Christmas is always truly about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. He was born thousands of years ago and His earthly mother Mary served as God’s chosen instrument to conceive and carry Him. As we the faithful already know, Jesus went on to spread God’s message to others, taught many meaningful and holy lessons, provided the best guidance and, ultimately, He suffered and died to redeem humanity entirely. Jesus came back from the dead and made His presence felt to many witnesses before finally ascending to Heaven with a promise that He will return.
As I personally witnessed and experienced in life, the celebration of Christmas, at least here in the Philippines, is not too focused on Jesus Himself. This is because others are distracted by earthly developments, social trends, the Internet, selfishness, materialism, covetousness and other factors.
For one thing, idolatry, which I previously explained is a sin as recorded in the Holy Bible, continues to keep people away from Jesus when celebrating Christmas. There are still a lot of people out there who instantly think of Santa Claus instead of Lord Jesus whenever Christmas is discussed. Look at all those paintings, drawings, decorations, statues and other visual forms of Santa Claus, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the elves and the like which many believe in. Idolatry’s menace is still present during the Christmas season. Christmas is all about Lord Jesus who is real and alive above us, high up in Heaven. Santa Claus and the related characters are all just pieces of fantasy!
There is also the distraction that comes with financial bonuses, the free meals and drinks served during Christmas parties, the dancing, the music, the gifts (which are often linked with Santa Claus), the Christmas-themed movies, the video games, the out-of-town vacations and the like. All those enjoyable elements should not be viewed as the main purpose of Christmas but rather as blessings from God who is the source of blessings, happiness, prosperity and opportunities. It’s okay to enjoy gifts and riches but always remember the Lord and thank Him for them.
Making the celebration of Christmas meaningless, hollow and complicated is secularism. Already secularism distorted many people’s ways of celebrating the season of Christ by excluding Him, by brainwashing people to express “Xmas” (or “X’mas”) instead of “Christmas”, and by making people focus on gift-giving as the main purpose of the Lord’s season instead of celebrating His birth. Be mindful that secularism, atheism and other forms of resistance or denial towards the Lord lead to unbelief.
And then there is also the presence of religion which really hinders people from being faithful to the Lord by deceiving them into practicing idolatry (true Christianity means worshiping God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit mainly and directly), practicing religious traditions (which take people away from the Holy Bible), being burdened by the many man-made rules of religion, and doing things that involve little or nothing about God’s Word (the Holy Bible) at all! As if these were not bad enough, the so-called leaders of the hierarchy of religion-driven churches wield tremendous power over the people who don’t realize they have been trapped by religion (and were even manipulated to worship those so-called leaders). Lastly, religion also hinders people from easily realizing the truth about celebrating Christmas.
With these things expressed, I would like to help you realize that Christmas is truly all about Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else! Please pay close attention to the following scriptures from the Holy Bible.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
Isaiah 9:6 emphasizes peace and Christlikeness. Peace comes from God (read Romans 1: 7) and is evidence of the rule of the Messiah whose character as the Prince of Peace waits to instill the settledness of His own rule in our souls. To be faithful to the Lord requires repentance, submission and becoming born again (refer to Jesus’ own words in John 3: 3) which includes living in holiness with Lord Jesus as the one to follow. Christianity involves faithfulness, absorbing and understanding God’s Word (the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close), doing God’s Word (applying it in our lives) and living the Christian way no matter how chaotic our world is and matter how many people will challenge or harm us (all the more reason to remain faithful with the Lord).
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 8:9 emphasizes that the greatest and most inspiring example of generosity is the grace of Lord Jesus. His richness does not refer to material wealth during His time living in the flesh, rather it is recognition of His eternal status as Lord of both Heaven and Earth. Lord Jesus became poor through the total giving of Himself in the incarnation and the Crucifixion (refer to Philippians 2:5-8). That scripture shows how much Jesus would give and how far He went to lift people up. Contrary to the teachings of some practitioners of religion (who were even worshipped by people trapped by religion), the Lord does not want His faithful children to be trapped with poverty while living in the flesh. Continuing further, 2 Corinthians 9: 8 is about God’s ability to meet all the faithful children’s needs (spiritual, financial, and others) and increase their resources so that they can meet their needs. As mentioned earlier, God is the definitive source we the faithful must always look up to and continue to thank and honor Him in return. It is the Lord (not those idols and not people) who rewards the faithful abundantly!
This brings me to the next holy scripture with the words of Lord Jesus Himself. This one is very true and undeniable!
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Revelations 22:12 (NKJV)
I love those words from Lord Jesus who truly loves us. We the faithful each have a personal relationship with God and that relationship is strictly off-limits to everyone else (not even the head of any over-sized religion-driven church has the right to intervene in a Christian’s personal relationship with God). At the same time, God made plans for each and every one of us and that includes assignments or tasks that He will assign to you and me. After doing the assigned tasks we got, the Lord will reward us according to the work we each fulfilled. Don’t expect the exact same reward, expect the proportionate reward and only the Lord knows the values of each task He assigns to us. The Lord knows best! Remember this whenever you think of Christmas – that Jesus was born to not only save us from sin but also to reward each and every faithful Christian who performed the assigned tasks from Him.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 1:30 is about righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Righteousness is God’s judicial determination to right every wrong and His gift to the guilty which removes all condemnation and puts them in a state of justification (including full acquittal from all charges made against them). Sanctification is about the need for cleansing from pollution and this includes renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit which allows acceptable living before God, and points to our ultimate perfection in His presence. Redemption speaks of freedom and final deliverance from all aspects of sin, including the resurrection of the body.
