Flipping through an old hymnal brought back many great memories of my early years growing up attending church, creating a warm nostalgia. I was struck by the number of songs about the cross. In my youth, I couldn’t fully appreciate the many songs that sing of the cross of Christ.
A lot of people were crucified on those Roman instruments of torture. What is it about the cross of Christ that is so powerful and elicits such teary eyed wonder and praise? What’s so special about that cross? Looking at some of those hymns, we can see the answer.
“At the Cross”
“At the Cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
and the burdens of my heart rolled away.
It was there by faith, I received my sight.
And now I am happy all the day.”
And Isaac Watts’ “When I survey the Wondrous Cross”:
“When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.”
Then: “I Saw the Cross” by Frederick Whitfield,
The 3rd verse reads:
“I trust the cross of Jesus In every trying hour,
My sure and certain refuge, my never failing tower;
In every fear and conflict, I more than conqueror am;
Living I’m safe, or dying, Thro’ Christ the living Lamb.”
Or: “The Old Rugged Cross” by George Benard, Verse 3:
“In the old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see; For twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died to pardon and sanctify me.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross…”
There are many more, The love that was displayed there and the glorious cleansing it procures for all who trust in Jesus, elicits worship and love, praise and thanks, while revealing the power of God to transform hearts and lives.
Perhaps Jennie Evelyn Hussey’s chorus to “Lead Me to Calvary” sheds more light.
“Lest I forget Gethsemane, Lest I forget Thine agony;
Lest I forget Thy love for me, Lead me to Calvary.”
Another illumining verse is from, “In the Cross of Christ I Glory” by John Bowring.
“When the woes of life o’re-take me, Hopes deceive and fears annoy.
Never shall the cross forsake me: Lo, It glows with peace and joy.”
For the Christian, the cross of Christ is the symbol of our hope, our joy and redemption. All comfort is found in the shade of that Roman instrument of cruelty and torture, because of the one who died on it. Jesus, the Prince of Peace and Lord of Glory.
The salt air was warm at two o’clock in the morning and the distant surf splashed its waves onto shore with a cleansing sound. At the end of a very long fishing pier on Florida’s gulf coast, I cried out to the Lord with the deepest heartache of my 29 years. Shark fishermen glared darts at me for intruding into their self-claimed area, yet I’d paid my gate-fee.
After neglecting my relationship with God for many years, I needed Him desperately. I was ready to either: end my life, or hear from God. That was the essence of my cry. I was heart-broken, despairing and crushed in spirit. At the time, all the scriptures speaking of how God constantly searches for hearts in precisely that condition, were not yet known.
I was finally ready to surrender, like a wild stallion who is at last broken for service. This is what God had been waiting for. My surrender. Complete submission to Him. It was necessary to break my self-reliance to embark into the most beautiful love relationship with my Creator and Lord. I had to empty myself of all I thought I knew, and of all the good things I believed I’d done. Totally empty—that I may be completely filled.
My self-will constantly conflicts with God’s will, until I entirely submit to Him. Then we share the same desires—God and me. That is the key to intimacy with God. Constant surrender, perpetual submission and remaining dependent upon Christ. God views self-sufficiency as sinful pride, and He cannot work with that, until we are broken of it.
Two men in suits drew even more pointed stares from the shark butchers, who were after only dorsal fins, wasting the rest of the fish. God had sent these two servants of the Most High to speak with me and share from the book of Hosea.
We three were roughly kicked off the pier by the owner when the shark-men complained that we we’re talking about God and quoting the bible. One week later a hurricane destroyed that pier. Hmmm.
It’s a simple concept to understand. When we come to the Lord and open the bible, we read it every time with new eyes. We don’t bring our preconceived ideas to taint the message God has for us at that moment. We allow the truth to transform us.
Jesus is the truth, and God’s word is truth. We must rely on His Spirit to teach us the truths we need to govern our lives, not our college professors. We respond to His message of love by loving Him in return. He becomes our bread and meat and drink.
There is nothing else that will completely satisfy the human heart and soul the way an intimate relationship with God will satisfy. Then—never will we want for anything. Never again.
Sin has gone far beyond a mere tainting of a profoundly beautiful gift. Sin has stigmatized the vehicle of one of God’s most poignant messages to mankind. Sex is an object lesson for the people of His monolithic affection.
