Happy New Year. Be blessed and be a blessing!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Message For Christmas

It's Christmas season. Even google is celebrating it with new interface. The forum that I am managing is in Christmas mood too with all the Christmas avatars and signatures. My apologies for lack of Christmas spirit here in this blog. XD

Just want to share the following.

I love questions. So I'll ask questions.

Q: How are we supposed to celebrate Christmas?

Is Christmas all about decorating a fake tree, putting gifts (or boxes) under the tree, hanging socks around the house, cleaning up the chimney for santa to get in, or eating together as a family?

Or what about exchanging gifts? What gifts do we hope for? What gifts do we give away? For me, I never really received anything (as far as I can recall right now) and I never need one too. This year, I did receive an early gift from a friend of mine. So oh well, counted as blessing already.

To answer that question, why not we look at the celebration of the first ever Christmas, the day Christ was born?

According to the Bible, there are three wise men (Magi) who came all the way from Jerusalem. They stopped at King Herod's place and asked him,

"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him" (Matthew 2:2 NIV).


If you have not the slightest idea of how the Magi know about the star, you can trace back the bible to Old Testament book of Daniel and Micah:

"Seventy 'sevens' are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the most holy.

"Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven 'sevens,' and sixty-two 'sevens.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two 'sevens,' the Anointed One will be cut off and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one 'seven.' In the middle of the 'seven' he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him." (Daniel 9:24-27 NIV)

"But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."(Micah 5:2 NIV)
If you were King Heord, what would you do? How would you feel even? Well, needless to say, King Heord felt threatened. He felt as if this new born kind would become his competitor and tried to eliminate Him.

Ok, say you were not King Herod who felt threatened by Christ. Say you were the Israelites who showed apathy towards God. We all know how the Israelites denied Christ and led their own Jewish way instead of admitting that Jesus was their Messiah. Why would these so-called people ignore their long-waited messiah? One theory explains that they responded with apathy because they had chosen to think that Jesus could no longer do anything for them. Therefore, by doing so, they had turned from seeing Jesus as their Messiah to seeing Him as their supplier.

To link it back to present day, how many of us here have this temptation in our heart that says, "I am the king of my life. I don't need another kind to rule over me"?

Let's narrow your life to this past one week. Who had been the king of your life for the past one week?

Have we trust Him enough? Why is it that even when we see Him as our God, we still let sin control our life? Why do we give the steering of our life to God only to find ourselves wrestle with Him to drive the path along our life?

Do we also merely see God as our supplier? Do we kick Him off our lives when we think that He cannot deliver us from any trouble?

Or

Do you have the COMPELLING desire to worship Him?

The Magi were happy to see baby Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him as their king.
"Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh" (Matthew 2:11 NIV)
The treasure-giving of the Magi marks a true believer's heart because they did not hold anything back from God.

After meeting Jesus, the Magi returned back to their country using another route after they were warned in a dream to not go back to Herod, as stated in Matthew 2:11,

"And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
" (Matthew 2:11 NIV)


One more question, did the Magi give their treasures to Jesus in order to love Him or did they give their treasures to God because they loved Him?

In life, love will almost definitely make you desire to give things away, but giving things away doesn't necessarily means you love someone.

The Magi went back to their country as changed men after meeting with the king. They did not go back the same before they met with Jesus Christ.

What about you?
How will you view Christmas this year? Will you come and remember Jesus and then return to your old person or will you let Christmas be a turning point your life and live a different, changed, godly life after experiencing and knowing Jesus's birth?

How will you see Jesus now?
As a competitor? Or as a supplier? Or as a king?

What about the best gifts we can offer to God for Christmas?
What about the gift of ourselves?


(Most of the post content are taken from the sermon "All This For A King" from Ps. Joshua Kang in Lakeview Church Northbrook on December 23, 2007 with further verses reference by me)

1 comment:

Gloria said...

thanks for sharing, love :p