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“Wise Men Still Seek Him”

December 24, 2008

Seting aside a day to remember the truth that Jesus came into the world, (a world that he created) born of a virgin can only be positive; so long as the focus is kept therein. It’s not commanded in scripture, however, any focusing on the uncompromising gospel of Jesus Christ is good. As families gather at this time of year, it does present manifold opportunities for sharing the gospel as we strive to focus on matters of eternal significance. It goes without saying, however, that amajority of activity that transpire around this time of year (such as black Friday) tend to obscure the gospel of Jesus Christ and focus on the “here.” So before going into this further, the following familiar passage is needful:

Romans 14:5-6 “One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.”

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As we grow in the Lord Jesus, we find an increasing desire for that which brings us closer to him. Increasingly we desire heavenly things while the baser elements lose their appeal. We will increasingly seek to let go of every weight, every sin, and every fleshy endeavor that takes our eyes off Jesus. Holidays tend to amplify those wrestlings that go on throughout the year, such as the continuing need to discern between that which is temporal and that which is eternal. When it comes to Christmas, I’ve been at both extremes of the spectrum. During the season of rebellion, I was completely entatuated with the season. Later on I thought it good to not even mess with it; often stating the way that the holiday came about (placing a christian holiday over the pagan observation of Yule) and quoting Jeremiah 10:2-4.  

Today, my thoughts are independant from both camps. For me, the traditions that many enjoy this time of year can seem entrapping, the hyper-materialism is vexing, (although I do enjoy showering the kids with presents) and the incredible expenditures of capital and energy for the purpose of creating a holiday atmosphere seems warm and cozy, but lacking in eternal significance. I know that I sound like a grinch on this and I’m not criticizing any who engage in such. My wife loves to go full tilt when it comes to keeping Christmas, as can be proven by the army of ceramic and stuffed snowmen in our living room. (it’s almost creepy) But as the Lord grants us increasingly vivid glimpses of the world to come, temporal things simply lose their appeal. Whereas I used to love the cozy feeling that came from a well-decorated house, today I can take it or leave it.

This isn’t restricted to holidays; it takes place in every venue of our lives. For example, I used to really love football, but now I couldn’t care less about who wins, who loses, or what have you. (And I praise God for delivering me long before the Lions embarked on their “perfect season” this year) When we begin to get a taste of the world to come, the elements of this world; even the ones steeped in tradition and laced with fond memories of Christmasses long long ago, begin to lose their appeal. It’s not that caroling in the snow is a bad thing; it’s just that thinking on the deep things of God and spending time in his presence is far more fulfilling. As we set our affections on things above, the things of the world, festive or otherwise, will diminish on their own.

nativity-2At times the fleshy elements of this time a year cause me to wish that we could just go from November 30 to January 1. Yet the fact that God so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son into the world, born of a virgin is beyond incredible. He was tempted in all points as we are and yet without sin; showing that we have a Savior who is well acquainted with our battles. He endured the most painful and humiliating death possible; although at any moment he could have called ten thousand angels, revealing a love far beyond anything that we can comprehend. A tomb lies empty where they laid his body, proclaiming to all the world that Jesus has conquered death and is alive forever more.

And when he returns, every eye shall behold him. Every saint, every scoffer, every abuser, every lawyer, every proclaimer of truth, every merchandiser, every pretender, every king, every prisoner, every adulterer, every rich person, every poor person; “everyone” remaining upon the earth, will see it. It will be an event of such a magnitude that none will be able to deny what is taking place. That day is fastly approaching.

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I don’t know if this post is making sense or not. It’s a topic that, if not proceeded with properly, can lead to incredible misunderstandings as many tend to be very beholden to tradition and a continuance of the familiar. I know of people who run themselves to the point of exhaustion as they try to put together a perfect Christmas. They attend two or three family dinners on Christmas day; only to return home completely exhausted. They become almost enslaved to a date on the calendar as every 25th of December must be made to replicate every one from the past. Yet Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The upkeep of traditions has no bearing on the everlasting as Jesus is eternal and unchanging. Last year at this time, we were in Orlando, and despite the superfiscial environment down there, it was a nice break from the franticity that normally accompanies Christmas.

