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December 2011

Dear Friend,

Where is your focus this Christmas? With all the activities and church events to attend and people to see, this may be a challenging question for you to answer. So many obligations and tasks may make it difficult for you to find meaning. Or perhaps the opposite is true—maybe the loneliness of the season weighs on your mind. The loss or distance of loved ones can make anyone feel isolated during this time of year.

Whether you are overwhelmed by activities or feeling isolated by loneliness, it’s likely that you’re feeling somewhat lost this Christmas season—especially if your eyes aren’t fixed on Jesus. But you must remember the awesome gift of joy God gives us is that He is with us! If we will keep our attention on Him, He will guide us through every situation and circumstance we encounter.

I saw a perfect example of the importance of having the right focus one winter when I was in Colorado. I remember driving down a snow-lined road on a beautiful sunny day, looking at the mountains rising around me.

I thought, This is just the way life is. There are always peaks we have to climb. Most of the time, the path isn’t as clear as we would like it to be. There are valleys, bends along the way, and obstacles that obstruct our view of where we’re going. The only way we can keep from being lost is to keep the mountain summit in view and always head toward it.

This is what Jesus desires to be for us—the goal we strive for and the focus of our lives. As long as we have our eyes fixed upon Him, we will walk in His ways and avoid running astray. Psalm 46:1 promises, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Like a compass, He is faithful to show us right where we are and where our next step should be.

But perhaps you’re thinking, I know Christ is the reason for the Christmas season, but how can I be focused on Someone I can’t see and don’t really know? Who is this Jesus anyway? Can I really trust Him to guide and direct me? Absolutely you can—and to help you keep your focus on the Savior, I would like to remind you of some of the titles He has been given in Scripture.

Jesus is Emmanuel, which means that He is God with us (Matt. 1:23). The indescribably awesome, infinite Lord of all that exists took on a form like ours and dwelt among us. Through His Holy Spirit, He is with us in every circumstance we will ever encounter. Therefore, we are never alone. Regardless of where we are or what we experience, we are assured of His wonderful, powerful, loving presence.

Jesus is our Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6). Even when our hectic schedules and overwhelming responsibilities increase during this season, we are assured tranquility in our relationships with Christ. He can speak solace and peace to our circumstances when everything around us is in chaos.

Jesus is the Light of the World (John 8:12). Although you and I may experience difficulties and dark moments, Christ lights the way for us. He assures us that if we faithfully walk with Him, we will not remain in darkness. The Savior will illuminate our paths and lead us to the answers we need.

Jesus is our Great High Priest (Heb. 4:15). He is the holy One who shared in our humanity and who bridges the gap between us and the Father—ushering us into relationships with God and teaching us His ways. Jesus makes intercession for us, understands our human weaknesses, and has the ability and knowledge to meet every need we will ever have. Therefore, there is no One better to teach us how to live.

Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords (Rev. 19:16). He is the sovereign ruler over all that exists. No problem is too daunting for Him, and we can always trust He will act in our best interests with love, grace, and wisdom. Therefore, He is our perfect Leader who always guides our paths to triumph.

Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). He is our Deliverer, Redeemer, and Savior who does what we could never do for ourselves. He reconciles us to the Father and breaks the hold sin and death have over us. Because Jesus has defeated these, our greatest foes, we can be certain that nothing we ever experience will hinder His perfect presence and provision in our lives.

So what things are vying for your attention this Christmas? What are you spending your time and energy trying to accomplish? I pray that if your faith should waver or you begin to feel lonely, overwhelmed, lost, or empty, you will realize that your focus is not where it should be—on the only One who can fulfill all your needs.

Jesus is worthy of your focus, worship, and praise at all times, regardless of the season. The Prince of Peace, guiding Light, Great High Priest, Lord and King—the One who willingly delivers you from all your sins and burdens—is always with you. I pray this Christmas Christ will be foremost in your thoughts, your comfort in times of loneliness, and your refuge in the midst of storm. May He bless you greatly as you seek His face and celebrate His glorious birth. Merry Christmas!

 

Prayerfully yours,

Charles F. Stanley

P.S. This Christmas, In Touch Ministries’ broadcast, magazine, and website will be dedicated to answering the question: “Who is this Jesus?” My prayer is that they will help you know our beloved Savior better and keep your focus on Him. Thank you for your faithful prayers and gifts. May our Sovereign Lord, Redeemer, and King be glorified through our partnership now and always.

From the Pastor's Heart

Copyright 2014 In Touch Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved. www.intouch.org. In Touch grants permission to print for personal use only.

