Thought for the week

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Take down the ‘no room’ sign


We are in the Christmas season. This is a time of joy, shopping, Christmas lights, Christmas parties, gifts, and little children sitting on the laps of various Santa Clauses in a variety of shopping malls.
Trying to negotiate your way through the throngs of people in the various shopping malls at this time is almost unpleasant, as people, like an army of ants, go from shop to shop looking for that perfect Christmas gift.
So is this what Christmas is all about; Santa Clause and gifts? It almost seems so.

Actually Christmas is really about the Jewish Messiah, Yeshua! It is a time to celebrate His birth (although He was not actually born on the 25th of December) and it’s a time to celebrate His life and the victory He attained over sin and death.
However, the Christmas season has become so commercialized with so much emphasis being put on gifts and parties, that when one walks into a mall one usually sees beautiful decorations – lights, Christmas trees and figures of Santa Clause. However, one sees very little that depicts Yeshua.

So let’s compare Santa Clause to Yeshua:

  • Santa lives at the North Pole.   Yeshua is everywhere.
  • Santa rides in a sleigh.   Yeshua rides on the wind and walks on the water.
  • Santa comes but once a year.   Yeshua is an ever present help.
  • Santa fills your stockings with goodies.   Yeshua supplies all your needs.
  • Santa comes down your chimney uninvited.   Yeshua stands at your door and knocks…and, if you invite Him to, then enters your heart.
  • You have to stand in line to see Santa.   Yeshua is as close as the mention of His name.
  • Santa lets you sit on his lap.   Yeshua lets you rest in His arms.
  • Santa doesn't know your name.   Yeshua knew your name before you were born. Not only does He know your name, He knows your past and your future.
  • Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly.   Yeshua has a heart full of love.
  • All Santa can offer is “Ho Ho Ho”.   Yeshua offers Health, Help and Hope.
  • Santa says “You better not cry”.   Yeshua says “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you”.
  • Santa's little helpers make toys.   Yeshua makes new life, mends wounded hearts and repairs broken homes.
  • Santa may make you chuckle, but Yeshua gives you joy that is your strength.
  • While Santa puts gifts under your tree, Yeshua became our gift and died on a tree.

It's obvious there is no comparison. We need to remember WHO Christmas is all about. Yeshua is the reason for the season.
One final comparison! Both Santa and Yeshua give us gifts. Santa gives us toys, clothes, cell phones, hi-fi systems, maybe even a car – which will all get old, possibly break, and eventually be discarded.
Yeshua gives us a gift that lasts forever – salvation and eternal life. This is the best gift you will ever receive and you don’t have to be ‘good’ to receive it, it’s unconditional.

G-d, because of His love and compassion for you, because He wants you to have the forgiveness of sin and eternal life, because He wants to have an intimate, personal relationship with you has, through His Son Yeshua, been faithful to forgive your sins through the work of the cross. He is also faithful to grant you eternal life in heaven, through the death and resurrection of Yeshua.
Yeshua took the sin of mankind upon Himself; He died on the cross for mankind thus becoming the ultimate sacrifice. After giving up His life on the cross, Yeshua took away the keys of Hades and of death from Satan thus guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection, and who invite Him to become L-rd of their lives, eternal life in heaven.

When Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem in desperate need for a place where Mary could give birth to her Child; Luke 2:7 records that “there was no room for them in the inn.”
Sadly, today, more than 2000 years later, millions of people still have “no room” for Yeshua. And although they participate enthusiastically in the festivities of the Christmas season, they keep Yeshua out of their lives; the “no room” sign is there.
How about you? Is there room in your life for Yeshua? What better time than during this season to receive Yeshua as your L-rd and Saviour.
If you are Born Again but you realise that Yeshua is not at the centre of your life, what better time than during this season to rededicate your life or Him.

In Deuteronomy 30:19, G-d declares: “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live”
The choice is yours; my heart for you is ‘choose life and live’ - choose Yeshua. This will truly be the best gift that you will ever receive.

All you need do is confess your sins, repent of them, receive the forgiveness of G-d, invite Yeshua to become L-rd of your life as your Messiah. It’s as simple as that and it begins with the following short, simple prayer:

Thank you Yeshua for Your love for me.
Thank you for giving up Your life on the cross for me and for taking my sins upon Yourself.
I confess that I have sinned.
I repent of my sins and I turn from everything I know to be wrong.
I invite You to come into my heart and live in me.
By Your grace I will serve You
all the remaining years of my life.

To my Jewish brothers and sisters of the flesh this applies to you as well.

Most Jews are waiting for the return of ‘Mashiach’, and whether you want to believe it or not, His name is Yeshua. How do we know this? Yeshua fulfilled ALL that was prophesied about Him in the ‘Torah’ and in the ‘Tenach’.
I encourage you; read and study the following scriptures which all speak of Yeshua: Deuteronomy 18:18, Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6-7, Isaiah 50:6, Isaiah 52-53, Psalm 22:11-18, Daniel 9:25-26 and Zechariah 12:10-11. These scriptures are all found in the ‘Tenach’; please read them yourselves.

Leviticus 17:11 declares that the only way to the forgiveness of sin and eternal life in heaven is through the sacrificial system and the shedding of blood - “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.”
However there is no more temple, therefore there is no sacrificial system. If there is no sacrificial system then there is no shedding of blood. How, then, can you make atonement for your soul?

Scripture records that Yeshua became the perfect sacrifice when He died on the cross, shedding every last drop of His blood, thus taking our sins upon Himself, guaranteeing all who believe in His death and resurrection, and who invite Him to become Lord of their lives, eternal life in heaven.
This doesn’t mean that you must stop being Jewish and follow another religion. It does mean that you choose to have a personal, intimate relationship with the ‘Mashiach’ - Yeshua. Accepting Yeshua as ‘Mashiach’ does not stop you from being Jewish. You were born Jewish, you have a Jewish soul, and you will die Jewish; and if you accept Yeshua as your Saviour, you will spend eternity in heaven, Jewish.
Christmas is not about gifts and Santa Clause. Christmas is about the King of Kings and the L-rd of L-rds – Yeshua. Christmas is about THE gift; the gift of salvation and eternal life in heaven. Put Christ back in Christmas; after all, without Him there would be no Christmas.

Finally, I know that some Christians see Christmas as a pagan festival; however Christmas can be used to get Yeshua and His glorious gift of salvation to people whose current focus is on worldly gifts and Santa Clause. Let us use this season as an opportunity take the good news of salvation to a world in dire need of Yeshua.
We love you.
Shalom.
Scripture of the week: Isaiah 9:6-7: “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever.”