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One of the challenge points on the Better World Books 2017 Reading […]
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The blessings of Christmas are tied to our response to the Christ Child born in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago. When we read the Christmas story from the Bible, there are at least three ways which we can respond to Him.
One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied.
This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity.
Another response was given by King Herod. His answer was one of hostility. In his raging jealousy, when Herod heard that a King had been born, he said, "Destroy Him Let Him die while He is still in His cradle."
This answer grew and swelled until one day it became a mad mob's terrifying roar: "Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him."
In many parts of the world, this cry is still being shouted. The world objects to the Messiah. If He would remain a gentle and mild Jesus, that would be all right; there is no danger there. Or if He remained a mystical dreamer, or if we could put Him up in a stained-glass window and He would never come down to trouble us, then that would be all right. But a reigning Christ, a life-changing Christ--that is what is unacceptable to millions of people. That is a menace to their way of life. It strikes at the roots of their independence.
But another response was totally different. It came from an old priest in the Temple by the name of Simeon. He took the Christ Child in his arms and said, "My eyes have seen your salvation."
Simeon's answer was the response of commitment. This is the response I pray you will make.
Have you irrevocably committed your life to Jesus Christ? If you have not, I ask you to do it right now. The Apostle Peter was right:
"Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved."
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