“Now there were shepherds nearby living out in the field, keeping guard over their flock at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were absolutely terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid! Listen carefully, for I proclaim to you good news that brings great joy to all the people: Today your Savior is born in the city of David. He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a vast, heavenly army appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among people with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:8-14 NET2.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14 KJV.
The question might be, “With whom is God pleased?” No doubt, the question is easily answered by simply looking across the pages of the OT. God’s design for peace and happiness in the OT is found in the Nation of Israel but only when they were faithful and obedient to His commandments.
Obedience is the key to pleasing Yahweh, period. It is easy to know that God’s purpose in sending His only-begotten Son is found in the Gospel Message. Jesus came to become the Sacrificial Atonement for the sins of everyone who will believe in Him as Savior and Lord. “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him. The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God. Now this is the basis for judging: that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.” John 3:16-21 NET2.
Peace comes to all people who choose to please Him and those who will choose to follow Him are those who practice the truth. The truth rests in the teachings of Jesus Christ, “Then Jesus said, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he, and I do nothing on my own initiative, but I speak just what the Father taught me. And the one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone because I always do those things that please him.” While he was saying these things, many people believed in him. Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:28-32 NET2.
No doubt a Merry Christmas depends upon the birth of Jesus Christ and how we who know Him celebrate that event. “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” cannot be denied, but the Reason is salvation by grace through faith in Him. This salvation is provided for everyone, but only those who choose to exercise a God-given faith in Jesus Christ will experience this saving grace. “For Moses writes about the righteousness that is by the law: “The one who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) or “Who will descend into the abyss?” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we preach), because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and thus has righteousness and with the mouth one confesses and thus has salvation. For the scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between the Jew and the Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, who richly blesses all who call on him. For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:5-13 NET2.
Therefore, here we are on December 25, 2020 with the expressions of “Merry Christmas!!” in the air. We must be aware that these expressions are intended for everyone, but only everyone who expresses faith in Jesus Christ can experience a real Merry Christmas.
My prayer is that you will enjoy this Christmas celebrating with family and friends a very blessed Christmas Day.
Jesus is Lord!!