BY: DALE THOMPSON
I went Christmas shopping the other day. I went during the day to avoid the traffic and all of the other busy shoppers who would emerge upon the stores and malls. I barely beat the rush. It occurred to me while I sat at Steak n’ Shake a popular burger joint that the traffic was becoming thicker outside. I could see this through the window of the booth where I was sitting.
Yes this is the season that we celebrate the birth of Jesus. But do all of these people who hurry to finish up their shopping really know what this person Jesus came to do, what He did and what He is still doing today in the lives of everyone? My conclusion is, I do not believe they do understand. If people did understand anything past the gifts, presents, decorating of trees and homes maybe everyone would be just a little more jolly and caring toward the fellow man.
The Bible says Matt. 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
When Jesus was born, they called Him Emmanuel, which means God with us. This was the sign to all further generations. What was the sign what did it mean? After Jesus became of age He himself declared that He came not to bring peace but to bring a sword. Why would He say such a thing? I thought Jesus was a non-violent man, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. If we will open our hearts and minds to the Spirit of God, we will understand what He was saying is that He came to destroy the WORKS of the devil. “To save us from the law of sin and death.” He did not come to bring a literal sword too severe the wicked. He was bringing war to the inner man. It is not by His birth as a babe in a manger that makes the difference in your life. It is the King the Lion of the Tribe of Judah who with His sword cuts away all of the illusions of life. The illusions of life are your ego, your false identity (flesh and blood). Peace is taken from you for you live in a false peace.
Let me explain… people believe they find peace and comfort in material things, such as houses, lands, cars, having their credit cards paid off. None of this can bring peace to your soul. To truly live the life of peace one must have their natural peace removed by an act of violent shaking. God does the shaking. When a person is in a lethargic state, they need a good shaking to wake them from sleep.
When the Lord enters your life riding upon His white horse, do not think for a minute that you will not be rattled to your very core. He wields His sword of truth and cuts away everything that does not belong to Him in your life. The only thing that will remain in that temple is Christ Himself.
Where does this leave you? Once ALL is removed, discarded and burned you will find yourself in the heart of the Father in true peace and comfort. This type of peace cannot be taken from you for you have entered God’s rest.
I am sure there is a misconception about the way I live. People know I make CD’s through Bride and we travel around the world yet know one really knows that I am poor. I do not have an expensive automobile nor live in a mansion. I do not have maids or servants. What I do have is the same as most people living on the income that I make which is very little. Yet, God brings me peace for He provides my needs and the needs of my family according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Things I see on t.v do not move me. when they yell that the U.S. is in a recession and things look grim. Why is that? It is because the love of God, which passes ALL understanding, has brought me to a place of rest. I have balance in my life and I am settled because of who lives in me.
Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil and to seek and save that which WAS lost. Notice the word “WAS” meaning that He was completely fulfilling His calling. How is this possible? “If God be for us who can be against us?”
God is ever present with us, always, He proclaimed that He would “never leave us nor forsake us He will be with us until the ends of the world”. Nothing can separate us from Him? Can sin? The Bible tells me that God is with us and that “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
He is either Emmanuel “God with us” or He is not. I tend to believe the Bible. God does not separate Himself from us. We, through guilt and shame of our iniquities separate ourselves from Him. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of good and evil it was not God who separated Himself from them. They chose to hide from God. It was God who came calling to them. But because Adam believed God was angry it was his own condemnation, which drove Him out from the presence of God.
If anything during this time of year, we need to be reconciled back to God. We need to draw closer to Him and He instantly is closer to us. We must forgive as He has unconditionally forgiven and then embrace His love toward us.
This Holiday season does not have to be one where we are distant from the truth. We do not have to become overwhelmed by our circumstances. We can however reach out to Father God and He will raise us up above all our troubles.
God is united with man and is dwelling with man every day. He is not out on some distant planet where he cannot hear us. Psa 86:13 For great [is] thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
From the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps of despair God has broken through to deliver us. Psa 116:8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, [and] my feet from falling.
The Bible declares that Jesus came “to save His people from their sins.” I believe He has done that. There is something we must do in order to accept that. We must come to the knowledge of the Lord and stop placing limitations upon Him to save. Jesus has “delivered us from the wrath to come.” God’s ways are higher than man’s ways. Num 23:19 God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
How are we to simple accept that? Exod. 14:13 says “Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, 2 Chr. 20:17 “Ye shall not [need] to fight in this [battle]: set yourselves, stand ye [still], and see the salvation of the LORD with you”
Notice is basically says “STOP DOING and START STANDING STILL!” When you do this we have a promise to ALL mankind Isa. 52:10 The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.
My question is to you… how are you going to escape the LOVE of GOD, which knows no barriers? Psa. 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].
No matter where we go, “God who IS love” is there. “Hell [is] naked before him, and destruction hath no covering.” There is no place out of the sight of the Father.
Listen He is NOT angry with you! He wants to love you and have you close to Him. This season is not about the material things, it is ALL about the Spiritual reality of being reconciled to your heavenly Father and walking in the peace that only the Holy Spirit can bring. Jesus made this possible when He came into the world, lived, died, rose from the grave and ascended on high leading captivity captive. The hearts of the children of men are in plain sight for God to view.
I can truly identify with Jonah when he said “I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the LORD, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, [and] thou heardest my voice.” I know the power of God to save. Who can resist His will? If one person can resist God then doesn’t that make that person’s stubbornness more powerful than the love of God?
Be encouraged and take refuge and trust in God who is the Savior of ALL men, specially of those that believe.
Jesus came to be Savior of the world. He is the Savior of the world. He continues and remains to this day indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world. (John 4:42)
CHRISTMAS MESSAGE [Dale Thompson] 1