“’And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.’ So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: ‘Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,’ which is translated, ‘God with us.’ – Matthew 1:21-23 (NKJV)
Sometimes I am just guilty as all get out of being like Clark Griswold (National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation movie) around Christmas time. The first thing is my display of frustration concerning exterior illumination, the second is the inability to articulate myself during Christmas shopping, lastly is the expectation of a bonus from my employer and finding myself spending it before it is even a reality. What a wretched man I can be around this time of the year!! Who can save me from this body of death?
Then on a recent Monday morning, as I was walking back to my assigned duties at work I ran into a fellow Colony graduate, who for the sake of anonymity I’ll call Ben. Ben and I were discussing the possibilities of him being able to get some overtime at work and some rest while doing it. Ben said, “I haven’t even begun Christmas shopping yet.” To which I replied, “That may not be that important right now, you should get some sleep.” But Ben came back at me with a, “For a while people have given to me at Christmas and I’ve been like, ‘I’ve got nothing for you,’ so I feel like I gotta make up for that this time.” Hmmm…Then came Tuesday December 13th 2016.
I open my e-mail account, like I do every morning before I go to work, and I find a Ray Comfort devotional sitting there titled “Santa Claus or Satan’s Claws?” It starts off like this, “Some Christians don’t like Christmas. They see Santa Claus as a disguise for Satan’s Claws. Perhaps they are right. However, instead of getting upset by Christmas, we should use it to breach the advances of the enemy.” Okay Ray, you got my attention. I am one who wants to destroy the myth of Santa, who I’ve called “a communist in a red furry suit” in many a conversation. But Ray goes on with this…
“At this time of the year your unsaved friends and family will accept gifts without question. Strangers will accept a Gospel message with a candy cane attached. And you can start a conversation, or a street preaching session, with a cheerful, “MERRY CHRISTMAS!” What an incredible way to share the real meaning behind the birth of Jesus—He was born to die on the Cross for our sin.” So as the clock is winding down on the approach of Christmas Day, I am left wondering if I really got this whole thing down in my heart, where it should really matter.
Okay, so I have to admit that I kinda get all Jekyll and Hyde around the month of December. It always starts with my birthday and ends with a New Year dawning but in the middle of all that is day that leaves me wondering if I’ll ever hear “Well done Chris. You did what you were supposed to do now enter into My rest.” That day isn’t meant for me either but at times I sure do treat it that way. It is this heart condition I have that requires a Savior and God the Father made provision for that a really long time ago in a place called The Garden.
Christmas Day may have a different meaning to an unsaved world but I should know better than to fall into the trap that says “I have to give” and “I have to get”. What I need to do is be that piece of exterior illumination in a dark place that says “Jesus Saves” but I don’t do that very well and there isn’t any amount of money I could get to help with that either. I can’t find it at Macys and no earthly person can give it to me.
So, what is it that we receive on Christmas Day that makes this day stand out so hardcore? SALVATION, that’s what. Once we take on that gift we will literally have “God with us”. And that’s the most important the Christian needs to focus in on this time of year and we need to be sharing that with those around us. There should be joy to the world and we are called to illuminate that joy…without all the clutter…that looks like a tangled bunch of light…that needs to be straightened out…before I put this around the windows (grr). Anyway…from my family to yours. Play Ball! I mean MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 52; Proverbs 22
Daily Quote: “The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that He might offer up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.” -Rev. Billy Graham
This Week’s Verse to Memorize:
The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. Psalm 28:7