With Christmas in the air and the holiday preparations underfoot, how are you doing? Are you feeling overwhelmed by your commitments and underwhelmed by your resources?
According to a survey done by the Consumer Reports National Research Center, you’re not the only one who feels this way. Here are the Top 10 things that people say they dislike at Christmas:
- Crowds and long lines
- Gaining weight
- Going into debt
- Gift shopping
- Seeing certain relatives
- Seasonal music
- Disappointing gifts
- Having to attend holiday parties or events
- Holiday tipping
Even the Psalmist admitted to feeling overwhelmed: If I say, “My foot is slipping,” your loyal love, O Lord, supports me. When worries threaten to overwhelm me, your soothing touch makes me happy (Psalm 94:18-19).
If you’re needing a little soothing, the Psalms reassure you that God will hear the sound of your pleading, and He is your strength and shield (Psalm 28:6-9); and He has promised to be present in the thick of danger, and to preserve your life from the anger of your enemies (Psalm 138:7).
I doubt there are many of us that number ourselves among the elite 1% of the world’s wealthiest people. You may, however, find yourself among those who will be changed by the 21%.
What is the significance of 21%? If you add it to your situation, it can make a big difference:
- If you are concerned with your IQ, you probably already know that 50% of IQ scores fall between 90 and 110. If you add 21% to a score of 100 you become a person with very superior intelligence. If you subtract 21% from 100, you will find yourself among the ranks of those who are classified as having a “borderline deficiency in intelligence.”
- The average life expectancy is 71. If you add 21%, you would live to be 86. If you subtracted 21%, you would only live to be 56.
- If you are 71 inches tall you might be able to play basketball by adding 21% to your height. At 86 inches tall, you would be taller than LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers If you subtract 21% from 71, you would be about 4 ½ foot tall, but still taller than Eddie Gaedel. At 3 foot 7 inches, Gaedel was the shortest player to ever play in an MLB game; and, he did it in 1951 when he played for the St. Louis Browns.
- If you weigh 171 pounds, 21% would be the difference between tipping the scales at 207 pounds and weighing only 135 pounds.
If you are a person who likes to travel on an airplane, 21% means you may have to buy new luggage. The International Air Transport Association has set some new guidelines for carry-on bags. The IATA is recommending that bags should be 21.5 inches tall by 13.5 inches wide and 7.5 inches deep which is 21% smaller than current standards.
What would happen if you made a 21% change in your life? How would your life be different if you followed these old guidelines?
Let us drop every extra weight, every sin that clings to us and slackens our pace, and let us run with endurance the long race set before us, and stay focused on Jesus, who designed and perfected our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).
When the last Easter egg has been found and eaten, and the kids have said “good-bye” to their sugar high. What remains? I hope it is more than chocolate stains and a few extra pounds that were added by way of the calorie-packed candy, and other Easter delights.
One thing that will always remain is God’s Word, and it is a unique book. The uniqueness of the Bible is seen in its unity. This book is a collection of 66 ancient documents that were originally written in 3 languages: Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek. Even though 40 different authors, wrote over a span of 1,500 years the theme and message of the Bible is consistent.
In my Easter sermon yesterday, I mentioned Jesus’ encounter with two disheartened disciples as they walked down the Emmaus road. To help them understand the events surrounding His crucifixion, Jesus, began “at Moses and all the Prophets, and He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself (Luke 24:27).”
The life of Jesus fulfilled multiple prophecies. Long before He was born, it was predicted that He would be flogged; die with the wicked; and, He would be buried like a rich man.
Prophecy is important because it confirms the claims of Jesus. Here are just a few of the many He fulfilled:
- Messiah would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10)
- He would be from the line of King David (2 Samuel 7:12-13)
- He would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2)
- 700 years before Jesus was born, the Prophet Isaiah predicted in graphic detail the manner in which Jesus would die (Is. 53).
The Bible has stood the test of time; and, when it comes time for you to be tested, it will stand with you.