“Let It Be Christmas, Every Day Anew.”

Norbert Lieth

Motivational training, suitable exercises, quotations, and pep talk are the great topic of our time. Motivational events are well-attended, life coaches are flourishing, and their books are bestsellers. Whether in the economy, sports, or personal environment, a person is expected to live up to all of it. The last bit of strength is being asked of him, according to the motto: “You can do it; you are better than you think; you can be anything you want; simply retrieve it from your inner self, or awaken it within you; think positively.” Many let themselves be carried away and float on cloud nine for the moment, but the crash is not long in coming. They try to concentrate on the positive, but cannot find it. The truth is, they cannot live up to the demands; they are not as strong as they are being led to believe. They are human, with all the weaknesses and emotional fluctuations. Everyday life is too demanding; the constant stress becomes unbearable. The pressure from outside is too strong, and what they are telling themselves is a big lie. Instead of being built up, again and again a piece keeps crumbling off. They don’t want to admit it, to confess it—until, one day, nothing works anymore.

What does that have to do with Christmas? Christmas means that God has created everything through His Son Jesus. Christmas means that all things come from Him, and nothing from us. Christmas means that the Lord expects nothing from us, but that He gives us everything. I don’t have to exert myself to improve, to work and shine, to become the best I can be. I don’t need to believe in myself, but I can believe that Jesus is everything to me—perfect grace and truth. He is sufficient for all things; He is the forgiveness of my sins; He is the renewal of my life; He is the constant power within me. I may accept these gifts and let myself be transformed by them. This is the greatest motivation in my life and for my everyday existence. And with this, we can press on through the coming year.

Paul says: “…I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Many think they have to do something to be somebody. But spiritually, it is different: You have become something in Christ, and through Him you are allowed to do something. “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God” (2 Cor 3:5). We cannot attribute anything to ourselves. We receive our strength, not from within but from above. It is not shouted at us; rather, it is a loving encouragement and a tender urging. 

“But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly then they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 Cor 15:10). It is grace that motivates us and does not allow us to be idle. It does not make us feel like we have to, but motivates us to a joyful willingness. Self-satisfaction is broken, and spiritual energy is released. “For it is God who worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure” (Phil 2:13).

Our motivation comes from the Lord. The driving force is God’s Holy Spirit. The Lord creates in us the desire to be freely available to Him, and then gives us the strength to turn it into action.

Christmas is a gift of grace with many facets. We can accept it gratefully, unwrap it, and use it daily. Therefore, let it be Christmas, every day anew.

Midnight Call - 12/2023

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