I can’t begin to imagine the intense hurt Our Saviour must feel when He looks upon our world and sees the heresy of His Birthday. It brings tears to my eyes to think of it.
Australia, my home, is a country founded on Christian principles. Our public holidays, spread throughout the year, reflect a hint of our initial patriotism to Christ and the Cross. Sure, we recognise that ‘religious’ people do their part at keeping the traditional meaning of Christmas alive. But many in our community barely even mention the Name and Birth, or Death and Resurrection of the precious life and blood given to us, for us, on those unparalleled occasions.
We are a multicultural country, and have welcomed in practices and beliefs from nations far and wide. It is something we pride ourselves on, opening our arms to the world, defending the persecuted, providing sanctuary for those in despair, accepting the differences of cultures and customs. Cultures which we have established laws to protect, to protect their rights to worship and practice their faith in a country not founded in those beliefs. While somewhere along the way, our attention given to the truth of our own beliefs has all but been wiped out!
“Everyone has a right to their own set of beliefs and traditions” I hear you say, and I agree completely. But if taking time off work over Easter and Christmas is the highlight of your year then there is only one person you can thank for that! Jesus/Yeshua/Christ! If we forget to recognise and appreciate that truth, then those days are at risk of being morphed into practices void of the very principles that make our country great. Freedom, acceptance, equality, provision, justice, safety, health and opportunity are just some of the blessings this country stands on, and yet too many are conveniently forgetting that it was Christ who gave up everything, and came to this planet full of selfish hearts, to give us those very concepts!!
Have we all become so mindless that we fail to see the subtle ways the enemy has poisoned our celebrations of victory over him?! The enemy is the one determined to divide, destroy and defile, and Yeshua is the one who came determined to set a path for us towards unity, restoration and integrity. We are the ones who must chose to ignore, or believe, every lie ever told about our Beautiful Saviour and His Father, we are the ones who get to choose to take a good hard look at ourselves and ask ourselves what we really stand for. Do we believe in the principles of freedom, safety, provision, justice, equality, opportunity and healing?? Or do we believe in maxing out the credit card to buy chocolates and gadgets designed to attract our children’s attention while allowing disconnection, misbehaviour and social crippling to thrive from those very gifts? Is getting drunk more important than giving praise? Is excess and indulgence our fall-back position or is it the knowledge that Christ is the only answer to this world’s problems?
“And even now in your Holy feasts to God, you don’t think of me, but only of the food and fellowship and fun” Zechariah 7:6 (LBP)
It is one thing to reject the Lord, and that is a choice He gave us. However, if the Australian Government all of a sudden decided that those days off were cancelled, or only permitted to those who professed belief in the Lord Jesus, would it then become a belief worth fighting for?
“Lilly sit still” My mother’s voice rings out
“I don’t want to” I say, as I punch and shout.
The fat jolly man on who’s knee I was sat
Thought it ok to give a soothing pat
But his touch didn’t soothe my flighty fight
In fact it didn’t feel quite right
And when I tried to sleep that night
The thought of him gave me an awful fright
I’d heard of Santa Claus and his right
To come into my home at night
Our security screens were in doubt
And wouldn’t keep this stranger out
My parents said “sleep” I must
For “Santa Claus we sure could trust”
But everything else they had taught before
Lay open in warning all over the floor
I knew I hadn’t done my best all year
So why were there so many presents here?
They told me he viewed me from all ranges
This proves I need to make no changes.
The kids at school told me it was all a lie
“My parents lied?” I wondered why…
So if that fat man they forced me to love
Wasn’t really watching from above
Perhaps there is no God there too
And why should I believe in you?
When I grew up and became a mum
I told my kids that was no fun
I wanted them to know I would tell no lies
Not of fairy’s or Santa or the bogey man’s flies
The birth of Christ is our Christmas story
A babe who came with hope and glory
His purpose here is losing impact
Diluted by a man with toys in his sack
I see these tricks now so much better
and it comes with the change of just one letter
Santa’s ‘N’ makes it’s way to the end
as Satan’s name is sure to offend
In a world so full of broken trust
A parent’s truth is a vital must
So before you tuck your kids in this eve
Be sure of what you make them believe
Some years ago a series of events led me to understand that God was calling me. It took me a long time to swallow chunks of the pride I had relied upon since childhood, and answer Him, but when I did ….OH BOY!
