First off, Merry Christmas to each and every one of you who are reading this blog post!
It is that time of the year again. The time we have chosen as a twelve stone memorial. (Joshua 4:4-7) A time to reflect back on when our Savior entered this world and became Immanuel, God with us.
Yet, if you are anything like me, you have probably heard the Christmas account at least a hundred times, if not more. It is so familiar, some of us probably have it memorized word for word.
I have heard the historical account so many times, and I admit that I have become too familiar with it. There is a danger of becoming so familiar with a passage of Scripture that I can feel like I have mastered it and have learned everything I could possibly learn.Take note - a Scripture passage never gets old
. There is always something new to be learned or more depth to be explored and probed.
So allow me to make a feeble attempt to define Christmas and bring us back to that sense of awe in us when we reflect on the Christmas season.
God, the Creator of everything we see, directly or indirectly, who made everything just by speaking it into existence, and is complete without anyone else and is dependent on no one, came into this world as a helpless baby. God in the flesh, chose to come and live with us naturally sinful, depraved, wicked, self-centered, God-hating humans.
He deserved the best lodging we could give Him, yet there wasn't even a guest room available for Him, just a manager. He deserved every world leader to be present on the night of His birth, but shepherds, considered the lowest in society, were the ones who visited Him that night. Every throne should have been vacated and turned over to Him. Instead, king Herod attempted to murder the King of kings.
Jesus could have entered the world with all the fame and accolade He deserved, but He didn't. He chose to take on the nature of a servant, in order to save us from our sins. (Philippians 2:5-11)
We love to sing songs such as "Silent Night"
and "Away in a Manager,"
yet, this baby in the manger on that silent night was here to live a sinless life and to be brutally killed on a cross. Jesus came down to this earth fully knowing that was His destiny.
What a love we are loved with! He came not to die for His friends and followers, but His enemies, which each of us was at some point in time. (Romans 5:6-8)
I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact that the God of the universe came down to this sin-cursed world and experienced literal pain. He knew that on that cross all the sins of the world, past, present, and future, would be laid upon Him.
He entered this world as a baby knowing exactly what was going to happen.
He knew that He, the God of the universe, for whom praise never ceases in Heaven, would be despised and rejected by the very people He had come to save. He knew that even His closest followers would abandon Him in the hour of His deepest distress, that Peter would deny Him three times, and that Judas would betray Him.Yet, He still came. He came into this world knowing full well where that decision would lead Him. He came to die, so that we might live.
When one ponders all this, it makes Christmas and the baby in the manger explode with meaning. It is not just cute decor that we place in our houses, it is not just a time of year when we exchange presents. It is not just a time of year when we attend our Christmas Eve services, invite family and friends over, enjoy good meals and get several days or weeks of Christmas vacation. This isn’t about the stores making a buck, (though they certainly do) this isn’t about reindeer or the North Pole or some guy in a red suit or Christmas music, hot chocolate and Christmas cookies. This is all about Jesus. He is the reason for the season and the whole year for that matter!
That is what the historical account of Christmas is all about and it never gets old!Without Christmas there would be Easter, without Easter there would be no Thanksgiving, because we would all be on our reckless, headlong race towards Hell without any thought of being thankful. Without Christmas we would all be heading to a godless eternity in a place of endless torment and suffering.
Praise the Lord that Jesus chose to go through the most gruesome death possible to save a former depraved sinner like me and make me a fellow heir with Him! Words cannot express my gratitude for this day! (Ephesians 1:3, Romans 11:33-36)Yet, we weren't just saved so we could have fire insurance from Hell. We were saved so by the power of God we could pull others from the darkness into the marvelous light. (Proverbs 11:30b)
Honestly, what does this world have to offer us? Fame fades, money is never enough, stuff breaks and wears out, cars depreciate, gold and silver can be corroded, relationships can dissolve, power can be lost, health can fail, iPhones and other technology become outdated, trends will pass, and life on this earth doesn't go on forever and will ultimately come to an end.Jesus Christ will never fade, He will always be enough, He will never wear out, He is invaluable, His love will never end, He is all-powerful, His strength never fails, He never becomes outdated, He will never cease to exist, and He is the only answer to all we need and truly desire!
May we remember this in our daily lives. We are not here for anything this world has to offer, we are here to save souls and bring our God glory!
We have seen, heard, read, and studied the Bible enough to know this-if we each truly live sold-out lives for the Lord, God will use us to change the world.
But you don't change the world without paying a high cost. The enemy has been spending trillions to influence the world through movies, music, books, peer pressure, the pleasures of this world, wealth, technology, cheap thrills, "easy" shortcuts, and things that keep us distracted from God and His Word.
To change the world by the power of God we need to lay everything on the table and submit ourselves as living sacrifices. (Romans 12:1-2)
Ultimately our life, but let me break that down; money, health, relationships, "our" time, house, comfort, technology, stuff in general, choice of entertainment, choice of friends, and ultimately, it may even cost us our life.It may sound like a high cost, but if surrendering all in my life would allow me just to pluck one soul from the fires of Hell, it would be worth it. Eternity without God is a long time.
Besides, that is what Jesus did. He chose to give up everything to change the world, yes, even our eternal destinies. This life is so short and temporal, statistics show that on average eighty years is all we get.
When one day I look into the eyes of the One who saved me from my sin, I want to be able to give a competent account of my life. The scariest verse in the Bible for a Christian is Romans 14:12 "So then, each of us will give an account of himself [herself] to God."
When I look into my Savior's eyes He is not going to ask me about my fame, popularity, riches, or knowledge. He's going to ask about how I lived my life for Him. I want to be able to say truthfully in that moment, that yes, I screwed up at times, but ultimately I gave my all. I don't want to realize in that moment I held back from giving my all. The ultimate satisfaction of my life will be to hear my Savior say to me, "Well done, My good and faithful servant." To hear those words from the One who gave His all to save me, that is what I am living for!
To God alone be the glory throughout all generations forever and ever! Amen and amen!
With all that being said, from the bottom of my heart I wish all of you a very Merry CHRISTmas! No happy holidays, we don't believe in political correctness, rather I believe in spiritual correctness.
By God’s grace and for His glory!