CHOOSING A TREE

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, full of grace and truth...Out of His fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given."- John 1:14, 16

In many ways the Christmas tree has become the symbol and centerpiece of this joyous December celebration. From a beautifully decorated tree placed by the window for the neighbors to admire to a town's tree lighting event filled with festivities for the entire family, the Christmas tree stands out in illuminating splendor. In our home the excitement to get the tree decorated is such that by 12:01 am on the Friday following Thanksgiving the clock is already ticking and it feels like I am a day behind schedule.

One of the Christmas traditions that can be a holiday highlight for families is going out to CHOOSE A TREE. There are so many choices to make when looking for the right tree: Will it be a Douglas Fir or Noble? Will it be traditional or flocked? Will it be six, seven, or even eight feet tall? No matter one's personal preference, I believe all can agree that when it comes to choosing a tree we are looking for FULLNESS! Walking up to a tree lot you can see a tree that looks great from a distance, but when you are within a few feet of it you notice several flaws. We can eyeball a tree laying in a stack as a potential "winner", only to pick it up and twirl it around to see gaps that couldn't be filled by your largest ornament. We will look at a handful of trees that may look similar, but only one is worthy to take its place as the 2015 family Christmas tree.

Another vivid picture we have of the Christmas tree is people gathering around to exchange and open gifts. As we move through our days during this season, celebrating the gift of our Savior's birth, I want us to reach out our hands, look up to heaven, and receive the fullness that comes from God's throne. James 1:17 tells us, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows." This Christmas is the perfect time to believe that God has good stuff that He wants you to unwrap and unlock for your life! I am convinced that as we reach out our hands to heaven, God willingly and delightfully takes our burdens and replaces them with His countless blessings.

In the same way we take time to choose a tree based on how fresh and full it looks, let's be sure that we are choosing God's fullness for our lives. Let's not settle for areas in our lives that are dry, that are mangy, that are incomplete, that are listless, and that are weak.

➢ This Christmas season let's pursue God's fullness of LOVE in our relationships.

➢ This Christmas season let's pursue God's fullness of PEACE in our minds.

➢ This Christmas season let's pursue God's fullness of PROVISION in our daily needs.

➢ This Christmas season let's pursue God's fullness of HEALING in our bodies.

➢ This Christmas season let's pursue God's fullness of PURPOSE in our regular assignments.

Jesus came into our broken world with the fullness of light, grace, truth, and glory. He offers the gift of His fullness to us in such a way that every area of our life can be met with a grace and strength that covers and transforms us. Colossians 2:9-10 speaks of this powerful promise, "For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form, and in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

This Christmas there is a "winner" for you to choose. It is not found in a corner lot. It is not green and adorned with lights, ornaments, candy canes, and a star on top. It is the fullness of Christ alone that will bring you greater delight during this joyous season than any decoration found on the tree or any gift found under it!

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