I finished wrapping the rest of our Christmas presents last night. This is usually one of my favorite holiday activities. I love listening to Christmas music and praying for each person as I wrap their gift. But this year I was in for a shock. I discovered warning stickers on several of the gift bags. And it made me angry!

None of the gift bags displayed all-out nativities, but some had lovely snow scenes with a word about Christmas, and a giant red sticker that’s nearly impossible to get off. It warns the bag contains…gasp…scripture.

Hello. It’s Christmas. You know, the religious holiday that celebrates the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? But sadly, our culture no longer believes in the Christ of Christmas. They would like to wipe out the whole Jesus part altogether. Many who are not against Him are so inundated by Santa and reindeer, snowmen, and Happy Holiday greetings, that they are woefully ignorant of why we even celebrate this day.

This realization hit me full in the face recently while playing a Christmas game with a group of friends. Stumped by one of questions, the woman next to me asked if I knew the answer, “Can you name the three main characters of the real Christmas story?”

“Sure,” I said, “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.”

“Oh good,” she said. “I had no idea.”

Gulp.

Oh how my heart cries out for people to know the JOY and PEACE Jesus came to bring to us. Not just so we could have a Happy Holiday, but experience the deep down, abiding love and forgiveness of His presence, throughout every moment of life! And now, even innocent bags with any hint of that truth are now seen as suspect. Beware, they say!

But then…maybe that’s a good thing. The surgeon general warns cigarette buyers that: second-hand smoke is harmful to children; smoking can cause cancer, heart disease, stunt fetal growth, clog arteries, and contribute to numerous other health issues. And yet people continue to smoke, in ever-increasing numbers.

Maybe the public should be warned of the dangers of scripture. Such as:

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Learning scripture can correct wrong-thinking and reveal God’s power.

Jesus said, “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29; Mark 12:24).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Arming yourself with the sword of God’s Word has proven effective in defeating the devil’s attempts to deceive you and destroy your life.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand…In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God (Ephesians 6:10-13, 16-17).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Reading the history of God’s people could result in learning and provide encouragement and hope to endure the trials of life.

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope (Romans 15:4).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Becoming familiar with God’s Word can lead to the recognition and worship of His Son Jesus Christ.

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven (Hebrews 1:3).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Reading scripture can lead to spiritual surgery—healing your soul, spirit, body, mind, and heart.   

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Those consistently exposed to scripture are likely to exhibit repentance, maturity, and godlike qualities.  

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Heavenly Father’s Warning: Those who regularly use the scripture in this life, need not fear the second coming of the Son of God we celebrate on Christmas Day.  

In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance (Revelation 1:16).

So watch out for signs of God’s Word. In fact, I hope you will seek it out on purpose. What you do with it now will affect you for eternity. You can’t say you haven’t been warned.

#Christmas #Jesus #scripture #swordoftruth #persecution