Most bloggers tend to customarily write something especially on Christmas Day. Some thanks to readers usually. Maybe some plans for the future - to continue to blog or not. Maybe a reflection on the past (although that's often more New Years Day). It's very strange. Some of my parent's generation still can't get their head round blogging and find the words of a post as objective as a published book - but already we are talking about the "customs" of blogging! How quickly does the world develop!
I wasn't going to write anything necessarily unless I really felt inspired to. I don't like following customs very much - and I must confess I don't particularly like Christmas Day because I think a lot of sight has been lost about the true meaning of the day. I heard an early sermon by my former pastor Dr Stanley Jebb and he commented how little Easter Sunday and the celebration of the Resurrection - the most glorious moment of all history - is celebrated compared to Christmas.
But my attention was caught by the sermon Rob Rufus preached in Hong Kong last Sunday:
I must confess I haven't heard the sermon yet. I'm currently taken up with transcribing and rapturing in the previous message to the CCI prayer meeting: "Pulling Heaven Down". Once again Rob reminds me so much of my hero Dr Ern Baxter! It's so thrilling.
But that matter aside - it was just that simple statement: "God WITH US" that has had me thinking all this Christmas Day. The theme of God being with man is present throughout the whole Bible. God walked with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day in the Garden of Eden. The crowning moment of glory at the Tabernacle was when the cloud of glory filled the Holy of Holies. And again in Solomon's temple - when the preparations were complete, the cloud of glory filled the place so that the priests could not continue ministering! God was with us!
And then in the New Testament - on Christmas Day - the birth of Jesus Christ, He was called "Emmanuel" - God with us! But that wasn't even it - God was not finished pouring out His Presence upon man. On the Day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit was poured out on all flesh and still is poured out to this day! God is WITH us! If I have one wish and one desire as we advance into 2009 is that I will stop thinking like a Christian and live in spiritual schizophrenia that one day God may be pleased with me due to my good works and the next angry with me due to my mistakes and my flaws.
My wish is that rather I will start living like a son and realise that God is with man. God has shown faithfully throughout His Word that despite man's sin - His desire is to walk with man and commune with man and have relationship with man! And to realise that as His son, His heart will never change towards me! I do sincerely thank from the bottom of my heart each and every person who reads this blog and takes time especially to comment and support and encourage me. I feel so blessed and it's my prayer that 2009 sees a greater advance of the Kingdom of God - as a Kingdom of sons than ever before!