“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2 v11
Merry Christmas-the words spoken by many today to others in hopes of passing along a blessing. It is a day to be happy and joyful for the reason of the gift of life-eternal life- brought to the world, Jews and Gentiles alike who will receive this gift as “Christ the Lord.” in their own personal lives.
Yes, the history of today reaches’ over a vast community of cultures and changes in the way it is celebrated, nevertheless it still brings glory to the one to which the glory should be for, and for his purpose as savior. “…his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”
A savior to the world means the world needs a savior.
Recently, the question was posed to me, “Why do we have to go through this, why couldn’t we just skip this part and be in Heaven?” As I have pondered this thought over the past few days, and even before it was put into such a direct question, I went through these thought’s.
Over time I have been blessed to be part of leadership in the political system, and leadership by God’s calling in the church. I have also been married to a wonderful wife for over thirty-nine years-helped in the raising of two wonderful children-and now have two grand children. I have been blessed to have put my feet on the ground in all of the mainland forty-eight states, five nations, and three continents. There are so many more personal experiences I could tell you about and will eventually, Lord willing.
In those experiences of meeting people, and going places, and participating in work and life, the most prevalent thing people desire is the ability to be themselves. We all desire to option of choosing who we are by the decisions we make in life. Politically, freedom to choose is given a great amount of attention, but it is hard to find the word to describe why some seem to want the choice for themselves but not for others, especially a child to have the choice of life.
Moving on, the point of today is we have been the greatest gift of all. For a long time I associated the gifts we give today with the gifts of the wise men, and there may be some correlation with that but the gift of life comes for God through the life of Christ, he came here as God, and became the son of man through a virgin birth. He lived a sinless life yet he experienced the temptations of men, he sought his closeness with his father often times through prayer and fasting even though he was and is a part of the trinity-God the father, God the son, and God the Holy Ghost. He saw life and death as a man, yet he lives today as our savior. His spirit lives within those whom he knows, and even farther bears witness of him in our lives by empowering those who seek him-the Holy Ghost.
Yep, all this can lead to a lot of questions of theology, and given time, I hope to be a part of those discussions.
God allows us to have choice in our own lives, sometimes referred to as free will. We get to choose whether or not we accept him, we get to choose whether or not we accept repentance as a way of life after he lives in us, we get to choose whether or not he gets to reveal himself in us at times in the way we live our lives, but we do not get to choose anything that goes against what he has written in his word.
Some choices we struggle with, alcohol, adultery, living beyond our means, giving to the Lord in time and finances, whether or not we pray, how we treat each other, whether or not we will stand for him when we need to stand, and the list is endless-but guaranteed he has the answers.
Moving on, I wrote in the past several days on the daily meditation the clips of the song go the gifts of the twelve days of Christmas-on the twelfth day, twelve drummers drumming-the eleventh day, eleven pipers piping-tenth day, ten lords a leaping-ninth day, nine ladies dancing-eight day, eight maids a milking- seventh day, seven swans a swimming-sixth day, six geese a laying-fifth day, five golden rings-fourth day, four calling birds-third day, three french hens-second day, two turtle doves-first day, a partridge in a pear tree. What in the world does all that mean? Well, each one starts out associated with “my true love sent to me”. It is because of true love, all these steps were taken one for another to show the Love for his love.
God sent his son, as the truest gift of Love the world could ever receive. He gave us also the freewill to choose whether or not that we accept the gift as a measure to know we truly want his love. If we had not the choice to live life in honor of his ways, because we choose that life, then maybe one could say we were forced upon him or he upon us. But in his great wisdom, we choose him because he had first chosen us, but it is a choice, and we alone have the opportunity to choose our course in life.
The greatest one of all is when, I decided to let the “Christ the Lord” be the “savior” of my life. You might ask, what is that, being saved by a savior?
Does it mean I am now somehow made to be perfect? No, but I do have very different desires in how I want to live life. Yes, there are times when my own flesh desires get in the way. Being saved drives us to do what Jesus told his disciples in the scriptures “…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and loose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? …”
Although I have been saved, “through faith, and not of works”. Everyday, my desire is to be compelled and driven to be closer to him. Our faith can and will be tested and tried daily. So what does that mean?
Everyday, we get to choose the right decisions, and based on those choices our faith can grow stronger or weaker. As a young man, I was saved. I knew the Lord on a very personal basis and had felt his strength and power in my life. At times when I really needed the enemy of the cross to get away from me, I called upon the Lord, upon the name of Jesus and the enemy of the cross had to leave, it is by this that I knew the spirit of the Lord lived in me.
As time went on, I allowed myself to become lax in the practice of my faith. I began to dabble in the wrong choices. Then I began to feel the urge of finding the answer to issues in life in other places than in the Lord, hanging out in the wrong places. Years down the road of dabbling I found myself totally engulfed in a life of sin as an adult, then I found myself with what seemed to be no strength against the enemy of the cross. I found myself trying to live a life of independence, self independence, getting hard hearted towards everyone and loosing care for them as well. Then I found myself as an adult, in a place no one ever wants to be, brought there by the enemy of the cross (i.e.satan). He had led me down the road of temptation, needing to belong to the hip crowd. Then he took me down the road of self independence saying to me I didn’t need the church or the people of the Lord, that I could make it on my own. Then, when I found myself spiritually destitute, he took me quickly down the road of hopelessness making me feel as if my life didn’t matter to anyone, and even worse, that I could never be a part the church or of God’s family as before. Then, he took me to what he thought would be the final place and tried destroy my life.
God had a different plan, you see, even though I was alone, I was not alone.
There was a supernatural spiritual interference with the enemy of the cross’s plan. God had another plan. He allowed me to make full confession to him in an old boarding house room. He showed me a man via a Billy Graham program on a small black and white tv who had dealt with cerebral palsy his whole life, yet that man stood in front of thousands and gave testimony to the blessing’s of the Lord. It had been a long time, twelve years or more since I had felt the spirit of the Lord in such a way. I jumped at the second chance in life, and God has blessed me tremendously since then. So you see, that is why I greatly caution of being half in, give all of you to the Lord so he can keep you close in his shelter, in the peace of God. Do so because you want to, and know that he loves you.
Choose the gift, the greatest gift of Christmas-ever- and that is eternal life and abundant living hear through his son Jesus Christ. Believe in your heart, he is the son of God, and he is the savior of the world. Confess with your mouth he is the Lord of life, eternal life for you and for others who choose him. Trust him in your daily decisions.
Be blessed today, on this wonderful Christmas day.