by: Gary L. Hutchens
We’re in the midst of what is commonly called the Holiday Season. Personally, I like the holidays. I’m not crazy about the extreme commercialization that has progressively developed around them, but I like the holidays themselves. People seem to refocus, somewhat, and reflect more on their spiritual lives than they normally do during most of the rest of the year. That’s a good thing, but unfortunately, for a great many, it’ll only be a matter of becoming “faithful for the holidays."
Most of us probably don’t think of life from this perspective, but we’re primarily spiritual beings, created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27). We’ve all been to enough funerals to recognize that physical life is temporary (Genesis 3:19). It is the spiritual part of us that will go on for eternity. Yet, we seem to focus most of our attention on our physical lives. In fact, many people probably give little thought to their spiritual lives.
Think about how impractical that is. Our physical lives will last, at best, somewhere around 100 years. Most of us will die long before that. But eternity goes on forever; it is, literally, time without end. Yet we concentrate almost all of our time, energy and attention on the most temporary aspect of our lives.
Nearly everything we do focuses on the physical. We work for forty five years getting ready for a retirement that might last as little as ten years. All the while, eternity is looming, and most of us spend little time getting ready for it. Ah, but the devil is skillful in manipulating our attention away from the most important matters and getting us sidetracked on things that are less important!
Yes, many people will become “faithful for the holidays” this year. They’ll become more reflective on the blessings for which they have to be thankful. They’ll be more considerate of others. They’ll more openly express their love for family and friends. They may even say some things with spiritual overtones. And, many will actually attend a church service somewhere during this period of time. But then, after the New Year dawns, it’ll be back to normal. Their focus will return to physical things, and their spiritual lives will once again be largely forgotten.
What can you do to turn things around? How can you develop your faith so it will guide and sustain you through the year ahead, and throughout the rest of your life? Faith grows as you learn the teachings of God’s word (Romans 10:17). There is no substitute for studying the Bible (2 Timothy 2:15). It is the guidebook, the true success manual, for your life. This congregation offers a number of excellent Bible studies through the regular mail, for Free! All you have to do is ask, and we’d be glad to enroll you in one.
Another simple step you can take that will have profound effects in strengthening your faith is to be here for every worship service and Bible study possible. God’s plan is simple: “…it pleased God through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe” (1 Corinthians 1:21). As you study and worship with the church, you’ll learn and grow spiritually. Take advantage of this opportunity to turn things around. Refocus your life on what matters most- your eternal spiritual destiny…
Gary L. Hutchens