Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Child In The Manger"1 (Lyrics)
We just celebrated our 53rd wedding anniversary, so I have been inundated with memories from the past, sometimes making me somewhat sad because of times gone by. Since the celebration is over, I continue to remember things from those first years of marriage. One of them is our first Christmas tree. It was, of course, a fresh tree bought from a lot. We went out and bought all new ornaments and lights for the tiny tree. I remember bringing home to our little apartment boxes of red apples for bulbs, garland, and twinkling lights of all colours. Although I hate it, we bought silver tinsel and strew it about until we could barely see the ornaments.
For years, I dug these ornaments out at Christmastime, but the years took a toll on them. The red came off the apples, the garland was in pieces, and some of the lights burned out and eventually had to be replaced. But then, the tinsel covered up the chips, brokenness, and darkness.
Sometimes, we feel like those pitiful decorations. Once, we were brand new in our faith after we had accepted Christ into our hearts, but then life began to tear away at our bright and shiny faith. Our life changed as trouble came our way, our health deteriorated, or relationships changed. But then, there were church services, Christian friends, and Bible studies — lots of tinsel to cover our disappointments. But inside, there was something missing, a longing for new life. Why had the paint chipped away? Why had the beautiful twinkling lights gone black? Why are we left with only the tinsel?
As busy believers, we have forgotten our first love!
Revelation 2:4-5a – Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. (NIV)
In this busy season, if you feel that you have somehow lost your first love, turn your life around and seek your first love this Christmas. Don't hide behind the tinsel!
Jeremiah 29:13 – If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. (NLT)
Let's cast off every distraction so that we can run free and unhindered in pursuit of Christ. There is still hope in the manger! There is still hope in the cross! Seek Him while He may be found!
I still hate tinsel!
Prayer: Father God, may our eyes be only on You as our first love. Help us to be authentic, with pure hearts, not hiding behind the tinsel. May we desire to pursue You only, and run whole-hearted and unhindered to reach the goal. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.