With thanksgiving and praise to God in my heart for the privilege as I begin to write this 400th blog post, at the same time I am concerned for all among the unsaved and any professed Christians that have made “the holidays” their bridge of deliverance over the troubled waters of this world. Some started working the sales, decorating and playing the music of the holidays well in advance seeking relief from what has truly been some very difficult months living through God’s Coronavirus judgment. Many have been spiritually, mentally, emotionally and physically spent during the course of this amazing and extended global display of divine displeasure not yet over!
If all you have left as your chief coping mechanism and source of future hope is the largely secular sentimental, warm and fuzzy experience of the holiday season with memories of times past, food, family, friends, parties, trees, obligatory church attendance, helping others, cheery store music (missing from online shopping), gift buying and receiving etc., these (as many no doubt, have already discovered) are not sufficient! Neither are the largely manufactured and forced love, joy and peace of the season produced with teeth gritting effort. As a gracious word of encouragement from the Lord, the surpassingly greater means to cope with hope during the times is found in relationship with Him!
For those who do truly intimately know the Lord, Christmas in particular of the holidays is only the focused high point of daily celebration of the real history making event that has changed our lives forever! That is, the foretold first coming of “the Son of God,” “Immanuel” and “Jesus,” into this world as that virgin born “Child” to save us from our sins (Isaiah 7:10-14, 49:1-6; Micah 5:2; Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38, 2:1-20, NKJV). This He did after He had grown up when as foretold, He died on the cross for our sins as our Substitute, was buried and on the third day rose again (Isaiah 53; 1 Corinthians 15:1-11). Then, He ascended back to Heaven to await His return (Luke 24:44-53).
In the meantime, as He promised, all who repent of their sins and believe God’s message of grace in the Gospel of His Son, are forgiven, “born again” and receive eternal life (John 3:1-8, NKJV). This eternal life is nothing short of the very life of God! Core to His life is love which is fully displayed in sending His Son into this world to save us from our sins (John 3:16-17; Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 3:4-11). The Lord Jesus also loves us redeemed out of this world by His sacrifice and wills that we experience it with His joy (John 15:9-11, 16:16-24, 17:13). Peace is another core attribute of the divine nature and eternal life of Christ He wills for us to possess too (John 14:27, 16:33).
God’s born again children do not have to wait until any quickly passing holiday to experience His love, joy and peace nor do we have to work them up in ourselves. We bask in His love, joy and peace displayed at and after His Son’s birth we celebrate at Christmas as well as in and through us daily by the Holy Spirit! These are of the “fruit” of His presence in us (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22-23; Ephesians 5:8-10, NKJV). What goes on in the world does not undermine the Lord’s love, joy and peace in us unless we permit this through unbelief or other sin. Bible prophecy makes it clear things are not going to get better before the glorious Second Coming of Jesus Christ, but worse (Daniel 9:26c; Luke 21:25-28). Now, is the time to enter relationship with Him (2 Corinthians 5:17-6:2)!
(Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year as you walk by faith in Immanuel! He willing, my next post will appear Sunday evening, January 9, 2022.)
I am fully thankful to God to be among those who are born again Christians according to His love, grace and mercy that brought His Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to make it possible through His atoning sacrifice (John 1:1-18, 29, 3:1-21). Indeed, salvation is the number one thing I am thankful to God for this Thanksgiving and every day! From the Lord’s saving of my soul has flowed every other thing I am thankful for not the least of which is His continuing work to help my progress toward becoming that strong man of God in the image of Christ I aspire to be (Philippians 3:12-14)! If you don’t know Him, I urge you to read last week’s post where I present God’s only means to His salvation through the Gospel.1 Have a safe, God honoring Thanksgiving holiday!
1 See the November 14, 2021 post, Overcoming The Male And Female Challenge, under the category, The Cause.
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