Friday, December 16, 2016
5 Things Jesus' Birth Taught Me
It's Christmas time again. By now, most people have their trees up and their presents wrapped, though there are some slackers out there. Lol.
Stores are in full-time Christmas mode with registers continuously ringing up those last minute purchases.
Churches and schools are hosting their annual children's programs, with smiling grandmas and proud moms and dads lighting up even the darkest of auditoriums.
Yet even in the midst of the holiday rush and hub bub, there's a point to the season. Jesus was born in a lowly manger to bring forgiveness and peace to a world in desperate need.
So what does that mean? How does a story of so long ago affect us today? Well, let me make it personal. Allow me to give you five things Jesus' birth taught me:
1. It proves God keeps His Word - Jesus' birth was prophesied a number of times throughout the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14, Micah 5:2, Hosea 11:1, etc.) and it was fulfilled down to the smallest detail. What does this tell me? God is a God of His Word. Whatever He says will happen, will happen just as He says. We have no reason to doubt a God who carries it out!
2. It displays how much God loves - Imagine giving up your only son to die an excruciating death in the place of billions of others - many of whom actually hate your son. That's exactly the kind of love God has for you and me. He sent His perfect Son to take our place. What better gift than a gift of sacrifice, love and selflessness for the sake of others?
3. It shows that He is not a God of partiality - Mary would not have been on the "Who's Who" list. She was a young, poor, teen-aged girl chosen to be the mother of the Savior of the world! God could have picked the brightest, most upcoming star or the wealthiest debutante, but He looked at the heart, not the outward. God does not show partiality.
4. It tells us that He always has a plan - The world had not heard much from God for over 400 years. The silence had become deafening. I'm sure people were thinking that He had left the building...there was no more plan...no more future...until... Finally, the angel Gabriel visited Mary announcing a baby would be born. There was and is always a plan. There was always a time table, it just wasn't there's, and today, it is not always ours.
5. It illuminates God's provision for those who serve Him - Mary and Joseph did not have much worldly wealth. They were thrust into uncomfortable circumstances, especially in that day and age. Yet, God provided for their needs by appearing to both and explaining the situation; warning them in a dream to flee for their safety; providing people along the way to encourage them and help them; a place for the child to be born, etc. God did not give them an assignment then abandon them to their own devices. He met every need and then some. He will meet ours as well.
I'm sure there are many more lessons we could learn from this story of Jesus' birth, but the greatest lesson of them all is that Jesus humbled Himself and came willingly, to die in my place and your place, and if we believe in Him, repent, and make Him Lord of our life, we will live and reign with Him forever.
Greatest gift ever given!!
Merry Christmas, friends.