PASTOR'S PEN: Wrong direction

In the days before GPS, it was easy to get turned around. Sometimes with GPS I still get turned around. There are times I've been driving along thinking I was headed in the right direction only to find out I had gone several miles the wrong way and needed to turn around. I was going along unaware I was driving away from my destination.

Christmas is a lot like this. We stress that this holiday isn't to be a time of consumerism, materialism or greed thinking we are headed in the right direction. We feel that if we love to give rather than receive things are great. It's all about helping others and spending time with family. Our friends, Christmas movies, people at church and others confirm to us that this what Christmas is all about, but we would be sadly mistaken.

Revelation 3 talks about the church in Sardis. Verse one of this chapter says, "I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead." The people of this church were known for doing good deeds. They gave at Christmas and helped others and were loving. They were considered a "live church." But God says they were dead. They were doing good deeds but had fallen short of God's expectations for them.

Everyone else would have told them that they were good people. What did they need to do? Revelation 3:3 tells us, "Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent." They didn't only need to do good things, but needed to return to God. They needed to return to repent of ignoring God and return to honoring Him with their lives. If I'm doing good deeds but still ignoring God, those things are worthless.

Are you thinking this Christmas that giving and spending time with family is all that God desires? Think again. Remember who came and why. Remember that He came to be your Savior and Master of your life. Neither Christmas nor life is only about giving or caring for family, though those are good things. It's about giving everything over to God and holding firm to the teachings of the Word of God. This season evaluate your life. Are you completely following God or just doing good deeds? Give you life to Him and end this year giving all you life to the One who gave His life for you.