Love, being the essence of the Divine character and being, is more aptly understood through the physical and emotional responses to the act of sex.
Stigma clings to the word. Sex. And to the act itself, as something bad and dirty. Yet, the gift of sex was given to mankind to reflect the glorious beauty and intensity of God’s love. Much more than for merely a sensational response to human love.
Sex heightens love. It deepens the bond and commitment in the mind between two, penetrating deeply into the seat of emotion and affection. It melds two individuals together, uniting souls to become as one. Hence, sex within the confines of marriage, is the tangible picture of the close, intimate relationship our Creator desires between Himself and every individual. A love relationship with mankind: His living and pinnacle creation of love.
Sex is the ultimate in closeness. It clarifies God’s purpose in creating us to have fellowship with Him. And it is only through intimacy in our relationship with Him that we come to experience total fulfillment in our designed purpose. Contentment is acquired in our union with God. Allegorically, our marriage to Him.
The intensity of affection, driven into the heart at the time of orgasm, fits well with the satisfaction found in a right and close relationship with God. He fulfills our every desire.
In Thomas Constable’s commentary on Canticles (Song of Solomon), he writes: “…sex enables an experience of love whose intensity has no parallel in this cosmos and serves as a signpost to point to the greater love that lies beyond it."
It is “the greater love” (of God) to which the gift of sex would direct our attention. What more powerful sensation could better fit the contentment found in Christ, than that of orgasmic satisfaction, when it is acquired through a monogamous act of love’s expression?
Yet love that is not tested, tried and proven can never sustain a union that is so complete, such as marriage is. Therefore, God’s plan, which sought to express His great love, even before the creation of the cosmos, was revealed through the Son, Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. There is no greater test of love. “Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.”—Jesus
The longer we walk with the Lord and the more intimately we come to know Him, the greater our awe becomes at the bottomless well of His love. I believe it will take all eternity to discover the greatest depths of God’s monolithic love in all of its various attributes.
Our God wants to lavish that love upon us. If we will only return to Him, through His Son, Jesus. His call is clear. His invitation stands. “I love you. Come home and remain faithful to me—my wife.”
“I will betroth you to me forever; I will betroth you in righteousness and justice, in love and compassion.”
Hosea 2:19 NIV
The following is a checklist to help us get ready to pray. This is more of a “How-to pray” than a “What-to Pray”. The what-to should flow from the how-to.
1. Be Prepared! Know what you want before approaching the King. (Going before royalty) Why do you want to speak to God? What do you want? What is your request or petition?
2. Attitude: Come humbly, reverently, acknowledging His position, in awe, submissively. Come in the fear of the Lord, yet grateful for His love.
3. Intercessory prayers: Mention individual or groups of people by name. Be specific in particular mercies, particular graces, particular blessings and provisions.
4. No mock modesty. No beautiful phraseology or King James language needed. Use the words that come natural to you.
5. Self-examination: will reveal those things we need the most: more faith, humility, etc. The Spirit helps us discover our sins. Ask Him. Ask that God reveal any un-forgiveness towards others that may still be in your heart. Do it right then. Forgive them! And ask God to forgive those who have done you wrong.
6. Intense desire for that which we ask, praying fervently. If your prayer does not move your heart, how shall it move God’s heart?
7. In Faith, believing God hears. Faith that He will answer. Fully convinced of the power of prayer. Faith that we have what we ask for (Within His will).
8. Pray from a thankful heart, in awe of God, realizing His love towards you. Pray emotionally.
9. Submissive heart. Listen for the Spirit to speak to your heart. Search your heart for unconfessed sin. When it is shown to you, humbly repent and ask for forgiveness, naming what you did wrong. It is very important to accept God’s forgiveness (forgive yourself too), and thank Him for forgiving you. This is a good time to ask God to help you grow and do better in that weak area.
10. Pray according to God’s will. “Not my will, but thine be done.”—Jesus. This is trusting in His love & wisdom.
(1st John 5: 14)
11. Pray in Jesus’ name. This shows that you have been granted an audience with the King. You rightfully speak to Him, in accordance with God’s own words in the bible. Say to God that you have come before Him through the blood of Christ and because of your faith in His Son Jesus. Praying in Jesus’ name also implies that what you are asking for, is for the sake of His kingdom. For His name’s sake. This goes along with praying the will of God.
