Updated: Mar 16
Well seems we all survived the snow storm. I heard back from a number of people who watched the service online via Facebook Live. I pray that those who watched were blessed by the message. Good news is we'll be back at church tonight and next Sunday there is no forecast of snow!!
Let me say a word of caution as you come to church this evening. Benny Cunningham has graciously plowed our parking lot but there are a few places were the snow melted and froze overnight. Today it should melt some more but there may still be some icy spots so be cautious. Thank you Benny for taking time away from being the boss to being a blessing to all of us.
I find it interesting when God shows me something that not only fits the season, but others comment that He has spoken to them about the same subject. I read Mark 8:34-35 this morning as the Verse of the Day from You Version and later noticed on Facebook where someone else said that verse spoke to them as well. The Amplified Bible version of that passage goes like this, "Jesus called the crowd together with His disciples, and said to them, 'If anyone wishes to follow Me (as My disciple), he must deny himself (set aside selfish interests) and take up his cross (expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come) and follow Me (believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me). For whoever wishes to save his life (in this world) will (eventually) lose it (through death), but whoever loses his life ( in this world) for My sake and the gospel's will save it (from the consequences of sin and separation from God)'."
You might ask, how does that fit the Christmas season? If we're honest, most of us will be thinking about what others will give us for Christmas. There will be the thought in the back of our minds wondering just what our spouse, our parents, our children, or our friends will have for us under the tree. Yet we know that Christmas is not about us getting but about God giving so we can be like Him and give as well. To accomplish that "God-likeness" will mean that we don't think of ourselves, we deny ourselves, and we focus on others.
The flesh is always interested in itself. The flesh believes it is always right and what it needs, it should get. The flesh never denies itself in order to encourage others or to bless others. This Christmas season, I challenge you to make it about others, to give as God gave, the very best for the sake of others - salvation, comfort, joy and blessing.
Again -don't forget to be careful as you come on campus today and this evening. I'll see you tonight, Sunday morning for church, Sunday afternoon at the Rustburg Christmas parade, or Sunday night for the children's Christmas musical.