THE BIRTH OF CHRIST — INEXPRESSIBLE JOY!!

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem . . . . to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child . . . . And she brought forth her firstborn Child and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the Inn.  Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields . . . .and behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them . . . . Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord.”  (Luke 2:4-11). (Bold print mine)

This historical account of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, taking on the form of a man, was the fulfillment of a prophecy made some 4000 years earlier, when Adam and Eve committed the sin of disobedience and needed a Saviour to restore them to God’s favour by forgiving them of their sin.  Jesus Christ entered our world specifically to save us from our sins.  The Apostle Paul relates this great truth.  “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am the foremost.”  (1 Timothy 1:15)

Having the assurance of being at peace with God through the pardon of our sins causes an explosion of joy that is just impossible to completely explain!!   “That the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honour and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen, you love.  Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory.”  (1 Peter 1:7-8). God promises this joy to each person who will respond to His offer of mercy!  “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardons iniquity . . . . He will not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy.”  (Micah 7:18). To those who respond by repenting, we read:  ‘For the joy of the Lord is your strength.”   (Nehemiah 8:10). “And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost”. (Acts 13:52)

On the cross, Jesus Christ saw all those who would repent of their sins and trust in Him as their Saviour, and it brought great joy“Looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  (Hebrews 11:2)

Religion and Truth

In this article,  and several to follow. I will point out how hypocrisy has become a way of life for many.  Practicing double standards occupies a broad swath that cuts across everyday life.   So much of our world, the way we deal with each other,  has become like a murky pool of double standards, we lie and deceive one another while while trying hard to shield our efforts from being discovered.  Concealing real motives in politics, religion, and business has become almost like wizardry, turning deceitfulness into feats of remarkable cleverness.   In the weeks ahead, we will seek to take the cover off falsehoods by exposing it to truth.  The Bible speaks of evil and truth as darkness and light, so shinning God`s Word is what is  needed.  To simply tell the truth may leave some readers troubled, as it may hit close to home.  We will begin by speaking about the 2nd largest belief system in the world.

While hypocrisy can be found most everywhere, religion is no exception.   In recent articles by Quillete  (18 July 2017) and Ottawa Citizen (22 Nov 2019), Islam and its influence were articled.  In Quillete, Jeffrey Taylor had written a piece in response to a Huffington Post article that spoke about a recent religious conversion of one of their reporters, Kristiane Backer.  She  became a Muslim, while on assignment for the publication in Pakistan.  Kristiane compared Islam`s values “not only with German values [but] with European values generally…”  She adds that “Islam is a religion for all times and all worlds–therefore also for Europeans in our day and age.  I`m living proof.” she says.   While she is enthusiastic, her view is not in line with reality.   German values do not compare to that of Islam.  In times past, the prophet Mohammad had called on Muslims to one day rally behind Jesus after his resurrection to destroy Christians, Europeans, and Hindus at the end of time.  (Ottawa Star, pg 17, 21 Nov, 2019 Tarek Fatah).  Islamic cleric do not deny this, neither condemn or reject it.  One has to ask oneself where is the peace in all of this?   They seek the deaths for all non-conformists.   Much of the world wishes to live in peace, and freedom of religion is a pillar of Western society.  But  to speak of Islam to be what the world seeks for itself as Kristiane says is simply wrong thinking and to insist upon is hypocritical.   All through the Middle East and Northern Africa, Islam forces their beliefs on non-Muslims through intimidation and violence and while what is happening today in the Far East is disturbing, an increasing presence of their terror is being staged in the free world also.     Peacefulness does not make for chopping off the hands of thieves, holding women responsible for their own abuse and rapes, or murdering the apostates of whatever religion that they may belong to.   No, this is not what the rest of the world wants for itself.

Earlier, we saw that Jesus was brought into the plans of the prophet Mohammad.  That is dubious thinking since Jesus is the central figure in the Bible and speaks truth so men and women may be converted to Christianity, peacefully.    Christians understand this, and rally to His call for peace throughout the world, not by the sword,  but through the Gospel to spread its message.  It is hardly conceivable and in fact insulting to think that Christ would kill His own people that He saved on the cross.

Jesus had given a discourse of some considerable length to a crowd of thousands (Luke 12), and when he arrived at the end of it, He  gave a parable to urge his hearers to be quick to reconcile to God.  Now this same parable was used another time in Matthew 5:23 – 26 which taught Christians that their relationships needed to be right with other Christians, and, if not, that they were to reconcile quickly with their brother and sister in the Lord, even if it meant leaving off worship until it was done.  For the Christian,  it would be hypocritical for any one of us who follow the Savior to leave broken relationships unresolved within the Church.  Reconciliation becomes a priority.    And for those who are not Christians, and wish to become one, reconciliation with God the Father through Christ is your first step.  Jesus is the way to the Father if you are to be in a right relationship with Him.  We know that Christians will suffer wrongly for the sake of Christ, but we do not dishonour Him by seeking vengeance or retribution.   It is by peaceful means, love and respect we seek to win people to Christ.

Following article about Politics and Truth.