12. Praise Him! “God you are holy and righteous. Your name is above all names! You are a mighty God!” Praise Him for specific things He’s done for you.
13. Thank God for all things. Sometimes we may even thank God for things that look bad to us, because we know God has a plan for that, and He is allowing something that looks bad, to make something really good happen. This is having faith in His immutable goodness and love.
“When you pray, it's better your heart be without words, than your words be without heart.”— John Bunyan
1st Thessalonians 5: 17 “Pray without Ceasing.”
"Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
(Romans 10: 13 NIV)
The question weighs heavy on the hearts of many. “Am I really saved?” Romans 10: 9-10 promises that if we confess with our mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in our heart that God raised Him from the dead that we will be saved.
But preacher, what about Matthew 7: 21? Where Jesus said,
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.”
One verse says I just believe and confess and the other that I must also do the will of the Father. Is this a contradiction? What is the will of the Father?
God would have us believe on His Son Jesus as our Christ (Savior). That is His will. But we must understand what kind of “belief” God requires. These two verses say the same thing. They clarify each other.
There was a woman who told her husband every morning before he and she both left for work, “I love you.” Yet the wife was having an affair with another man from her job. Considering that “love” is an action rather than just a feeling, she was not acting in love toward her husband. She did not love him. The same is true of belief. If we truly believe, we will show it by our actions. If we really love God, we will do His will. We will follow Jesus and obey God’s word. This is believing.
These verses are in perfect harmony with each other. And God has made provision for the times we slip-up and make mistakes or fall to a temptation that we regret. 1st John 1:9 is a promise. We believe we are forgiven, confess & repent, and those sins are covered by the blood of Christ. We also believe that God is working in our hearts to make those errors fewer and fewer as we mature in faith.
Salvation is based on “faith” (Ephesian 2: 8-10). Faith is: “BELIEF IN ACTION”.
We have a wonderful salvation by grace in Christ Jesus. It is a relationship of love and trust and obedience. Eternal life and all the riches of Christ are ours through faith in Him. Praise God!
Father God, please reveal your word to my understanding. Thank you for calling me to faith in Christ. I believe in your Son Jesus. Help me to live like I do. Amen.
(Let Jesus’ words speak to your heart in today’s bible reading: Matthew 7: 13-29).
The Lord’s Prayer has long been a model prayer loved by Christians everywhere. In it, Jesus teaches various truths vital to the spiritual health of every believer. Many commentaries on it have been penned down through the years.
Jesus’ opening words have much to reveal.
Our Father—Who art in heaven—Hollowed be thy name.
Relationship—Authority & Position—Character
This account of a young man seeking his future portrays Jesus’ lesson on submission.
A young rebel, 17 year old Benny was committed to stopping his ears to his father’s words. The boy was to a become a true prodigal.
“Son, you need to trust me on this. I know that you and Sharon believe your love for each other will sustain you through anything that comes along. But Florida is a long way off, and the wages are lower there than here in the Midwest. And the cost of living is much higher. Why don’t you work at the factory for just a few years, save your money, and then get married?”
Anxious to show himself as able and independent, Benny eloped to Florida with Sharon. Orange trees, sandy beaches and sunshine dazzled their minds with thoughts of a romantic and carefree future.
However, slightly better than minimum wage was the only job positions he was able to obtain. Soon, a baby was on the way and Sharon could no longer continue the waitressing job that supplemented Benny’s meager income.
A one bedroom apartment on Clearwater beach was their little slice of heaven. But at an exorbitant cost. As the bills piled up for rent, utilities, food and from the obstetrician, they quickly fell way behind. It didn’t take long for an eviction notice to show up on the front door.
Shattered, Benny phoned his father. “Dad, you were right and I was wrong. Please forgive me. I didn’t trust your advice. You have the experience and I should have listened. Can we come home?”
“Son, you and Sharon and baby Benny are welcome here, but you must heed the house rules. You will work and follow my advice.” The young couple had no choice but to submit to the father.
Jesus’ opening words in the model prayer for all Christians teaches us the principles of submission.
“Our Father”: Speaks of God’s loving nature as a father. He is willing and able to provide for all of our needs. But we must submit to Him as our Father.
“Who art in heaven”: This indicates God’s wise leadership, and that He has authority over all. We must submit ourselves to His authority.
