Dear brothers and sisters,
Today is already Christmas Eve. Are you prepared to celebrate the Good News of Christ’s birth? Many are frustrated by either bad weather or bad economy during this Christmas season. To them there may be little reason to celebrate. But this chaotic circumstance is similar to what the first Christmas had. The Bible said in Luke 2, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.” Could you imagine how frantic it could be when masses of people trying to return to their hometown not for Christmas but for Census? I don’t know anybody would be happy for this trip because they were forced to take the hike. These travelers were probably filled with anger and frustrations (just like many who are trapped in airports, train station or bus station by bad weather). And that was also the reason why Joseph could not find a decent room for his wife to give birth. God chose to send His Son into our human history at this chaotic time. Therefore, the first Christmas gift to me symbolizes “Irresistible Peace and Joy in all circumstances.”
The Spirit of God witnesses to the simple almighty security of the life hid with Christ in God and this is continually brought out in the Epistles. We talk as if it were the most uncertain thing to live the sanctified life; it is the most secure thing, because it has Almighty God in and behind it. The most uncertain thing is to try and live without God. If we are born again it is the easiest thing to live in right relationship to God and the most difficult thing to go wrong, if only we will observe God's warnings and walk in the light.
When we think of being delivered from sin, of being filled with the Spirit, and of walking in the light, we picture the peak of a great mountain, very high and wonderful, and we say - "Oh, but I could never live up there!" But when we do get there by God's grace, we find it is not a mountain peak, but a plateau where there is ample room to live and to grow. "Thou hast enlarged my steps under me."
When you really see Jesus, I dare you to doubt Him. When He says - "Let not your heart be troubled," if you see Him I dare you to trouble your mind, it is a moral impossibility to doubt when He is there. Every time you get into personal contact with Jesus, His words are real. "My peace I give unto you," it is a peace all over from the crown of the head to the sole of the feet, an uncontainable confidence. "Your life is now hidden with Christ in God" (Colossians 3:3), and the serene peace of Jesus Christ is imparted to you.
Emmanuel (God is with us) is what Christmas stands for. “Christ abides in us” is a promised Truth from God. The question is whether we choose to abide in Him or not. While we are busily engaged in shopping or preparation for holiday activities, let’s not forget to abide in Him, and enjoy this serenity of peace that only Christ can offer to each one of us. Especially in this fearful and stressful turmoil of our world, we truly need to abide in His peace and to know for sure that He is in control no matter how bad our circumstance may become.
May you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to come. Remember Jesus’ promise in John 10:10b, “I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Love you in Christ,