The hope announced by Christmas bells can still be heard. Can you hear them? Though your circumstances may make it seem that it is always winter and never Christmas, the bells peal the hope of Christmas all the more loudly. God has made a way of salvation and life for us. The message of the Gospel announces the defeat of evil and the triumph of good! Though you may face the loneliness and the heartache of loss, the Christmas bells peal their declaration that hope in the redemption of creation is here!
In our pursuit of God are we on a truth quest or merely a happiness quest? Do we just want God to make us happy, or are we willing to follow the truth to where it leads? Is our happiness in this life or the next one God's greatest concern? The conventional wisdom is that God desires our happiness, but when we read what God actually says, we find a different picture. So, if happiness is not the end of mankind, what is? To find the answer we must follow the truth where it leads. We must be on a truth quest.
Faith is not a belief in something despite the evidence. Too many Christians think faith and reason are enemies. People think faith is "believing hard enough," or "believing in something despite the evidence." Some think faith is some transactional model where we do our part and then God does his part. We "believe" and then God makes it so. Belief, however, does not create truth.
Respecting myself first is about my needs, my wants, my rights first at the expense of others. That attitude is a recipe for the kind of world we have right now where everyone is going around respecting themselves first, and no one is giving respect because everyone is feeling disrespected. This cycle feeds on itself and perpetuates the evil. Perhaps it is time to believe the truth that we are to prefer others in love first. When everyone is respecting each other, we will all feel respected.
Lies constantly battle against Truth. In fact, it was one little lie that started this war. From this one little lie we create all the trouble in the world. That lie, "You will become like God, knowing good and evil" came to us in Eden. (Genesis 3:5). The implication here is that the temptation was for Adam and Eve to place themselves as the arbiter of what is right and wrong, to become their own gods.
We do not have to rely on blind "faith" or wishful thinking in the resurrection. We have strong historical evidence the resurrection actual happened. The resurrection, however, is 1) an historical event and you do not use the tools of "science" to prove whether an event occurred in history; and 2) the resurrection was a supernatural, not natural, event, so science, which studies the natural world, is impotent to tell us much of anything about a supernatural resurrection.
To those of us who believe, we have been given the position of children of God! No longer are we slaves. We are free. “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Romans 8:1. So why do we wallow in guilt?
The Bible claims that “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” 2 Timothy 3:16. Now what does it mean to say the Scripture is inspired by God?
Jesus Great Invitation in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” These verses are two fold, for some of you this invitation is a come again to him but for others of you this may be you reaching out to Him for the first time.