Sunday, December 25, 2022
Not What You Wanted
Not What You Wanted
by David Brenneman
Many woke up this day to presents. Many did not. Some who opened such gifts were greeted with things they thought they wanted some to things that weren't what they were thinking. Perhaps some even were of the "What in the world?" variety.
This morning is our second in our new to us home. I had a rather disturbing night's sleep on the night before Christmas. It took many hours to shake off what was going through my mind all night long in my dreams. Got the coffee made, got the 'kids' fed. Got somewhat dressed to go out and finally clear the drive and sidewalk for family coming later. Thawed out the truck.
The thought of presents and getting what we wanted or deserved in light of it being Christmas seems to be standing out to me right now.
Some, as I go through the headlines, certainly did not get what they wanted. Family problems. Health problems. Vehicle accidents that took a life. Truth is many woke up in Heaven or Hell during the night.
Many want to sing about "peace on Earth, good will toward men and women" yet wake up the reality that it's not that way right now.
As I was sharing with a friend this morning through texts that began with the "Merry Christmas", the best present that I have received this year has been a group of guys that I meet with practically every Saturday. Getting myself another Bible, one of Dr. Charles Stanley's "Life Principles Daily Bible", has been awesome.
It's like a day off of my reading plan from Biblegateway.com. Which means I get to read it a second time on purpose. It's amazing to see things that are about what we read about actually happening in the New Testament from within the Old Testament. References to Judas. References to the Final Judgement written about in the book of Revelation. References to how people are and will be when Jesus returns.
Lovers of themselves. It doesn't take much to see video's of people proving that one. The more modern tag is being a "Karen". People enraged, going off on people with absolutely no sense of civility or decorum. No sense of common sense at all. No sense of thinking about others.
Not what you wanted...if you have not placed your faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for salvation...there will be a day you wake up and it won't be what you wanted. Truth is waking up in Hell when it's not where you think you deserve to be. Our ideas of truth must be compared to what God says is truth. Political sides matter not when both sides spew lies to get people to believe 'their side' and to come to 'their side'. Truth is absent or is believed to be dependent upon interpretation.
There's no interpretation concerning the truth of the Bible. It's God's own truth...in the person of Jesus Christ, who is celebrated to be born today. God's own truth is what we want. What we need. Things matter not. If its man-made it will break down, needing repaired or replaced. Land-fills are the business to be in in this generation. Corporations build empires on the idea of disposability. If it lasts they don't want people to have it because it will mean they have not come back to buy something similar.
There's a famous movie quote that goes as follows: "You can't HANDLE the TRUTH!".
Truth is most don't and refuse to acknowledge what the Bible says. They choose not to believe and until the Spirit changes their mind, they won't.
The truth of God is more often than not what people want. They want to believe that the world is getting better, when it's not. They want to believe that this is getting better, or that is...when it's not. You're either growing closer to God or you're not. That's a key truth.
What are you doing to get more of God's truth in your life? The evidence of several thousand years is everyone's theology is corrected at death. People who thought they were 'good people' and 'deserved' to go to Heaven woke up in Hell because they did not want salvation through Jesus Christ. People who thought their salvation in Christ hadn't 'stuck' woke up in Heaven.
What if you HAD died today? Would what comes next for you be what YOU wanted? Would you wake up in Heaven or in Hell? The God of the Bible says that those are the ONLY two options. What will it be for you? Everyone in Hell did NOT get what they wanted. Everyone in Heaven got way more than they had ever dreamed possible.
Under our Christmas tree is mostly a nice wrap that one of our 'kids' decided is her safe place. My Wife and I really do not bury ourselves in debt to get each other presents. We quite often get the things we would like during the year. Christmas is about Christ, not necessarily the presents.
Our 'Christmas Miracle' was to come live here last year. We've been getting this house turned into our home. God's been bringing people both into our lives and back into our lives. Christmas is about Christ...daily living is about reaching out to the people of this world. Possessions, gifts, things of this world, the Bible says will fade away. Read the end of the book of Revelation and you find everything destroyed and made new. The curse of sin completely dealt with in all finality.
I didn't wake up this morning with what I had wanted, but I did wake up with a purpose.
All that truly matters is the love of God that was shed for me on a cross a few thousand years ago. Jesus loved me enough to leave His perfect Heaven to come to Earth to be born of Mary. To live a sinless life, to die on Calvary for the sins of mankind. Then to be raised 3 days later and sit at the right hand of His Father in Heaven, awaiting that day to come bring home all who are His and have called upon His Name to be saved. He did this for me and for you.
While what I woke up with was not what I wanted...my hope in Christ remains intact. My faith in what He did on a cross to save me is intact.
My sins are forgiven. My Savior is still with me and within me.
While we don't always get what we want...we're promised to have what we need in Christ. My hope is that those who read this do indeed come to Christ to be saved during this time of year. Jesus awaits all while the opportunity still avails itself. When He returns to call us all home to be with Him, that offer will take on a radically different form. Those who come to Christ after the Rapture of the Church will endure some of the harshest days unimagined.
The free gift of God is salvation in Christ Jesus. Ask for THAT gift this year.