Undoubtedly God goes along with us as far as He can in this weak and one-sided treatment of the Holy Scriptures, but He cannot be pleased with this way of doing. Our Heavenly Father takes pleasure in seeing us develop and grow up spiritually. He does not want us to live entirely on a diet of sweet stuff. He gives us for our encouragement Isaiah 41, but He gives us also Matthew 23 and the book of Jude, and He expects us to read it all. The eighth chapter of Romans is one of the most elevating passages in the entire Bible, and its popularity is well deserved; but we need Second Peter as well, and we should not neglect to read it. When reading Paul’s epistles, we should not stop with the doctrinal sections but should go on to read and ponder the bracing exhortations that follow. We should not stop with Romans 11; the rest of the epistle is also important, and if we would treat our souls fairly, we must give it the same attention we gave to the first ten chapters.
Briefly, the health of our souls requires that we take the whole Bible as it stands and let it do its work in us. We cannot afford to be selective with anything so important as the Word of God and our own eternal future.
A W Tozer on Christmas:
“So completely are we carried away by the excitement of this midwinter festival that we are apt to forget that its romantic appeal is the least significant thing about it. The theology of Christmas too easily gets lost under the gay wrappings, yet apart from the theological meaning it really has none at all. A half dozen doctrinally sound carols serve to keep alive the great deep truth of the Incarnation, but aside from these, popular Christmas music is void of any real lasting truth. The English mouse that was not even stirring, the German Tannenbaum so fair and lovely and the American red-nosed reindeer that has nothing to recommend it have pretty well taken over in Christmas poetry and song. These along with merry old St. Nicholas have about displaced Christian theology.… It does seem strange that so many persons become excited about Christmas and so few stop to inquire into its meaning; but I suppose this odd phenomenon is quite in harmony with our unfortunate human habit of magnifying trivialities and ignoring matters of greatest import.… The Christmas message, when stripped of its pagan overtones, is relatively simple: God is come to earth in the form of man. John 1:14; Galatians 4:4–5; 1 Timothy 3:16
In these latter-years of the twentieth century no other season of the year reveals so much religion and so little godliness as the Christmas season.… How far have we come in the corruption of our tastes from the reverence of the simple shepherds, the chant of the angels and the beauty of the heavenly host! The Star of Bethlehem could not lead a wise man to Christ today; it could not be distinguished amid the millions of artificial lights hung aloft on Main Street by the Merchants Association. No angels could sing loudly enough to make themselves heard above the raucous, earsplitting rendition of “Silent Night” meant to draw customers to the neighborhood stores. In our mad materialism we have turned beauty into ashes, prostituted every normal emotion and made merchandise of the holiest gift the world ever knew.
Christ came to bring peace and we celebrate His coming by making peace impossible for six weeks of each year. Not peace but tension, fatigue and irritation rule the Christmas season. He came to free us of debt and many respond by going deep into debt each year to buy enervating luxuries for people who do not appreciate them. He came to help the poor and we heap gifts upon those who do not need them. The simple token given out of love has been displaced by expensive presents given because we have been caught in a squeeze and don’t know how to back out of it. Not the beauty of the Lord our God is found in such a situation, but the ugliness and deformity of human sin. Matthew 2:1–11; Luke 2:8–20; Luke 4:18–19”
— A.W Tozer “The Warfare of the Spirit”
For more thoughts about the practice of celebrating “Christmas” see:
“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the assembly and gave Himself up on its behalf, that He might sanctify it, cleansing it by the washing of the water in the Word, that He might present it to Himself as the glorious assembly, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such things, but that it be holy and without blemish. So, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies, he loving his wife loves himself, for then no one hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, even as also the Lord the assembly. For we are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. “For this, a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall be one flesh.” (Gen. 2:24). The mystery is great, but I speak as to Christ and as to the assembly. However, you also, everyone, let each one love his wife as himself, and the wife, that she give deference to the husband.”
— Ephesians 5, the apostle Paul
He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.
But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it to the end.
The kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole the sky, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
“For I, Yahweh, do not change”
“Austin says (de Civitate Dei, lib. 10, cap. 29) that his friend Simplicius told him he had heard a Platonic philosopher say that these first verses of St. John’s gospel were worthy to be written in letters of gold. The learned Francis Junius, in the account he gives of his own life, tells how he was in his youth infected with loose notions in religion, and by the grace of God was wonderfully recovered by reading accidentally these verses in a bible which his father had designedly laid in his way. He says that he observed such a divinity in the argument, such an authority and majesty in the style, that his flesh trembled, and he was struck with such amazement that for a whole day he scarcely knew where he was or what he did; and thence he dates the beginning of his being religious. Let us enquire what there is in those strong lines. The evangelist here lays down the great truth he is to prove, that Jesus Christ is God, one with the Father.”
— Matthew Henry on John 1