10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10–11, NKJV)
The Bible records prophecies, preparations, proclamations, and praises of the birth of “a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” But the Bible nowhere pronounces and propagates a religious holiday that celebrates that great event. Interesting, isn’t it? The Bible does not tell us the day of His birth. Unlike many historical events in Israel’s history (cf. the Passover, etc.), Scripture does not assign an annual day of celebration for Christ’s birth. The Bible is silent on observing a yearly religious holiday called Christmas (“Cristes Maesse” or “Mass of Christ,” from A.D. 1038, Catholic Encyclopedia). “There is no historical evidence that our Lord’s birthday was celebrated during the apostolic or early post-apostolic times” (Shaff-Herzog Encyclopedia, III:47). The earliest record recognizing December 25 as a church festival is from the mid-fourth century, a full 300 years after Christ’s birth (Ibid). Indeed, “There can be little doubt that the Church was anxious to distract the attention of Christians from the old heathen feast days by celebrating Christian festivals on the same days (Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, III:607). Undeniably, men invented the religious festival of Christmas; it cannot be found in the word of God. Galatians 1:6-9 pronounces God’s curse on every human change of the gospel. Yes, we rejoice in the birth of the Savior with angels, shepherds, and Magi (Lk. 2:8-20; Matt. 2:9-11). But we dare not devise and demand worship from our own hearts that God has not revealed (remember Jeroboam, 1 Kgs. 12:28-33).
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:21, NKJV)
The tongue is very powerful. With it we can bless God and curse men – almost at the same time (although it ought not be so, Jas. 3:9-10). Solomon assures us we will reap what we sow concerning the words we speak. Since this is true of the spoken word, it is also true of the words we speak online. Posting on websites and social media gives us no license to be rude, crude, unkind, profane and hurtful to others. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are too frequently launching pads for hateful assaults, bitter criticisms, and malicious attacks. Words can cut deeper than a knife, often maiming or killing a person’s good reputation, a friendship, a marriage, or even a life. So, be careful what you post on social media. Our words reveals our hearts, and God is the great heart-knower to whom we all are accountable (Matt. 12:34-35; Acts 1:24; Heb. 4:13). Monitor your words online – what you post will be there for a very long time. Will your words bear the fruit of death or life?
17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life. 18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.” (Genesis 3:17–18, NKJV)
Adam failed in his responsibility to lead his wife away from sin. Furthermore, he willingly participated in sin with her (Genesis 2:16-17; 3:6). Not only did Adam and Eve experience the separation from God their sin produced that day, ongoing consequences resulted that continue to impact all of humanity. Man would no longer benefit from the easy, abundant access to food God’s garden provided. Now, only by daily toil and labor, to overcome reoccurring obstacles, would he feed himself and his family. There are men today who resist the divine charge to provide for their own household (1 Timothy 5:8). Yet, as leader and head of his wife, it is the husband’s God-given responsibility to lead his wife with love, laboring to sustain life for himself and his family (Ephesians 5:25-29). Husbands must step up to the plate, and meet their responsibility to lead, to work, and to provide. Doing so will strengthen your family, and fulfill God’s will.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Romans 12:14, NKJV)
The Lord’s apostle challenges our faith, commanding us to speak well of those who despise us for our faith’s sake. Jesus Himself said, “bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you (Lk. 6:28). It is nothing new for Christians to face personal conflict with worldly people who refuse God and His word. Our faith in Christ compels us to follow His example, and invoke God’s blessing on behalf of those who sin against us. “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” reverberates in our heart, reminding us that we may be the only one who is praying for the sinner whose venom is directed toward us (Lk. 23:34). Be proactive when faced with persecution for your faith, and “bless those who persecute you.”