Celebrating in Your Heart
Sell what you have and give to those in need. This will fatten your purses in heaven! And the purses of heaven have no rips or holes in them. Your treasures there will never disappear; no thief can steal them; no moth can destroy them. Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be. – Luke 12:33-34 (TLB)
For many people in America, Christmas is a time of celebration, tables overflowing with good food, and reunions with friends and loved ones. But it isn’t for everyone.
In nations hostile to the gospel, December brings increased persecution. Last year, that meant such things as guerillas murdering Christian farmers in the Philippines, terrorists in Nigeria killing 16 people on Christmas Day, and places like Brunei and Somalia cracking down on Christian celebrations of the holiday.
A worker in North Korea told Open Doors that followers of Christ there can reflect on the Savior’s birth, but they can’t go church to sing or listen to a sermon, nor visit each other to read the Bible. Says the worker: “Christmas is mainly celebrated in the hearts of Christians. Only if the entire family has turned to Christ is it possible to have something like a real gathering. For fear of retribution it is necessary to keep one’s faith hidden from the neighbors.”
Luke 12:34 says your treasure will also occupy your heart and thoughts. As you think about the birth of My Son, what matters most to you? If all the trappings, material goods and festive celebrations disappeared, could you still be joyful? If you know Jesus in your heart, no one will ever be able to take away that celebration.
Catalyst for Spiritual Growth
- How much time do you spend thinking about heaven? How could focusing on the future help you spend more time in celebrating what lies ahead of you?