This is the season when people ask one another, What do you want for Christmas? But what about the REST of the year? What do you want? I can think of several things I’d like to have; peace on earth, kindness from each of us, nobody hungry or homeless, to name a few. But let’s be realistic: as a default condition, mankind’s heart is evil, and that’s why the world is in the mess it’s in. Can we do anything about it? Yes, and no. On our own, very little, but with Christ Jesus, we can be thoroughly changed from the inside out. EVERY SINGLE DAY!

I remember our past President campaigned on “change”, and he delivered it, too. We lost many of the good things we had before, including goodwill and trust for others. Love and trust among races is at an all-time low. Is THAT what you wanted? I firmly believe there are nice people of every race, who just want to raise their families in peace and safety. Notice I said “nice”, for NONE of us are “good”. There is only ONE “good”, and that is God. I remember reading this in Matthew 19:16-22,

16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,
19 Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
20 The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
21 Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.

That young man KNEW what he wanted, he wanted everlasting life. But unfortunately, he was so possessed by his possessions, that he was unable to put the pursuit of everlasting life as his first priority. How about YOU? Or are you satisfied with the things of this world such as possessions and money?

God has no problem with you having money and possessions, but He has a REAL problem with money and possessions having YOU. Now, lots of churches push the prosperity message, making the message not about being a disciple of Christ Jesus, but about taking care of the “Big Three”: Me, Myself, and I. There are many churches filled to capacity with people seeking money and possessions, having been taught that God wants you rich. Now I have to say, I don’t think God wants His kids broke and sick, for He is a GOOD Father. But first and foremost, our GOOD FATHER wants us to inherit everlasting life, so we need to put first things first. And if you’ve been listening to me any length of time, you’ll find I teach a lot about healing, because that’s also part of our inheritance. But for me to focus entirely on healing would be out of balance, because that’s only PART of the benefits of following Christ Jesus.

According to Psalm 103:2-36, which says,
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

The first thing mentioned is the FORGIVENESS of all our sins, and secondly, HEALING of all our diseases., thirdly, REDEMPTION from destruction. Then, he CROWNS us with His lovingkindness and TENDER mercies. I want to emphasize “Tender” mercies, because they are. He SATISFIES us with GOOD THINGS! Not BAD things, so our youth is renewed. How is that? Once you have received Christ Jesus as your LORD and SAVIOR, your spirit will never die nor get old, and though your body may die, you will have life everlasting! In other words, you’ll never grow old and your youth will never fade. And if that isn’t a “benefit”, I don’t know what is!

But notice I said “FOLLOWING” Christ Jesus. That means to walk as He walks, think as He thinks, speak as He speaks, and act as HE acts, in other words, to imitate Him, even as He imitates His Father in heaven. How good a job are we doing at imitating Christ Jesus? Could we do better? I certainly could stand improvement in almost every area. And if I would pay better attention to the example my heavenly Father gives me, everyone would benefit, including myself.

So what do I want? I want to love more, trust more, seek the good of others, MORE, to give the benefit of the doubt more, to rejoice in the goodness of God more. But there are things I want to do less: I want to judge others less, to criticize less, to COMPLAIN less. And that’s just for starters. You see, even though I can try in the flesh to be a “better person”, without Christ Jesus inside, it’s impossible. So more than anything else, I want Christ Jesus living in me, reaching out to others through me. I’m so thankful that Christ Jesus wants those things for me, as well as for you.

Does that mean we have to give up our possessions and money to please God? No, but we need to give up our LOVE of possessions and money, and love HIM more than all else. Possessions and money are tools we can use to help others in need. Now I didn’t say to help those in “greed”, but rather those in “need”. The best thing we can do for those in “greed” is to pray that God melts their cold hearts, so His love can come in and change them. But don’t avoid them, just show them the love of God, be an example of your heavenly Father, and let Him deal with them. I remember the LORD telling me years ago about being a “Fisher of men”, “You catch ‘em, I’ll clean ‘em!” That sounds like a good deal to me!

So, let me ask you, What do YOU want? Give it careful thought, for your eternal future depends upon it.