Posted 3 years ago
A vintage steam engine rusting outside a small-town feed/hardware store.
What's better than snow, trains, trees, and presents on Christmas?
Why, the real gift, of course!
Though this isn't actually the day that Jesus was born, today we celebrate the greatest gift God gave to man in a few thousand years: The fulfillment of the law given not even two-thousand years prior. As we know from Romans 8: 2-3, the Law couldn't save anyone: No one would adhere to it. The Holy Spirit rarely fell on anyone for He wasn't yet given (John 16:7) to abide here, so few were inspired to be joyous in living out the Lord's purpose. But then came the Christ, born least among men in view of the most powerful man in Israel at the time: Herod, in his palace atop the mount 3 miles outside David's city: Bethlehem. But this baby, born into a stinking stall and laid to rest in a water-trough, would rise well above king Herod. Herod sought to kill, but Jesus sought to bring life that leads to the living, loving Lord (John 14:6). And in fulfillment of many prophecies, this unlikely-seeming King-- Author of eternity-- would forever change the World. While many in the World reject Him, we know He will accept those who have heard His word and have applied it to their hearts and lives (1 John 1:9). For those who choose Him over the World, He Himself will crown them and they will rule with Him forever in true life (2 Timothy 4:8). There will be peace and joy and freedom from all affliction. As it is written, He will wipe away every tear. Sorrow will be no more (Revelation 21:4).
The Messiah many will celebrate for this season only, but may your relationship with Him not be high for just a season and fall back into rot. Instead, may it only grow-- for without growth, we're stagnant and fall into rot right where we lay. And the Gift Himself said He'll spit those ones out (Revelation 3:16). We can all grow. This Gift is living and growing in those who wish to grow in Him. He is the Author of Life, as Acts 3:15 claims, and even death will not keep Him down. He came to die so we might choose to live (John 3:16). But we must apply ourselves to His way and seek His teaching. For when our Teacher left to make intercession for us with God (Romans 8:34), He gave us the Spirit to guide us and give us further spiritual gifts (see 1 Corinthians 12), that we may grow in faith by service to Him. We will only see these gifts come to life if: 1) We are alive in God, and 2) We seek to use them for Him (James 4:3). God made use of a poor family with nothing truly special to set them apart from anyone else. From the least came the greatest. What a great God have we, a God whom Himself said He wishes that no sinner should die (Ezekiel 18:23). How much more can He do with us who now have the Holy Spirit to guide us-- furnished with access to the Law and knowledge that Heaven is but one step of faith away (2 Timothy 3: 16-17).
So let us go joyfully this holiday season, and let us praise our God who loves us so much that He gave us His Son (John 3:16-17).
Merry Christmas, and may you find joy in the Lord for every new year.