Looking to visit to the attic and search for the mystery bins that contain the Christmas decorations. I am sure many of you have begun to “Deck the Halls” yourself. But fancy window dressing doesn’t cover everything. Have we prepared our heart to receive Jesus Christ? Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

We all know what it takes to prepare for a race, the effort that goes into just getting the car to the track. We know how much work goes into practice and making the necessary adjustments to prepare the car for the race. That excitement, that anticipation is the fuel that motivates us to race. There is no drug more powerful than excitement and anticipation.

Anticipation for what is coming gives way to an excitement; one of the greatest feelings we can experience. Most times it is this; not the actual event that we remember. It is that build up, that preparation, that anticipation, that excitement that fulfills our desire.

Think about the days leading up to Christmas. The anticipation over what you would receive. The joy of expectation! Do we look forward to the Birth of Christ with the same anticipation, the same excitement as a race or a special gift?

Isaiah 9:6; For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

We are now in the season of Advent, (from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”); We live in expectation of the fulfillment of Scripture, we focus on being prepared for the coming of our Lord and Savior; the HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE the Savior brings.

Ask yourself, am I prepared to accept the gift that is given?

What happens when we don’t give any thought to what God has in store for us? If we don’t take the time to read about the promise of a Savior in God’s Word? If we ignore the guidance and direction God provides in His Word? If we fail to anticipate the blessings that God has for us? Then what?

We are not prepared for the birth of Jesus; the coming of a Savior. We will miss the significance of one of the most blessed events in the history of man. We will lose out on the anticipation and excitement that waiting for a special gift brings. Let’s take time to prepare, time to reflect on the significance of the birth of Christ.

Christmas isn’t about Santa Claus and reindeer. Christmas is about Christ, it is the celebration of the best gift of all, a Savior.

We still enjoy watching many of the Christmas shows. My wife and I enjoy watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” the most though. We look for when it is on and sit down to watch. Maybe you know the story; it is not about all the trimmings, it is about Christ.

Linus read from the Gospel of Luke.

Luke 2:8-11; And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.

The angels proclaimed the birth of a Savior, but how did the shepherds know? How come they didn’t just ignore them and reason it away as too much wine and fun, maybe one too many Holiday Parties? They were expecting this night.

The prophets told them that this day was coming. They anticipated this night for years, ever since they were told the words of the prophets. The ones who foretold about a coming Savior. They excitedly awaited the gift of a Savior and when the proclamation came they knew it was true.

The prophet Isaiah proclaimed;

Isaiah 7:14; Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

The entire Old Testament points to the coming of Christ. Isaiah said we would call him Immanuel, which means God with us. The promise from God was a Savior; not only a Savior, but His very presence with us. Are we prepared to welcome Him?

The presence of Jesus in our lives is there for the asking, a gift provided by God.

Matthew 7:7-11; “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!

Prepare for His coming just as you would your racecar. We learned everything we can about it. We knew all the ins and outs of it. There wasn’t anything we didn’t know.

How much do we know about Jesus? Do we know Him completely? Do we know everything about Him?

That’s what the time of preparation is for. Prepare to know Jesus. Prepare to receive God’s gift. It is truly a gift you cannot live without. Don’t let this time of year pass you by without taking time to prepare with anticipation and excitement for the blessed event of Christmas; The coming of Christ.

LOOKING AHEAD – As we look ahead to the wonderful things God has planned for us we are confident He intended you to have a part in that blessing. We are confident that God has the resources in place to provide for the mission. We seek Him with all our heart and ask that you join us and seek him with all your heart, then His plan will be revealed.

We make every effort to go. Wherever and whenever the request comes in we go. Those are the instructions the Lord Jesus Christ gave us. We strive to release ourselves from the bonds of human reason, financial restrictions and perceived obstacles. If God called us He will make a way!

As we close out 2016 and look forward to 2017 there are some things that need attention. We are in need of sizable donations to clear our books. Would you consider a yearend gift above and beyond your faithful monthly support? We have debt that accumulated during the season and we need to enter the New Year with a clean slate. Please consider a one-time gift to help us continue on.

CHARLOTTE – On the road again! I will be headed to Charlotte for the NASCAR Banquets. Looking forward to reconnecting with everyone before Christmas. Dan and his wife Deb will be in Charlotte also. I am sure we all will have a great time visiting with friends and the race teams. If you are there, track us down and say hello. We are thankful to NASCAR for extending the invitation and including us.

Take some time to sit back, relax and enjoy this special time of year. Until next time, remember God loves you and Jesus is Lord over Auto Racing! God Bless. Remember, that your prayerful support helps us continue this ministry. Thank You.