With the approach of Christmas we will probably be hearing from Christians who like to tell us that it's displeasing to God for us to celebrate Christmas for one reason or another. These people may have good intentions, but they remind me of what the Apostle Paul wrote about some of the Israelites of his day in Romans 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. The Bible makes it clear that we are free to celebrate Christmas (or any other day,) or to refrain from doing so if we choose. Paul goes on in Romans14:5 One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. In the old testament God told the Israelites to celebrate certain events and days, but because of the freedom we now have in our Savior Jesus Christ (Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.) he tells us that it is up to each of us if we want to celebrate a day or not. There is no question that for many people Christmas has become more of a social holiday than a Christian one, and if we choose to celebrate, we should celebrate God's work in sending his son to be the Savior of the world. If some don't want to celebrate Christmas that's fine, but I for one will choose to because God says I can. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!What About Jesus?
Romans 1:17 (New International Version) For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith. The Bible tells us that God is faithful to us and we must be faithful to him if we want to please him (Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God,) and also gives us the definition of that faith at Hebrews 11:1 (Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.) We don't need a high IQ or to be someone special to have faith in God, and a small simple faith is enough to please him. Getting this across to people was one of the problems the Apostle Paul had as he traveled around telling people that Jesus Christ was their Savior (Acts 15:5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”.) The Pharisees were the dominant and very strict in matters of the law Jewish denomination during Paul's time, and he encountered them almost everywhere he went. The Pharisees rejected Christ and were teaching people that they had to obey the old testament law in order to be saved. It was unbelievable to them that Christ had fulfilled the law for everyone, and faith in him was now all that was needed. We can try to obey the old testament law all we want but it will do us no good without faith in Christ (Romans 3:28 For we maintain that a person is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.)What About Jesus?Footnote - I find it interesting that the NIV translation of the Bible uses the word faith (or a form of it such as faithful) about 450 times, and sometimes uses the word "obedient" for the word "faithful."
John 1:29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! - Our heavenly father and his kingdom remain unseen to us at this time, but when he sent his son Jesus to us he chose to send him as a visible man. The Bible calls him the son of God and the son of man. Jesus was born and lived as one of us to teach us about his father and to be the only sacrifice for our sin. He came for everyone because no one on earth is capable of saving themselves. Christ needed food and sleep as anyone does, but was also capable of performing great miracles and displayed a strong desire to do his father's will. He asked his father that if it was possible, for him to avoid the cross, but went to it willingly because it was his father's will. If Christ had not died for us we would still be in our sin and not reconciled to God. It needs to be the goal of us all to know the visible man Jesus Christ. What About Jesus?
Matthew 18:2-3 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. - When our daughter was learning to walk, she tried to go down some stairs one time, but I was holding onto her hands and we managed to avoid them. She could hardly walk on a smooth floor, but because I was there and holding on to her, she was certain that she could go down those stairs because she had faith in me that no harm would come to her. Christ uses the faith and humility of little children to illustrate what our attitudes toward God should be. Us grown up people like to apply common sense to everything, and common sense is a blessing from God that certainly has its place and I use it all the time. But little children, although often lacking common sense, have a humility and a faith that they can do things they wouldn't normally do if someone they trust is looking out for them. This what Christ is talking about in Matthew 18:2-3. Our "common sense" doesn't interest him in this case,he demands that we become childlike (not childish.) We must have the humility and faith of little children, and accept what God tells us, in order to enter the kingdom of heaven.What About Jesus?
Revelation 22:17 Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life. - Throughout the Bible God likens his saving word to water. Some examples are John 4:14-but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John7:38-Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them."Revelation 7:17-For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; 'he will lead them to springs of living water.' - As everyone knows water is needed to maintain our earthly lives, and Christ uses the analogy of water to illustrate his saving word for our spiritual lives. He offers this "water" to anyone who wants it as a free gift. Just as we need water when we are thirsty, we need Jesus Christ to save us from our sins. Many of us like to think that we're not sinful and not such a "bad" person, but this is not how the Lord sees us. He takes our sins very seriously and Christ is our only way out.What About Jesus?