Introduction: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, commonly known as A Christmas Carol, is a novella by Charles Dickens, first published in London by Chapman & Hall in 1843 and illustrated by John Leech. A Christmas Carol recounts the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.
Transition: Stave Three – Christmas Future
Setting: Setting is mysterious and gloomy. It was shrouded in a deep black garment, which concealed its head, its face, its form, and left nothing of it visible, save one outstretched hand. But for this, it would have been difficult to detach its figure from the night and separate it from the darkness by which it was surrounded.
The Ghost takes Scrooge to future events and points to the details Scrooge needs to see, but does not answer any questions. Such foreboding silence causes him to be the most frightening of the Spirits, both to Scrooge and the reader.
Despite not speaking or being able to manipulate objects, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come easily communicates with Scrooge. Here, he wants Scrooge to look at a corpse, but Scrooge can’t bring himself to do so—he feels too frightened by what he might see. Later, when Scrooge continues to refuse to look at the corpse’s face, the Ghost transports him to the corpse’s gravestone. At least Scrooge can read the stone and learn the lesson the Ghost is trying to teach.
The Spirit pointed from the grave to him, and back again. “No, Spirit! Oh, no, no!” The finger was still there. “Spirit!” he cried, tight clutching at his robe, “hear me! I am not the man I was. I will not be the man I must have been but for this intercourse! Why show me this, if I am past all hope!” For the first time the hand appeared to shake.
Scrooge’s words here indicate that he knows he is the dead man mourned by no one. Scrooge asks if he can change his fate, hoping that is the Ghost’s point in showing his future. The Spirit’s shaking hand, as described by the narrator, seems to display pity for Scrooge. If the Ghost serves as only the messenger, he may feel for Scrooge, and may not know whether Scrooge’s future can be changed.
Application: What Scrooge was facing in this novella is what every man shall face oneday. A day of judgment/accountability.
Scrooge bows down – Every knee shall bow…
Application: The day we are to stand before the Lord does not have to be a frigthtful day!
3 John 1:2, ‘Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers’.
It sounds as if Gaius, to whom John addressed this little letter, was a dearly beloved disciple of the Lord Jesus. He sounds as if he were advancing in years, because John refers to Him as “Gaius, the Elder”, and yet it is likely that this elderly gentleman was brought to faith in Christ, through the ministry of John, himself – for in addressing him, the apostle writes; I have no greater joy than this – to hear of my children walking in the truth.
John makes no secret of his love and respect for this man, whom he admits to “love in truth”, for it appears that his whole life was dedicated to the Lord, and Gaius must have been a wonderful testimony of a godly man, who walked in grace and love, for we read that his “soul prospered”. The life of Gaius appears to be that of a mature man of God, who reflected the character of Christ.
The world ‘soul’ and ‘life’ are used interchangeable in the Word of God, and we discover that this man’s spiritual life was fruitful – his soul was flourishing. He was working the works of God in his life through the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. He was carrying out the work that God had prepared for him to do, with a Christian maturity, that caused John to acknowledge.. “your soul prospers” – your life is honouring to the Lord.
It also sounds as if Gaius had a physical disability or some health problems, for in his initial salutation John expresses a certain concern by saying: Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health – just as your soul prospers. John’s prayer, was that the physical health of this beloved saint might ‘prosper’, in the same way that his spiritual health was prospering.
The word, ‘prosperity’ today nearly always refers to material wealth… but in context, we see that it is this dear man’s physical health and bodily condition that John is praying will prosper – John’s prayer is that Gaius’ physical health will reflect his obvious spiritual strength and Christian maturity.
This verse clearly contradicts the distorted teaching of certain ‘prosperity teachers’ and ‘faith-healers’, who insist that if sick people do not recover, it is due to a lack faith.
May we seek to be more like the beloved Gaius, who walked in spirit, truth and love, and was faithful in whatsoever good works he undertook, for the sake of saints and strangers alike. May we behave as he did, no matter what physical problems we may encounter, for although this dearly beloved elder had an obvious disability, he was a worthy example of godly saint, who lived a life that was pleasing to the Lord, and for His greater praise and glory.
Ephesians 3:20 Amplified Bible Now to Him Who by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams].
God wants to bless you far more than you want to be blessed. His plan is for your success in every area of your life. Just learn to trust Him over the circumstances.
John 10:10 The Message Version I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.
Proverbs 10:22 It is the blessing of the LORD that makes rich, and He adds no sorrow to it.
God is certainly not against you having money, but he is against you letting money control your life every day. God does not want you to worry about money or make money the first priority in your life. He wants you to put your trust in Him first and then He will make sure you have enough to do all He requires you to do.
Why do you think God is like this?
It is because He knows money even under the control of the world system is a good servant but a terrible master ?
The power of money is limited and eventually runs out, it will only buy so much and go so far. But God can supply all your needs according to His riches in glory.
Money can buy medicine but cannot cure an incurable disease! But God can heal the incurable disease!
Money can buy a house but not make it a home! But God can make it a happy home if you let Him!
Phil. 1:6, ‘being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ’;
Matthew 6:25-34, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one [a]cubit to his [b]stature?
28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not [c]arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble’.
Conclusion: Romans 5:19, ‘Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit/.
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