The aged saint Simeon, one of the few faithful at the time of Christ’s first advent, was clear about what he wanted. He was looking forward to the “Consolation [comfort] of Israel” (Luke 2:25). He knew the prophecies of Isaiah in which God had promised that His people would find comfort in One He would send to shepherd them (Isaiah 40:1;10, 11). And now, after so many years, at last at this Christmas He had come! The Comforter was here, and he would hold Him in his arms. What a gift that was.
What do you want for Christmas? True, unlike Simeon, you cannot rock the baby in your arms. But even though he grew up, in a far better way, He can be yours. He offers Himself as the greatest gift of all—the gift Who can give you eternal life. Have you ever before received this gift? Have you ever thought about it? If not this is the Christmas to become serious about the question.
The baby grew up. He lived a perfect life, was crucified for sinners, and rose from the dead. He ascended to the throne of God in heaven, and all who, like Simeon, desire His consolation, may find it through faith in Him as Savior. Are you looking for the comfort that assures you of treasures in heaven? Do you want a gift that will last for all time and eternity? Then, you may receive it by trusting in Him. His comfort brings peace of heart and mind. It brings certainty and rest.
What do you want for Christmas? Why not place His Name at the top of your wish list, forget the rest, and have the most wonderful Christmas ever?
Many are quite good—there’s no need to mention them. But some are quite misleading, if not heretical. This is just a warning, and a call to urge you to examine what you are singing!
Consider this: In It Came Upon the Midnight Clear you sing that the angels touched the earth with their harps of gold. Who says so? And you end the carol by informing the world that “with the ever-circling years?” an age of gold will “come round” once again. That’s a sample of Greek cyclical philosophy of time—Christian theology holds to linear thinking: beginning, middle, end.
How about Oh Holy Night? First, there is nothing about the night that makes it holy, or, as the carol goes on to call is “a night divine. Let’s sing about the Savior—night the night of His birth!
Just those two songs for now. The goal is to jar you a bit into thinking about what you singing. Be sure it is biblical. That’s the point. Hymns, songs, carols serve two purposes: 1. to praise God, 2. to witness to His truth. Be sure when you sing you do so.
Jesus came to save those who would believe in Him. It was no easy, sentimental event.
Those who swoon over the babe in Bethlehem, with a totally unbiblical emphasis, miss the point of the incarnation. Jesus had to become like us in order to bear our iniquities—so the Father prepared Him a body. In it He could go to the cross (no “swoonable” event!). Yet we keep on singing of Jesus “meek and mild” as though it is the baby we should worship. We sing that He didn’t cry—like all other babies!
No! He was God, manifest in the flesh, but never do the Scriptures emphasize the infancy or childhood of the Lord. That, simply, wasn’t in view. It was as Messiah (the One Anointed as our Prophet, Priest, and King) alone that was the thrust of Revelation. And this took place at the baptism by John. There the Spirit came upon Him, endowing Him for His work of redemption. We worship Him as the Savior, Who died in our place. Let’s stop this talk about a cuddly baby.
Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas,
Jay and Betty Jane Adams
Jay and Betty Jane and Sandy and I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. We are grateful for you and your interest in the ministry God has given to us.
We will be going dark for about a week as we celebrate the Incarnation with our families. We are looking forward to resuming our blogging in 2011.
People are all different in many ways, but in one respect, they are all alike:
For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
And that, my friend, includes you!
But what are the consequences of that fact? What does it mean to come short of the glory of God? Listen to some further words from Romans:
The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. Romans 6:23
That means there will be a payday someday, as one preacher put it, when you will receive the wages you earned: death. Not physical death alone, but spiritual death as well. That means eternal separation from God, and eternal punishment in hell, unless . . .
Unless you receive the gift of God, which is eternal life in heaven.
Notice, you deserve hell; you don’t deserve heaven. So heaven is a gift. You can do nothing to earn it. The gift of eternal life can be “received” only by faith—faith in what Jesus did to save sinners like you from hell. He died on the cross in the place of all who would confess their sin and believe in Him as the One Who took the punishment for their sin. You cannot earn heaven; you have already earned hell. Isn’t it time to consider these matters seriously? Think. The gift God offers is heaven—
WHAT A GIFT THAT IS! WHY NOT RECEIVE IT WITH GRATITUTE THIS CHRISTMAS?
Christmas is that time when God so loved the world that He gave His unique Son, Jesus Christ. He gave His unique Son—Jesus Christ. The word translated “only-begotten” in the KJV is not as accurate as the translation “One-of-His-Kind” (or unique).
This is important because whose who trust Him as Savior become God’s sons as well. But we are sons by adoption; Jesus is the eternal Son of God.
How foolish to think that one in-and–of himself could be a Child of God. Yet there ARE THOUSANDS WITH THAT MISCONCEPTION WHO WILL CELEBRATE Christmas this year, believing they are such when in actuality they are sons of the evil one. One must become a son of God by Faith in the crucified, risen and reigning Son of God, Jesus Christ.
Do you believe He died in your stead bearing the punishment for your sin? Unless you do—you have no reason to Have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, but a fearful one. Think seriously about that as you are celebrating—what are you celebrating? His saving coming or your lost going to be forever separated from Him?
“Why in the world would you write that?”
What are you talking about?
“Obviously, that X in Christmas.”
What wrong with that?
“You don’t know?”
Nope. Tell me.
“Well, X stands for an unknown quantity. That’s no way to talk about our Lord!”
Whoa! You don’t have the facts straight!
“What do you mean?”
This question will be repeated hundreds (thousands) of times this month and next. It’s a good one since it can be interpreted on various levels. There’s of course the level of the physical gift, which is the most frequently mentioned one—the one that comes to mind right away upon hearing those words. But there are other levels as well. “I’d sure like to have my son home from Afghanistan,” might be the level on which some are thinking. Then, I’m sure you could come up with a dozen or more, if you give it some thought.
The level that comes to my mind at the moment, however, is something like this—I’d like to have a deeper appreciation of Jesus Christ than I have so far. The commemoration of His birth brings this thought more frequently to mind than perhaps at any other time—except Easter.
“You’d better watch out; you’d better not cry; you’d better not pout—Santa . . .”
Whoa! What are you singing?
“You know—Santa’s coming to town, so be careful, and so on.”
Do you know what that song actually says?
“Well . . .”
It says, “He knows what you’ve been thinking—whether you’ve been bad or good—so be good for goodness sake,” and so on . .
“Yeah—that’s part of it.”
If that were true, he’d be God.
Have you done your shopping yet? Or are you still composing the list?
Either way, I have some important advice for you. Here is an item for your list that you shouldn’t miss—indeed, it should be at the top!
Buy the truth and sell it not. (Proverbs 23:23)
Have you been looking for truth? Haven’t found it? Let me suggest that you look in the right place. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. If you don’t know Him as Savior, you don’t have a grasp on truth. Indeed, you never will until you trust in Him as the One Who shed His blood in the place of guilty sinners like you. God raised Him from the dead and seated Him on His throne. He is co-regent with the Father. He is the source of truth; as a matter of fact, its very embodiment!