It’s easy at Christmas simply to ask “What’s next?” without ever really asking what we are going to do about the coming of Christ to earth. In Louisiana we move rather easily from Christmas to New Years to Mardi Gras without considering that God might have something else for us to live for.
Have we really had Christmas if something doesn’t change? In the Bible real religion has little to do with ritual or attendance and everything to do with how you respond to the presence and work of God. The message of Micah fairly well sums up the real essence of religion: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God” (Micah 6:8).
In the New Testament the answer looks the same: “If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world” (James 1:26-27).
So, what is next in your life?
Let’s consider what we can do after Christmas.
First, we can examine all the things that we have seen and heard. The shepherds and the wise men went out of their way to see what God was doing in the world. Wouldn’t it make sense for us to do the same? Wouldn’t an honest and open look at what God wants and expects be an appropriate response to Christmas? Let me encourage you again to spend time daily in God’s Word. Having read the Christmas story in Matthew or Luke, read the remainder of Matthew or Luke or both.
Second, we can fervently seek God. I am a Louisiana Baptist and serve as president of the Louisiana Baptist Convention. This year we celebrate 200 years of statehood and 200 years of baptist work in the state but our state has never seen a powerful awakening of God’s Spirit. Would you in Louisiana pray for the power of God to fall on our state? Amazingly, this blog is read in over thirty countries of the world. Would you also pray for the power of God where you reside? This is a proper response to Christmas.
Third, commit yourself to live for God and not to be polluted by the world. This is real religion and the way to top off your Christmas with the a life that pleases God.
What is next for you?
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