Philippians 2:16
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Testimonies   2015:  A Christmas Letter 


December 25, 2015


“The truth about the TRUTH of the Christmas Season; and in truth.”   “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16  “And ye shall know the truth and the Truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32


Greetings Beloved in the precious name of Jesus Christ:


It’s all about Jesus the Christ! As a reminder, let me share with you my gift letter revised.   This is a time of year we have come to call the Christmas season.  Christmas (Christ Mass) as we observe today has evolved into something different from the original truth.  Among other facets of its meaning in our generation, it is most noted as a season of uniting with family and celebrating the holiday as expressed in gift exchanges, decorations, trees, light displays, and yes indulgence in much food and drink.  Last but not least, it is to remind many that the “reason for the season” is remembering the birth of Jesus Christ.  I have been challenged for many years, as one maturing in the Kingdom of God, about how I should participate in this season.  For I believe we all want to live in ways that honor our King, Jesus Christ.  As with many in the Church, I ran the full spectrum of expressions: from the secular world to that of the church world (which did not look much different from the world).  Now I find myself as many Christians who heart’s desire is to be true followers of Christ—one who intentionally and truthfully pursues a Kingdom lifestyle.   The truth is there is nothing written in scripture that God calls us to celebrate in His name what we call Christmas.  Having said that, please read further.  We indeed must be very careful (albeit discerning) with the what, the why and the how of what we do as Christians not just because of tradition or religion, but that we not continue to be deceived and led farther away from the truth.


You see it is true that man is more content and comfortable in pursuing the world.  It is written in scripture, “But when he had turned about and looked on his disciples, he rebuked Peter, saying get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God but the things that be of men.” Mark 8:33   However, as Christians we are charged to be different, “be not conformed to the world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Roman 12:2    So, I now search for “what is that good and acceptable, and perfect, will of God”.  I have reached a place of having grown from being challenged, to being convicted, and finally fully persuaded or shall I say--converted.  I seem to hear the words of scripture oh so clearly and distinctly that Jesus spoke to Peter: “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.”  This is a time our hearing must be very keen in the spirit that we don’t miss God; least we have nothing in us to be able to strengthen our brethren.  So please allow me to share a very special gift with you (prayerfully one of many as the Lord gives).

I once attended a presentation listening to a very dynamic speaker and she asked the question, “What is the best gift you can give?”  Everyone was focused on a response of something material.  For this is how we are conditioned in this world.  We also expect to give and to get something we like or need materialistically.  But here we heard an unexpected response, “your health.”  As I began to ponder that response, I ask myself that question—“What is the best gift I can give?”  Going through the same process we do every year during this “season”, we start thinking about what to give to whom and why.  What would he or she like, what my daughter or son might want, if I give this I can really get a smile or even a great big hug and “I love you!”  Our quest to “do what we think is something nice for someone by giving them a gift starts to extend to the extended family, friends, business associates, and the list goes on.   So we forge ahead.  Some will be very creative with their gift giving but many will pursue every sale, every opportunity to find the best gift hopefully without breaking the personal bank.  Many will go far beyond, maxing out credit cards (which means spending what you don’t have to get gratification now and reaping sorrow later when you realize you have to pay 3x as much for the bargain you fought so hard to get.)  This country’s economy is depending on your choice to spend what you have and (even more so) what you don’t have just to comply with the tradition of gift giving. So we buy gifts to make others happy with us because of the gift we gave.  Then we find out, it was not quite the right size, the right color, the right one, so it is taken back or exchanged for something else, put in the hidden part of the closet or just given away.  In other words, we missed the mark.   In their hearts, they were not really pleased or grateful for our gift, although they don’t say it.    Well let me say in defense of some, you did hit the mark and the gift was appreciated, enjoyed and brought much joy.    However, for many emotions run really high-- disappointments, anger, frustrations; all because of a gift given or not given.   The tragedy is that we repeat the same scene every year all in the name of Christmas.  Well that’s what we do for each other on Christmas. A day the religious world has set aside to honor the birth of Christ.   Let’s get this straight.  It’s Christ’s Birthday that we say we celebrate and honor, but we give gifts to others including ourselves; then celebrate by over indulging in food and drinks.  Wow! 

