomy day for someone.  We can also give with our time, treasure, or talent.  We could spend time with someone we know is lonely.  We could give money or donated items to a Christian organization we know feeds, clothes and shares Jesus with others.  We could use whatever talent God’s given us to be a blessing to others.  We can keep doing good and make a Christian impact hopefully revealing evidence in people’s lives that WE WERE HERE.

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Luke 2:17

Have you ever heard of the candy cane legend?  One version goes like this:

“Legend Of The Candy Cane

A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a
witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several
symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.
He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy.
White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and
hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and
firmness of the promises of God.

The candy maker made the candy in the form of a *J* to represent the
precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our savior. It also
represents the staff of the *Good Shepherd* with which He reaches down
into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep,
have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candy maker stained it
with red stripes. He used the three small stripes to show the stripes of the
scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe
was for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross so that we could have the
promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in Him.”

http://247moms.com/2011/12/legend-of-the-candy-cane-free-printables/

With that in mind for Children’s Church this morning, I found a simplified, free, printable poem, entitled, “The Legend of the Candy Cane” that reads, “Look at a candy cane and what do you see?  Stripes that are red like the blood shed for me.  White is for my Savior, who is sinless and pure.  “J” is for Jesus, my Lord, that’s for sure!  Turn it around and a staff you will see-Jesus, my shepherd was born for me!

I attached the poem tags onto red and white candy canes and passed them out.  After reading the candy cane poem, I told them they now have a simple way to share Jesus with others.  Then, Emily and Ethan accompanied us as we sang, “Go, Tell It on the Mountain.”  It made my heart swell as our voices (including two jubilant boys) joined together in song for our Savior!

Luke 2:1-20

Last Sunday, I gave the history of the Silent Night carol in Children’s Church.  I then asked the kids to guess how many languages Silent Night is sung in around the world.  One girl guessed 40 and a boy guessed 10.  Not to be outdone, another boy guessed 100,000.  My source’s answer said Silent Night is sung in about 300 languages.  I then told them there’s a man in our church that speaks Portuguese and he would be able to sing Silent Night in Portuguese.  After the service, I talked to him about the Children’s Church discussion.  He decided to sing Silent Night for them in Portuguese this Sunday and it was beautiful!  Can you imagine what it would sound like hearing 300 people each with a different language, singing Silent Night to Jesus?  That would be amazing!  God created languages, so He’d hear their voices and understand what they were singing no matter what verse in the Universe they were on.

John 6:1-15, John 21:1-14, Mark 8:1-10, Mark 5:21-43,Galatians 6:9-10

Galatians says, “Let us not become weary in doing good” so what does that look like?  When Jesus was on earth it was important to Him to feed others.  He fed two fish and five loaves of bread to roughly 5,000 people and fed several fish and seven loaves of bread to approximately 4,000 people.  After Jesus rose from the dead, He cooked fish over coals and had bread available.  He surprised His unsuspecting disciples after a fishless outing with a sudden net full of fish.  Then, after He asked them to get a few of the freshly caught fish, He probably smiled as He said, “Come and have breakfast.”  And you may remember that when Jesus was told a girl had died, He raised her to life “and told them to give her something to eat.”

In the above examples of doing good, Jesus didn’t just provide or arrange for physical food.  He sought to spiritually feed people.

What’s important to Jesus should be important to Christians.  Even though Jesus had breathtaking show stopping miracles to accompany His actions, let’s do what we can to get food and Jesus to others this Thanksgiving and whenever we can.

John 15:19, Galatians 1:10

Have you heard the song, “Losing” by Tenth Avenue North?  The lyrics say,

“I can’t believe what she said
I can’t believe what he did
Oh, don’t they know it’s wrong
Don’t they know it’s wrong
Well maybe there’s something I missed
But how could they treat me like this
It’s wearing out my heart
The way they disregard”

In Galatians 1:10, Paul basically says that if you please Jesus you won’t please men.  And if you please men you won’t please Jesus.  Before Paul was ever called by Jesus though, Jesus said something similar.  He said, “If you belong to the world, it would love you…As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.  That is why the world hates you.”

If you’re a Christian and haven’t been feeling love from the world, good.  You’re on the right track.

 

2 Corinthians 10:5b, Matthew 19:26

How many thoughts do we have each day?  Kevin Pokorny’s post on linkedin.com says, “According to research by Dr. Fred Luskin of Stanford University, a human being has approximately 60,000 thoughts per day.”

In 2 Corinthians 10:5b, Paul says, “we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  We need to imprison every thought in a “laser cage” (my daughter’s term).  Once the thought is in that laser cage, we can quickly analyze it and decide if it aligns with Jesus’ line of thought.  If the thought isn’t against Jesus, we can deactivate the laser and release the thought from the cage.

I realize that if Dr. Luskin’s thought research is correct, Paul’s words equate to a tall order.  But nothing is impossible with God.  God can help us aggressively attack individual thoughts in superhero style.

2 Corinthians 5:20

Did you know that if you’re saved you are Jesus’ ambassador?  According to Webster’s New World Dictionary, an ambassador is, “the highest ranking diplomatic representative of one country to another.”  So wherever you are and whatever you do, if you’re a Christian, you’re also Ambassador ________________.  Congratulations!
(your last name)

Luke 1:26-38

Matthew 1:19-20

Have you seen Christmas inventory in stores?  I saw quite a few Christmas trees in one store and that lit up my heart with Christmas cheer.  We ended up checking out a delightful Christmas movie, The Star, an animated movie about The Nativity from the perspective of animals.  The script takes liberties, but seemed focused on getting the big events right, like starting the movie with a screen saying, “9 Months BC” and like the angel Gabriel telling Mary and Joseph separately about what God was doing in their lives.

Christmas is coming.  Let’s keep remembering Jesus, God’s ultimate gift to mankind.

Matthew 28:18-20

I saw a billboard recently that said, “Confidence is in you.  Pass it on.”  I like that, and would like to say in addition to those it applies to:  “Jesus is in you.  Pass Him on.”

Matthew 7:14, 24:42

Have you ever seen a Hidden Entrance sign?  My family and I saw one last week while traveling on a hilly narrow gravel road to my father-in-law’s final resting place.  The purpose of a Hidden Entrance sign is to alert the driver to watch for a hidden driveway that can’t be seen.

Likewise, while on the narrow righteous road, we Christians can’t see what’s ahead, but we should be watching for Jesus who will come someday.  He knows where the heavenly hidden entrance is.  “Narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.”

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