O come all yet faithful, joyful and triumphant. O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem. Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels. O come, let us adore Him. O come, let us adore Him. O come let us adore Him. Christ the Lord.
Hello readers. Welcome to my heart. Let us begin.
See what I did there? Haha. Anyways, first of all let me say that I think this song should not only be sung at Christmas. This Christmas season, this song has been one of songs that has deeply moved in my heart and is I'm sure becoming my favorite Christmas song. Here's why.
This year has been filled with many challenges that has pushed me to finding where I stand in Christ. I have great great friendships and have had great situations that has risen this year that has challenged my belief system. Not challenged to the point of does Jesus exist or not, but honestly everything else outside of it. For example, questions about what is church? Who is church for? What determines salvation? How is a person saved? Does this work? Does that work? Is this pastor corrupt? What are the mysteries of the Bible?
These questions don't scare me. They used to, but not anymore. The illustration I picture when I'm thinking about questions such as these is this: I am being handed different color helium balloons. Each balloon represents someone suggesting, "Claude, consider this." And I'm only able to hold all these different "consider this" balloons and not fly away as long as my feet remains anchored in a foundation of Jesus. Every time I'm having these deep theological talks with my Christian friends I'm usually thinking of two things, 1. I have too many of these conversations. 2. Why is he/she really suggesting this?
Let me please go on the record by saying that I love my friends deeply. I love that they challenge me, but I'm also glad that I have also been focusing on being sure they aren't fully influencing my thinking and my views. I'll confess, I haven't always been this way. But now I continue to always rest in the truth that Jesus is Lord above ALL. As uncomfortable as that may be for some, He is.
I love that.
I'm thankful for a Savior that can move in a box and way outside of the box. That we can get a ministry method down to a science, and something can screw up one night and Jesus still shows up---and people leave saying it was the best service they've been to. I love that He can move in order and in chaos. He can be light in the light and light in the darkness. He can be truth in lies and truth in truth. I love the majesty of in one room, the same message can speak to people in different ways. One person can fall in love with Jesus, one can be pushed further away, one can be asleep and hear nothing, while one can be half in tune but hear one thing that shows up years down the road. I love this. I love this dynamic of my Savior. So I want to continue to just adore Him.
And I think about things we adore. Even the definition helps set the tone. Adore means to worship or honor; to regard with loving admiration and devotion; to be very fond of. Do we all know what it feels like to adore something? I think of little children when they see Santa Claus. Or when I've been on a cruise ship and I've looked out at a beautiful sunset over the large seemingly endless body of water and have just deeply been fond of the view. Which drives me to thinking of Mary's perspective of her son. She was calling him Lord---her child. But the beauty of knowledge when it's attributed to faith. Because what I see in the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus is a knowledge of a group of people who knew the Messiah was expected to come, and the faith to believe that when Mary was having this baby that surely this was Him that the angels had been speaking of and the prophets have been excited about. And recently as I've been finally reading the Old Testament, I'm seeing the foreshadowing of Jesus all through the Old Testament. The older prophets are exclaiming how excited they are for the COMING salvation. The coming lamb of God, and I remember falling asleep a few nights ago with thoughts of my many conversations and I'm constantly reminded of where I rest....it's really all about Jesus.
I'm thinking maybe as a culture and as a body of believers that we are neglecting Christ's full glory. I feel like the Facebook Correction Effect is happening. Know what that is? It's the people that post Facebook statuses correcting people of posting their opinions when they're posting their opinions as they create the status correcting people posting their opinions. So what I'm hearing is that people are getting so frustrated with the prosperity gospel and whatever gospel churches are choosing to preach, and the ones sound in doctrine are screaming at them saying you need to be sound in doctrine, which is just both extremes screaming at each other and we're missing the point that Jesus is returning again and that EVERY KNEE WILL BOW because of His glory. Please hear me, I want people to get back to preaching and teaching from the Bible. I want us to be sound in doctrine. But even above that, I want people to know Jesus. I want to help people find, gain, maintain, and grow, and mature in relationship with their Creator and Savior. And honestly, willing to do whatever it takes. That make you uncomfortable?
I feel like I've been walking in both extremes of whatever people are choosing to debate all the time and honestly, I'm choosing to rest here. Jesus is Lord. I love that you think church is for believers and the hip new churches don't work, but if people are finding Jesus and coming to know him then your argument is invalid to me. And I love that your church is growing in numbers, but if people are only coming to laugh at your jokes and enjoy your cool videos and drink your coffee and no life change is happening, then your argument is invalid to me. If your pastor is doing such a great job of teaching Bible and you're growing in your knowledge of scripture, which doesn't guarantee you'll grow in knowing better the God of the Bible, but you're not growing in your faith and your love and your relationships, then your idea of whatever you believe is invalid to me. I am impressed with your theology and I will love to go toe to toe and discuss deep biblical trues and discuss predestination and biblical relationships, but at the end of the day....and please hear me right now....at the end of the day, you know what's really happening?
People are dying and going to hell because they are choosing to deny the salvation that's been freely provided, choosing to endure the wrath of God themselves and not embrace and receive Jesus's payment for their sins. So if your knowledge is not pushing you into using it to reel in unbelievers, then what's the point? You may have an answer to that. Good. I'm sure you can use it on someone else.
I just can't shake this thought that Jesus is really IT. Like any other religion would be enticing to me if they had Jesus in it. Like, Jesus is IT. Jesus saving the thief on the cross has been huge for me. It's done something to my understanding of His character. I mean, this guy had no understanding of the gospel, no understanding of the Trinity, no understanding of grace or church methodology, no understanding of tithing or your life will be better if you do this, AND JESUS SAVED HIM!
Dude got saved with a few hours left on his time clock. So, yeah. I'll let the Bible deal with you on that. But as for me, I'm going to continue to adore my Savior. Continue to fall passionately and deeply in love with Him. Yes, I'll grow in knowledge. Yes, I'll grow in outreach. But what I really and desperately want for myself and for you is this, than when Jesus comes back in all His glory and He's gathering the ones He knows, that you and I are in the midst of that group, because He knows you, and we know Him.
So let's adore Him. The thought of Jesus warms us so deeply that anything we're doing at the moment is nonexistent. And reverence to honor something we adore. To worship our Holy King that has relieved us of our debt of sin and is providing for us new life in Him. Let's adore Him, just like the people that gathered to see this baby boy laying in a manager adored Him. THERE GOES OUR SALVATION, right there. And I know, we may be at a disadvantage, because I know it's difficult to adore something that we can't see. But we must pursue it. We must seek to find why we should adore Him. Yes, that will take you growing in knowledge of Him, but that's a natural part of a relationship. So the biggest pursuit should be relationship.
Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29
Blessed are we who have not seen, and yet we have believed.
Come friends. Let's adore Him.