Some, indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: the former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely […] but the latter out of love […] What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached; and in this I rejoice, yes, and will rejoice (Philippians 1:15-18).
During this season, I have thoughts on what some have derisively called “encroaching Christmas,” which means that in their zeal for sales, merchants begin to advertise their Christmas sales earlier and earlier in the year. At first annoyed by the commercialization of it all, I have recently become keenly aware that whether for “selfish ambition” or “whether in pretense of in truth,” Christ is [being] preached.
The awesomeness of God’s venture provokes a response. The Light came into the world, so at this time, we see a proliferation of lights around the city. “But Pastor,” you might say, “those putting up the lights do not even know God. They are simply decorating for the season.” Therein lies the beauty of this. Unknowingly, participants herald the fact that something is different about this season. On the occasion that we celebrate the birth of Jesus, there is a palpable difference.
What a timely season for believing! What a timely season for pondering, “could this be true? Could a baby born so many years ago grow up to be the One to change mankind and the direction of millions of lives forevermore?” Galatians 4:4-5 reads, “but when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.”
Because of Him, our lives can be transformed. Do you believe? When life brings what it will, do you have a faith-filled response? Especially during this season, solemnly evaluate your position. All we must do is believe- believe that what seemed impossible became possible because of Jesus. And He is still at work in us and in situations in our lives, making the seemingly impossible very possible. He brings hope for despair, joy for mourning, peace that surpasses our understanding to guard our hearts and minds. All we must do it believe.