Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wait a Minute – There Wouldn’t Be A Christmas If It Weren’t for Him!

“Happy Holidays!” – the politically correct greeting in referring to December 25th

The tension grows each year – is it permissible to say “Merry Christmas!” any more? There is a wild mix in this controversy with those who say we should not offend anyone by using an expression that has the word “Christmas” in it – why it even promotes religion if used in the public schools, didn’t you know?

There are those who insist the expression “Merry Christmas!” should be used when referring to the calendar date of December 25. And there is the rather common cliché that is often employed, “Jesus is the reason for the season.”

And there are those who say it doesn’t make any difference and the arguing and conflict over such an issue should stop – let each person choose to observe the season and the day as he or she wants to do or if they don't want to do anything with it at all!

Take note – there would be no Christmas at all if it were not for Jesus Christ! Here are some facts about the matter:

First, He is the One Who made this world and the universe of which it is a very minute part originally – it is His to do with as He so determines.

Second, He was born into this world of a virgin mother – yes, yes I know all about it – there are any number of theologians, seminary professors, church leaders, and pastors (they are a dime a dozen) who question this or deny the virgin birth ever took place. But they won’t be dead more than a few seconds until they have to face the truth and Him Who is truth incarnate!

Third, He is the One Who ultimately gave His life to redeem every human being ever born into this world from sin and its deadly consequences – literally, God in human form satisfied the demands of divine justice on our behalf and made possible our forgiveness and reconciliation to God.

Fourth, He is the One Who is scheduled to return to this sin ravaged planet to set right all that is wrong and to rule it in true righteousness and justice. At long last the world will finally experience peace. For a small minority, this is a hope that the Bible describes as being an “anchor for the soul.”

The Scriptures bear witness to all of the above -- read it for yourself and see! God took the step to become human, bore the sins of the human race upon Himself through a brutal death on a Roman Cross, was resurrected from the dead, ascended back to Heaven, is seated at the right hand of God the Father, and has promised to return to earth again at some point in the future.

Take that away and you have no Christmas!

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God. --- 1 John 5:10-13

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Truly Sorry for “transgressions” or Just Sorry for Getting Caught?

Tiger Woods said he let his family down with transgressions he regrets "with all of my heart," and that he will deal with his personal life behind closed doors. --- news release statement on Tiger Woods’ “confession”

It is a given – very, very few people can handle power, wealth, and fame responsibly! Great is the number of persons in professional sports, political office, and the entertainment industry who have given in to raging hormones. The common denominator is an attempt to keep all indiscretions concealed and often to continue immoral activity for one main reason.

That main reason is that the individual believes he or she is the exception to the laws and standards put in place by the Creator of this universe. Those laws and standards may apply to everyone else, but not to me – I can flaunt them because of who I am! So it is said (or at least thought) by a long line of high profile people over the centuries. Defenders of these moral alley cats will make the appeal that what they do in private is none of our business and we are not to do any "judging" in regard to the issue.

Tiger Woods is the latest big name to try to get himself out of the moral quicksand pit into which he has sunk. So amid the mounting pressure that he attempted to elude, he finally has made a public “apology.” Too often it’s been a matter of not really being sorry for the alleged “transgressions” as it is that one got caught and couldn’t hide the offenses any longer. Further, if there had not been some revelation of some kind, the high profile transgressor would have continued to do what he or she had been doing all along!

Yes, forgiveness is possible – each of us is confronted at some point with the issue as to whether we will honestly confess that we are guilty of transgressions and seek the mercy of Almighty God, or try to excuse our offenses and shirk responsibility for our actions. Or worse, utter a feeble half hearted “apology” with the only regret being that we couldn’t keep our “secret life” a secret any longer!

God is extremely merciful – those who have truly repented of their sins and experienced God’s mercy and forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ know full well what it is to live in a state of peace with God. With this comes an abiding assurance of having been forgiven because the regret and following acts of repentance were for real, not merely a charade!

Time will tell as to how it is for Tiger Woods – truly sorry for the “transgressions” with genuine repentance providing clear evidence of the sorrow or simply sorry at having been caught!

Even high profile people in pro sports, government, entertainment, and corporations need Jesus Christ more than anything or anyone else on the face of this planet though most provide evidence that they don’t believe this to be true!

"…you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out. --- Numbers 32:23b

For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. --- Romans 5:7-9