I would like to wish all those who follow my blog a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I really enjoy posting to a blog. I don't know who reads it, but I hope it is a blessing. The challenge that I would like to leave you with this Christmas is three-fold.
First of all, Jesus came that we might have peace with God. Some thought Jesus came to be a conquering King, but that comes later. My Pastor recently read that wonderful poem about our greatest need, and that if our greatest need was entertainment, He would have sent an entertainer. If our greatest need was education, then He would have sent an educator. If our greatest need was technology, He would have sent a scientist. If our greatest need was money, He would have sent an economist. But our greatest need was forgiveness, so He sent a Savior. "...and on earth peace" refers to the forgiveness we can have through Christ, and the spiritual, inner peace we can have because we are made right with God.
The second challenge goes along with the first part of that verse. Please use your voice! However you can proclaim glory to God, please do! Freedom of speech is so important. Don't be silenced by those who claim to be offended. People will be offended by the cross, that's a guarantee. If I told you there was a large piece of spinach between your two front teeth, you might be a little embarrased or even upset with me for pointing it out. You might think, "How rude! I would never say anything to someone that would point out a flaw. It is better to mind my own business!" However, if I have the right spirit and attitude about it, I will thank the person for telling me the truth, showing me something that I didn't see myself at first, but now I can clearly see so that I can remove the piece of spinach and return to the beautiful smile I was meant to have! So it is with our sin. We need to be truthful about who God is, our unworthiness and flaws, and yet our value in Christ. He loved us so much He came just as He promised and made a way for us to be reconciled to God. That deserves a grand declaration of praise to God Almighty for His unfailing love toward us. We don't deserve it, but I'd rather not dwell on that but rather count my blessings! Thank you, Jesus!
The third challenge is the third part of the verse. "Good will toward men" God brought good will to mankind. When we accept God's gift of salvation, then it changes us, and we get along better with our fellow man. Because we now know what it is like to be loved and forgiven, we too can do the same, following His example. Let's take a stand for what is right and true in 2014, and do it with a spirit of love and not frustration with others.
God bless you! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!