By Pastor Favour Onoja
Christmas is the celebration of the birth of our saviour, Jesus Christ. This celebration has been on over Two Thousand (2,000) years ago.
It is a time for giving and not simply a day we exchange gifts. The spirit of Christmas is in “togetherness”. It’s a period which you put into thinking about others. It’s a selfless time, where we forgive, take stock of what is important and become better.
Christmas is the most celebrated event in the history of the World by believers and non believers. It is a time of spiritual reflection on the important foundation of christian faith. We celebrate Gods’ love for the World through the birth of Jesus Christ.
The birth of Jesus Christ was recorded in Luke 2:4-19. He was born for the redemption of mankind. God sent His only begotten son to be the atonement for all our sins, so that we would not be separated from God. Meaning that without Jesus, we would all die for our sins, but thank God for this precious gift of God at Christmas.
THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTMAS:
Many celebrate Christmas without knowing the reason. The following are some of the reasons why we celebrate Christmas:
1. Celebrating Gods’ unconditional love for Humanity:
Christmas is a demonstration of God’s love to humanity, unconditionally. Out of the love for mankind, God sent His only begotten son to earth for the redemption of mankind.
Jesus’s birth was the greatest gift of God in His redemptive plan for the World. “For God so love the World, that He gave His only begotten son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
“For God sent not His son into the World to condemn the World; but that the World through him might be saved” (John 3:15-16).
Despite our short comings, God sent His son to be born and died for the sin of man. Therefore, it behoves on man to respond to that love.
2. Christmas is a demonstration of Gods’ unspeakable joy to man:
“Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, through now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of joy” (1Peter 1:8).
The coming of Jesus Christ brought joy into the World. This joy cannot be taken or given by the world. The joy was also heralded by an Angel in Luke 2:10.
“And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people”.
The joy that Christmas brought to mankind is priceless. In the midst of anarchy, turmoils, troubles and tribulations in the World, He brought us that joy. What a privilege!
3. It is a celebration of Victory, Abundance, Blessing and Rest.
His coming brought us all the above four, at Christmas.
“The thief cometh not, but to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).
His coming is the secret of abundance (blessings); the fullness of all that God has packaged for you in His redemptive plan; the termination or annihilation of the enemy’s captivity/verdict; and the restoration of human’s destiny and dignity (Isaiah 10:27; 42:22).
His coming brought us rest.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your soul” (Matthew 11:28-29).
His coming is the termination of struggles and toiling in life and destiny (Luke 5:5-11).
4. Christmas is the celebration of Gods’ unprecedented presence with man. It gave man unhindered access to God.
“Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:23).
We have undeniable and an unquantifiable access to His presence at Christmas; and His presence guarantees peace, tranquility and quietness.
What a joy at Christmas! You don’t need a mediator to go to God. We have direct access to His presence and in His presence there is fullness of joy.
5. Christmas brought peace to Humanity:
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting father, The Prince of Peace, of the increase of his government and peace, there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
The peace that Jesus brought to us at Christmas is limitless. That peace, the World and it’s system of government cannot give it; United Nation cannot give it; wealth and accomplishments cannot give it; yet, Jesus gave it to us free of charge, at Christmas.
6. Celebration of God’s unquantifiable gift to Man.
“Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift” (2Corinthians 9:15).
God gave us the greatest gift of His son at Christmas. That gift that money, fame and influence cannot buy. It was a priceless gift. Jesus Christ was that precious gift to mankind at Christmas.
7. His birth was a call to Worship:
Christmas should be a season of worship and appreciation to God for His kindness, benevolence and generosity demonstrated towards humanity.
The Angel worshipped:
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (Luke 2:13-14).
At Christmas, don’t be concerned and cumbered with what to wear or eat, where to go for your vacation or other activities during the festive season and miss His visitation and purpose for your life, just like Martha, who almost missed Jesus. Jesus even counseled her about being bothered and troubled with many things.
He said, “but one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her” (Luke 10:41-42).
Brethren, I counsel you at this Christmas, to let go of everything that bothers you and worship at the feet of the Master, by casting all your cares upon him (1Peter 5:7), because His steadfast love is better than life.
You shall praise Him as long as you live.
“Because thy loving kindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice”. (Psalm 63:3-7).
HOW DO WE CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS:
1. With Joyfulness And Singing.
“And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto us is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (Luke 2:10-14).
Let your Christmas be characterized with celebration and thanksgiving. Don’t let what you will eat, wear or other activities be the basis for your celebration.
Joy is a fruit of the spirit. It’s not based on what you have or does not have. Be joyful. Come before Him in a dance and sing unto Him for His unspeakable gift to humanity at Christmas.
2. With Appreciation And Giving.
“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).
Giving is living. God gave us the greatest gift at Christmas. Give to God, give to humanity. Give to the less privileged (orphans, widows, etc).
Demonstrate benevolence, liberality and generosity towards others at Christmas.
3. With Surrender And Submission To God.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”. (Matthew 11:28-30).
Gods’ invitation to you at Christmas is to receive His gift (Jesus Christ) into your life as your Lord and personal Saviour.
He said come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. What a great invitation! What an honour and what a privilege!
It’s only in Him that you are secured and can find rest from troubles, struggling, trials and temptations. In the World, you have tribulations and trials (John 16:33).
Friends, note that, it is in absolute surrender to His perfect will for your life that you can find fulfilment. His will for you at Christmas is that you should not perish and that was why He gave Jesus, a propitiator for your sin, as a precious gift for your salvation at Christmas; that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:15).
Beloved, if you have not received Jesus into your life, could you kindly pray this prayer with me from your heart at Christmas:
“Come into my life and make me a new person. Change my life and destiny today. I say ” NO” to sin and I receive the grace to serve and live for you by faith.
From today, I go forward and backward never.
Thank you for answering me, in Jesus Name.
If you prayed this prayer, you can reach me on my e-mail or telephone nos for further counseling and prayers.
H A P P Y C H R I S T M A S / N E W Y E A R
GOD BLESS YOU RICHLY.