Simple Living.pngProverbs 15:16 (NIV) Better a little with the fear of the LORD than great wealth with turmoil.

The Christmas season can be a stressful time for many people. The relatively “wealthy” waste vast amounts of money on temporal “stuff” that could be used to satisfy someone’s true needs. Ironically, much of that “stuff” ends up either collecting dust in the attic or stored in the garage until they are completely forgotten.

The financially disadvantaged also runs to and fro in order to fulfill the cravings that have been elicited by marketing strategies. Oftentimes, poorer people will call churches and other places of worship during the holidays, asking for donations (preferably money) in order to buy “stuff” to put under the Christmas Tree.

Whether rich or poor- most people think that if they are able to buy lots of “stuff,” that they will have a “Merry Christmas.”

But the reality is, that after the 12 days of Christmas are over, the merriness of “Merry Christmas,” merrily disappears into thin air, leaving us with “stuff” we didn’t even want in the first place.

c43.jpgSomeone once asked Lord Jesus to settle a disputation between two siblings regarding an inheritance. (Luke 12:13-15) The Lord refused to get involved, but instead he warned the crowd to be on guard against greed- because life consists of much more than the abundance of physical possessions.

In fact, since life on earth is so short and vain, the Lord taught his disciples to seek to become “rich toward God” and to store up treasure in our eternal abode: heaven. (Luke 12:21; Matthew 6:20)

To be “rich toward God” means to live abundantly focused on the intent to fulfill the Lord’s will and to please him.–jcr

Nothing pleases God more than for Christians to step out of their comfort zone and share the love of Christ with the lonely, the afflicted, the abandoned, the sick, the forgotten, and the despised. When we share the love of Christ with others by caring for their needs, its as if we have done it to Christ himself.

One of our family traditions has been to go out on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to sing carols and share God’s love with those who are alone in nursing homes.

From early on, our children learned to appreciate the joy of seeing a lonely person on Christmas Day rejoice with the fact that folks got out of their way to bless them with the gift of love.

Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 12.16.40 PM.pngLet’s simplify Christmas! All that is needed under the Christmas Tree is one simple, yet meaningful gift- wrapped in love and appreciation for our families- and in celebration for the greatest gift any one could ever receive- the person of Jesus Christ.

Of the many things that human beings can live without- LOVE is not one of them.–jcr

Dare to share the love and joy of Jesus with those who need it the most. You will find that after doing so- you will return home with the feeling that “this has been the greatest Christmas we’ve ever had.

The joy and love that you share with someone who is lonely and forgotten will not only be an experience that you will remember forever… your willingness to freely share with others will be pleasing to God- and you will be rich in heaven.

Merry Christmas!