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19 comments
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  • December 28, 2011 08:08 AM

    by

    Thank you Dr. Stanley, for your ministry. I accepted Christ into my heart 47 years ago, and became a too busy drifter, but God was always with me. He brought me back to him through your ministry, and he has become the center of my life today. Praise God!
  • December 26, 2011 08:09 PM

    by

    I so enjoy listening and seeing you on Sunday mornings. I am a new leader in a church ministry, I seriously wondered how to do this so that God will be pleased with me. Now I know by putting God first, His word, and obedience I can't go wrong. Even when conflicts arrive He will always be with me. Thanks for letting God use you which in turns helps me. Agan, thanks and much appreciated!
  • December 26, 2011 01:01 PM

    by

    Truly you're a gift from God-one of a kind spiritual father in our generation Dr. Stanley. We really need great spiritual teachers nowadays and you're far above excellent.To God be the glory for your gift and more power...
  • December 21, 2011 11:06 PM

    by

    Thank you Dr. Stanley, i have enjoyed your televangelism for some time and you have helped given me and my wife inspiration at times thank you for being used of God.
  • December 21, 2011 10:34 AM

    by

    I enjoy your teaching. I am saved, however, I have not been reading the Word or praying like I should, even though I attend church every Sunday and most Wednesdays. I have been listening to you every Sunday before Church. I love your teaching and now I am attempting to read the Word and want to get to know Jesus in a personal way. God is GOOD and shall always be praised. Have a Merry Christmas.
  • December 19, 2011 12:16 AM

    by

    You are right. Sometimes things get busy and flying in all directions. We can feel lonely, sad, and worthless. The thing is to keep our eyes on Jesus. We might lose our footing at times but he has our hand. He will not let go even when we are to weak to hang on. I loved this letter. May you and your family be blessed and have a Merry Christmas!! Linda
  • December 16, 2011 11:52 PM

    by

    I found your broadcast awhile ago. I started watching weekly and saw how i had been angry inside without full awareness. I've come back to Jesus, thanks to you Dr. Stanley. God bless you.
  • December 15, 2011 11:11 AM

    by

    I TRY TO CATCH YOUR SHOW ON SUNDAYS AND THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME INSPIRATION AND INSIGHT I KNOW I HAVE A WYS TO GO BUT I HAVE TO KEEP GOING ON THANK YOU
  • December 15, 2011 06:56 AM

    by

    Thank You Dr.Stanley, for your encouriging words and your teaching, i listen and watch your teaching daily. God Bless You.
  • December 14, 2011 08:25 PM

    by

    Thank you for remind us the real meaning of Christmas.
  • December 12, 2011 09:11 AM

    by

    I am delighted to hear from you God bless your ministry
  • December 11, 2011 10:08 PM

    by

    Merry Christmas Dr. Stanley; you have been a blessing to me! I love you and I am continually seeking who is this Jesus.
  • December 11, 2011 10:07 AM

    by

    I am so encouraged by your broadcasts. God bless you.
  • December 09, 2011 10:46 AM

    by

    Just want to wish all 'Season's Greetings' and to thank the 'In Touch' team for its ministry of faith, sharing, healing and love. This community of faith is a vibrant neighborhood that I feel proud to be a part of. Thanks, again.
  • December 09, 2011 03:22 AM

    by

    excellent...
  • December 08, 2011 06:20 PM

    by

    This got to be the most beautiful letter I ever read, describing the saviour birth and the true meaning of christmas. I really enjoy this letter. Thank you again Dr. Charles Stanley.
    JA
  • December 07, 2011 10:36 PM

    by

    thank! by reading this... I am now completely satisfied becaise you greatly reminds me how very important Jesus is this coming Christmas... =) May Goid continue to guide us everyday!
  • December 05, 2011 12:37 AM

    by

    Praise God! I much enjoy Listening to what God puts on your heart to share, I listen to The Word, by Moody radio-here in the northern states..102.7 and I am blessed to hear Your teaching, God delivered me from alot of things, drugs,sexual debautchery,porn,worldly movie-secular music-tv..My Language-He is My focus and Has shown me Miraculous things because of My obedience in Him..I could go on, But I just wanted to say thank God for You! and You probably get this all the time, but I wanted to share that it is appreciated by Myself, Praise God for Your faithfulness and Obedience!!
  • December 02, 2011 01:20 PM

    by

    Gracias Doctor por hacer que la FE en el Señor se enrriquezca y se afianse cada dia mas. Que Dios lo bendiga.

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