So much of what we do to celebrate Christmas does not honor Christ, it's honoring ourselves. Most of what we do is nothing more than a veiled, vain attempt to avoid rejection. We spend money that we don't have to give gifts to people that we don't even talk to half of the time. We measure our value by the gift that we give. What is the value/quality of the gift that you give to The King?
[This Christmas] made me look at my celebratory acts, the reason for the season. [I] found that Jesus Christ is our best example for dealing with rejection (Isaiah 53:1-3.) The same way that He was despides and rejected, He still IS despised and rejected. He did not allow the rejection of man to prevent him from doing what God told him to do.
Despised - looked down upon. Hebrew definition: "Hold in disdain or disrespect, prefer something more that the thing you despise."
Rejection - refuse to submit to, refuse to hear, receive. Hebrew definition: "stop, desist, leave someone alone, lacking men, forsaken by men.
- Rejection started in heaven. Lucifer preferred his own lordship and wouldn't submit to (rejected) the Lordship of God.
- It continued in the garden. Adam sinned out of a fear of rejection. He preferred acceptance from Eve more than he preferred obedience from God. All of mankind as a result is sold into sin because of the spirit of rejection.
At every turn and circumstance, man has rejected God because we have sought acceptance from man more than we have preferred God. But Jesus Christ is our example. He created everything, knows everything, knows that He will face rejection and despisement, comes to a cruel earth and submits to rejection. He preferred the acceptance of His father more than acceptance by man. He fulfilled His mission. He who was rejected, gave His life for those who were rejected. He who is rejected, does not reject those who reject Him. God owes us nothing! God sent his son who was rejected by the very ones who reject Him. How can I, how dare we shrink back from loving our enemies when God demonstrated His love toward us by sending His son. The rejected one died and hung on a cross for us even when He is rejected.
14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Since Jesus is our example, how did He oevercome? How shall WE overcome?
It was overcome through faithful obedience. Faith requires obedience. Obedience requires faith. He was faithfully obedient to the command, mission, purpose of His father. he was not concerned about man's acceptance, He was concerned about God's acceptance.
When God calls you and you stop and retreat because of rejection, that's when you prefer the acceptance of man.
When it is easy --> faithfully obey. When it's hard --> faithfully obey. Through the fire --> faithfully obey. Through the flood --> faithfully obey. When family walks away --> faithfully obey. When it seems like you don't have a friend in the world --> faithfully obey. When ends don't meet --> faithfully obey.
He promised to see you through your expected end with joy. All that it requires is that you faithfully obey. Jesus Christ - our example.