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Who's birthday is it anyway?

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   ...Whose birthday?

How would you feel? ...Say if others decided they were going to celebrate your birthday. They were going to have decorations. Sing songs. Eat a special made dinner. Even decorate the town! And even give each other gifts in celebration!!
 ...And if that weren't enough? Even the stores would stay open late hours for a month before the big day! ...No, let's say two months, even better!! Just so everyone could buy all the gifts they need (...and don't need)!!!
And everyone would just be waiting in anticipation. Just giddy! "Besides" themselves. Even marking the days down on their calendars! Getting everything ready. "Just right" for the big day.
All in celebration of your birthday! How does that sound? Does it sound nice? Of course it would! But there's only one catch to all the festivities.
.....Your not invited!
Now, you might say, "whoa, that doesn't sound right?" And "Who in their right mind would celebrate someone's birthday and not invite them to the party?" "That makes no sense" ...And your right!
...But it happens every year!!
And that would be pretty hurtful! ...Would it not?
Afterall, a nice party like that. Where almost everyone is involved. They are celebrating. Laughing, carrying on. Singing, exchanging gifts under beautiful decorations. But they don't invite you.
Why? ...Because they do not want you there! That would really hurt. Would it not? Of course it would!
...Now you know how Jesus feels!
And it happens every year!!
You see this is the world we live in! The perfect "picture" of our society. Where the world hates God. But wants the benefits of His existence!
   ...Even for something as simple as an excuse to be selfish!! Like celebrating the birth of God's only Son!!!
We live in such a wonderful world don't we? Where we are so self-centered and callous. That we would reject God to the uttermost. Then turn right around. And use the birth of His Son. As an excuse to think of ourselves!
You see, it is simply amazing, the "callous" heart of this world. But what do we expect from a world that is ruled by darkness. By the prince of the air:
  "in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others."
                      (Ephesians 2:203 NKJV)
And what is so amazing. But also more heart breaking. Is a world that celebrates what they do not even comprehend! What they need, but reject every day of their lives.
The love, grace and salvation of God:
  "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
                      (John 3:16-17 NKJV)
Not realizing how badly they need it:
He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."
                            (John 3:18 NKJV)
But also not wanting to admit their sin:
  "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed."
                      (John 3:19-20 NKJV)
So they go about their business every day. Just ignoring the Lord's promting of their hearts to come to Him.
You see when the world celebrates Christmas? it's just another excuse for people to be selfish. But when we as christians. Come together and celebrate. It's to give praise, honor, thankfulness and worship to Him! In reverence. For the awesome and undeserved gift of God's love in Jesus (JN 3:16)! And the chance to become His children (1 JN 3:1)!!
Our hearts should sing to God! Just as Mary's had:
    "And Mary said:

      “ My soul magnifies the Lord
          And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior."
                         (Luke 1:46-47 NKJV)
We should be very joyful this time of year! But the question for us as believers is this. What are we doing to celebrate the birth of Jesus? Our Savior.
Now, this is not about gifts. But about sharing the true message of Christmas with others.
Now, some may say, "well, that's an old message, everyone's heard it". And let me say this. If the message of God sending you His only Son to live and die for you. To save you for eternity is old? Then you really know nothing about what Jesus is all about!
Nor about God's deep passionate love for you! ...Or this world!!
He was born on this earth. Poor, with very little. His own brothers did not even accept Him:
 "For even His brothers did not believe in Him."
                        (John 7:5 NKJV)
The world itself hated Him:
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you."
                           (John 15:18 NKJV)
As it does today! But yet God still reaches out in love to the world. EVERY DAY! Even though it continually rejects Him. And is that not real love? Absolutely, without question!
And often times we give up on the world because of the hate. But God never gives up! ...And He never gives up on us either. Does He now?
And what is really sad is that the one thing the world needs. The answer for all of us. Is the very same thing the world disdains. God's love, grace and forgiveness through Jesus!
The world we live in is a hard place. Famine, sickness, disease, murder,  war, drugs, abuse, the sex trade (etc.), robbery. All manners of evil just "permeate" the world we live in.
And the world thinks that God does not care. Or cannot exist because of the state this world is in. But it is because of us. Our sin. That has made it the way it is! And they think that no one understands their pain and hurt. But little do they know that there is someone who knows better than anyone. What real deep, hurtful pain is.
 "Who has believed our report?
      And to whom has the arm of the LORD been  revealed? 
         For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
      And as a root out of dry ground.
      He has no form or comeliness;
      And when we see Him,
      There is no beauty that we should desire Him
         He is despised and rejected by men,
      A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
      And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
      He was despised, and we did not esteem Him
         Surely He has borne our griefs
      And carried our sorrows;
      Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
      Smitten by God, and afflicted
         But He was wounded for our transgressions,
      He was bruised for our iniquities;
      The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
      And by His stripes we are healed. 
         All we like sheep have gone astray;
      We have turned, every one, to his own way;
      And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all
         He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
      Yet He opened not His mouth;
      He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
      And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
      So He opened not His mouth
         He was taken from prison and from judgment,
      And who will declare His generation?
      For He was cut off from the land of the living;
      For the transgressions of My people He was stricken."
                     (Isaiah 53:1-8 NKJV)
And this world needs to know it!
But the question for you is this. Are you doing your part? Do you share the gospel message with others? With those around you. At work, around your home. Neighborhood? Those you meet? Strangers, etc.?
Afterall, someone shared the gospel with you once! Did they not? Otherwise you would not know Jesus!
Remember, we all have our "part" in the body of Christ. And part of everyone's responsiblity is to share the gospel message (Matthew 28:19-20).
Afterall, if we don't do it? Who will?
 "But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?"
                 (Romans 10:14 NLT)
So, wouldn't it be nice to have people really celebrating the true meaning of Christmas? Of course it would!
So maybe it should not be so much, "shame on the world". For not inviting Jesus to the party. But perhaps it should be more, "shame on us"? For not sharing Him with others! Especially this time of year!!
So how will you be celebrating His birthday this year?

Rev. John Heintzman
Evangelist Non-Denominational
Any questions, comments, prayer requests?

POHOM Columbus, Ohio
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