Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Little children remember for their lifetime the lessons they learn in early childhood. "Christmas" is an important chapter. Blessed is the child who learns the true story of Jesus when He said that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
The usual promotion of "Christmas" brings about a powerful motivation of materialism that is not lost on the little ones. This materialism becomes mingled with the stories of Jesus, and sets our chart for life as being fundamentally self-seeking, unless the much more abounding grace of the Lord can get through to our consciousness.
We do not serve Jesus because of a hope for reward; neither is our motivation a fear of being lost in hell; but these motivations are heavily promoted in "Babylon."
In this time of the cleansing of the heavenly sanctuary ("unto 2300 days [years]; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed," Dan. 8:14) the Holy Spirit wants to purify our motives and deliver us from self-seeking. We are often counseled by sincere people to "seek" Real Estate in heaven; materialism becomes the motivation, mingled into the Christian experience.
Jesus was not motivated by materialism, although it may be easy to understand Hebrews 12:2 as saying that He was so motivated because "for the joy that was set before Him [He] endured the cross, etc."; but the original language can also be understood as saying that "instead of the earthly joy set before Him" that He "endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."
As a young man of 33-1/2 years of age He was the divine Son of God but He was also incarnate, He had taken upon Himself our humanity fully; at that age a young man has just left his youth and as a full-fledged adult he is facing his life--so did Jesus experience our young manhood. It was evident that He was marvelously gifted--a very bright future lay before Him. The story of Jesus' temptation in the wilderness is clear (Matt. 4:1-11)--Satan offered Him the wealth and praise of the world if He would only accept the principle of materialism for His life.
People who say that we must let "Christ" into "Christmas" speak wisdom they do not realize.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 12, 2008.
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