then the glory of the Lord departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. ~ Ezekiel 10:8
Merry Christmas everyone!
As long as we walk this earth, our lives are one long string of choices, followed by the consequences of those choices. In general, good choices lead to good consequences, and poor choices lead to bad consequences. In the verse above, the people of Israel had consistently made bad choices, and the Lord departed from the temple, removing his protective hand and leaving them to the mercy of their enemies.
I have been blessed and fortunate to have made mostly good choices in my adult life. (Lots of poor choices in my younger days. And some pretty bad consequences followed.) And I am blessed to see good consequences that came from those choices. I'm blessed with a great wife, a good job, and financial stability. And while those things lead to a level of comfort in life, none of them can, alone or together, were enough to give me the peace I now enjoy.
While I may have bad days where I get down, when things don't go my way, I can honestly say that I now have a peace that surpasses understanding, a peace that turns the darkest hour bright with light, peace that calms the seas, and quiets the torrents that rage from time to time. And that peace, that ability to weather any storm, pass through any valley, find light in the darkest of places, that peace is the result of the absolute best choice I ever made.
That choice was to hand my life over to Jesus Christ, to make the One whose birth we celebrate this Christmas day the Lord of my life. That choice was available to me my whole life, but as I sought peace and happiness through the things of this world, peace and happiness eluded me, even though I made good choices, and reaped the rewards of those good choices, earthly rewards. But those earthly rewards were never enough, and they did not bring the peace and happiness I sought.
Only Jesus Christ could do that. Only the Son of God could fill the void. I don't make as much money as I once did. I'm not as close to some people as I'd like to be. But regardless how great or not great things are from an earthly perspective, I now have a peace that stems from the hope and confidence in eternity in Heaven, a place with no tears, pain, or suffering. The worries of this world slip away once the awesome realization hits that eternity in Heaven with Jesus awaits!
Life is a constant series of choices. Every one of those choices have consequences. But only one of those choices has eternal consequences. That's your choice to accept Jesus Christ, or not accept Him, to believe He is the Son of God, or to not believe. Your good or bad choices regarding earthly things will lead to good or bad consequences in this life, which is only temporary for all of us. But your choice on Jesus Christ is a choice between Heaven or Hell, eternal joy and peace or eternal suffering and torment.
So, as you gather around your tree and open gifts, I pray that you have made or will make the most important choice of your life, the choice to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life.
Merry Christmas everyone! I thank God for the gift of His Son, for whom this holiday is named. He's the reason this is a national holiday, and He's the reason we can truly find peace in this life.