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My Christmas Card to my students

December 21, 2017

Snow and Lights on Christmas Tree in ForestWell, you did it. 

You faced the exams and you came through unscathed.  Well, most of you did.

This is your first day of vacation, and it’s going to be a bit manic, isn’t it?  Christmas is this Monday, friend.  I bet you’re going to be racing through the Turkey Creek shopping complex or else burning up the internet on Amazon Prime.  I know what you’ll be doing – you’ll be going into looking at obscure deals on E Bay or Craig’s List and little-known bargain pages looking for the good ideas.  You’ll find the right site and you’ll then have a great gift that will make a big splash on Christmas Day.

That’s a good strategy. Look for something small and then end up making it big.   I would like to encourage you to take it one step more.

Many of you have expressed to me the desire to make Christmas more meaningful:  “I want to give Jesus a Christmas present, but what can I do?”

Well, here’s an idea:

In the book of Luke, we read the story of Mary hearing Gabriel the angel announcing that she would be bearing the Christ child, changing the course of history as it was.  Mary responds with one of the most magnificent statements made by a human in the Bible: “My soul magnifies the Lord.”

“Magnify”.  What a great word.  The Greek word for ‘magnify’ is megaluno and it means “to enlarge, increase, to make conspicuous.”

When the shepherds saw Christ, they ran around and told everyone.  They magnified Him.  When Matthew and Zacchaeus left their rotten careers and turned to Jesus, they magnified Him in their words and in their actions.

Wouldn’t that be one of the best gifts we could give to Jesus this Christmas?  Make Him conspicuous to others.  Increase the vision of Him so others can understand.

When you put the magnifying glass to Jesus and let others get a close inspection, people can see Him in His awesome glory.  It will make a change.

I recall the time when I was an interim pastor in North Carolina, sitting in my office with Steven, a man tortured by life.  Steven sat on the edge of his chair, looking at the floor and wrestling with his thoughts as I shared the Gospel with him.

Then Steven saw the magnifying glass.  He stopped and thought.   Then his face changed.  He saw Jesus for Who He really was.

I’ll never forget his words.  “I understand!” cried Steven.  “The clouds have lifted!”    He came to Christ and was one of the most energetic Christians I would ever see.  He then magnified Jesus to his co-workers each and every day from then on.

Terry was a funeral director fighting through a depression from facing death every day in his job.  In the car on the way to our Arizona men’s retreat, Terry was told about Jesus the Savior in the quietness of the travel time and as he pondered the Gospel, he saw Jesus close-up.  His heart exploded with joy.  When he arrived at the retreat and the news spread of his conversion, the whole camp rejoiced with him in his new life.  To this day, Terry is one of the most joyful Christians I know.  His constant witness through his actions as well as words has made an impact on the Phoenix community.

When the magnifying glass is put on Jesus, marvelous things happen.

Would you be wiling to make an extra effort to magnify Jesus to others this Christmas season?  Through your words and your attitudes and your actions, you can make Jesus “more conspicuous.”

Pray about it.  With God all things are possible.

And would you do me a favor?  When you are able to magnify Him and you see a result, would you write me and let me know?

God bless you and have a Joyous Christmas, good friend.

 

 

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