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Tuesday Thoughts 12-19-17

I really can’t help it!  The music of the season is inextricably bonded to my celebration of the Christ Child!  There is warmth, truth, and great joy for me in the sounds of Christmas.  As I have grown more mature (not old!) though, the list of favorites has become more focused.  The secular songs sung by the crooners of my youth have become less influential as I’ve moved away from the nostalgic side of the holiday.  More and more, the Jesus-centered carols of old, as well as the contemporary, but Christ-focused songs of today (check out “Noel” by Lauren Daigle!), open the doors to God’s glory.  Just this morning, one of the old ones (1751) caught both ear and spirit: “O Come, All Ye Faithful”.  It was the chorus that grabbed be, “O come let us Adore him, O come let us Adore him, O come let us Adore him, Christ the Lord!”  Sometimes, lyrics ask a challenging question, but today, they were a powerful affirmation…I DO adore Him (chills)!  So, the challenging question is from me to you.  Do you adore Jesus?  The answer will make all the difference in your Christmas celebration.  Before you go looking for “adore” in the Bible, let me tell you that it isn’t in there, and while the actual word doesn’t appear, the definition does!  But let’s start with what we know. Webster’s dictionary defines adore in this way: “To love in the highest degree; to regard with the utmost esteem and affection; to idolize.”  It is very unusual to use “idolize” in the context of Christian faith, but I’m all in with Jesus being your idol and mine!  We constantly exalt human figures to idol status.  You want to sing like them, dress like them, look like them and hang with them.  That is exactly the call for us in Jesus!  Mark, the author of the New Testament book that bears his name, puts it this way, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30 NIV84).  And when we love at that level, there is a resulting action that Paul, writer of so many Biblical books, expresses in this way, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children.” Ephesians 5:1 (NIV84).  There you have it…adoration!  So back to our challenging question…do you adore Jesus?  Maybe you like Him?  Cool, He’s a very likeable person.  But you don’t really imitate somebody merely likeable.  How about His teachings…awesome, right?  Indeed!  But you can put those teachings on a shelf along with a bunch of others you don’t follow.  How about all the stuff God does for us?  Both quality and quantity are outstanding, but there’s nothing personal in stuff.  Do you adore Him? Do you surrender everything to Him, run all your choices by Him, and transform thoughts and actions so that you can become like Him?  That is exactly the measure!  Not how close you are in your imitation (legalism), but how committed you are to the continual process.  That’s how the “Joyful and Triumphant” side of Christmas is present!  Circumstances will change but the Lordship of Jesus never will.  So, “Come, let us Adore Him, Christ, the Lord!”  Merry Christmas!

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