December 18th, 2017 — DEVOTE

I’m not sure I always like what I read, written by Christians, on places like the social media. We are such an interesting people, with such a poor witness. I guess since we live in the land of freedom, we believe we have every right to say whatever we want to say… how we want to say it… when we want to say it. But can I tell you something? With the words we use, and the witness we give, I’m not sure why anybody would want to become a Christian.

Based upon the things I read, life it hard…  life is unfair… life is depressing… life is cruel… what good is God? I read one brother’s outpouring as he listed everything that has gone wrong in the past year, from losing jobs, to having their house being foreclosed, to sickness and disease. There would be no Christmas tree… no Christmas presents… no Christmas celebration this year. But then he wished everyone a Merry Christmas!

Now, I know that Christmas isn’t about trees, presents and celebrations. I know Christmas is all about the King of kings and the Lord of lord’s birth. But how does all my earthly problems trump the Savior’s coming?

I’ve read a number of people who are totally distraught because of loved ones who have gone home to be with the Lord, so they’re no longer here celebrating Christmas with us. I get it! It’s not as if I haven’t had anyone close to me die. Both of my parents are gone and I’ve lost children. But if we’re really Christians and believe in the resurrection hope given to us by the One whose birth we are celebrating, how can this be such a terrible time of year? This Child came to conquer sin, death and hell because we couldn’t! Instead of telling everyone how lonely we think our life is, why don’t we start telling them what a great God we have and how thankful we are Christmas is here, because we are reminded Who’s in control!

Those thoughts have been brewing in my mind for sometime now, but were highlighted as I read this…
“The LORD will put him in charge of the key that belongs to King David’s family. No one will be able to unlock what he locks, and no one will be able to lock what he unlocks.” Isaiah 22:22 CEV

Sounds to me like what Jesus said He would give us…
“I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven, and God in heaven will allow whatever you allow on earth. But He will not allow anything that you don’t allow.” Matthew 16:19 CEV

Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: You’re an overcomer through Jesus Christ… you’re not overcome! You’re the head in Jesus Christ… not the tail. You’re on top in Jesus Christ… not the bottom. You’re on the winning side in Jesus Christ… not a loser! Let that be your testimony to a world wondering why we’re Christians.

Father,
Forgive us for half-hearted believing. You sent Your Son, Jesus, to give us life. We receive that life in His holy name, Amen.

Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen