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The Real Meaning of Christmas – Part 2

Good Morning, and praise the Lord.  We will continue with the series, the real meaning of Christmas.  Please turn with me to Galatians chapter 4.

Galatians 4

Now I say, that the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all; but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world: But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage? Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years. I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain. Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all. Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first. And my temptation which was in my flesh ye despised not, nor rejected; but received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus. Where is then the blessedness ye spake of? For I bear you record, that, if it had been possible, ye would have plucked out your own eyes, and have given them to me. Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? They zealously affect you, but not well; yea, they would exclude you, that ye might affect them. But it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing, and not only when I am present with you. My little children, of whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you, I desire to be present with you now, and to change my voice; for I stand in doubt of you. Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the Mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children.  But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

How many know that because of our faith in God, and our acceptance of His precious gift of salvation through Jesus Christ, we are heirs and joint heirs with the Lord?  This is the reason why we celebrate the birth, death and resurrection of Christ.  What I’m trying to get you to see is that this is the whole basis of what we believe in.

As a child of God, just like in the natural, we aren’t treated any differently than a servant, which at the end of the day is what we are.  Our job is to please the Master and to follow Him and His words and instructions.  However, God is more than just the Creator of the Universe; He is our Heavenly Father, who had us in mind when He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to redeem us from the curse of the law.

Before Christ, we were in bondage, just like the rest of the world, without hope and acting like there is no God.  Just like the scripture says, at the appointed time, Jesus was born of a young teenager who was a virgin.  It’s interesting that critics will say that there is no possible way that Mary could have been a virgin, and that’s why Joseph wanted to spare her the embarrassment of going public with the controversy, and divorce her according to the law.

To the finite mind, this would be true and honorable for him to do, however God stepped in and informed Joseph to not be afraid to go ahead and marry Mary, because what the pregnancy was conceived by the Holy Ghost, not the touch of a man.  Talk about being fearfully and wonderfully made by the Lord!  Here was this girl, who served God wholeheartedly and innocently, not engaging in premarital sex, only to find out that she was chosen because of her faith to be the vessel used to bring the Savior of the world here.  That is overwhelming to say the least.

Now, I’m going to give a disclaimer here, because I know that there are some people who are part of other denominations that may give me a hard time on what I’m about to say, but I can only speak what the Lord gives me, so I will apologize in advance.  It is not my intent to offend anyone, but I must speak the truth in love.  With that being said, here goes.

Was Mary special?  Yes, she was, but only in the context of the word of God.  Her words upon hearing what were about to happen was profound.  She basically said that her soul magnified the Lord, and she rejoiced in Christ her Savior.  Now, that is music to God’s ears, and she was a blessed woman of God.  However, she was not, and I emphasize this, not the mother of God.  She was the earthly mother of Jesus.  Since there was no one before God, and as the word says, before Abraham was, He is.  That was spoken by the Lord Himself.  Mary doesn’t stand in intercession in Heaven, collecting our prayers to bring to the Lord.  Unlike some of us, she didn’t act as Jesus, Jr., and she had to be saved herself, just like we do.  She said it out of her own mouth.

Moving on, the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts, the promised Comforter that the Lord promised that we would receive once He ascended into Heaven for a little while.  Please don’t act like we have all kinds of time, because His return is coming sooner than we think, so we’d better act like we know.  Don’t leave this earth without Jesus.  Life is short and temporary.  Eternity is forever and permanent.  It’s up to us on how we want to spend it.

We are no longer considered as servants, but children of God.  I know that I might get in trouble for saying this, but it’s the truth anyhow.  Let me clarify something for you.  We are all God’s creation, but we are not all God’s children.  What separates us from just being His creation to being His children is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as our personal Savior.  We have to believe that He was born, died, resurrected and after His ascension, currently sits at the right hand of the Father in Heaven, waiting for the signal to come back to take His bride, the body of Christ back with Him.

The Apostle Paul asks a thought provoking question that we must consider.  How in the world do we get bound up after being free?  I’m going to put it in the concept of the holiday season.  In the middle of the summer, we see commercials about Christmas in July, and how to get some great deals.  Then after Labor Day in September, the stores put up their Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations.

After October 31st, there is a mad dash to the stores to get some early stocking stuffers.  November 1st, they start playing Christmas music until December 25th.  You can’t even enjoy your turkey on Thanksgiving Day, because if you work in retail, you may have to get some sleep in order to be at work by midnight, or 6:00 pm if they call you in earlier in preparation for Black Friday.  So much for the family holiday, right?

If you don’t work in retail, but enjoy the rush to Walmart to get those amazing deals, you might spend the night in the freezing cold with a blanket along with other crazy people who almost knock over the associates when the doors open at midnight.  Can you imagine this madness?  I have a son who works there, so you already know that I’m not making this up.

If you slept in on Black Friday, and didn’t want to deal with the traffic and the crowds, you weren’t in dismay, because Cyber Monday was next, and you got to shop online in your pajamas.  If you waited until the last minute to shop, then you would lose your mind on Christmas Eve, because you only have until 6:00 pm to get gifts.

This is done each and every year around this time.  Like I said yesterday, even we as believers get involved in the hype.  Paul wrote a letter to the church at Galatia, because He really wanted to know why they would allow themselves to get all stressed out, when the goal of the believer is to be and stay free.

Even though I know people will protest, at the end of the day, we have lost our perspective on Christmas.  I will reiterate again, for those of you who missed the message yesterday, please don’t think that I’m against celebrating one of the most special holidays observed all around the world.  I love to shop when I have the money, but I’m not going broke.  My kids are grown and gone.  All but one of my grandchildren doesn’t live in the same state that I do.

Please do not go in debt for 11 months only to do it all again.  This is not the reason why Christ came!  To break it down for those who feel that we don’t need to celebrate, here’s something that you might want to consider.

The three wise men came to see Jesus with gifts.  They followed the star to His location, and then bowed down and worshipped Him.  So there is your biblical proof that Christmas was celebrated, without the commercialism of today.  What are you saying, Sherri?  I’m glad you asked!

We can decorate our houses with garland, lights, and a tree with gifts under it.  Celebrate with your family and friends, but don’t ever lose sight that this season means nothing without Christ.  Otherwise, it would be a politically correct holiday.  Merry Christmas, as opposed to Happy Holidays or Merry X-Mass is a powerful greeting.  Even unbelievers will say it, quiet as it’s kept.  May the Lord bless you, and we will continue tomorrow, God willing.

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