Who Was, Who Is, and Who Is to Come…

This morning, our family was listening to a singer named Paul Wilbur who is a Messianic Jew. He was singing “Behold He Comes.” This song encompasses all that I believe in as a Christian. Behold He comes, riding on the clouds, shining like the sun at the trumpet’s call. So lift your voice, it’s the year of Jubilee and out of Zion’s hills salvation comes. He adds at the end of the song, a repeated refrain: Who Was and Who Is and Who Is to Come.

As a Muslim, I had heard about the baby who was born in a manger. I had no clue who he was – other than the Prophet Isa. No big deal… Many prophets were born under varying circumstances, I was sure. I don’t even believe I gave the matter that much thought at all. Christmas was a lot more about Santa than Jesus. After a while, my family even deferred to the world’s traditions and got a Christmas tree. Again, no big deal. That had nothing to do with Jesus. No  big compromise there. We even began to exchange gifts – that was more sporadic because it had no religious significance. 

It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I began to understand who that person was whose birth as heralded by angels. Who was called the Prince of Peace. Who was called Emmanuel – God with us. The birth of a Savior was a lot bigger than the birth of just a prophet. Isa is not just another prophet. He is Isa Masih — Jesus the Messiah. He is Savior of the world. Yes, He is (present tense) for He lives. He has defeated death by the power of the Resurrection. He brings us eternal life and He saves us from the judgment and impending wrath of God the Father Almighty. 

He has done this… He lives, and He is coming back. 

Christmas is just a small part of the story. The biggest part of the Good News of the Gospel comes at Easter. If you are not familiar with either, let me know. I live to share what Christ Jesus has done for me. To bring me peace with God,  to save me from the grave,  to give me life everlasting. Amen.

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Santa on Trial

Wanted to share this Blog with friends. Personally, this is the second year we have done Christmas without a Tree also. Taking the world’s paraphernalia out and replacing it with ONLY JESUS is ruffling some feathers among my friends, but we have been more relaxed and at peace… amazing what happens when you focus on the Prince of PEACE, Christ Jesus!

Jonathan Camac

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The big fella.

Every Christmas the big red starts making his appearance. And so we dust off and roll out the red carpet for our hailed guest at Christmas Carols. News Shows. Adverts. Major festivals. Photo shoots. Sporting events. Pageants. Ceremonies. Parties.

Santa’s social stocks go off the freaking charts. 

And amongst all the flashing lights and fan-fare, the true Christmas story appears increasingly irrelevant. God is thrown onto the back-burner. Jesus is once again driven back into his manger on the outskirts of town, as we fill and leave no room or vacancy for the God who came to save the very people who showed him the stiff arm.

It’s not unusual for Jesus to have opposition. Hear that loud and clear. Jesus is no stranger to rejection. Jesus even expected it (John 15:18). But if you’re going to hate on God, at least get your criticisms remotely right…

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No Peace

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NY Times Photo – Nigerian Mosque Nov. 21, 2017

The self-proclaimed religion of peace is busy committing atrocities in the name of Allah. The latest bombing of the Mubi mosque in Nigeria has claimed over 300 souls. The president and others have named the radical Muslim extremist group, Boko Haram for the murders. This is a militant Islamic group that leaves chaos in their wake throughout Nigeria and neighboring countries, displacing over 2 million people by burning villages and attacking towns, camps and other mosques.

The New York Times reported that “Mr. Abubakar, the police spokesman, said the assailant was a male teenager. He said the attacker had walked into the mosque and joined the worshipers crowded inside the small room.” Poor child who was sacrificed in the way of jihad. Poor families who lost their loved ones that day. We grieve for them and those who know no peace.

In a season that hails the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, there is only chaos in the Muslim world. There are extremists who are fighting in a religious struggle against whoever gets in their way — kill or be killed. Christ did not teach the way of the world. In fact, He taught in Matthew 5:5 the OPPOSITE by saying “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth.”

Being meek is not popular with the world. You don’t really see many T-Shirts with a catchy slogan about being “meek.” When I was a Muslim, I used to laugh at the Christians who (I thought) held hands and sang together. What nonsense! My belief was go out there and get what you deserve – you should demand it in a big, loud voice. If you don’t get whatever you are after, then beg, borrow and steal to get it. It’s every man (and woman) for themselves.

This is what Islam teaches… “It’s all about YOU, babe.” You are responsible for your own salvation. No one is going to come and save you. YOUR works, YOUR efforts, YOUR good deeds. Do extra credit good deeds, pray extra ~ the more you rack up, the better it will be for you on judgment day and even then, you have no guarantee of getting into Paradise.

Then, one glorious day, I came to find out the TRUTH about Christ Jesus.

It is not about YOU. It’s about what Christ did for us on the cross. It’s about His perfect, sinless life and perfect death of obedience on the cross for our sins. It’s about His efforts and His conquering of death in His resurrection. No one else has ever done that. Ever.

Only Christ.

Only His Death.

Only His Resurrection.

Only His Peace… so we sing:

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris’n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
“Glory to the newborn King!”

~(lyrics to Hark the Herald Angels Sing)

May we pray for the families who lost their loved ones. May we pray for Muslims everywhere who don’t know peace and don’t know the Prince of Peace, Lord Jesus. May His peace reign forever and ever.

Amen.