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Christmas is, without a doubt, the happiest holiday of the year. The hustle and bustle, the decorations, the lights, the parties, the holiday cheer usually bring a smile to the most dedicated sourpuss. The magic and warmth of this holiday brings out the best in people who give generously at this time of year. The music and laughter brightens our spirits and everything looks better, at least in the short term.

After three years of an economic downturn, there seems to be no light at the end of this tunnel. The economy is now on life support, and many are struggling to hang on. Who knows how long this will last?

    For we need a little Christmas

    
Right this very minute,

    
Candles in the window,

    
Carols at the spinet.

This song from the musical “Mame” was sung by the madcap protagonist who had just lost her fortune in the stock market crash of 1929. It easily could have been written today, for it sums up our feelings in 2011.

    For I’ve grown a little leaner,


    Grown a little colder,

    
Grown a little sadder,

    
Grown a little older,

    And I need a little angel


    Sitting on my shoulder,

    
Need a little Christmas now.

The problem is that no matter how much we party, once the presents are unwrapped and the decorations disappear, the feelings of despair are sure to return. That’s the trouble with having just “a little Christmas.”

We need a big Christmas this year. Not the kind of Christmas that is based on parties, feasting and presents. We need to focus on the reason for the season.

Mankind was lost, separated from a holy God, with no hope of reconciliation. God sent His son, Jesus, to earth to be born in the most humble of circumstances, in a lowly manger, in order to show us how to live. But He did so much more than that. He became the unblemished sacrifice for our sins to provide for our eternal security.

What an indescribable gift! Nothing else can come close.

The God who created the universe “emptied Himself” and came to earth, “taking the form of a servant.” Furthermore, “He humbled himself becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

If this amazing Christmas story had ended right there, we would be left without hope for “there is none righteous, no not one.”

Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to His disciples and more than 500 witnesses before He ascended to Heaven to take His place at the right hand of God the Father.

There is nothing we can do to earn His gift of salvation. It is “the gift of God – not by works so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:9).

Romans 10:9 shows us how to receive this gift: “If you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from death, you will be saved.”

As promised, Jesus left His Holy Spirit to draw us to Him. Nothing else can fill the vacuum that is within each and every one of us. You can try to fill it with things, with other people and with good works. It will still be there until you reach out and accept this indescribable gift of life.

Once you accept this gift, His Spirit will be there to protect you and guide you through this life so that you can finish the race here on earth victorious. It is the same Spirit of God that endowed Israel’s heroes with their extraordinary strength and gave the prophets their wisdom.

Our Christmas cards speak of peace and joy, but it’s the kind of peace and joy that doesn’t depend of the circumstance of the moment. It comes from the Spirit that permanently indwells believers and transforms us from within giving us the courage to face tomorrow, no matter what tomorrow brings.

So, this year, don’t simply decorate your home. Decorate your life. Don’t settle for a little Christmas. Take hold of the real thing!

What’s holding you back from reaching out and accepting His indescribable gift? If you think that by doing so, it might spoil some of your fun, think again. Remember, Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

Wishing you peace and joy this Christmas, the peace and joy that only comes from following Him.

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