My eyes were opened to the huge pile of sins I had been building up to the heavens, and all the time up to that point I had thought of myself as a “Good person”, better than ‘most’ anyway.
I believed in God and had no other God’s (not understanding that I let everything in my life control me rather than Him, He was always the ‘Last Resort’). I had no graven images (besides a few healing crystals, some tarot cards, plenty of pagan witchcraft symbols and ornaments, but I didn’t really believe in them, did I?) I honoured my Mother (as long as I was getting what I wanted) – (My Dad was out of the picture mostly up to that point, so I didn’t need to honour him, did I?) I certainly didn’t kill anyone (although I let my anger get so out of control that I spoke it out without a second thought). I didn’t covert anything (of course I was envious of everything anyone had that I wanted, but I let no one know about it, so that’s not the same thing is it? It’s normal to want to be happy and fulfilled, right?) I didn’t steal (much) or fall into adultery (well not the whole way) I remembered the Sabbath (Yep I remembered that my Mum left my Dad on a Sabbath, and that was it. If I happened to be resting on a Sunday it was because I was too hung-over to move!) I didn’t take the Lords name in vain (If you mean saying it in anger, then maybe a little, but only when I was really angry, which I suppose was a LOT) And I would never lie (unless it was for a good reason, which I could usually come up with every other day)
So there are all Ten Commandments broken! Shattered! And that is only the beginning!
I thought I was a loving person to my fellow man, but I realised I manipulated others with kindness into making me ‘happy’. I gave gifts and cooked meals, but was it really from a good place of generosity, or because it was expected and I wanted to appear good? I did like giving gifts and being kind and working hard, but I was not honestly in-touch with my heart enough to know what my true motives were. I believed the first reason or excuse I could come up with, without questioning the possibility of it being from a place of flesh, not from a Christ-like heart.
I can go on and on to list more and more of my sins. I could speak of my selfishness or my bad temper, of my weakness in temptation, or my provocative nature. I could speak of my materialistic tendencies, or my impatience and fear when I do not trust God. I could tell you of the countless times I listen to the lies of the enemy and let them convince me to act in all manner of sinful bitterness and hatred toward others. God knows them all and I continue to confess them every day, as they rear their ugly heads. No matter how many ‘good deeds’ I do, I will never pay the price and take away my blame. I can never do anything worthy of taking away the amount of shame I deserve to feel for my heart of flesh and worldliness.
Thankfully, through one Son’s sacrifice, breaking all these laws is not my one-way ticket to an eternity of torture and pain. God realises that we are incapable of upholding all these laws, they are there to show us our sin. That we may look at them and measure ourselves against them and become aware of how far from God’s will we actually are.
“Why then was the Law given? It was imposed later on for the sake of defining sin” Gal 3:19 (WEY)
“Know that it is NOT through obedience to Law that a man can be declared free from guilt, but only through FAITH in Jesus Christ. We have therefore believed in Christ Jesus, for the purpose of being declared FREE from guilt, through FAITH in Christ and NOT through obedience to Law. For through obedience to Law NO human being shall be declared free from guilt.” Gal 2:16 (WEY)
It is an understatement to say how lucky we are that the price has been paid for all the sins we have committed, and the ones we continue in as long as we are in the flesh of our human bodies. It is an understatement to say how truly blessed we are that God chose to give us grace and forgiveness through His Son, and free us from the laws, and from the penalty of death for our sins. For none of us, not one of us, are blameless.
If we look at another and say to ourselves “Their sins are worse than mine” then we are missing the point entirely!
We haven’t been forgiven because we aren’t ‘that bad’, we are the pits! We all are, because we are all separated from God while here on earth, because we all have flesh that our inner enemy can use against us!
We are forgiven because the Messiah suffered and shed His innocent blood to pay the price, to stand before God and say “They can come in. They are saved because I have paid the debt against them.”
Thank you, Thank you Lord! To You be the Glory Forever!!