Wednesday, 7 December 2011

The power of Christmas

Today, after I dropped the kids off at school (and snuck a McDonald's breakfast :D!), I drove by John Pritchard School.  As I looked at the sign, I noticed that they were advertising their "Winter Concert".  My first reaction was sadness--so many kinds were filing into that school as I was driving by and I wondered how many of them had no idea what Christmas represented.  But I was also convicted.  Because for far to many years, I have been one of those Christians who looked at the moral and spiritual degredation of our society and only had negative things to say.  "We're living in the last days" I'd sigh.  And then I'd go on with my life.

But recently the Lord has been changing my heart.  I still believe that we are living in the last days, and I also believe that we are seeing a free fall in moral and spiritual decay in our country.  But something else is happening as well--something wonderful and glorious.  Out of the ashes of the old Christianity that I grew up with has come a new and vibrant shoot.  Just yesterday I was talking to a colleague of mine in southern Ontario who planted a church on Oct 1.  He has a special needs child just as I do, with issues that are even more challenging than those I face.  And he has faced great discouragement and difficulty in ministry.  But a new day has dawned!  And the response to this new church has been nothing short of miraculous.  And he's not the only friend and/or colleague who is seeing this revival.  I know of other churches and pastors who are seeing young men and women being moved by the Spirit of God back to the Word, back to a place of sacrifice, and back to a real purpose for living.  In other words, the gospel still has the power to save, even here in Canada!!

I fear that we Christians have become deceived by the Devil.  We feel that people don't really want the gospel any more.  So we mostly just tune out attempting to share the Good News with our neighbours, classmates, co-workers, and family.  Or we are ashamed of our church because we don't sense a passion for God in our hearts any more and we fail to invite people to come with us to a service.  Even the Christmas season no longer moves us the way it once did.

But then something happens to shatter our thinking.  God starts moving--and the power of the gospel; the power of the Christmas message takes root in the hearts to those we thought we totally closed to the good news.  And we are reminded again that it is "'Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit', says the LORD of hosts." (Zech 4:6)  The power of Christmas is the power of the gospel--the POWER OF GOD.  The hope of salvation from the penalty and power of sin is that the gospel is available to all who would believe.  And many men and women are being moved to salvation!  And God is currently raising up for Himself a generation of young men and women who are abandoning everything for His sake.  I see it.  I feel it.  And I want to spread the word that God is not done with us!  Let's join Him in His work!


  1. This part of your posting: "young men and women being moved by the Spirit of God back to the Word, back to a place of sacrifice, and back to a real purpose for living. " is what we have been praying for daily, in our own words, of course.

  2. "Out of the ashes of the old Christianity that I grew up with has come a new and vibrant shoot."
    I'm curious about this statement.
    Everything else you wrote resonates with me, but that one statement gives me it could mean a variety of things; so I just want a bit of clarity as to what you meant.
    To put it simply, there are alot of churches and christian leaders focusing more on the "experience" or trying new ways to attract and engage people(sometimes in ways that are leading people away from the true Jesus), rather than focusing on the Word of God and the gospel.

  3. Kyla,

    I totally agree with your caution that there are a lot of churches and Christian leaders that are just seeking to get people into the proverbial front door of the church by using artificial methods of attraction. And fidelity to the Word and the true gospel have been compromised as a result. But it is also true that the vast majority (80+%) of churches are either plateaued or declining. And this includes many churches that are still doctrinally sound, who preach the Bible and the biblical gospel. So what's the problem? It's not enough to have a doctrinally sound church in statement only, it has to also be a doctrinally sound church in experience and power. That doesn't mean that we simply seek experience over truth--not at all, but that we recognise that it's not a choice between experience or biblical truth, that both go hand in hand. Of course these experiences of God's presence look and feel very different depending upon the individual Christian, but they are real. Whether we are going through the valleys of life or are high on the mountain tops, the pursuit of Christ should never grow old. Too many churches today are like the Ephesian church in Rev 2. They have a reputation for doing great things for God, and they are still biblically based and do some good things, but their heart has grown cold. My prayer is that God will renew in our hearts a love for Him that is so real that we cannot contain our joy. And that we will being a new work of God in our lives where we will be students of the Word, but also doers of it as well. What encourages me is to see that work begin anew in many people's hearts. And it gives me a special joy to see many younger people being moved by God in a fresh and powerful way.

  4. I totally agree with you on that.