The title of this post is a phrase that’s often heard around this time, however, it’s true every day of the year as Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Whether we classify ourselves a “one day above anotherer” or an “every day the samer” may we all look to Jesus and ensure that he is Lord of every area of our life. That our foremost desire will be to draw ever closer to Jesus and seek to be in his perfect will. As we do this; truly placing him first in our life, many of the contentions and questions will simply go away. The fellowship that we’ll have with one another as we look completely to Jesus will be “out of this world.”

nativity-31Well I should probably be going for now. I wasn’t planning to do a Christmas post because I know that my thoughts on this are not widely shared and, to be honest, it’s much easier to not enter such contentious waters. My prayer is that we will all draw closer to Jesus with all diligence. If we love him wholeheartedly, everything else will fall into place as it should. (Even if we happen to have a tree in the house.)

 John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

One more thing before I go, and this definately brings into focus the eternal aspects and spiritual warfare that goes on unabated. This morning, as most of us are planning for tonight and tomorrow, CR had some Jehovahs Witnesses come to his house. As he told me about it a short while ago, he professed to not knowing how to deal with them, however, he just talked about Jesus and they soon went away. He noticed in their literature, a blatant inability to confess that Jesus is the Christ. Praise God who grants us discernment; even when we don’t feel prepared to handle a situation. The Lord is doing an awesome work in CRs family as well as mine.

One final tidbit. I have learned that L.A. Marzulli has a blog on WordPress. He hosts Steve Quayles radio broadcast on Wednesdays and explores the alien phenomenon from a christian perspective. It was from this man that I learned of the number of christians who have thwarted attempted alien abductions by calling upon the name of Jesus. (Someone should tell this to the guy who stopped by CRs house today.) Here’s a link to the site; namely to a recent posting about the Matreya.

MAITREYA…NOT AGAIN

L.A. Marzulli has been chronicling the activities of this guy ever since he first came on the scene in 1982. WE ARE IN VERY STRANGE TIMES!!! Mr Marzullis site is also on the blogroll.

 I wish to all a blessed Christmas and new year in Jesus.

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5 comments

  1. We’ve decided to escape christmas for the last few years, and have found it very liberating. This year we’re off trout fishing. 🙂

    I hope you have a relaxing, peaceful time with your family, Timbob. I’ve enjoyed your blog this year, and am thankful for the opportunity to read your thoughts.

    Bless you,
    beyondbluestockings.


  2. Once again, Timbob, I’m sure your posts are written just for me!
    Thank you for this timely reminder and for releasing me from “the Grinch” spirit! I was grumbling to myself every time I looked at our tree!
    My love for the Lord far outweighs the traditions of men, and in my submission (my husband did not share my internal conflict regarding the season) to keep our family traditions, the glory can and will, still be His.
    Happy holidays to you and your family, may the Lord bless you all and keep you safely in His care.


  3. Thanks Timbob. You’re again right on the money. I witnessed the “Christmas conflict” for myself last night at our family gathering – especially during the reading of the Christmas story and the prayer.

    Blessings on you and yours.


  4. Hi Timbob, I am so with you. Going from November 30th to Jan 1st would just be grand! That would skip my birthday too, so I would never age. Ha ha.

    So many of the things we do at Christmas are done just because someone expects it of us. That was so evident this Christmas as Jerald and I no longer have the funds to do what we have done in the past. That can be stressful when others are giving you gifts! But we have just had to accept that things are different, and frankly, I like it.
    What makes me sad is that my brother plays Santa Clause and visits the family party as such, for the children. It kind of makes me sick to my stomach. I am so ready to drop all things Christmas and focus on all things Jesus Christ.

    Thanks for the post. I don’t think you are as alone in your thoughts as you might think.

    May the richest blessings of our King Jesus Christ be showered upon you and your family this day and every day!!!

    Marie


  5. Greeting to all. Sorry for being behind in replies.

    beyondbluestockings. This sounds like a great way to spend Christmas. It is indeed liberating when the traditions are let go of.

    fivepeasinapod. It sounds like we have the same kind of situations. My wife is not at all in agreement with me on the holiday, but I keep all in prayer.Indeed the love of God is far and above all that is of this world.

    Jerald. Family gatherings do indeed highlight such differences and when we don’t get excited about the superficial elements, we somehow become labelled “Grinches.”

    Marie. Great to hear from you. I really like Jeralds blog and just made a special link to it as there’s so much to take in there. You are so right about how we’re just expected to participate in the festivities of this time of year; even thought there’s no life in them. Thanks so much for taking time to comment.

    Thanks to everyone. I’m still playing catch up, but with the layoff going into a second week, I should be able to work on this.

    Have a blessed day and a blessed new year in Jesus.



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