There are several modern-day Gnostics who, in the name of Christ, seek to dissuade us from celebrating the birth of Jesus each December. They go to great lengths to enlighten us regarding the pagan associations of the winter solstice, the worship of Druid gods, and idolatry related to evergreen trees. They chide us, saying we are somehow playing into Satan’s insidious scheme by honoring the birth of Christ with our Christmas traditions. Don’t believe it. This old “guilt-by-association” argument condemning our celebrations of Christ must be examined from a biblical perspective (See Rom.14:1-6; 1Cor.5:9-10; 1Cor.8:4-6; 1Cor.10:25-30). To condemn our Christ-honoring praise for the incarnation each December because of some ancient pagan associations is as ludicrous as disallowing Sunday worship because “Sunday” was initially designated for the worship of “Sol” the Sun god. Historically Christians have rightly redeemed certain days, words and places for the worship of Jesus Christ. As Paul wrote when facing the critics in Corinth “Eat anything sold in the meat market without raising questions of conscience, for ‘The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it’” (1Cor.10:25-26). So let us utilize all we can to bring glory, honor and praise to God for the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-- Pastor Mike
The Christmas season is in full swing, and before we know it, 2015 will be upon us. For some, this flip of the calendar goes by without much thought. Others make big commitments for personal change, only to abandon them a few weeks down the road. Whatever your goals for the New Year, it’s wise for followers of Jesus to use this natural transition in the calendar to remember our God-given calling. Why are we here? What is our purpose? Those are big questions, and knowing the answer will set us up for success, no matter what the future holds.
Beyond any other goal, make 2015 a year where you grow to know Christ better. In the coming weeks, think about specific ways you can accomplish this goal. How will you be intentional about running hard after your calling in the coming year? When you give a gift of any amount we would like to send you a book by John MacArthur called A Year of Prayer: Approaching God with an Open Heart Week After Week. This book provides an excellent opportunity to grow in your relationship with God in 2015! It provides a prayer for each week that is thoughtfully and scripturally crafted to express adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and petitions to our Heavenly Father.
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