Rudolph :: By Grant Phillips

Who hasn’t watched the animated movie about a fictional reindeer named Rudolph? Rudolph was created by Robert L. May in 1939. He worked for Montgomery Ward in Chicago at that time and was given an assignment. From this assignment has eventually developed the animated movie Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Burl Ives narrated as Sam the Snowman and sang “Silver and Gold,” “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” and “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

This may be my wife’s favorite Christmas movie, and I must admit that I also enjoy it and the music. I would recommend it for all ages.

1 – The song “Silver and Gold” refers to silver and gold decorations on the Christmas tree, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. However, as I listened to the song, I was reminded of something Jesus said.

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

Silver and gold are not evil. It is not a sin to own silver and gold, just as having a lot of paper money or cash is not evil or sinful. Actually, God says that it is the love of money that is evil, not the money.

“For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows” (1 Timothy 6:10).

Maybe we should ask ourselves this Christmas season and any other time, ‘what do I treasure most?’ Are all these materialistic things my silver and gold, or is my relationship with God my silver and gold?

There is not a thing wrong with having possessions, but do we own the item, or does it own us? Are we a slave to our cell phone or television, for example, or a slave to Jesus Christ?

Also, consider that Jesus wants all who are part of His body to lay up gold, silver and precious stones as works that glorify Him, and not wood, hay and straw that are of no value.

“Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire” (1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

This Scripture passage has nothing to do with our sins. All who have been saved by the precious blood of Jesus have been forgiven of all our sins, past, present and future. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

Jesus is telling us in this passage (1 Corinthians 3:12-15) that He wants to reward us for the work we do for Him and in His name. He also says, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).

Matthew 6:19-20 is also assuring us that our salvation is guaranteed and permanent since it is kept in Heaven by the power of God. In other words, Jesus makes it clear that we can never lose our salvation when He says, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one” (John 10:28-30).

2 – Rudolph’s nose saved Christmas in the movie because it provided light through the storm so Santa could deliver all the toys to the boys and girls.

Another point that came to mind is that Jesus is the light of the world. When we put our faith solely in Him, He guides us to the Father. While we are on earth, He also guides us through all of life’s storms and keeps us safe in Him. The apostle Paul told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:10-16 that he (Timothy) was aware of all the things that happened to him (Paul) and that the Lord rescued him (Paul) from them all.

What a shame that men would rather walk in darkness than in the light. The thief loves the darkness of night so he can more easily steal what others have. The beer halls and liquor joints enjoy peak business in the hours of darkness, as do the red-light districts of immoral activities. The following verse is so true.

“And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).

Notice that there is condemnation for those who refuse the only light that can save them from an eternal hell. If only we would turn to the true Light.

“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life'” (John 8:12).

“As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5).

3 – The last thing I would like to elaborate on concerning the movie is the island of misfit toys. These were toys in the movie that did not work for one reason or another. They were broken, left on an island, and forgotten.

A lot of people can easily identify with these broken toys left all alone. They are broken in body. They are broken in spirit. They have been rejected, even by their families. They are alone and seem to have nowhere to turn. King David felt the same way.

“I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel” (Psalm 31:12).

“Reproach has broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness; I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none” (Psalm 69:20).

Yes, even though David was a king, he had some really low points in his life, some even of his own doing, but what does God tell him?

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite [regretful] spirit” (Psalm 34:18, insert mine).

In the first century, there was no cure for lepers. Instead, they had to leave their families and could be around no one, so others would not be infected. All they had to look forward to was the agony of the disease, extreme loneliness, shame, scorn, and death. No one, not even their family, would ever get close enough to touch them. Can you imagine suffering the rest of your life with no human interaction? They could never hold their wife again. They could never hug their children. But Jesus “put out His hand and touched him.”

“And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’ Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’ Immediately his leprosy was cleansed” (Matthew 8:2-3).

Most everyone has been broken in one way or another at some time in their life. Many, right now, are broken and hurting. Cling to Psalm 34:18, and call upon the Lord Jesus. He does care.

“The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite [regretful] spirit” (Psalm 34:18, insert mine).

Often our brokenness is caused by sin in our lives. Even if we don’t feel broken, we all are sinners and have sinned against God. Come to Him now, broken or not, and you will have a new life.

“Come now, and let us reason together,’
Says the LORD,
‘Though your sins are like scarlet,
They shall be as white as snow;
Though they are red like crimson,
They shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1:18).

Grant Phillips

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