Monday, December 21, 2009

the greatest gift

When does it feel like Christmas to you? I mean, is there something that triggers that special awareness of the season?

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For me, it has to be after Thanksgiving (the last Thursday of November), and snow and carols. I need all three to kick it off for me. I found myself wondering how on earth people can get into the Christmas spirit without snow. That is a defect on my part, perhaps. After all, there probably wasn't any snow in Bethlehem on the day Christ was born.

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An angel told Joseph, "She (Mary) will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins." -Mt. 1:21 (emphasis mine)

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I have heard it said that Jesus died to make salvation "possible for all." That is not exactly true. Such a phrase begs the questions, "Then why aren't all people saved?" and "Does Jesus save, or do we reach out to the Lord and save ourselves?" No, it is more accurate to say that salvation would be impossible apart from what Christ did, but through him, salvation is

1) a certainty, and not just wishful thinking

2) for those he came to save.

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No snow? No problem. The gift that came that first Christmas is bigger than that.

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Unfortunately, many people have not received that gift. Now, I can't decide which is worse, being without hope, or having a false sense of hope. So I ask, do YOU have absolute assurance that his gift of salvation counts for you? Is it something you hope for, but aren't quite sure about? Do you want to know more about this? Is there anything here that needs clarification? (Feel free to email me if you don't want your comments read by all.)

10 comments:

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Craver: The gift given because of Christmas is precious.

Denise said...

Christmas' has been so over-commercialized it is nice to read a post that reminds us what Christmas is all about. Thanks Craver. Merry Christmas and a Very Happy New Year to you and all your loved ones. I am definitely in the Christmas spirit.

Denise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise said...

p.s. I must have hiccuped as that was my deleted post. My comment came up twice ;)

mommanator said...

beautiful post buddy, a clear as clear winters night, just after the snow

Brother Greg said...

Good observation. From Jesus himself stating that no man can come to me unless it is given him by the Father, to Paul's magnum opus in Romans, to Augustyn's work against Pelagius, to Luther's work against Rome's abandoning biblical theology, through the Puritan era......; the sovereign plan of God to secure (with absolute certainty) the salvation of all those the Father has given Jesus is plain and clear.....all for the glory of God...Soli Deo Gloria. What better message to ponder for Christmas.

lime said...

it definitely has to occur after thanksgiving. before that it just seems like crass commercialism to me.

and yes, i am assured but thanks for taking time to pose the question as it has eternal consequence.

Craver Vii said...

So true Fishing Guy.

Merry Christmas Denise! I enjoy most of the commercialization, especially as the day draws near. I figure it's fine, as long as we don't lose sight of the central focus.

Perspicuity mommanator, is a wonderful thing.

That is key, Greg... that God receive glory for what He has done.

So Lime, do you suppose we will ever have a Crass-mas holiday?

imac said...

I think, the true meaning of Christmas has gone to some extent.
I also think its time for families and time to be happy.

I really think that God wouldnt turn anyone away from entering the next stage of life too.
And I know that you will reply back to me also,lol.
Merry Christmas my friend.

Craver Vii said...

May your family experience joy and peace this holiday season, Imac.

And yes... you bet your tookus I will reply. Thanks for being a pal, and I'm grateful that you feel comfortable to be honest and direct with me. Plus, thanks for opening the door to be able to say a little more.

Let me appeal to logic on this one: Consider the sacrificial system instituted by God, through Mosaic law. Consider how it, along with practically everything else in the Old Testament points to the ultimate atonement, which occurred when Jesus went to the cross. Now ask yourself, if God wouldn't turn anyone away, why would God's Son have to humble himself to live in mortal flesh and die from torture and (worst of all) have his Father turn his face away? And then, why would God lie about it, and tell us that it is all necessary, and that we are doomed apart from a right relationship with Jesus the Christ?

I have seen a tee shirt with a simple illustration of this. On the front it says, "If I'm okay, and you're okay..." On the back it shows a graphic depiction of Jesus on the cross and it says, "...explain this."