NO CHRISTMAS DARTS NEEDED

8 12 2020
Dart arrow with Christmas ball Dart arrow with Christmas ball on white background. christmas balls with dart stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

SPEAKING IN THE LIGHT WITH PASTOR RUDY

When I was a new Christian living up in northern New Jersey, I would listen daily to the FM Radio Station known as Family Radio. The teaching and music on that dial almost discipled this kid who couldn’t get enough of the Jesus that he had just asked into his heart. Unfortunately, through the years, a man named Harold Camping did his best to destroy this vehicle of faith with his own heresy, but the Word of God conquers the lies of the enemy every time and I am happy to say that Family Radio is back on the air and still ministering to my hungry heart some 45 years later.

The other night, somewhere in that state of not really being awake and not actually sleeping deep, I heard this story told and it hit me like an arrow in the heart. Unfortunately, because I was not totally alert when I was listening, I didn’t fully remember all the details. As a matter of fact, I forgot even the main premise of the devotional. I was wracking my cluttered brain, searching for a clue until when I woke up this morning, it came back to me in all of its glory.

I want to share it with you right now before it wanders into one of those filing cabinets in my head where everything is quite messy!

A young lady named Abigail related an experience she had in a Bible Class she was taking at the Christian College she was attending. On one day, the Professor of her class came up with an elaborate object lesson that hit the bullseye in the middle of the soul. When Abbey entered the room, hanging on the adjacent wall was a huge target! On a nearby table were countless darts. Abbey’s teacher proceeded to ask the students to draw a picture of someone that they disliked or someone who had made them angry, and when everyone had finished their art work, he would allow them to throw darts at the person’s picture.

Abbey didn’t hesitate when it came to the person that was living under her skin. She immediately drew a picture of a two-faced friend who had stolen her boyfriend.

It was finally time for the class to line up and begin to  throw darts. Some of the students threw their darts with such force that their artwork was literally being ripped into pieces flying off the board! Students began looking at the clock not wanting their chance to let off some steam pass them by. Normally they wanted out early, but today nobody was in a hurry to leave. Abbey was one whose countenance was filled with clear disappointment when, because of time limits, was asked along with other students who didn’t get to throw, to return to their seats. As Abbey was mulling over how angry she was because she did not have a chance to throw any darts at her target, the Professor began removing the target from the wall.

Unbeknownst to anyone, underneath the targets was a picture of Jesus. A hush fell over the room as each student viewed the messy and mangled picture of Jesus; holes and jagged marks covered His face and His eyes were pierced. All the teacher said before dismissing the class was “In as much as you have done it to the least of these my children, you have done it to Me,” Matthew 25:40. No other sermon was necessary; no other summary was added. The tears quickly filled the eyes of the students focused only on the picture of Christ. Abbey caught the conviction. You cannot love God and hate His creation. The darts of the Christians must not be the reason that people don’t get a clear picture of Jesus. 

Christmas is all about the Savior who was sent to rescue those who were willing to admit their inability to accomplish this feat without the aid of Divine Intervention. God’s love does not come with strings, conditions and boundaries. God is not waiting for you to deserve the attention He freely gives. God sees a need and meets it. Shouldn’t His Followers be willing to do the same?

We have all been hurt and wronged. This is not up for a debate. We have been mistreated, lied to, cheated and taken advantage of. The very people who should have been looking out for us couldn’t wait to stab us in the back. Remember though, the Jesus we celebrate forgave the very hands that were used to nail Him to the cross. None of us have the authority to determine who can receive the love of God rather than a dart to the forehead. Let Hell throw the darts and let Heaven be ready with gifts of grace and truth. Without grace we cannot be saved and without truth we will never be free. We are not God’s dartboard, and neither should He be ours! Let us be more like the Jesus we claim to celebrate! Let us be those who present a Presence that changes hearts and willingly forgives others as we have been forgiven. It really is what Christmas is all about!


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