Saturday, December 25, 2010

Draft: Merry Christmas 2010

So this never got polished to the point of sending, but as it was shaping up. . .

He is not merely the Reason for the season, He is the Reason for everything. As Colossians 1:16 succinctly puts it, "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him."

It is my hope that you will come to realize that you are included. The Lord Jesus Christ created you for Him. But He did not stop there. He became one of us more than two millenia ago at the very first "Christmas". About 33 years later, though sinless and holy, He sacrificed His life's blood to pay in full the sin-debt of those who had, did, and would believe on Him. Then He victoriously rose again from the dead, spent many days with His disciples, and ascended back to Heaven promising to return one day not as the Lamb but as the Lion. My friend, are you ready to face Him who gave His all to save your soul from sin, death, and Hell? He created you to live and fellowship with Him, who loves you more than words can convey. He bridged the gap between our fallen state and Heavenly bliss with the unspeakable gift of His own substitutionary death on the cross.

Of course, "...the gift of God [being] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23b) is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, God's greatest gift to believers. However, one does not have to wait until the afterlife to begin fellowshipping with Christ and enjoy His blessings. As Romans 8:32 states, "He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?" The Lord's blessings in this life are manifold although sometimes different than what one would expect.

For instance, as I reflect on this year I thank the Lord for the birth of one of my children, a promotion in my career, and a "new" car. However, I also thank the Lord for directing me by not allowing me to purchase additional real estate or send another of my children to private school. How are these latter items blessings? The first may have kept my family and I out of a messy dispute with our neighbors, whom I am glad to say are still our good friends. The second has facilitated my family and I being more involved in our child's education than we would otherwise have been and helped us to avoid a financial burden that may have overly strained our family. I could cite many other examples, but I am sure that you get the point.

I am not saying that I or my life are perfect. What I am saying is that there is a certain assurance in knowing the One who guides it, relying on Him, and developing a deeper relationship with Him. Even "little" things in life take on new meaning when you know the Savior. For example, when my newborn focused on me and cooed to me for the first time I understood a little better why God delights in our praying to Him. When my child asked about Santa Claus, I was challenged by God's honesty and realized how important the truth is. Christ put it best in John 8:31b-32, "...If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."