So what do we do for Christ in the midst of the season and the frantic pursuit of the perfect gift and the holiday parties?  Ah yes there is a service, mass or religious gathering we may attend, sit through, or think about attending before we get to the real drive for us, the gift exchange, the TV programs (especially the games -- football, basketball, etc.), and the feast (drinks, drinks, food, food, and more food and drinks).   Please don’t be offended, but I wonder, what is this insanity?   What are we doing?  What is the celebration truly about?  As I thought more about this and even went before the Lord in prayer, I had an interesting revelation.  I had several discussions about this challenge with other Christians.  Some did not want to discuss the matter because their indoctrination to the season was so strong.  “It’s just tradition”, I would hear. “This is what our family do every year.  I just love the decorations, the lights, the tree, the food, the jolly atmosphere; they would say.”  Then I would ask, what about Jesus?  Of course, the response would be, Jesus is the reason for the season as they justify their tradition.  So I ask another question, how does all of what you do glorify our Lord? 

What is the gift you bring to Jesus on what you celebrate as His birthday?  There is a pause and silence.  I have lived through 6 decades of Christmas rituals and traditional gatherings.  I even taught my own family to enjoy and appreciate the Christmas season as the world even the church world defined our behavior should be.   What I did not teach was the truth about Christmas.  Of course we prayed and gave thanksgiving to God.  I taught this was about the birth of Jesus but we did as many families do, went on to celebrate the “season”.    We gave gifts to each other as we gathered in the name of Jesus.    I then came to ask the question, what is the gift we give to the King of Kings during a time we choose to celebrate His birth (although all agree and biblically proven is not his birthday)?  A birth, I remind us was into a dying and wicked world to save all those willing to receive Him--to pay a debt he did not owe. 

Well here is where I landed.  I participate in the acknowledgment to the world of the birth of our King, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords-- Jesus the Christ.  He was born, crucified, buried and resurrected that I might be saved and have eternal life with Him in His Kingdom.  He is no longer a baby in a manager but He is a risen Christ, He lives.   For this babe born as a King into this world, just for those who will receive Him as their King; I have a very simple gift to give.   I give myself as a surrendered vessel to declare the only and true King of Humankind.    Now to those who expect or don’t expect a gift from me, I do give a gift:  it’s a gift without frills; a gift rarely given. It’s unique, special, and the very best I could give.   I share with you the gift of truth revealed to the world, the Truth; His name is Jesus the Christ!

What kind of gift is that you would ask? Well, let me explain it this way.  This is what we have done for centuries.  This season, we say, is to recognize the birth of Christ on a day nor season He was not born.  We pay homage with the exchange of gifts between gift givers.   We honor the baby Jesus (who no longer a babe but one having been crucified, died, buried, gloriously risen and now living as King of Kings, Prince of Peace, Lord of Lord…) by celebrating pagan rituals and traditions.  We have been so indoctrinated with lies, deception and the false in the world for so many generations that no one wants to disturb the way of the world.  We first got entangled because of the trick, and deception of the enemy to worship the enemy and not Jesus our King!  So what is the truth!

Please indulge me a little longer in this gift letter.  I should hope you continue to read but if not, don’t set this aside without understanding the gift I give.   First to Jesus and then to you my brethren, I give a surrendered life unto the Lord pursuing the perfecting of His gift within me. To you, I yield this God given gift to be used “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; speaking truth in love that we all be no more children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness.”  (Eph 4:7-16)  I give to you the expression of God’s love and His will as a yielded and surrendered vessel.   I celebrate, honor and worship my Lord, Jesus Christ.

Remember the truth about the TRUTH; and in truth--whatever we do we do as unto the Lord!  Celebrate as a celebration unto the King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Holy God, and our all in all.  Give gifts as gifts honoring God to the advancement of His Kingdom in the earth; expanding the economy of the Kingdom of God not the kingdom of this world!  Be a supporter of God’s Kingdom work.  Be a blessing to the poor; clothe the naked; feed hungry…. Matt 25:35-40   “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16   What gift do you bring the King?  Let me suggest you bring a gift of a surrendered life to your Saviour.  Receive Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and may God richly prosper you in health and wealth as you honor and worship Him in spirit and in truth.  May you experience the joy and peace of the Kingdom of God as you enter into the New Year of 2016 in TRUTH.  Glory and Honor to Jesus Christ the King!    

Yours in Christ,

Apostle Marilyn

Heritage Int’l Ministries