Saturday, December 20, 2008

CHRISTMAS

For the Christian, this is a very special time.

For the non-Christian, it may be a time for gift getting, gift giving, partying, having time off from school or work, getting caught up in the hustle and bustle of the "season," or just a bunch of hub-bub about nothing.

For the Christian (not the nominal Christian, but the genuine person of faith), Christmas is special on many fronts.

The word, "Christmas," has two roots: 1) Christ - The Greek translation of the Old Testament Hebrew word, "Messiah;" and 2) Mass - the Latin word for birth.

In other words, the word "Christmas" means: Christ's Birth.

The birth of Messiah was predicted in the Old Testament. There are more than 300 references to the coming of, the life of, the death of, the resurrection of and the return of the one whose title is Emmanuel, and whose name is Jesus.

These predictions were made by different people at different times, many of whom had had no contact with the others, yet their predictions meld together into one continuum that was lived out in a little town called Bethlehem, the city of Nazareth and the Holy City of Jerusalem.

Jesus is God, incarnate.

That means that God came down to us to reveal Himself, to show us His plan of salvation and to make it possible for us to enter into a personal relationship with Him.

In Christ, God has made possible for anyone who wants it to have a gift that exceeds any gift you could find in a JC Penney catalog, at Walmart, or at Macy's: the gift of eternity in Heaven with Him.

Like any gift, you do not have to pay for it.

When I give gifts to my children, I do not ask them to pay me back for them.

By definition, a gift requires no payment by the recipient.

But a gift costs someone something.

A gift may be bought at a store. It might be hand-made. A gift might be something you already own and wish to give to someone else.

The gift God offers costs you nothing, but it is not free.

God, Himself, offered Himself, in the person of Jesus, to pay a debt we owe. It is referred to as a "sin debt," the debt we owe as a result of our having not lived up to the perfect standard required by the High Moral Law of God.

"Joe, why are you trying to cram your belief down my throat?" you may ask.

I'm not.

You don't have to believe any of it if you don't want to. That's your choice.

But I can tell you this, based on my own experience and on the Word God has given us, if you choose to believe in faith (not blind faith, but intelligent, Bible-guided faith), trusting in the work of salvation Jesus completed at the cross of Calvary, your life will take on an unimaginably new meaning.

There are those who will scoff (predicted in the bible, by the way), ridicule (predicted in the bible, by the way), and reject this idea (predicted in the bible, by the way).

That is their choice (and yours, if that's what you want).

But for those who choose to discover God's character, His love for His creation and His plan for its redemption (as found in the Bible), Christmas is the most special time of this or any other year.

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYBODY!
Note: This is usually where I post articles about my political beliefs and stances; however, I am suspending that until Saturday, December 27. I'll be back with more political stuff for you to enjoy then. I know you will stand by with shrimp in your mouth (baited breath...get it?). See you then.

6 comments:

Jennifer said...

Joe, That was a beautiful post and it is nice to see a post that remembers the reason for the season. Like you, I have no wish to jam it down other's throats....I wsimply wish to tell them about who Jesus is and what he has done and let them make the decision to believe or not themselves. Wishing you a very Merry Christas to you and yours!

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

The choir at my church sang a newly composed cantata this morning that tells the Christmas story. It was beautiful and inspiring.

Thanks for your blogificent reminder, as well, of why we choose to celebrate the miracle of Christ's birth.

Tapline said...

Joe, I think the gremlins are eating my comment. Great post. The reason for the season, truly put..Gods gift to man..."He who have an ear, let him hear".stay well...

Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

His birth is a miracle. His love is our gift. His day is a time to rejoice!

Let us rejoice in all He has given us and love one another as He loves us.

Merry Christmas.

Mark said...

Joe, a caller on Mark Levin's show made an interesting point.

He said the word "holiday" is a contraction of the words, "Holy Day". That means, whenever a retail store employee wishes you a happy holiday, he is wishing you a happy holy day, which is Christmas, because, as another caller pointed out, no one ever wishes you a happy holiday on any other holiday during the year.

It's always "Happy Thanksgiving", "Happy Valentines day", "Happy Independence day", etc. They only subsitute the phrase "Happy Holiday" for Christmas.

Why? Because they are trying to eliminate any reference to Christianity from our society.

David Wyatt said...

Bro. Joe,

Recently a thought camer to me. God moved Heaven (the star that guided the magi) & earth (the decree that brought mary & Joseph among many others to the prophesied place for Christ to be born) to get the Gospel to us! How important it is!! May the Lord bless you!