Are you still a sinner? Do you believe that the real-world justice system has been corrupted and blind to you? Look up to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit instead! It is never too late for sinners to become born again (to be saved), dedicate themselves to the Lord and live not only a new life but a holier life. Never forget that true redemption is from the Lord! Jesus was born into our world as the Redeemer! Jesus defeated Satan and He also saved humanity which suffered a lot since Adam rebelled towards God.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 (NKJV)
Not only is Jesus the Redeemer, He is also God in the flesh! Instead of making our own plans (which lead to selfishness, covetousness and other unholy elements in life) thinking of pulling God to make them come true, we should do instead is submit to the Lord and repent, let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts (this is part of becoming born again) and let the Lord guide us and lead us. We in turn must follow the plan God made for each and every one of us. Those plans were made by Him even before we each got created.
Speaking of plans from Him, we each need the Holy Spirit. Take note of the following scriptures.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NKJV)
Verse 11 emphasizes that God indeed punishes His people in order to restore them to a proper relationship with Him. While there is hope for sinners to reform themselves to be good (righteousness and holiness), the sinners who are truly wicked and always deliberately sin for their own agenda (or keep doing the work for Satan) and satisfaction (examples: covetousness, greed, murder, destruction, lying, idolatry) will truly be punished by the Lord (refer to Psalm 94:23, Psalm 83:17, 1 Timothy 6:9, Jude 1:10, Psalm 28:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). All the more reason to be repent, submit to God and become born again (John 3: 3). Verses 12, 13 and 14 are about seeking the Lord who truly listens and responds (with action) to the prayers of those who are faithful to Him. To realize Jeremiah 29: 11-14 in your life, you need to have the Holy Spirit (receive Jesus in you) and live in holiness. Being born again means leaving your old sinful life behind and live on as a new creation of the Lord. Live in holiness with faith, not religion and not unbelief. Going back to remembering Lord Jesus for Christmas, always also remember His Holiness.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be gloried in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwels with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:12-18 (NKJV)
Those words from Lord Jesus are truly powerful and undeniable. Verse 12 refers to His earthly ministry that lasted only a few years. However, after the Resurrection and Pentecost, Jesus’ ministry was and continues to be multiplied through Spirit-empowered believers. We the faithful have work to do that includes preaching the gospel, resulting the blessings of justification, reconciliation, and the gift of the Holy Spirit coming to humankind. These are post-Resurrection manifestations of the reign of Lord Jesus. Verse 13 is about prayer offered in Jesus’ name in accordance with His revealed nature and purpose, complete with the full weight of His authority backing it. Verse 15 and 16 clearly shows that our love for Him should always come with following His commandments, and Jesus will pray to God the Father who will respond by sending another Helper (the Holy Spirit, also referred to in John 14: 26) to us as we, who live here on Earth, wait for His return. Verse 17 is a reminder that there are a whole lot of people who do not believe nor understand the Lord, and therefore they cannot relate with the beliefs of faithful Christians. This is about the many unsaved souls and lost souls who dwell all over the Earth, the many who don’t realize their true purposes under God. Verse 18 is about Jesus referring to His coming and in the Person of the Holy Spirit. For as long as we believe in Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, we the faithful will not be abandoned.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
John 14:26 (NKJV)
Those words by Lord Jesus goes back to Verse 16 of John chapter 14 with regards to the Helper from God which is the Holy Spirit. This particular verse goes further explaining that the Holy Spirit will teach the faithful Christian what to say yes to (acceptance) and what to say no to (denial). Instead of relying on our own thinking, we the faithful should allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, and remember to always enforce the boundaries that the Lord gave us. With the Lord as our ultimate teacher and guide, nothing and nobody else comes close! Don’t be misled by the idolaters and other sinners, always follow the Holy Spirit in you! Pray for the unsaved souls and lost souls that they will realize their true purpose under God and willingly decide to return to Him with repentance and submission. The unsaved and the lost don’t realize it yet but they really need the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, and they also need to be born again. Religion, idolatry and unbelief have kept them away from the Lord for so long.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)
Jeremiah 33:3 reminds us that God is open to anyone who seeks Him and His guidance. As such, with all the many activities happening during the Christmas holiday (partying, feasting, shopping spree, out-of-town vacations and the like), we must always make time for the Holy Spirit. This also means making time to pray to the Lord, reading the Holy Bible and continue to implement the many holy lessons into our respective lives. This is about living in holiness in a world that has been screwed up and divided.
In concluding this, I embedded below videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs that strongly emphasize the Lord. They are not exactly Christmas-themed songs but they are still great to worship the Lord with.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Remember that no matter what happens around you, always make time for the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the Christmas holidays but never leave and never forget about Lord Jesus. Remember to always praise, honor and thank the Lord forever.
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