“Hallowed be thy name”: Portrays God’s holy character, which will always lead us to do the right thing—whatever will prove to be the best for us. God’s children benefit by remaining shapeable in His mighty hands.
In just a few words, Jesus poignantly reveals the path to happiness and success while growing in godliness.
Submitting to God’s authority, following His wise leadership, and modeling our hearts after His holy nature leads those who love Him on to the glorious future God has planned for us.
“And into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,” (1st Peter 1: 4)
The snow here in Indiana is beginning to pile up. It’s a wet snow right now at noon, but soon the temperature is supposed to drop considerably, with a whole lot more of the white crystalline ice flakes (every one of them different) to come. Perhaps as much as a foot.
Church attendance at West Park here in Indianapolis was sparse this morning, but the faithful that came had a wonderful time of heart bonding fellowship and worship.
We are entering a new lesson series on prayer this month. In class today, we talked about the power of prayer and how essential it is to the spiritual health of every believer.
A Christian’s life reveals how much time they have spent on their knees in communication with God. We read of God’s will for us in the bible. And we tune into God’s will by allowing the Spirit to speak to our hearts and to lead us. The best time to do this appears to be while in prayer. Yet Thessalonians 5: 17 reminds us to be in a continual state of prayer. “Pray without ceasing.”
The Lord has promised to never leave or forsake those who follow Him. He is always present with us. The Spirit of God lives within us, and so we can talk to God any time and any place. It is a great privilege to have access to the throne of God 24/7.
I remember when I first discovered God’s awesome love for me as an individual. And He loves all of us like that. Jesus became the best friend I never had before. Prayer became spontaneous. And my relationship with God was building so quick it was like a weed on Miracle Grow. When walking along I could say, “Hey Jesus, look at how beautiful the snow looks on that fir tree. You created that! It is gorgeous Lord!” Or, “Look at that poor fellow over there who does not know of your love. Grant him faith Lord, so he can come to know your love too.”
My eyes were suddenly opened to things that had been there all along, yet I’d not noticed them before. Events were taking place and miracles transpiring, but I didn’t recognize them as miracles until I was tuned in to the Lord through prayer. I realized that my Grandmother’s, along with some other people’s prayers for me, had played a powerful role in my discovery of God’s love. And they protected me from harm and possible death on several occasions. I was a wild one back in my youth.
For today, I hoped to simply introduce this topic of prayer. And then, we’ll be discussing many aspects of this power cord to God in the next several posts (Lord willing).
Have a blessed day and please say a prayer for me, as I always do for those who read the words on this site.
All the gifts of God's amazing grace to you!
A true account, by Sheldon Bass
Cinching up the elastic tourniquet around his left bicep, Russell prepared to plunge the needle into a bulging vein. It was a clear moonlit night in Youngstown Ohio. Russell Barnes stood at the foot of five steps that led to a dilapidated, abandoned house, adjoining the sidewalk. It was on a side road fifty feet from the corner of a downtown street, on which sat a multi storied building. Not a soul could be seen anywhere. Just as he felt the pin prick, a voice sounded. “Are you alright?”
Quickly retracting the needle, he palmed the syringe that was full of a potent mixture of cocaine, concealing it from the intruder. Dropping his arm, the long sleeve of his plaid flannel shirt dropped over the formerly bared arm. The man who’d just come on the scene from around the tall building was rather normal in appearance. His penetrating eyes and the soft, yet judicial expression on his face captured Russell’s gaze. It was a sensation more than anything else—a powerful aura emanating from the visitor. There was definitely something different about this guy.
“Yeah, I’m alright.” How are you?”
No response was given. It gave Russell a strange feeling. What did this guy want? He just stood there, looking into his face. Russ was thinking of how to get rid of this fellow. “I need my fix.” The addiction was at the apex of its power. He had the drug. The syringe was prepared. This is torture! He thought.
After an awkward silence of several seconds, Russ spoke. “I’m kind of busy right now.”
“So am I.” Stated the intruder into the addict’s night, who was determined not to go anywhere.
Russ plopped down hard onto the concrete steps, throwing his hands up and down, with a big sigh. A look of exasperation flashed across the weathered features of his thirty year old face. He was befuddled at the man’s strange actions. What did he want? Then the stranger stated matter-of-factly.
“You need some company right now.”
“Do you know me?”
