Friday, December 24, 2010

Beholding the Birth of the Savior

Tomorrow is Christmas and I have never gotten over the fact that God humbled himself and became man in order to save sinners. One of my favorite passages on this marvelous truth is Philippians 7:5-9, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

Many people believe that Jesus first began to exist at the time of his birth in Bethlehem but the Scripture teaches that He has always existed as the eternal God Son (Hebrews 1:5; Psalm 2:7). Jesus subjected Himself to the will of the Father and put aside His position in heaven to come to earth as a man and suffer the death of the cross in order to redeem man. This is the message of Christmas. As the angel said in Luke 2:11, “For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” A Savior was born. The wise men and the shepherds did not come to worship a baby, they came to worship God. They understood the Scriptures and Jesus’ mission to fulfill the law, validate the words of the prophets, and complete the redemption plan.

It is so easy to get caught up in the commercialism of Christmas but I have found this year that the shopping, tree decorating, and wrapping can be truly joyful when Christ is at the center. And that is true at all times of the year, isn’t it? The world can seep in just as easily in mid-June as it can in mid-December. I heard a preacher say this week that the key to overcoming temptation and sin is to fill your life with Godly things and thoughts. If we are listening to the world’s music, reading the world’s books, and watching the world’s movies and television programs, how can we expect to have any type of genuine relationship with the Living God at Christmas time or any other time of the year?

The Lord calls us to be set apart unto Him and to present ourselves as a living sacrifice which He says is our reasonable service (Romans 12:1-2). It is reasonable because He has already purchased us as His own by His life, ministry, death, and resurrection. How much more so should our life reflect this spiritual reality than at the time of our Savior’s birth?

“What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him?
I give Him my heart.”
-Christina Rossetti

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