Saturday, December 17, 2011

Ears to Hear

Revelation 13:9-10 - If anyone has an ear, let him hear. He who leads into captivity shall go into captivity; he who kills with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience, but shouts in our pains; it is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.” - C.S. Lewis in “The Problem of Pain.”

I heard this quote on the radio the other day. It's so true.

It's a busy time of year and although I didn't think I was getting wrapped up in the busyness of the season, I really have been. Last minute shopping, parties, dinners, gift wrapping,
Christmas cards, caroling, church activities. Unless the busyness is church related it's easy to forget the important thing this season brings...the celebration of the birth of Christ. 

I'm so thankful we are still able to speak and write about Jesus, although there are some who are working to take that privilege away from us...any mention of Christmas, any semblance of this the most important holiday of the year for many people. Just a bit of melancholy here.

But you know what? What we see occurring, this offense that has arisen, has to happen to bring the final return of Christ, so amid the grumbling and complaining about our having to embrace diversity, being politically correct and not stating the real reason for the season, JESUS, I will rejoice!

Read the quote again, please. I've mentioned I have heard in my spirit the voice of God. It sounds like an audible voice at times but I know it's not. It's just not my voice. It doesn't speak like I do. Sometimes it's a gentle whisper, sometimes a reprimand. Sometimes it's loud enough to cause me to stop dead in my tracks and very seriously consider what was said. Sometimes the voice is the familiar voice of a loved one or friend!

I am aware of many people, as I’m sure you all do, who are experiencing difficult days due to the economy, job loss or illness. relationship issues. As the quote said above, God shouts in our pain. He is so desiring for all people to come to Him, trust and put faith in Him, not the government, not our churches, not our family or friends, but in Him alone. He is using His megaphone voice today to unstop ears, to cause eyes to see and mouths to openly proclaim that He is King of kings and Lord of lords. And He will so seriously use the lowest points in our lives to do this. As He says in Revelation 13:9-10 above, If you have ears to hear, listen to what He is saying. 

We may not have issues like some do. But some day we will. The future of our country and the world looks bleak. Just watch the news! We see the signs now. We have economic problems around the world. It might bounce back for awhile, but I know what Revelation tells us. 

Countries are going bankrupt, needing assistance. There is talk of a one world government, with one global leader. The movement is happening behind the scenes. The book of Revelation tells us what is in store for our future, if we so have ears to hear. God is beginning to raise His voice, using world matters to warn us. He wants our heads out of the sand and focused on Him. We must stop busying ourselves in things that don't matter and focus on the One who does.

The scriptures above are speaking of a time no one wants to be living in. There will be one in that day in power who seems to be the right leader...of the world. He will be charismatic and admired. People remaining at that time on earth will look to him as their savior and he will proclaim himself to be that savior. But he is a liar. And those who profess Christ during this dreadful time will be martyred for their beliefs.

Why am I bringing this up at this joyous time of the year? It's not a doom and gloom issue; its the often overlooked, shoved aside truth of God's Word. It's time to take a close look at why we have Christmas. It's not about Santa Claus or snowmen and reindeer. It's about Jesus Christ. He’s a serious matter. And as you can see on the news there are many who want that taken away. We must persevere in our beliefs and we must be willing to give our lives for this belief (Revelation 13:10). I see lawns here and there strewn with a conglomeration of “Christmas” scenes...the nativity with a snowman and Santa peering at the baby Jesus. It breaks my heart. 

We must truly know this Jesus, this Christ who was born that man might live. I ask you to pay close attention this year to the words of the Christmas carols we are so familiar with. And I'm not talking Jingle Bells, Frosty the Snowman or even White Christmas. I'm talking about Hark, the Herald Angels Sing, O Holy Night, Joy to the World or It Came Upon A Midnight Clear. Look for the meaning behind the words.

Jesus came from His throne, as I stated previously. He came down from heaven to live with us. Emmanuel, God with us, not just at Christmastime. He wishes to be God with us all the time. Those who have ears, hear what His voice is telling us. He longs for relationship not religion. He wants you to call Him your Savior. He came to earth to live and especially die for you. Who else can say they would do that? We can't take what Jesus did for granted and just say casually, thank You. Take it to heart.

We sang a song Wednesday night at church. I forget the song but I remember the words that stood out like I'd never seen them together before. Shepherd King... Jesus came as our Shepherd King. Humble royalty. And wouldn't you know, both shepherds and kings were the first to meet Him! The lowliest to the highest. And all mankind can put themselves between shepherds and kings on the scale of humanity.

Look to Jesus for your wants and needs. Rely not on yourself but on the One who knows you better than you know yourself. We all have specific needs and He knows how to meet every one of them. Praise Him.

I pray you come away this Christmas with the best and most perfect gift, the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ. I pray the seeds of understanding will be rooted and grounded in your spirits. I pray you will hear the voice of God as you contemplate the true meaning of Christmas this year. He is calling. Your salvation through Christ is worth dying for. It will be the only means to heaven and avoiding the ugliness the world holds in store for our future. He holds our peace in His hands. Reach out for it.

I will end with this not-too-well-known verse of It Came Upon A Midnight Clear:

Yet with the woes of sin and strife,
The world hath suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled,
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not,
The love song which they bring:
O hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing.

Hush, and listen for God's voice this Christmas. Become part of the crowd bent on proclaiming till their death that Jesus is Lord, that He is the only Way to salvation and eternal life...and that's why we celebrate His birth.

Revelation 14:12 - This calls for patient endurance on the part of the saints who obey God's commandments and remain faithful to Jesus.

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