“(Christ) gave Himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for himself His own special people, zealous for good works.”
January 1st and Ebenezer Scrooge is back in business but as a different person. That had to be the strangest New Year that folks in his city had ever seen. They were so use to Scrooge being the rottenness man in town. Now, after a change of heart his life was the complete opposite.
I am sure that some people in Scrooge’s town may have been cynical.
“How can an old man be born again?” They might have asked. “It doesn’t make sense how one minute he wants to bite our heads off with his sharp critical tongue and the next he is showering us with blessings and well wishes.”
“What happened? Is this real?”
“ Is this another scheme he has to squeeze another toppin out of us?”
Scrooge entered a new year with joy and challenges. People wanted this to happen but when it really came they had their doubts about his new found faith. I am sure there was times when he wanted to slip back into his old ways. I am sure that Bob Cratchit got on his nerves. He had to still answer to the ghost of Christmas past for there were consequences for his actions.
Life went on.
Who’s to say that those who use to be sweet did a flip. They became the hardened ones because they didn’t have the faith to believe that this man could be saved. It could happen. It usually does.
This is where the rubber met the road. This is where the joy of the season entered into the daylight of the common place. To ‘live Christmas all year long and the keep it in one’s heart ‘is unheard of.
Isn’t that special magic only found during the Christmas season? How does it carry over into a Monday at tax season.? A Tuesday during the heat of summer.? Or a Wednesday when cancer has invaded your home? These are places where the Christ of Christmas wants to be. That is why He came into the lives of men. It is to not just fit in and fade away but to spring new unexpected hope where needed the most.
We pray for horrible people to change but when by a miracle they do, we scoff. Why is that? Isn’t God able to change people? Isn’t that why the heat it turning up in the world? The Lord knows that there are still people, like Scrooge or worse, who need to see their need for God. That is why things are the way they are right now. Have you not noticed the change around you?
Scrooge was forgiven. That means that the old crab in him did die. Yet the new man lives. That is the challenge of the walk of faith. It has to be walked in the footprints of Jesus. It’s not an easy road. It is the same road one might have daily walked for decades but it’s a new man wearing the sandals, or in Scrooge’s case, laced up boots.
The joy of being a new man becomes more so when the old paths, the same life is lived on a daily basis. That was his struggle and his testimony. Every person who ever walked away from their past to follow the Lord has experienced that. Just as Paul in the Bible. They doubted his faith for a long time. It was that walk, day after day, struggle, after struggle, which testified that he was new and genuine.
Give people time. Don’t be surprised that in these last times the least expected people will come to faith. Don’t be a naysayer, be an avid prayer. Lift them up and see what the Lord can do. The fire is getting hotter and the blind eyes are opening.
Those of you call yourself Christian, prepare yourselves for miracles. The “gangstas” , the Lady Gaga’s, the Adolf Hitlers might just be ready to meet the Master. Are YOU ready to accept them into the family of God? What you do or say could bolster or hinder their new walk. Help them walk don’t trip them up.