12 12 2016


This Advent season, I have chosen the theme “Be Christmas Lights” for our Weekend Services at The Lighthouse Church. I have reiterated over and over again that you can’t be something that you haven’t been properly equipped to pull off. There is no power for your light to shine if you are not currently plugged in to the proper source! It takes a personal relationship with the God who made you for you to reach your maximum brightness index. And the reason Jesus came to invade our space in the first place was so that he could ignite the true light inside each and every one of us who were designed in the image of our Creator.

   If statistics hold true, it is a pretty good guess that you have some difficult people in your life. I think they come out of the woodwork in droves during the Holiday Season. Once again, how can we possibly love others if our own tank is always running on empty? You need to be filled if you are expecting to be spilled. Only the Lord can supply you with the unconditional grace and mercy that gives you the ability to pour out kindness when you are squeezed by life.     

 If there’s anybody in your world that you would admit it’s hard for you to connect with or they might tend to hang on the sarcastic side of the highway, I have hopeful thoughts for you. If somebody is always spicing their sentences with words barbed with hot sauce so that your countenance transform into a beet red face, then I have good news for you. We don’t have to pretend to make life work because if that was the case how could anything be real? We all know individuals who talk too much, drink too much, smoke too much, brags too much or become way too opinionated for anyone’s good?

In the Home Alone Movies, ten year old Kevin McAlister twice wishes that his family would just disappear and when he gets what he longs for, he realizes that life as a solo member isn’t what he expected it to be. He gets lonely and he realizes that as imperfect as his family is, he isn’t complete without them. We need to learn the same lesson! The evidence weighs heavily in favor of the fact that people were created for community. And as much as we might get on each other’s nerves at times, we can’t live without the company. Even if you love somebody, if you just go up to them and say, “I know how you ought to change and I stayed up all last night writing a list of all the specific ways that you can improve,” chances are pretty good that they won’t always receive your corrections really well.”  However, if we allow the Holy Spirit to do his work, his way through us, amazing endings come to those whose stories had a pretty bumpy beginning!

 Christmas reveals to mankind that in the coming of Jesus Christ to this earth, we all have been given the invitation to be rescued. Christmas proves to us that our Lord didn’t make a promise that he wasn’t committed to deliver upon. Christmas is more than just superficial words that melt away like snow when heat is applied. Christmas is God’s time to prove that his people represent him well!

I have been to Churches that advertised themselves as “Friendly,” and “Relational.” Unfortunately, just having it written in their Mission Statement did not result in it being believably behaved. What good is it to advertise a product that you don’t even carry in stock?

 If I had a dime for every time I have heard the statement that, “People are so much friendlier in the Midwest,” I’d be a rich man. I lived in Omaha, Nebraska. They took the Jersey Boy out of the Garden State but they couldn’t remove the Garden State out of the Jersey Boy! I tasted first hand of how the label doesn’t always guarantee the ingredients!

One day while I was at work at the Church, a blizzard hit. White Out conditions can cause death. I rarely wear a coat, even in the winter and I didn’t have one with me when the snow came at us like a rushing wave. I drove a Ford Festiva at the time and the car was so tiny, I used to joke that I could put it in my pocket and take it into the building with me. I should have stayed put but I jumped in my vehicle with the goal of getting to my house so I could be with Terri and the kids! Long story short, I ended up stuck in a snowdrift. I got out into the storm with only my short sleeved shirt and attempted to flag somebody down so they could help me in my predicament. Not one person slowed down never mind stopped to assist me. I waved my arms frantically but nobody responded. It finally reached the point that I had to literally walk back to the Church with the whipping wind pelting my face! Don’t give me how friendly everybody is when I could have died out there that day and nobody would have known because I would have been buried under 20 plus inches of the white stuff! We East Coast people might get a bad rap but I am here to tell you, we go way deeper than just a passing wave in a warm car.

 Christmas is no time for pretending. Either God has filled our lives with his Spirit or he hasn’t! This is the Season for Believers in Jesus to turn on the lights bright for our family, friends and neighbors who are stumbling in the dark. If all we have is a reputation for loving others but have nothing concrete to show for it, we fail miserably. The Lord is ready to move in us so that he can pour through us. We should have no excuse for coming up small. We’ve been given the equipment but just owning it without properly using it changes absolutely nothing.

 For God so loved that he gave. He didn’t do what he did just for the popular crowd or those of means! He made his gift available to anyone and everyone. If Jesus is alive in my heart, then there should be a beacon light beaming from my soul. And the same is true for you! Light the fire Lord Jesus in us! And in the warmth of our unconditional love, may those who need shelter from the storm find life lights that will lead them safely home this December.  



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