Saturday, December 20, 2014

No Room for Jesus

Those of us who understand Bible authority and are guided by that authority because we respect what God has said to us realize that Christians do not celebrate December 25th as the birth date of Christ. The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossian brethren and said "whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him" (Colossians 3:17). There is no example or inference where Christ’s birth was to be celebrated as a yearly event. We are only commanded to remember the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It is true that the birth of Christ was recognized as a glorious event and every Christian should be thankful for the birth of Jesus. The true worshiper of God thinks about the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus each and every week, not just one time per year as many people do.

No Room For Jesus
When Jesus was born into this world there was no room for Him in the Inn. He was born in a manger and in due course of time was unwanted and unappreciated by the majority of people. The world treated Jesus worse than they usually treated men they did not like or did not even know. It is said that the Son of man had nowhere to lay His head (Luke 9:58). The blessed Son of God who came to this earth to give life and to give it abundantly (John 10:10), was rejected and despised by men that had no compassion and pity toward Him. During the time of Christ, man had "no room" for Him in their life! But the story of Jesus did not end with His death on the cross. Nor did man’s rejection of Jesus dispose of Him. The story of Jesus continues to be told today through the gospel message of salvation, the blessings of God that are provided only through Jesus. There are many, many people today that do not have room for Jesus in their life even though they celebrate His birth.
Is There Room For Jesus Today?
Think about it. Does man really make the attempt today to make room for Jesus in their life? Do those individuals that operate the stores, markets, and offices even consider Him? Are they really interested in Jesus or the almighty dollar? Contrary to popular belief that business is business and religion is another matter, Christ and all of His ways belong in our manner of earning a living and conducting our business affairs. If Christ does not come first in our life, in all matters of our life, then it does us absolutely no good to remember Him just on one day per year. Business and religion must go hand in hand. Principles of truth, honesty, and the genuine concern for others are not only valid religiously but also in the business world.

 What about in the Home? Is there room for Jesus in our home today? Do we take the time to worship Jesus even at home? Do we pray, sing songs, and read scripture? Many celebrate Christmas as a time of giving, love and family. Does Jesus have a place in our home that lacks love, kindness, and consideration 364 days out of the year? What about the home that has been totally wrecked by divorce and unfaithfulness to God’s duty and to each other? Do we make sure we include Jesus in our family finances? Do we only give to the Lord that which he has left me in my wallet when the plate is passed? Or do we purpose in our heart to give willingly and freely (2 Corinthians 9:7)? Is there room for Jesus in our time and activities? We will never be able to "grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 3:18), if we don’t allow Him room to live in our heart.

 Does Jesus have a place in our heart? Before Jesus can have His place in the home and business world, He must have a place in each one of our hearts. The apostle Paul prayed: "that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God" (Ephesians 3:17-19). Those that have never become Christians have not made room for Him. Those who walk unfaithfully have not made room for Jesus.

 On this day many people will attend a church service somewhere to "celebrate" the birth of Jesus, that will not attend another service until this time next year. They will attend somewhere with their family and listen to the "special service celebration" in honor of our Lord, with no intent to really let Jesus come into their life on a daily basis from this day onward. How hypocritical! I would plead with you to not only let the Word of God touch your heart today, but each and every day that you live. Why not devote your life to Christ, give Him room in your heart, and look forward to the blessed hope of eternal salvation with Him. Many have rejected Jesus. Many have not had room for Jesus. But won’t you celebrate Christ every day and give Him room to rule your life as you strive to serve Him?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Press On Toward Heaven

All too often we have a tendency to look back and dwell on what we have done or haven’t done instead of concentrating on the future. "Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed. In that day, he who is on the housetop, and his goods are in the house, let him not come down to take them away. And likewise the one who is in the field, let him not turn back. Remember Lot's wife" (Luke 17:28-33). Lot’s wife had a longing for that which she had left. Consequently, she was overtaken and consumed. Her trust was not in her God but in the things of the world. She just could not bring herself to let go. Do we have this trouble today? Think about it. Sometimes "looking back" may simply be filling our lives up with "good" things to the degree that we cannot render to our God what is due Him. That is the point that Jesus made in Luke 9:62 when He said "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." So where should we be looking? Obviously not backwards. We should be looking forward and running toward God. Lot’s wife should have felt as if she were in a footrace away from Sodom and we should feel the same way. The Hebrew writer tells us to run with endurance the race that is set "before" us, looking to Jesus...(Hebrews 12:1-2). We must realize that everything we do as we follow Jesus is another step in our race toward our eternal victory. When you feel enticed by the world - remember Lot’s wife. Let’s all strive to "press on toward heaven!"