Archives for posts with tag: Christmas

flowerOn the morning of Christmas Eve, I wanted to blog about the meaning of Christmas. I searched the recesses of my mind, but I just couldn’t find the right words. I wasn’t sure whether it was a case of writer’s block or whether I was just simply at a loss for words. For most of Christmas Eve, I mulled over the question, “What does Christmas and Christ really mean to me?” It wasn’t until later that night that I was able to finally answer the question.
A few days ago, I logged onto Facebook and happened to read a friend’s post on salvation. Days later, the words still resonated with my spirit.
According to this friend, if Christians truly believed in their hearts that Christ is the only way to achieve salvation, then it would be cruel of them to withhold the knowledge of Christ from those they love. He went on to say that if we use this line of reasoning, then the existence of Jesus is secondary to the point. The point is, if we, as Christians, believe that mankind is doomed to damnation without Jesus, then we should be falling over ourselves trying to disseminate the Good News to those we love. In other words, if we truly believe that Jesus Christ is the only way, then we should be telling all of our friends about Him. But many of us do not. Many of us do not share our beliefs because we don’t want to be viewed as imposing. We don’t want others to think that we are forcing our beliefs on them. Many of us would rather settle for the status quo than to ruffle a few feathers. But I would like to challenge all of us to consider the following scenario. Let’s assume that the only way to heaven is through Jesus Christ (by the way, it is). Now, let’s imagine that time has faded and God has delivered His final judgment. What if your loved ones were eternally separated from God and sent to hell? How would you feel knowing that you ignored multiple opportunities to share God’s Word with them? How do you think they would feel? As your loved ones faced their darkened eternity, would they believe that you truly loved them? Would they care about your excuses—“I didn’t want to offend or impose.” Would the sounds of their wailing disturb you?
Luke 16:19-31 tells the story of Lazarus and the rich man. Lazarus died and was taken to heaven. The rich man also died. The Bible says that the rich man was “torment in Hades,” (NIV). He was in so much agony that he requested that the message of salvation be sent to his five brothers so that they would not suffer the same fate. Even from the grips of Hades, he tried to save the ones he loved. What about you? What will you do?
I am currently reading the book, Not a Fan, by Kyle Idleman. In the prologue, Kyle describes an incident where he struggled to create a universally palatable Easter message for his congregation. However, before he could put pen to paper God convicted him of this simple truth: The Word of God can stand on its own and should not be watered down for universal appeal.  Many of us try to water down the Word in an effort to heighten its appeal.  Let’s be clear, watering down God’s Word is not the same as delivering His message with love.  We should always share God’s Word with a dose of sugar, but it should never be so diluted that the message is altered.
So, if I were to share the truth about God’s Word with those I love, this is what I would say: The Good News is Christ came to save ALL OF US and give each and EVERYONE of us life everlasting. Christmas is a reminder that God loves us so much that He sent us a Savior who came to Earth to save us and shepherd us back to Him. The challenge for all of us this Christmas is to share the Good News with everyone, including those we love. Unfortunately, even though salvation is free, not everyone will receive it or even want it. However, we still have to do our part, in love, to tell others that salvation is available to them and that Jesus loves them very much. In fact, so do I.  I love you so much that I wanted to share Jesus with you this Christmas.  Merry Christmas. 12/25/13.

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“Talitha koum!”
“Talitha koum!”
“Talitha koum!”
A few days ago, I read a story on the news about a little girl in California who underwent a routine tonsillectomy surgery in a California hospital and is now on life support after profusely hemorrhaging post operatively. The little girl’s name is Jahi. On Friday, December 20,2013, Jahi’s family filed a restraining order against the hospital that would disallow doctors to discontinue Jahi’s life support despite being pronounced brain-dead.
The first time I read the story Jahi, my heart went out to this little girl I did not know. My prayer was that God would bring her back to life. If there were ever a perfect time for a miracle, this would be it. Christmas is always a time of hope and new beginning. That was my original prayer. However, today when I read the updated story, I zoned in on the little girl’s name. Immediately, my thought went to the story in the Bible of Jairus. It was not lost on me that there was a similarity in both the names and the circumstances.
In Mark 5:21-41 (and Luke 8:40-56), the story is told of a man named Jairus who pleaded with Jesus to save his dying 12-year old daughter. However, before Jesus could get to Jarius’ house, a messenger had sent word that Jarius’ daughter had died (Luke 8:49). Jesus instructed Jarius not to fear and told him that his belief would make his daughter well (Luke 8:50).

When Jesus arrived at Jarius’ house, everyone was mourning the loss of the child. Jesus instructed them:

 “Don’t cry; the child is not dead—she is only sleeping,” (Luke 8:52, NLT)!

When Jesus told them that the child was not dead, they laughed at him (Mark 5:40). Despite this, Jesus, his disciples and the girl’s parents went to the room where she laid. Jesus took her hand and he said:

“Talitha koum,” Mark 5:41, NLT)!

Little girl I say to you get up,” (Mark 5:41, NLT).

The truth is, no one knows God’s will. His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. However, if it is in His will, today, my prayer for 13-year old Jahi is “Talitha koum!” Little girl, get up. I pray that those who are “laughing” (e.g. the doctors, the hospital staff and the naysayers) would be put to shame in the same manner as those who were laughing in the house of Jarius. In Jesus’ name, I stand on the promise of the Word of God.

“Talitha koum!”

25

Wow! How quickly did we burn through the days of 2013? For many of us, January 1, 2013 is but a distant memory. So many of us started 2013 with a laundry list of goals and aspiration. For some, our enthusiasm and exuberance dwindled as the days faded. Now, with only 31 days left to the conclusion of the 2013, it’s so easy to give up on those 2013 dreams if they have not yet materialized. However, keep this in mind. The year is not over yet. In one instance, Jesus caused a fig tree to wither; He calmed a raging sea and He mended the skin of a leper. If he did that in one instance, imagine what He could do in 31 days! As we draw near to Christmas, instead of acknowledging all the couldas, wouldas, shouldas; let’s spend the next 25 days giving thanks for all the things that are going right. Over the next 25 days, I would us to embark on a 25-day thanksgiving journey. Each day, I will challenge you to list the one thing that you most grateful for in 2013. Here goes:

25-Day Thanksgiving Christmas Countdown
Day 25: Today I am most thankful for DISAPPOINTMENTS!