Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Christmas in July

“Christmas in July?!”  That's what I exclaimed a couple of days ago when my good friend gave me a Christmas present from last year.  As I ripped open the wrapping paper with blue and white snowflakes, that wonderful Christmas spirit was awakened in me in the middle of the hot Atlanta summer.  Receiving a gift unexpectedly makes me feel so thankful for friendship and reminds me of the ultimate gift that we celebrate during the Christmas season. 

Thankfulness is such an appropriate response when we receive love, gifts, and unexpected acts of kindness.  Do you know how often the Bible says that we get to show our thanks to God for that Christmas gift of His Son Jesus?  Do you know His favorite way of hearing that you’re thankful?  Check this out:

“Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.” –Heb 13:15

The frequency of our thanks is continually and the method of our thanks is praise.  If you don’t feel like it, do it anyways.  Sometimes it does feel like a sacrifice.  Sometimes I worship through gritted teeth and a cold heart.  Yet, God remains worthy of praise.  He always deserves the “fruit of my lips” as I continually thank Him for changing everything in my world. 

Maybe you’re busy today.  Perhaps you’re grumpy.  It could be that your heart is wandering from the Lord at the moment.  Maybe you’ve got a lot on your mind - decisions to make, directions to choose, situations to figure out.  He invites you to have Christmas in July!  Rip the wrapping paper off like a little kid.  Respond with gratitude and praise.  Enjoy the best gift in the universe that’s yours today to enjoy.  Mark my words – everything in your day will change, your perspective will be enlightened, your mood will improve, your priorities will shift, and your heart will be filled with joy.

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