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A lesson on Christmas before the anti-America crowd starts in again. First and foremost - Christmas is a birthday party. It has nothing to do with decorated conifers or out-of-shape old men in red suits. It is the birthday of Our Savior - The King Jesus.

Today secular Christmas is about many other things and if anything is said about Jesus Christ at all, it is done in hushed whispers lest we offend someone of a "different" belief. MERRY CHRISTMAS HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!

You don't like it, get out of my country. Insensitive and intolerant?

You bet. So sue me.

The only other time we see the Lord depicted at these times is as the infant in Mary's arms. You know the image. He is surrounded by cattle and shepards and Joseph and Mary...and of course the three kings.

"Holy infant so tender and mild"...or so goes the song.

It usually engenders the same reaction some would have to a box full of puppies or a bag of kittens. You can almost hear the collective "Awwwwww" of the koom-baya warm fuzzy crowd.

There was much more to this birth that night. One wonders if those present grasped its significance. We give gifts today partly out of the mindless tradition of excessive spending (and as a capitalist, I am very happy about that), but also to emulate the gift Jesus gave us. The greatest gift of all ... His life for ours.

And that is not all.
It was also a call to do likewise.
A call to follow.

"Deny yourself - pick up your cross - and follow me".

This is no small thing, and not easily done by pew potatoes on cold Christmas Morning or by Pseudo-Christian Pumpkin Boy "nice guys" smiling in their Sunday ties. Not a small thing...and not an easy thing. A Christian life is not a life of idle ease, it is a life of combat.

I recall my days in SWAT. You were not picked out of the blue...you asked to join and then prove you were up to the task. And by doing this, you acknowledged that you were fine with the extra work, the long hours, personal interruptions via pager, and of course...the danger.

Specially the danger.

But you never worried about that much because you had a half dozen homicidal steroid abusing freaks of nature backing you up with German machineguns.

The Christian life is like that in a way except that Christ asks you to join Him. He doesn't paint it rosy like some of the all-inclusive, egalitarian, koom-baya pastors of today who are ruled by the quest of filling the pews...and the money box. Quite to the contrary, Christ tells you up front about the extra work, the long hours, personal interruptions (although rarely via pager), and of course...the danger.

But you will have the Lord God of Hosts covering your six.

"Deny yourself - pick up your cross - and follow me".

Here is the mission -

Deny yourself. A Christian put his brothers and sisters first...even onto death.
Pick up your cross. The cross was Christ's mission. A dangerous deadly mission, unlikely to have any survivors, but He was well up to the task.

What is your mission? Do you accept it, or are you a chicken boy hiding safe and warm in your Christmas bed? Are you man enough to follow the king of kings??

Pick it up and move out!

Following Christ is something many talk about today. They give descriptions of every modern secular Christian feel-good virtue ever thought of by an emasculated nice guy convention. Following Christ means trying your utmost to be like Him. But be like the real Christ, not the domesticated Christ described as "tender and mild" that the secular feel-good pseudo-Christians passingly refer to as they move past the obligatory prayer before gorging themselves on food. I am talking about Christ the in-your-face upstart revolutionary that still makes so many people uneasy to this day.

Jesus challenges us today! He challenges us to do likewise. And to be likewise. And man, how we could change the world if we did!
Can you imagine the kind of nation we would have if men really tried to be like Christ?!
If only a few men did that?!

Pick it up and move out!

"Holy infant so tender and mild"?
Little did they know.
 

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Amen. :angel:
 

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Amen brother! I too, am a christian. And, I need a daily
kick in the pants to remind myself to continue to follow the
teachings of the Lord. If we constantly follow & seek after
the Lord, we're gonna run into persecutions.

But, any bumps in the road that we run into aren't even
a mere bag of shells, compared to what the Lord went
through for us. Anything we suffer is as nothing,
compared to what He did for us.

I have to constantly remind myself of His sacrifice, to
keep my faith. It's a full time job!

Amen brother!
 

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I mean no disrespect and am Christian, but there's another perspective on "deny yourself."

I'd point out that all the "me first," "I look out for number one," "I'm gonna get mine," types are the ones who truly deny themselves.

If you put yourself ahead of everybody else, you stand alone and have only one friend - yourself. If you join the crowd that stands up for other people you have a lot of people on your side. It's not only Christian, it's good math!

JimL
 

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acandkay

From a preacher who has spent almost 40 years preaching that word, I would say A-men, but to those who would take offense, God bless you. This isn't a time to generate a controversy, but to celebrate... it is a party. To all, if you think this is a party... just wait, there is one coming that you don't want to miss.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Amen, and I am ready
 

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Amen gents!
 

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Truly Amen!!! Thank you all for keeping the perspective.



Jim
 
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