Christmas Reality — God With Us

The reality of Christmas celebration is that God brings peace among those on whom He is pleased (Luke 2:14). The message is for all, but who receives it? Let us consider the message of the Bible.

Eternal God created a beginning. Out of nothing He created everything. Being powerful and not whimsical, He had both ability and purpose. Genesis 1 and 2 were recorded for our benefit so that we understand. We also read that He created us in His image and recorded His first interactions with those created. Why? Because chose to want fellowship with us. His motivation was love.

All of creation, as Genesis 1:31 said, was very good at that point. It was God’s assessment. There was no death. The ground was easy to work. Things worked right.  Commands from Him were clear and straightforward. Adam and the Woman were in harmony with God and each other.

It did not last long. The grand tragedy of the entrance of sin was recorded in Genesis 3. The sin condition persisted without remedy through the last book of the Old Testament. The bottom line was this: there was no sure way to permanently save man from sin, which was (and is) his insistence for his own way and his resistance to God, the Creator. Prophet after prophet, in the pages of many Bible books, proclaimed the coming King who would change things in the heart of man. According to the Bible, many of them were mistreated or killed for their obedience to speak.

Then a special time came. The angel Gabriel delivered a message to Zechariah about John the Baptist, then one to Mary about Jesus, the One who would save people from their sins. The story, recorded in Luke 1-2 and Matthew 1-2, unfolds. Matthew stated that an angel came to Joseph, telling him not be afraid to take Mary as his wife, because that which was conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit (Matthew 1:20-23). Jesus was born a few months later.

Before long, sin rose in the local king (Herod), who sought to kill the child, but Joseph had already been warned by an angelic dream. He escaped with Mary and the baby before Herod’s merciless and evil power murders all the babies in the region of Bethlehem that are two years old or less. He wanted to make sure nothing would arise to challenge him or a successor. Joseph and Mary return with Jesus after Herod is dead. Except for one event about Jesus when He was 12, nothing was recorded about Jesus’ young years.

The four Gospels recorded Jesus Christ’s eventful but short public ministry that began about 30 years later. Many were healed, delivered of demons, and taught of the Kingdom of God. Some believed but many did not. He was mostly rejected. Sin in man and the work of the enemy of our souls drove Jesus, the Christ to the cross, where He died for us, as foretold by the Prophets and Jesus Himself. The issue was simple: He declared that He was the One who had come to save us from our sins and be our Lord. He was hated for it and delivered to Pilate out of envy.

But the reality of God with man did not cease. He was raised from the dead to sit at the right hand of the Father. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to be with those who call upon Him. But as Christ said in the Bible (paraphrased), if they hated Me they will hate you also (those who are His disciples). Believers through the ages have continued to testify of the salvation and peace that He gives for those who call on Him. Even in this day and age, many suffer for that belief.

The Bible says the way to destruction is wide and the way to life in relationship to God is narrow, yet God persists to be with us. He is able to save and redeem. He will keep doing this until He comes again.

The Christmas message is clear: God came to be our Savior. His recorded work and message continue to be a light to those who are lost as well as a point of rejection and hatred for those who want no part of His Lordship.

Believers, hold fast. He is coming for a people who call upon Him. Continue to testify of the Kingdom of God. Live right.

If you do not know Him, consider the message of the Kingdom of God that Christ taught. Read about the birth of Jesus Christ. Trace the prophecies about Him that were given centuries earlier. Examine the record of His life in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Talk to believers and hear their stories. In the end, choose whom you will serve. I urge you to turn from your own way and serve God. Receive the Lord Jesus Christ in your heart. Simply ask Him to do this with all your being. He is able to make Himself known as Immanuel (God with us). That is why He came.

 

 

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