“Yes.” Was the terse answer he gave. Then the man sat next to Russ on the steps.
“From where?” Again, the deafening silence, lasting a full minute.
While craning his neck, looking around for a place of solitude he could escape to, and do his drugs, Russell heard his name called.
“Russell! There you are!” Sprinting up the sidewalk was a fellow addict, who usually procured his drugs from the same dealer as Russ. Skidding to a stop in front of Russ, puffing heavily form exertion, he windily sputtered. “You didn’t do that yet did you?”
Russ nodded at the stranger while giving his friend Walter a “Shhh, don’t-say-anything” look.
That’s when the odd visitor stood. “I’m finished here.” He said, and began walking toward the corner from which he came.
As soon as the stranger’s back was turned, Walt leaned into Russ’ ear to whisper. “That dope is bad! It’s been killing guys all over town!”
Russ stared at the back of the stranger who had saved him from certain death just as he was nearing the corner of the building. On impulse he jumped up, and ran after the man, who then made the turn behind the building, obscuring Russ’ view. Three seconds later, Russ made the corner also. But the stranger was nowhere to be found.
There were no alleys for the entire block and all of the businesses were closed with chains wrapped around the doors, and gates bolted in place. Neither was there any place to park a car.
“He was right there just a second ago. And then, he simply vanished into thin air.”
Russell Barnes was only 11 years old, when God first called him to faith in Jesus.
However, throughout the boy’s teen-aged years and well into his adult life, a conflict would be waged for the young man’s affections. The world and Satan seemed to be winning. Sex and drugs proved to be his weaknesses—escapes from the difficult home and school life. And then throughout his time on the streets. But the Lord pursued this wayward child with a tenacious love.
Six months after the appearance of Russell’s guardian angel, he recommitted his life to Christ, attended bible-college, and became an ordained minister. He is now a soul winner working with addicts and homeless men.
Whether Russell’s rescuer that night over 25 years ago was a regular person or a heavenly angel, nobody knows. One thing Russell is certain of, which he adamantly declares. “He was sent by God to save my life.”
The writer recording this event, fully believes the words of Hebrews chapter thirteen, verse two, the New International Version. Which clearly states:
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”
(The main character has asked that Russell Barnes, his former street alias be used in place of his real name.)
Are we spiritually fit for God’s service?
When faith comes up against opposition, it serves to gauge and mature that faith. Just like pressing weights in the gym to test, to strengthen and to build muscle. Yet, it is before the trial of faith that we must prepare to face the enemy. If I hope to be well equipped to face temptation, I must get myself ready before the battle, with a strong faith. And be equipped for the test of my spiritual fitness.
After basic training in the US Army, I went to infantry training at Fort Benning Georgia. We worked hard at being all we could be—soldiers preparing for battle. After that eighteen-week period, I was not content with what they’d covered, and wanted to feel safe in my combat ability. Hoping to be an effective soldier, I sought out battle hardened veterans to school me further.
I do the same in my spiritual walk with the Lord, seeking out mature Spirit-led men to mentor and disciple me.
In David’s poignant 139th Psalm, which I paraphrase, he says, Search me O God and know my thoughts and my heart.
He’s saying, look for whatever’s in there that I need to get rid of. And lead me in the right way. Show me what to do. Train me as I listen intently!
The Holy Spirit is our greatest counselor and guide. In addition, wise disciples always seek counsel from their elders in the faith.
Our primary source of faith-strengthening growth takes place by remaining in God’s word, as well as continuing in a constant state of prayer. Communication with God is our only means of receiving His wisdom. The Lord speaks to us throughout the pages of the bible, as His Spirit speaks to our hearts. Many times it is through other people that God will reveal truths that are pertinent to our spiritual health. Also, He often uses circumstances to communicate His will.
“Never stop praying.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT) Yet, remember the old adage: “Actions speak louder than words”.
Every day we must revisit our preparedness, by searching our hearts and minds in the light of God’s word. And then suit up for the day in the armor of God. This is our faith. It must be strong. There’s a war going on out there! I can’t even imagine going into combat before I had the essential training, learning to defend and fight. As in any conflict, the contestant who has done the most research, practiced the most, and is the most committed, shall win.
