By Jim “Pappy” Moore
There is an ad campaign where millions are being spent to convince people that “Jesus gets us.” It talks about how Jesus is like us, with our various problems. You might think Jesus is a life coach, giving people a feel-good massage, but that is not Jesus at all.
If Jesus came back today, I feel sure he would give public thrashings to the so-called TV evangelists who market themselves using His name. He ran the money-changers from the temple days before he was cruelly crucified, and He would do it again with this throng of wannabe preachers and pretend life coaches.
Jesus said “if you love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. He did not say “make up whatever soft themes you want to sell the public to garner money and adoration in this world.” He demanded that you make sacrifices, that you suffer for His name’s sake, that you stand up to the world, not be ashamed to speak His truth in the face of it.
I love the story of the birth of Jesus, but I find nowhere in the Bible that Jesus asked us or instructed us to celebrate His birth. I think it is fine that we celebrate His birth, but we should keep in mind we do that for ourselves, not for Him.
Those who have become a millionaire by marketing Jesus to people who are not millionaires, should heed the words Jesus spoke to his loyal apostle: “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23. That’s what Jesus would say to the likes of so-called evangelists who prey on Christians instead of pray to Christ for forgiveness.
Jesus instructed us to forgive others, and told us if we do not forgive others, God will not forgive us. Those are His words. You can read them. He said it in just about every way it could be said. Do not harbor anger and hatred and grudges in your heart and claim you follow Jesus.
Read His words, not mine:
He said “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” He said it as they crucified him and condemned him to a cruel public death sentence. Luke 23:34
He said “Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matthew 5:22-24
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15
“When you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25
“You have heard that it was said, ‘you shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” Matthew 5:43-47
Have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the wonderful story of His birth, but remember what He said. He is your savior, not your life coach. He is not selling books to pay for his mansion in River Oaks. He has a message and it requires commitment and obedience. Do not fail Him.
Copyright 2023, Jim “Pappy” Moore. All rights reserved.