With a pending divorce, an uncertain future that will include selling the house and moving, my daughter has decided to spend the Christmas holiday and New Year’s with her boyfriend in Atlanta leaving me and my son to celebrate the holidays “together alone” or “alone together”. At 18 and 17 years old, my kids are learning there are some harsh realities to life that Santa and Rudolph didn’t plan for.
In preparation for that uncertain future and certain relocation, my kids recently cleaned out their rooms and many items that were gifts of Christmas past were throw in the trash. What gave delight and joy one year, has been enjoyed, used, out grown and disposed of.
The building that housed our family is going to be emptied out and sold.
The Christmas family gathering has been forever changed.
However, the good news is Christmas isn’t about some jolly fat man flying through the skies dispensing material goods to provide happiness. And much to the protest to the generic Christmas specials that fill the airwaves at this time of year, Christmas isn’t about family either.
Christmas is about a kingdom. Christmas is a story of a king who, out of love, made himself vulnerable and lowered himself to save his subjects.
Christmas is the dividing line of history. It’s the point in time and space where God entered the universe of His making to reach out to save those who couldn’t save themselves. It’s a rescue mission.
Christ was born and grew into a man that proclaimed that entrance into the kingdom of heaven was only possible through faith in Him.
From that point forward, while we have the freedom to choose whatever we wish, the only choice that leads to eternal life is Jesus Christ.
Christ is the Christmas gift from God. You can accept Him as Lord and Savior or you can reject Him. For those who surrender to Christ, freedom from sin and death is given. To those who choose themselves or anything other than Christ, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in Hell.
The choice is simple.
I believe my kids have made that choice but like so many concerned fathers at Christmas time, I want to make sure they are getting the most out of the gifts they received. Sometimes we (myself included) have to be reminded of all we have received when we make Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Gifts of Faith
· Forgiveness – If you have put your faith in Christ as Lord and Savior, you have been forgiven of every sin you have done or will ever do (past, present, and future).
· Assurance of Salvation – If you are in a covenant relationship with Jesus, there is no way you can be lost. You are a part of His kingdom family forever.
· Freedom – You finally have the freedom to choose to not sin. You also have the freedom to enjoy your freedom. Many traditions of men are just that “traditions of men”.
· Relationship – The Holy Spirit indwells you! You have a constant companion to turn to for communion, fellowship, and guidance.
· No Condemnation –Don’t listen to the voices that lead you into sin or criticize you. God will guide you through His Word which way to go. You are now approved by God Himself! You are part of the Holy Royal Family. Don’t let anyone or your internal dialog tell you otherwise.
· No fear – Death has lost its sting! Knowing and being assured of our final destination, we are free from the fear of death and the fear of the opinions of men.
· Never Alone – No matter what our circumstances or location, the Lord is with us! He will never leave us nor forsake us.
· Eternal Family – Body of Christ – Upon accepting Christ as Lord and Savior, we have been grafted into an eternal body of believers, both here on earth and in eternity. Go to a local church and fellowship!
· Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, gentleness, and Self-Control. These fruits are established and are increased the more you follow God.
· Baptism of The Holy Spirit – The power source for living the Christian life comes through the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Seek it, ask for it, receive it and be transformed.
Books could be (and have been) filled with descriptions of the benefits to faith in Christ. If you aren’t experiencing the benefits, you have to examine your knowledge, faith, and behavior and determine what to correct. God loves you and wants what is best for you, seek out His Will for your life and experience it!
The purpose of all human life on earth is to make Jesus Lord and Savior. Once that purpose has been met, eternal life is gained and the freedom that comes from knowing God can be experienced continually.
Accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior is the beginning of a relationship that lasts for eternity. So, take our time and get to know Him by reading His Word, honoring it by doing what it says, and talking to Him through prayer.
Earthly riches, relationships, and euphoric experiences fade and pass away. They can be enjoyed right up to death, but after death comes the judgment and only those with a covenant relationship with Christ will live.
Choose life, Receive Jesus as Lord and Savior, and then seek what He has for you.
So yeah, life might have taken an unexpected turn this year but I have peace this Christmas knowing that no matter what happens or where I go, The Lord is with me, Always and Forever!