Friday, December 16, 2022
I remember the night years ago I attended the “Christmas” program for one of my grandson’s elementary schools. The reason I reluctantly call it a Christmas program is that there was nothing about Christ in it. There were songs about Hanukkah. There was plenty of Santa Claus. But there was no Jesus – not even one Christmas Carol.
At first that made me very angry. The double standard of claiming separation of church and state and then including non-Christian religions in the program really bugged me. It would be easy for me to focus on that. But that would not change a thing. It would only cause arguments and defensive posturing, and really bring ill-repute to the Gospel message.
I must refuse to let it bother me anymore. It is the reality of the culture in which we live. It is the fulfillment of Scripture about the last days. I do not condone it, but I must not let it become such a burden on my heart that it sucks the joy of Jesus right out of me. No matter what they say or do, I will not stop believing, living, and proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ as Savior of the world.
They may not do it, but why is that surprising? They have rejected the truth and exchanged it for a lie that they think pleases them. Why should I expect them to promote my beliefs when they stand so diametrically opposed to their own? So opposed, in fact, that they refuse any presentation of the truth to avoid any personal conviction. They call it tolerance, but it is so one sided. But I must not let that become my focus.
It would be easy to get very frustrated and attempt to change the system. That would be a mistake. That would take us all further away from change, not closer to it. Change will come only as the love of Jesus and the truth of salvation are presented constantly and unashamedly before the lost people of the world. When the followers of Jesus switch from telling the Good News to trying to change the policies of society, then society becomes more firmly entrenched in their error.
Instead, I must invest in those to whom the Lord has connected me. My grandson who sang one of the songs about Hanukkah needs to be instructed about and grounded on the sure foundation of Jesus Christ. The people sitting near me need to hear me proclaiming the love of Jesus, not frustration with the school system. The world’s system rejects the truth of Jesus Christ. That is not to surprise us, for it hated Jesus also. How much it bothers you depends on who or what you are living for?
So today, I will choose to focus on THE Foundation of all life. “So this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone, a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation; the one who trusts will never be dismayed.”(Isaiah 28:16)
Jesus Christ is the sure foundation. He has been tested. He successfully passed every test. He can be trusted to get us through any and every test of our lives. He will never fail us. He will never forsake us. He will never leave us. When we trust Him alone, we will never be dismayed.
All around us every day are individual people who are searching for something upon which to build their life. But what are we saying to them about the foundation of our life when what they see is dismay over the condition of the world around us? The things that cause discouragement and anger in our lives may be different than theirs, but the reality of such attitudes reveals to them the truth that our foundation is no more trustworthy than theirs.
Once again, and with more conviction than ever, I will choose to focus on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that Christmas is about Jesus coming to earth as the complete and eternal revelation of God in human form. I know that He came to save us from our sin. I know that He died on the cross to pay the penalty of death that I deserved. I know that He rose from the dead to offer and guarantee eternal life to anyone comes to Him humbly and asks. But the world does not know this stuff, and if they do, they are choosing to reject it. It does not accomplish God’s purpose for us to get angry and complain about what the world doesn’t believe. We are to proclaim Jesus as Savior simply and joyfully. We are not responsible for their response to us. We are responsible for our response to them.