Tis The Season

2 Timothy 4:2 says, “Preach the word; be instant in season, and out of season.

I absolutely LOVE the Christmas season. Like every year, I listen to a lot of Christmas Carols. The words to some of those carols are powerful as they speak of the Light and Love of Christ coming into the world to save mankind from sin. “Yet in thy dark streets shineth the Everlasting Light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in Thee tonight.”

“God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay…remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day, to save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray…O tidings of comfort and joy!” So uplifting. Those words offer hope in this fallen world.

I look into the eyes of my adult children and I clearly see Christ. Because they “live and move and have their being” in Him. They are filled with the Spirit of God and the fruit of that Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. They exhibit these fruit in all that they do and say.

My young grandchildren also reflect Christ. Jesus said, in Matthew 18:3, “unless ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” These grands of mine, these “little children” may be little is size and age, but they are far from little in the Spirit, knowledge, and love of God. They know they are to be kind and they exhibit kindness, (and other fruit of the Spirit) because they love and follow after the Lord. Therefore, it is HIS life, HIS character that is coming out of them, not their own. I am not implying that my children or grandchildren are perfect. No. We all make mistakes. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s glory. I am speaking in general terms, saying that they do their best to conduct themselves in a Christ like manner.

Why is this? Why do my adult children exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Why do my grands reflect Christ? The answer is because they believe him. We see this clearly in Romans 10:9, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and you believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This scripture is not talking about a head knowledge of Jesus Christ (even Satan knew that!), but rather an intimate “knowing”, like “Adam “knew” Eve his wife and she bear a son“. Any time there was an intimate knowing, life was the result. The actual experience of “knowing” him, entering into a relationship with him, and telling others about it, with your words and with your actions. In other words, “live and move and have your being in Him.”

Sadly, there is a flip side to this comfort and joy. And that involves those who do not know Christ. Just above where the fruit of the Spirit is listed, in Galatians 5, the works of the flesh are listed. They are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such.

How sad to watch a person fumble around in the darkness, not being able to see which way to go and not bothering to turn on the Light switch.

Years ago our family adopted a eight week old puppy. We named her Blossom. She was a lovely family dog and we all loved her. But at the tender age of only ten months, Blossom went blind. A genetic disease handed to her by her mother. In a house in which she was very familiar, we watched as Blossom would try and navigate around furniture to get to where she wanted to go. It was so sad to watch her and time and again we cried as she ran, face first, into furniture or walls, each time yelping in pain.

It’s the same with those who do not know Jesus. John 3:19 tells us plainly. “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil”. Matthew 15:14 and 2 Corinthians 4:3-4 are excellent scriptures that explain this concept.

Luke 6:45 tells us that “a good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh”.

I pray that this Christmas season might be a time for each of us to examine ourselves. What are we exhibiting, the works of the flesh or the works of the Spirit? If we see anything less than God’s goodness (not our own) (another sermon for another day) let us draw close to Jesus Christ and know his love, so that we might be filled with all the fullness of God.

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:2)

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