Happy Birthday Jesus!

Observing Jesus Christ’s birthday on the 25th day of December is a controversial matter for some. Although critics cannot prove that our Lord was not born on this day, some of the more vocal critics tend to create an atmosphere that can ruin the celebration of many who embrace this occasion, as did the heavenly host of angels and shepherds some two thousand years ago as recorded in Luke 2:10-14 (KJV):

Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!

Ultimately, the Enemy is responsible for the warfare against Jesus Christ. He will stop at nothing to discourage or distract us from honoring the Lord because there is no other name under Heaven given among men or women whereby we must be saved as Acts 4:12 declares. (Incidentally, Good Friday, Easter Sunday, the Virgin Birth, Jesus’ Resurrection, and His Second Coming are similarly scrutinized as well.)

To explain why the Bible is silent about a specific day when Jesus was born, some scholars suggest it was far more important for Bible authors to authenticate His birth—as the moment in history when God became human—than to record a specific day or time in history. In other words, it is more important to establish the fact that Jesus was born than to record its specific day of occurrence.

Everyone is entitled to express his or her opinion regarding the celebration of Christmas. Yet, I believe it is both permissible and proper to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ (vis-à-vis Christmas) on December 25th because:

a) It is reasonable to expect climate and temperature variations during the winter months that would permit the outdoor pasturing mentioned in the Luke Chapter 2 Christmas Narrative, and

b) Both pagan and religious observances occur almost every day; we cannot rescind a person’s birthday because it falls on a specific observance. 1

In addition, observing Jesus’ birthday at Christmas continues to serve as a practical expression of our personal, sincere faith in God. Moreover, I believe we can and should reserve one day out of the year to observe the Lord’s birth. Why not Christmas Day?

I have chosen to honor our Lord by celebrating His birthday at Christmas, and as a result, this remains my favorite time of the year.

I am not alone. For I share the sentiments untold numbers of people around the world, who are grateful to God for His unspeakable gift to us as foretold in Isaiah 9:6 (KJV), some seven hundred years before Jesus’ birth:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I wish you a very, Merry Christmas. But most of all…Happy Birthday Jesus!

 

 

Thanks to God Who Gives Us the Victory Today

Imagine living in a world with no pain, sorrow, or disease and where all your wants, needs, and desires are satisfied. In this blessed state of perfect innocence, peace, tranquility, and safety, you thrive in the company of loving companions with the freedom to do anything you want.

This was how it was in the beginning, when God created this world and our ancestors Adam and Eve. He placed them in the Garden of Eden with everything they could ever want or need. Eternal bliss was theirs as long as they obeyed one command: do not eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. (See: Genesis 2:17)

The moment they ate the fruit, spiritual and physical death happened just as God warned. Physical death came over time, but spiritual death came at once, as the entire world became sin-contaminated. (See: Genesis 3:6–19, Romans 5:12)

Ours is a segregated society in many respects. Not only do class and race divide us. Many face strong public resistance after completing their prison sentences as well. Nevertheless, have you ever considered that God has the right to be choosy about whom He fellowships with? In other words, God has every right to enforce a “no strangers allowed” policy towards everyone who is offensive to Him—including you and me.

To make matters worse, with all the technology, self-help, and other resources we have at our disposal, we can do nothing to correct our nature externally. Daily we watch the tragic futility of those who seek remedies through wealth, sports notoriety, political power, corporate achievement, social status, academia, technology, and medicine.

Our failures remind us that, although we are morally and spiritually unfit to occupy a glorious heaven forever, we are well suited to occupy a tormenting hell forever. Our sin-contaminated internal nature prompts us to commit evil deeds and makes us “sinners” before our holy God.

God could have solved our sin problem by programming us to obey Him like robots, but He wanted us to love Him freely and surrender to Him willingly. God could have created loopholes and exemptions in His perfect Law to accommodate our sin problem, but then He would have made Himself less than holy by sacrificing His perfection for our imperfection.

God chose the most effective remedy instead. He became a human being in the person of Jesus Christ so that He could pay the price for our sin Himself as the Apostle John writes in John 1:14 (NIV),

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Our human works cannot earn God’s gift of grace. Only by our simple faith in Jesus’ perfect works can we have our sins forgiven and become non-offensive to God.

Once we come to Him by faith, we can also experience an inner spiritual transformation as His Spirit inhabits and empowers us to love, serve, and obey Him faithfully and victoriously each day until He returns for us, as promised in 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NIV),

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

What a wonderful Savior!