"Behold I bring you glad tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying; 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men." Luke 2 KJV
Perhaps to our generation the message has been, more often than not, a voice over the speaker system, a carol that slipped over the tongue of the singer, or a quote from the scripture on Christmas morning by the pastor from the local assembly.
The message to the men of that day (and God willing our day) was an announcement of the coming of a saviour. Appearing first as a child, then as a saviour, he was to save men from this present world, delivering us out of the captivity of the infirmity and oppression of the powers of this world.
One does not have to look far to see many held captive; slaves to alcohol, drugs, lust, power, love of money, station, and many also suffering from physical sickness and disabilities such as the blind, deaf, dumb, paraplegic, crippled, cancer, aids, and a host of other diseases. Many go to bed hungry at night, rising each day to great want. Countless others are held captive to authority of state and government based upon the principles of the base (or) elementary world. (The system of men who rule by force.)
We have not yet touched on another great captivity... the confusion of false religions, great systems of religiosity with much profession but little power, if any, to the deliverance of the captives.
Was this message just a traditional Christmas story or was it, after all, a salvation message to a world caught in the clutches of great apostasy? (a falling away from God) The fact of the matter is, that the generation that heard the message saw the eyes of the blind opened, the deaf heard, the crippled were made whole, the dead were raised, false religion was exposed, the rich man gloried in his humiliation, and the poor man rejoiced in his riches. Social status and walls crumbled as men left their tax tables and fish nets for the greatest cause of all time. Finally the heart of the matter had been reached, the matter of the heart! The sanctuary of the heart was cleansed and men were set free from the bondage of "the old man". Jesus Christ led captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. The kingdom of God was not in word, but in power.
POWER TO THE DELIVERANCE OF THE CAPTIVE!
HARK! What means that voice today? The whole creation is groaning and travailing, awaiting the manifestation of the sons of God. Jesus has shown us the way through, by way of the cross. The power is in His life. That is the mystery. His life was exemplary. Every victory is first won in the heart. It was through love that He conquered, as a leader with noblest character.
All of mankind loves the true hero, one who overcomes tremendous odds to pursue an unlikely cause and come out a victor, overwhelmingly conquering the impossible. Jesus Christ, the greatest leader of all ages is again calling for a volunteer army of MEN who will follow all the way through the death of the self life to the resurrection power of the overcoming life, revealing the nature of Jesus in his "sons", confirmed by a powerful deliverance after the original pattern.
We have heard the words, BUT HAVE WE HEARD THE MESSAGE?!
by Gary Isaac
I like to reread this always, this time of year...please God, may we have ears to hear and hearts to obey!!!