1 12 2020

Speaking In The Light with Pastor Rudy

Life in 2020 has been anything but boring. Coming into the Christmas season, I keep hearing the word “cancelled,” over and over again. But you can’t cancel what this Holiday encourages us to do with its title. Nothing could ever stop Believers from celebrating their Savior! A pandemic can’t do it and the chaotic state of politics is nothing new. As a matter of fact, the very world that Jesus was born into featured a King of Israel who had no true power at all! How crazy is it that the man called Herod the Great gave himself his own nickname? There was nothing grand about the man who was in cahoots with Rome just to wear a title that had no substance. Caesar was the real Emperor and the Jewish people were held hostage by a government that they desperately desired freedom from! Interrupt me if this might sound familiar to the plight that we find ourselves in today.

Right now, unfortunately, too many people are being driven by fear and held hostage by their doubts about what is still to come. The reality for Christians though is that nothing can thwart the promises of God. There is nothing that has occurred this year that has been bigger than what our Lord can handle. The Bible makes it clear that when we surrender our hearts to Jesus, we are no longer citizens of earth but now officially those whose real home is Heaven where God is eternally on the throne! In the halls of Glory, faith keeps us pressing on and moving forward no matter what obstacles may attempt to impede our pilgrimage.  

How many more Yuletide Seasons will it take before you realize that no matter how big or expensive the presents under the tree may be; they will never satisfy the aching hunger in your soul? For God so loved the world that He did so much more than get us a gift card! In light of eternity, the Presence of the One who died upon the tree is what actually gives us hope for the future no matter how frustrating today may be! My favorite part of Handel’s Messiah is the point in the Hallelujah Chorus when the words of Revelation 11:15 are sung right in the middle of the song! To refresh your memory, here is the verse in all of its promised power, “The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.” Christmas is never cancelled for those who have received Jesus as King! Christmas is never over for those who have chosen to act like a citizen in the kingdom of God.

Maybe this Christmas, we should make an appointment for more than just a Covid Test.  Rather than looking for protection, I propose we cry out for a holy anointing! What if this December, we sidestep Santa and ask the Holy Spirit to make us ready to represent our Lord in amazing and awesome ways? In 1 Peter 2:9, the Apostle declares, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” As royal priests, we have divinely designed  duties destined for this December. I want this world to see how different it can be when we decorate our days with the gifts from God!

Instead of giving people what they want, I want to serve those around me with what they really need. Without grace, there can be no salvation. Without truth, there can be no freedom. Without invitations, there can be no place reserved at the banqueting table. Rather than passing the buck, let’s call for the ball to be in our court so that we can shine with the love God spills liberally into our souls! Who needs to be prayed for? Who could benefit from a random act of kindness that comes with no strings attached? The angels woke up the shepherds so that they could witness the birth of Jesus. Those whose profession was the most despised occupation in Israel were treated like VIP’s! God doesn’t judge by what the labels say on the outside. He is always searching for hearts that will be willing to be wholly available to Him!

I just laugh every time I hear a Governor try to outlaw singing. If ever there was a moment in history where we need to raise our voices loud and proud, it is now. I’m sure all of hell would love to edit Christmas carols from the program but it can’t happen. God inhabits the praises of His people. So go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere that Jesus Christ is born. And He is Emmanuel which means, “God with us.” We were created to be with our Creator! We are at our best when we spend as much time as we possibly can with the One who loved us most. Jesus is the One who loved us as love was always intended to be.  

In so many ways, we are like campaign managers for the King of kings. The biggest difference is that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Him to be the Ultimate Ruler no matter how we vote. What the world needs now is to operate under a Theocracy where we are one world under the Lord’s reign. This will occur someday in the future. Until then, when you cast your allegiance to Jesus, you win. So much of what we lack can be traced back to the fact that we follow our flesh rather than His holiness. One day His will and His way will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Until then, we never settle for anything less than God’s best!

This is a December I want to hang out with the One who made the celebration of the King possible. The more I submit my agenda to His lead, the closer I am drawn to His Heart! We don’t just get the honor and privilege to work for God; the biggest perk is we get to be with Him as we do it.

Years ago when I took my first job as Youth Pastor, the church I was at paid me only enough money that I actually reinvested it back into my ministry. I needed another job to pay the bills for my new wife and myself. I became the Head Custodian at Lake Drive School in Mountain Lakes, NJ. I was the Head Custodian because I was the only custodian. The staff meetings I had with myself were priceless. I did get to do something that no custodian before or after me ever got to do. The Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds had his office in my school. Every day, I got to have lunch with him. Every day at noon, I hung out with the Boss. Did I mention, the Boss also happened to be my Father? The best part of that whole year was the time I got to be with my Dad. When was the last time you just hung out with your Heavenly Father? He has an open spot with your name on it. If we want the anointment, maybe we should keep the appointment with the One who put the whole color into Christmas in the first place?



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