Do you remember your first real Christmas?

Do you remember your first real Christmas?

You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. – John 8:32

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

Several decades ago, a young student at UCLA heard that a Christian was coming to speak in his all Jewish fraternity about Jesus Christ. The announcement was made at the regular fraternity dinner meal. Most of the fraternity brothers thought it was a joke and laughed.

But on the appointed Wednesday night over 200 students appeared in their living room and dining room. This was a standard approach used to share the gospel by Campus Crusade for Christ, now called Cru, for those of you who may not know.

Out of pure curiosity, about five of the Jewish fraternity brothers went to listen.

This particular Jewish guy was intrigued by the mere idea that any intelligent, educated person could believe in Christianity’s mythology. It all seems so ridiculous. A man was God? A man was born of a virgin? A man was raised from the dead? A man died for the sins of the world? For all practical appearances, believing such nonsense and myths was absurd.

The man who came to speak was Hal Lindsey. He later wrote The Late Great Planet Earth. 

After he was done speaking, the student approached him and began to pepper him with questions. Hal invited the student to meet with him on campus anytime that would be convenient and bring a Bible from home. The student could then ask any question he wanted. Hal would attempt to answer the question from the student’s own Bible. 

The student took him up on his offer and the process went on for five weeks. Every question the student asked was answered. The student soon realized that the Bible was no ordinary book. It was indeed the Word of God. And the Lord Jesus Christ was no mere man, but rather He was the promised Messiah of Israel. He made a personal decision and prayed and accepted Him as his Messiah and Savior. Later that year, for the first time in his life, the student celebrated his first real Christmas. 

For two millennia, myriads of people throughout the world have celebrated the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But what did Christmas really mean to them? When you are on the outside looking in, Christmas is not about Christ at all. It is often merely a time of family gatherings, beautiful decorations, exchanging gifts, and huge festive meals.

But somehow the true focus of Christmas has been lost to many.

REFLECT & PRAY

John 8:12 “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”

Father thank You that You have provided the Savior and Redeemer. Thank You that You have opened my eyes to see and receive Him as my Savior and Lord.

INSIGHT

For many, Christmas is a beautiful and delightful time of the year. There is definitely a spirit of Christmas in the air. This is reflected in literature and, more recently, movies and television.

But it is much more than that. 

Luke 2:10-12 

 10 The angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.”

 11 “The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!”

 12 “And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Christmas is intended to be a celebration of the birth of the Savior of the world by those who believe in Him. The Old Testament predicted that he would come, lead people out of darkness into the light.

Isaiah 9:2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine.

The promised Messiah would bring salvation to the world. The facts are out there for anyone to research and determine. But salvation does not come by merely knowing and understanding facts. It is about accepting and believing in the Person that these facts speak of. It is very personal and individual. It is a decision that anyone can make. 

Luke 2:25-32 

 25 At that time there was a man in Jerusalem named Simeon. He was righteous and devout and was eagerly waiting for the Messiah to come and rescue Israel. The Holy Spirit was upon him

 26 and had revealed to him that he would not die until he had seen the Lord’s Messiah.

 27 That day the Spirit led him to the Temple. So when Mary and Joseph came to present the baby Jesus to the Lord as the law required,

 28 Simeon was there. He took the child in his arms and praised God, saying,

 29 “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised.

 30 I have seen your salvation,

 31 which you have prepared for all people.

 32 He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel!”

At that moment, the Father’s promise was fulfilled. Simeon saw and believed. He accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and Messiah. Anyone can do it. 

John 1:12 To all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.

¯\_()_/¯

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