A day to celebrate LIFE!

This past weekend, a movie called “Saw III” was the number one money-maker in American theaters. The movie is one of a genre called slasher films and features copious amounts of terror, blood, and torture. (No, I have not seen it. I read the website!) For reasons I’ve never understood, some of us get a kick out of being scared to death by watching psychopaths destroy human beings on film. Of course, I know that what is on the screen is not real. But, why make ‘art’ out of the horrors that actually do take place in hidden corners of our world? Which brings me to this day, not one of my favorite days on the calendar; the day of little witches at the front door, fake blood, destruction of property, and all things ugly!

Yes, it is Halloween, the time for fright and “fun.” But, I’m going to pass on it, as I usually do. Unlike some Believers, my reason for passing up the celebration of Halloween is not fear of demons or worry about being tainted by evil. The power of the Resurrected Christ and the Spirit of God in me has removed fear of the occult from my life. For me there’s enough evil, horror, and tragedy in the daily news. I just don’t need to have a day to mark the ever-present death and sorrow that stalks our world. My calling as a follower of Jesus Christ is a to be a person who gives life, light, hope, and joy to those in my world.

No, I’m not a crank. I’ll meet the kids at the front door this evening with a sugary treat. But, throughout this day, I will be praying for the blessings of God to come to this broken, fallen world were there is so much suffering and sadness coming from deceived sinful people and from the schemes of the Evil One. I will be looking for ways to be a person who gives those blessings – in my words, in my attitudes, and in my actions. You see, I want to be known for being a person who is ‘for’ something, not for what I’m against, don’t you? I’m not against celebrating Halloween, despite the occult and evil themes that are woven into the day. I’m for Jesus and for goodness! I believe we who are His followers should be noted for the rich and full lives we enjoy as a result of His love, rather than being known as cranky people who are always ‘against’ this or that.

I am a rich man because of knowing Christ as Savior and Lord. From Him, I gain purpose for my life. I am part of a grand plan that God Himself created for the world! From Him, I gain hope. Even death, the great enemy of us all, loses the power to terrify me because in Him I live eternally. From Him, I learn to love because I am loved. No longer must I fight to keep my place in this world, for He has secured me as His own child. From Him, I gain the ability to over-rule the sinful nature that drives others to self-destruction, for the Spirit in me teaches me to “turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. … and to “live in this evil world with self-control, right conduct, and devotion to God!” (Titus 2:12, NLT)

Do you know Him? Have you received the gift of His life?
Then celebrate it! Do not give in to the Pharisees in the church that find every occasion to criticize, condemn, and carp on the sins of the world.
Sing a new song! Make it about the glory of being one of God’s own people.

Jesus wants us to live in joyful celebration.
He says, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16, The Message)
_______________________

All I once held dear,
Built my life upon,
All this world reveres,
And wars to own,
All I once thought gain
I have counted loss;
Spent and worthless now,
Compared to this.

Knowing You, Jesus,
knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all,
You’re the best,
You’re my joy,
my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.

Now my heart’s desire
Is to know You more,
To be found in You,
And known as Yours,
To possess by faith
What I could not earn;
All surpassing gift of righteousness.

Oh to know the power of
Your risen life,
And to know You in Your sufferings,
To become like You
In Your death, my Lord;
So with You to live, and never die.

Knowing You, Jesus,
knowing You,
There is no greater thing.
You’re my all,
You’re the best,
You’re my joy,
my righteousness,
And I love You, Lord.

Knowing You – Kendrick, Graham
Copyright: 1993 Make Way Music (Admin. by Music Services)

One response to “A day to celebrate LIFE!”

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