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« There Is Hope | Main | The Time of Christmas »

The Day AFTER Christmas

“And when they had seen it, they made known abroad.”  Luke 2:17.

The day after Christmas is known for several things:  discarded Christmas trees, long return lines, the best after-Christmas sales, paying the cards that were so lovingly charged, eating leftovers, wishing you had as much energy to take down the decorations as you had putting them up.  The day before Christmas is one of great anticipation. Christmas Day is a day of celebration. The day after Christmas is a day of reckoning.  We can’t wait until Christmas comes; then, we can’t believe it’s here; then, we are so glad it’s over! 

The day after the first Christmas, we are left with two viewpoints. One was Mary’s. She kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. The other belonged to the shepherds. They returned glorifying and praising God. But something happened to both Mary and the shepherds that would never be forgotten. Their lives were forever changed. 

Whenever a day of great significance takes place, the impact forces a change on the rest of the world.  The repercussions of the change usually register a much greater degree than the original impact.  In the world of the first century, things moved a little slower, but it would not be difficult to chart the changes that reverberated out from an unlikely village known as Bethlehem.  We never heard from the shepherds again in scripture, but they sowed the seed that turned into a ripened field for the gospel.  The thoughts that Mary kept and pondered in her heart never left her.  They churned in her so deeply that she must have finally realized the answers.  When she spoke so confidently to the servants at the marriage of Cana, she knew Jesus was a man of destiny.  

The day of the event calls for celebration; the day after calls for decision and action. When Jesus Christ is born in your life, when you have an encounter with the King of Kings, do not think that the experience is all there is to it.  Do you think that the enormity of redemption’s story—that God became man, that he died on the cross, was buried in a borrowed tomb, and resurrection the third day with victory over death—had as its overarching purpose to give man a temporary thrill? If all God wanted to say with Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Calvary, the Empty Tomb and His ascension at Bethany was “I love you,” why didn’t He just come down and say, “I love you?” No. 

Something big happened on the first Christmas Day.  Something bigger than Jingle Bells and “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” happened.  Something bigger than your new watch, iPad or designer jeans happened. If you have had an encounter with Christ, something bigger than a religious moment of inspiration happened. Something happened that now brings you face to face with a sobering thought:  Now what? 

  • You’ve been healed.  Now what?
  • You got your miracle.  Now what?
  • You got your answer to prayer.  Now what? 

Yes, God does great things for us. But the significant truth to observe is this: When God does great things for us, He places on us an awesome responsibility! In effect, He says to us, “Now that you have had an encounter with My power and presence, what difference will this make in your life?  What difference is this going to make in your relationship to me?” 

Answered prayer asks us for reciprocating sacrifice. Look at the example of Hannah. “For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.” I Samuel 1:26-28. Hannah wanted a son, but God wanted a prophet. Samuel’s tremendous influence on the history of Israel hinged on two things: God answered prayer and Hannah responded. 

A miracle from God demands that we do the will of God. When Elijah challenged the prophets of Baal, God sent fire to consume the animal, the altar and the water. But the miracle was not for a show. It demanded a response. “And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces: and they said, The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God. And Elijah said unto them, Take the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape. And they took them: and Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon, and slew them there.” I Kings 18:39 -40. Difficult though it may have been, Elijah made the Israelites slay the prophets of Baal after the fire fell on the sacrifice. 

An encounter with God calls for greater trust in God. Gideon’s fleece was not a set-up for God, but for Gideon. The first time Gideon prayed, the fleece was wet with dew, but the ground was dry. Nervous about the answer, Gideon prayed again. “And Gideon said unto God, ‘Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew.’ And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.” Judges 6:38-40. The next verse finds Gideon rising up early to fight against the Midianites.  He knew that when the answer came through, it was time to move. 

Have you been granted salvation, a reunited marriage, a restored family, a miraculous healing, financial blessing, a new or saved job, an anointed ministry, impossible situations worked out, revival and the fruit of your labors?  Whatever God has done for you, mark it down—He has done it for a reason. 

It’s the day after.  The anticipation is over.  The celebration is over. The boxes are open; the wrappings are scattered; the surprise is over. Now, it is time for commitment. 

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Reader Comments (1)

THAT - article has an IMPACT. There are several people, in and out of the church I personally know that need to read it, but - not quite yet. I need to apply it to myself first, and pray about it for anyone else. If THEY read it on here, that's one thing, but if I send it, that's quite another.
One more thing tho'; on my computer the time says 7:30 a.m.; is that your time or my time? If it's your time you must have already had it ready to 'send' Nobody can think like that at7:30 a.m.

December 26, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Heimericks

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