Is It Christmas For You?

6 Dec

Yeah, it’s Dec again! My favourite month besides Oct…

‘Cos it’s the month of Christmas again 🙂

Christmas always put me in a particularly “romantic” mood…perhaps cos it’s a season of love and joy…

But it can also be a busy and tiring month…with all the gatherings and gift-shopping…in fact, all my Dec weekends are already occupied, and I don’t even know when I have time to buy presents…

In the midst of all these “Christmas happenings”, I wonder how many people actually celebrate it with its true meaning…

Just a few weeks ago, I suddenly remember a song that I’d heard in my teenage years during a gospel X’mas gathering …the lyrics of this song left a deep impression on me…though I never heard that song again since more than 15 yrs ago…heh, this song was actually sang by our dear sisters, Qiufen and Qiuyin then…It’s titled “Christmas Isn’t Christmas”…lyrics below…

Lyrics:

Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart
Somewhere, deep inside you, is where Christmas really starts
So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do
That it’s Christmas, really Christmas for you.

Jesus brings warmth like a winter fire, a light like a candles glow
He’s waiting now to come inside, like He did so long ago
Jesus brings gifts of truth and life and makes them bloom and grow
So welcome Him with a song of joy, and when He comes you’ll know

That Christmas isn’t Christmas till it happens in your heart
Somewhere, deep inside you, is where Christmas really starts
So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do
That it’s Christmas, really Christmas

Christmas, really Christmas
Christmas, really Christmas for you!

Sometimes, I wonder is it even Christmas for those who called themselves ‘Christians’?

Over the weekend I met up with someone…He goes church every week for many years, prays every day, proclaims God’s favour is on him…a very nice person…but frankly, I dunno if he really knows Christ as his one and only personal Saviour…or whether he is born again for that matter… he seems to believe more in good deeds than in Christ’s salvation…

Well, I know we are in no position to judge whether one is born again or not…’cos only God will know that answer…

BUT

there would be some definite signs…

At least, a born again person will not see Jesus as just one of the many gods…

Jesus cannot be one of the many gods, He has to be the only God, Saviour

A born again person will be able to believe and accept this (though it could be totally senseless to someone who is not born again):

“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

A born-again person will know he needs Jesus as his Saviour, and not others.

However, it is also possible that a born-again person may not be aware or have assurance of his born again…

I think many believers, myself included in the past, do not have the assurance of born again because they keep looking at their same old sinful ways…and these believers may pass on the same ‘misconception’ to other believers, leading them to think that one is born again only if their actions/lives are holy enough, or their faith is strong enough…

The truth is, good deeds cannot save man, if it can, then it would nullify the effect of Christ’s death…Only Christ’s blood can save sinful man…

No matter how much good one seeks to do, it can never be enough to meet God’s righteous standards…

Eph 2: 8-9 clearly says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Well, then there’s this constant debate about so having grace means a person does not need to have good deeds, then this is not just…

There needs to be a distinction between “born-again” and “sanctification”…The former is about salvation/identity which never changes (absolute election by God); the latter is somewhat relative, it’s a process, and it involves man’s behaviour, actions, attitudes, etc….


Born Again

Christianity is about a relationship with God, more than good deeds…

Being born again just means a person is given birth by God, he is now a child of God, a new relationship is formed with Father God and his identity and destiny changes…

As a child of God, I do not need to try to please Him, but He is already pleased with mebecause of the simple fact that I am His child! Full-stop.

Think about it: No matter how angry or disappointed a father is with a naughty child with lousy attitude and behaviour, should the child face any dangerous or life-threatening situations, the father will do everything he can to save his child, whether it is donating his own kidney or using up all his savings etc…Yes, actions and behaviour are important, but a child does not need to earn his father’s love, his father already loves him for the simple fact that he is his child!

In fact, Heaven is not a place ‘good’ or ‘kind-hearted’ people enter…It is not a place for the “sinless”…but it is a place for people whose sins are forgiven

It is not the kind-hearted, intelligent or diligent who will get the inheritance…but it is the child who gets the father’s inheritance…

So, born again people are not “saints”…no, born again is never about good deeds…but being born again is a change in identity and destiny, a transformation of one’s spirit that is brought about by God Himself…

Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. – 1 Cor 12:3


Sanctification

Well, then many people, believers or not, will always challenge like what Romans 6 says:

1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means! 16 Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. 18 You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.

Some of us worry about taking God’s grace for granted and indulging in our sins since God is gracious…well, but when we are ‘slaves to righteousness’, somehow the Holy Spirit within us will move us to hate evil when God’s love captures us…Just like when you love a person more, you will start liking and disliking whatever he likes/dislikes too…Will anyone enjoy getting dirty and sweaty again after a nice shower? Likewise, when we are cleansed by Christ and touched by the loving forgiveness of God, will we still want to get ‘dirty’ again?

Good deeds are important…but true transformation of behaviour can only happen intrinsically only if a person’s spirit is first transformedthereafter, sanctification is God’s process and work…and “He who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion” (Phil 1:6)…

Last Thurs, Pastor just spoke about the assurance of God’s children…happens to tie in with born-again…the link’s here: http://www.lifechurchmissions.com/VideoWindow.aspx?m=868&f=2983

So this year’s Christmas, I pray that it will really be Christmas for everyone, Christians or not, that Christmas will really “happen in our hearts” and we will experience this transformation of the spirit (i.e. the joy and assurance of being born again)…

Everyone knows that Christmas is connected to Jesus, but it’s not enough to merely know that the Star of Christmas is Jesus…but more importantly, what’s that got to do with me? How’s Jesus’ love, power, glory related to me?

Jesus should not merely be the Star of Christmas, or the Star in others’ lives…it only makes a difference if He is the Star of your life!  🙂

“He’s waiting now to come inside

So, give your heart to Jesus, you’ll discover when you do…”

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2 Responses to “Is It Christmas For You?”

  1. overcomethecurse December 9, 2010 at 1:18 am #

    After reading your entry it reminded me of my old self..not knowing what xmas is about and wanting to do good to please God..=)
    Blog more sis!

  2. Joseph Chew December 16, 2010 at 4:12 pm #

    It reminds me of the pirates illustration! Haha!

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