TITLE: God’s Gift
DATE: December 13, 2019
Christ is risen. He is risen, indeed.
TEXT: Isaiah 9:6 – ESV - 6 For unto us a Child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
This week we are talking about Christmas. It is coming you know. But what kind of Christmas comes is a question which needs answering.
You know, people want religious broadmindedness when it comes to raising children. How often have you not heard somebody say, "I don't believe in giving little children any religious instruction. I believe in letting them decide for themselves."
The idea is that a child should not be prejudiced until he or she arrives at that point in time where he can choose for himself his religious opinions. It sounds so noble, so wise. And it is so stupid. Would that parent, seeing their child taking a drink of bleach say, "I don't believe in taking poison away from children. I believe in letting them decide for themselves." If that parent sees a child try to put his finger in the electric socket, does he say, "I don't believe in slapping a hand, the child must learn for himself."
Of course, the argument can be made, religion and poison are different things entirely.
I can't argue with that. They are. A child drinks bleach, he is in pain for a few hours, and he dies. But when a child doesn't know Jesus, he dies and is in pain for eternity. Yes, they're different. So different I maintain that for every hour a parent spends teaching his child to not drink poison, he ought to spend a month telling him of the love of Jesus. That child needs to be enlightened.
Enlightening the minds of people for God is an idea that another Pastor I knew believed in.
Of course, he was criticized for his belief. People thought he was too old fashioned, too simplistic. On the day he retired, he answered his critics this way: "Some have found fault with me. They say I am old-fashioned and out of date; I am always quoting the Bible. They would rather have me be more scientific." Then he brought up a poor widow.
"This poor lady", he continued, " has lost her only son. She wants to know if she will ever see him again. Ask Science for an answer. "Will this woman see her son again? Where is he? Does death end all? Those who are scientific, what do you say?" There was a long pause. "We are waiting for an answer, the woman is anxious."
Another long pause. "The woman's heart is breaking. Science must speak. Mathematics, trig, biology, what do you say? Nothing? Then we must once again pick up the Bible." The pastor picked up his Bible and said, "The dead shall arise...that which is corrupted must become incorruptible, this mortal will put on immortality....Give thanks to Jesus Christ, who takes away death's sting." Then, closing the Book, and patting it affectionately, he said, "I will stick to the Book."
Hopefully the people who heard him that day were enlightened. I don't know. But I hope they were. Because a great deal depends on our being enlightened. Eternal life depends on whether you are enlightened and accept what God says. He says, "believe on Jesus Christ and you shall be saved." God says, "If you don't believe you are damned." It is very simple. Acknowledge you are a sinner and God will save you through His Son Who took your place on the cross. If you don't do that you are free to try to save yourself.
And although that is what other religions teach, you don’t want to do that. Instead, look in the manger and give thanks for the Christ. Who is the best Christmas Gift you will ever have.
THE PRAYER: Lord, I give thanks that in the cradle of Bethlehem we were given our Savior Who answers the really big and important questions of life. May we always worship and give thanks for Him. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann. He along with three of his brothers perform on the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html