4 WINDS USA (WORLDWIDE SPORTS MINISTRY)

The heart of Christmas

By Paul Bawden

What is at the heart of Christmas? Certainly, there is the great Christmas music, the many decorations, and the beautifully lit Christmas trees, along with the giving of gifts and the individual and family celebrations, while helping those in need. The spirit of Christmas fills the air at Christmas time.

But is this what is at the heart of Christmas? Actually, Christmas is much, much more, for Christmas lays open before us the heart of the biblical God. He loved us so much that He gave us His one and only eternal Son to be born of a virgin to become involved in a world of sin and corruption, where some would accept Him, others would reject Him, and eventually He would suffer beyond description, and be crucified on a cruel cross, the worst way to die. Such was not for naught, for there on that old rugged cross, Christ was made sin for us. He who knew no sin. Then, in His death, burial, and bodily resurrection, He paid the price for our sin, which is death, and won for us His forgiveness and eternal life.

The believer in Christ has his life transformed by His power from living a life that pleases himself (selfishness) to living a holy life that pleases the Lord (humility), from living a life of hopelessness to living a life of hope, from not knowing why one is here to knowing why one is here – to bring glory to God in all that he thinks, says, and does (I Corinthians 10:31).

Sad today, many don’t accept the Christ of Christmas as their personal Savior. Others may even celebrate Christmas without knowing Christ personally, while others have a head knowledge about Christmas, but their actions don’t display they know and live for Christ. I trust you have made your decision for Christ and are living for Him.

Think about the pride displayed in peoples’ lives in the USA and around the world. Then, there is the denial by many that life begins at conception and marriage is between a man and woman. Added to this is the corruption in big tech, along with the fraud in the crypto world, and the lawlessness and homelessness in major cities. Even the government officials, who may say they believe in Christmas, their actions don’t in any way change the truth that the biblical God has created life and marriage and has a standard for living a holy life (Galatians 5:16-25).

Yes, the message of Christmas is the message of Christ in His forgiveness and grace to those who believe in Him and live for Him. Down through history this message has been challenged. Believers in different countries have and still are losing their lives for following Christ. Even at Christ’s birth, Herod tried to have His life snuffed out. In reality, this was Satan working behind the scenes to do away with the Christ-child. Satan is still on the move today, bringing his influence on world nations, on our federal, state, and local governments, and on individual and family lives. I understand there’s a Virginia elementary school hosting an After School Satan Club, which school says that it hosts different clubs. Satan is not Mr. Nice Guy, but the deceiver who poses as an angel of light.

Thanks be to the biblical God for Christmas! He opened His heart to us, so that through faith in Christ, we can have His eternal forgiveness, peace, perspective, help, and hope in a world gone wild, plus having His power and wisdom for victory over the evil one who likes to discourage and deceive. One day, it could be any time, Christ will return and establish His kingdom of justice, holiness, and peace on earth.

Merry Christmas! Celebrate Christmas with exceedingly great joy!!

Paul Bawden is married and served in the pastoral ministry for 45 years, retiring in 2011. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.A. in Speech and attended Dallas Theological Seminary, receiving a Master of Theology. He has taken counseling courses at Trinity Evangelical Seminary in Deerfield, Illinois. Paul is a lifetime member of the Evangelical Free Church of America, as well as being a member of Interim Pastor Ministries (IPM), which serves churches during their time of transition in searching for a new pastor. He writes for Union Gospel Press, as well as being a volunteer writer for GotQuestions.org. Paul likes to write, read, bike, and work in the yard. The Bawdens have had the privilege to travel to Mexico and Romania on mission trips and visited various countries in Europe.

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