Dear Saints of Abundant Harvest Fellowship Philippines,
I would like to greet each one of you a Joyous Christmas. There is much joy in this season as excitement gets a hold of us and whirls us into the rush of Christmas; the multitude of gatherings we are invited to attend, The beautiful decorations and seasonal music that enlivens the air, the gifts we are preparing for our loved ones and the gifts we hope to receive, the family we desire to spend time with and the loved ones we hope to see. Driving around this Christmas eve in the hopes of purchasing some bread for our family Noche Buena, I passed by restaurants packed to the brim with families celebrating Christmas in the hopes of not needing to clean up right after to the beggars in the Street that suddenly remembered to become extra polite to you for the spare change you might bestow on them. As I was passing along, a thought came to me- a question that posed in the back of my mind; how many of these people celebrate Christmas for Christ? In an age where everything is commercialized, I would not doubt it that many even those who claim to be believers have in some way forgotten the meaning of Christmas. We keep on focusing on the fellowship, the gatherings, the gifts that we’ve forgotten the Reason for the Season: Jesus Christ our Lord.
Friends, we are called as believers to celebrate not just the fellowship, the gifts and the excitement that this season entails; for these things are but an added affair to the glorious Reason of this Season. Christmas has always been called the season of perpetual hope; this statement is true; not because of the new flood of emotion and reminiscing of better days, old ties repaired, families brought together once again- but because 2000 years ago, a child was born, 2000 years ago; salvation was given. 2000 years ago the greatest gift was bestowed on us and eternal life is freely given to this day.
Isaiah 9:6 states – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
Acts 4:11-12 “…This Jesus is the stone that was rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
Today friends as we enjoy the company of our loved ones, as we bless others with our time and resources and as we receive the gifts given to us; let us take a moment to reflect as to the true meaning of Christmas. It is time dear friend to acknowledge the gift of our King which is eternal life to those who stand and believe. It is time to appreciate the gift of life by standing for holiness, living a life of purity and exuding truth in all we do. That by our acknowledgement we verify the validity of the gospel, the validity of the great plan of our King to bring into salvation all who are lost, who are weary, who are wavering, weakened and alone. That by our appreciation moves us to seek a life that is pure, just and true; avoiding any form of evil or sin but basking in righteousness and seeking God alone. We can’t appreciate for we don’t acknowledge our great need for this gift, our great need for our God, our great need for the hope given.
Today friends, let us stand for the renewal of our minds through Christ Jesus as we intentional acknowledge the great gift bestowed on us, and the great need we have for the Savior. Let us stand to appreciate and celebrate this season not just by fellowship and gifts but more so by recalibrating our Christianity and choosing today to live a life of purity, or righteousness, of holiness and of love. Let us remember the great gift of our King, the sacrifice that follows and the promise we hold unto, the hope that never dims for all who stand obedient to His call. Friends, This Christmas- let us Acknowledge the gift, Acknowledge our Savior, Glorify our Lord Jesus Christ!
Romans 15:13 – “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.”
Merry Christmas Dear Saints and may God bless you always, have a wonderful day!
Sincerely, Pastor Lyle Lopez & Family