Monday, December 19, 2011

For You

As Christmas fast approaches, we need to keep this in mind. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was born for one purpose. He was born to die for us, a sinful humanity. That little baby in swaddling clothes, laying in a manger, was born under a death sentence. Because of the evil in this world, committed by a sinful humanity, He had to suffer the penalty that each and every one of us fully deserves. We rejoice that His sacrifice enables those who believe, to gain eternal life with our Father in heaven. We truly owe a debt of gratitude to our Lord. While so much of the world decries the Truth, instead placing their faith in this world, those who truly believe are filled with the joy of the promise of everlasting life. How empty this life must be for those who have no expectation of life after this inconsequential life on earth that we live. This makes our Lord’s command of the Great Commission to make Disciples of all nations, even more important. Our joy is meant to be shared. Our Father desires all of His children to come to Him. Just think, if every Christian simply shared the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with one person who does not know Him, just how many more may come to know the Truth and be saved. How many more brothers and sisters in Christ would there be in this world?

Many who do not know Him claim that a God that sent His son to die is truly not a God of love. Know this, our God, who is one with the Son and the Holy Spirit, came down in human form and experienced all the pain, suffering and death Himself. A sacrifice such as this is truly an example the greatest love. To give one’s life, especially in such an agonizing way, is the ultimate sacrifice. The Son, God incarnate, humbly offered Himself as atonement for our sin. John 3:16-21, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

Our sacrifice as Disciples of Christ is to simply step outside of our comfort zone and proclaim the Truth to the world. We need to break out of the routine denial of our faith. Even Peter, the rock on which the Christian church was built, denied our Lord. When we have the opportunity to testify to the Truth and choose to ignore that opportunity presented by the Holy Spirit, and to be sure, God’s plan consists of many opportunities for the faithful, we deny Him just as Peter did. When we fail to share the joy that the love of Christ provides us, because we “don’t want to come across as too religious, we deny our neighbor the chance to come to Him. Every sermon you hear, every word of Scripture you hear and read, and every prayer you offer to the Lord is used to prepare you to serve the Lord. The Lord is constantly grooming you for the task of proclaiming His glory.

2 Peter 3:8-10, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare” One day, God will call the faithful home. He wants none of His children to fall into the abyss, so it is incumbent upon us to put on our spiritual armor and become Disciples of Christ. And Disciples are charged to bring the lost to Him. As John the Baptist proclaimed, Luke 3:4-6, "As is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet: “A voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him. 5 Every valley shall be filled in, every mountain and hill made low. The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth. 6 And all mankind will see God’s salvation.” We are called to prepare the way for our Lord. It is the least we can do for Him, who gave everything for us. If we choose to withhold our testimony today, will tomorrow be too late?

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