A Sticky Christmas

I am one of five boys in my family and as you can imagine at any time (let alone Christmas) our home was always full of fun and a dash of chaos.

I remember many Christmas’ growing up, by far the most memorable happened abit over a decade imagesago. As the brothers all began to get older and earn money we started to buy each other gifts (all be in $10 ones.) one year my older brother Cameron (yep the one heard frequently on LightFM) had remembered to purchase Christmas gifts for everyone but somehow had forgotten to purchase one brother a gift… Yep me. In his Christmas morning panic he quickly dashed outside found a stick (only Jesus knows what was running through his mind) came back inside, wrapped it up and placed it right under the tree buried beneath all the other gifts.

When it came time for Cam to handover the loot he was beaming with pride at his work, upon unwrapping the gift I didn’t share in his joy. I stared at it in shock, and for one of the first times in my life I couldn’t speak. I quickly assumed it was a prank present and that soon a ‘real’ gift would follow, boy was I wrong when he told me “I just forgot about you, sorry mate.”

StickCam & I are best of mates and often (especially at Christmas) joke about this and many other tales. The appropriately titled silly season can fill our lives & calendars, it also can empty our bank balances. It can also make us so preoccupied with presents, food and family functions that we actually forget the original focus of Christmas.

This Christmas in the middle of the shopping, that Christmas function and the cooking, guard your heart from drifting in focus. Christmas is all about God’s love for all of humanity that is seen in Jesus. Before that silent night their was no saviour and the world was crying out desperately for one. Heaven’s reply was a baby boy, and in him Endless hope and relentless joy started.

The Proof of Your Love

We are bankrupt without love

I’ve had that thought rattling around my mind for days and weeks. It started as I spoke on the phone with one of my closest friends, he was doing what good friends do, challenging me. It came as a result of me sharing with him some of the incredible things I’m watching God do at the moment in and through my life. His challenge to me echoed the words of apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

In that moment I was convicted and reminded again, before my heart could even have a chance of trying to get away with any self trickery, that I can do anything, incredible and amazing things, but if love is not the centre piece it counts for nothing. That without a genuine love for God and people, my ministerial deeds, my sacrificial gift, my selfless acts, as far as God’s concerned, leave me bankrupt, if they do not come from a heart posture and a motivation of love.

A couple of my buddies Joel & Luke and their band for King and Country have put to music my thoughts in a much more melodic, better and catchier way than I ever could. Enjoy their film clip 😉

Can I encourage you and challenge you today to do incredible things with your life for God. But urge you as my friend did with me, and as the apostle Paul does with us, to let love be our driving motivation… And that our lives would truly reveal and be the proof of the love of Jesus for all.