Take a few moments today to prayerfully read through Ephesians chapter 6:10-18. (The armor of God) Ask God to show you how to put on each piece of armor listed. With each, ask God to direct you how to use it, through faith in Christ. You are now a soldier in the Lord’s army.
Heavenly father, we know it is only in your strength that we can emerge victorious and overcome the enemy. Teach us to wield our faith, applying it to every area of our lives. Help us Lord Jesus, to emulate you in all that we say and do. We praise you for the victory you have already won for us. May our lights shine to the glory of the Father, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Every year as December 25th approaches, there are increasingly controversial views of Christmas being bantered about. Some say its origins are birthed from paganism and heathen practices. Others say no, it is the celebration of our blessed Savior coming into the world. So who is right? More importantly, “Is it wrong for a Christian to celebrate at this time of year?” The answer to both of these questions is rather obvious if we take the time to consider Jesus’ most elementary teachings on the motives of the heart.
The short answer for the 1st question is BOTH! This is explained in context of the answer to our vital, second question.
There are many fond memories associated with Christmas from my childhood. The bright colorful lights with lovingly wrapped presents around the beautifully glittering tree. Heavenly aromas waft from the kitchen. The warmth of a fire in the hearth while the pure white snow banks up on the sides of the house. Family and friends all sharing the spirit of love and togetherness. We had some wonderful celebrations. It was a time of giving and sharing and unity and great joy.
My family attended church regularly, though we had a few relatives who did not. In fact two distant cousins were rather opposed to religion of any form. While my immediate family was attending Sunday services, those two would be launching their second day of a hell raising weekend party. There were times they’d be arrested on Sunday and thrown in jail for breaking the law. That’s certainly not what Jesus would have us do. For we are to obey civil authorities. Sunday was their favorite day. A day influenced by the alcohol and drugs they’d abused beginning on Friday night. It was great fun for them to carouse and fight, drink and drive, do drugs, curse and have free sex. They loved the party life. It was their god. True pagan practices.
Did what they choose to do on Sunday make my family’s church attendance a pagan activity because it was on the same day? Of course not! Associating a Christian’s celebration of the birth of Christ with pagan worship is ridiculous. Worship is in Spirit and from the heart. And so is our celebrations. I could choose ANY day and decide to celebrate my salvation in Christ on that particular day. Certainly, somewhere in history that same day will hold some significance by being associated with sinful practices, which are done across the globe year round. The world is filled with such things, and has been since the fall of man in the garden. But my celebration has nothing to do with that.
Yes I’ve done extensive research on the origins of Christmas. I’m aware of how the date was set. Yet I find that its origins do not matter. The important thing is what is in our hearts and the reason we are celebrating.
Nowhere in the bible are we commanded to celebrate the day of Jesus’ birth. Yet the bible does not forbid it either. It is true that December 25th may not be the actual day of our Savior’s birth. But what difference does that make? We choose a day to commemorate that event and celebrate, just as the angels of heaven celebrated in song and heralded His coming. Out of convenience, there have been years I celebrated my own birthday on a different day than my actual birth.
One thing I’ve learned rather well during my life as a Christian is that those activities which are against God’s will for me to participate in, will invariably come between me and my Lord, rather than draw me closer to Him. Over the years, my love for Christ has truly deepened and I have a greater appreciation for my redeemer as I celebrate His human birth, God’s incarnation. Hmmm. It appears that my celebration of Christmas has deepened my faith, rather than hindered it. That alone is evidence enough for me.
I don’t care at all for the fairy tale aspects of Christmas, with Santa and his mythical flying reindeer. I do not participate in those widespread fantasies. It competes with my Lord. And as a child I felt betrayed when I learned that I’d been deceived about such things. There is nothing mystical about Christmas. Miraculous yes! We serve an omnipotent, all wise God. There is no need to make up stories to fascinate children, or to create magical moments based on lies. The truth is exciting enough. And the love, unity, peace and joy associated with the virgin birth of Christ is even more real—a cause for true celebration!
What does Christmas mean to you? And what are you celebrating? Are you celebrating paganism, Satanism and wickedness? Or are you joyfully praising God for the birth of the redeemer of mankind? Are you celebrating that awesome event some 2000 years ago, when in Bethlehem of Judea, the Son of God was born of the virgin Mary? When you prayerfully consider these questions, you will know if it is right “for you” to continue your Christmas traditions.
Have a very Merry Christmas!