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Thoughts for Thursday

“But Jesus said, The people who hear the message of God and keep it, are the ones who are truly happy!” Luke 11:28 (Simple English Bible)

This is a time of joy, happiness and family fellowship. Next week, Christmas presents will be opened, the table laden with food and an atmosphere of calm and satisfaction will hopefully prevail. For myself, this is one of the best times of the year for my family.

What happens after the gifts are opened, the Christmas stockings emptied, the food eaten and  family members head for their homes? Life kicks back into gear. Our problems and trials resume. The Christmas spirit fades a little.

Jesus Himself gives is His insight to true happiness. Fulfilling God’s will and living for Him brings our spirits closer to Him. Our permanent joy and peace lies within Christ, not the gifts under the tree which are so eagerly anticipated. Nor the wonderful food. Not even our family fellowship. Those are mere shadows.

You want true happiness? You want true joy?

You know how to get it!

Steve

Thoughts for Wednesday

“Happy Holidays!” (America’s seasons greetings)

There seems to be a controversy in the United States concerning this greeting. Many Christians feel that America is moving away from God, leaving Christ out of Christmas and advancing towards a very secular atmosphere.

It doesn’t seem to be much of a problem in South Africa. Christmas is everywhere!

For me personally, Christmas is an arbitrary holiday — it certainly wasn’t the day Jesus was born. And, too, other denominations celebrate Christmas on other days of the year and no one seems to object to that. For instance, the Russian Orthodox Church has traditionally celebrated Christ’s birth every January 7th!

I believe that Christians should celebrate Christ every day! There isn’t a special holy day set aside anywhere in the New Testament for this. And, we are reminded in Scriptures to remember His death and resurrection, not His birth.

Society does what it wants at its own pace and to its own detriment. If people want to take Christ out of Christmas, it is to their own peril.

But there is one thing you cannot take Christ out of:  salvation. Without Jesus, there is no hope of Heaven. So, this Christmas, I will be celebrating Christ!

Just like I do every day.

Steve

Thoughts for Tuesday

“God did this so that He could buy back the freedom of those who were under the law. God’s purpose was to make us His children.” Gal 4:5 (Simple English Bible)

There are different kinds of freedom. Wars have been fought over freedoms and the establishment of nations have resulted from some of those conflicts. Americans are rightly proud of their individual freedoms guaranteed under its Constitution and other nations have followed suit by copying parts of this document.

But there is a freedom which was purchased at great expense. The freedom from spiritual death. The freedom was not guaranteed nor actioned by any human government, nation, organization or individual. It was underwritten by Almighty God Himself.

He loved us so that He sent the only one who could have done this:  Jesus the Christ.

The world is remembering the baby born in Bethlehem right now. Christmas carols are sung in His honor. The story of His birth told over and over again, demonstrated in Nativity scenes.

Yet, Christ’s only mission was to bring spiritual freedom and it cost Him His very life.

Steve