Saturday, December 12, 2009

He Came As One Of Us

"And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." (Luke 2:7)

Now there's a mystery. God coming to earth and fully taking on humanity, experiencing the full gamut of the human existence, including the indignity of being born. He had to be changed and cleaned up like any other baby. When it was hot He sweated. When it was cold He shivered. He knew hunger and thirst. Thus "we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15).

"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." (Philippians 2:5-8)

Friday, December 11, 2009

Abundant Grace

"And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus."
(1st Timothy 1:14)

Yes it was. And Christmas is such a wonderful time to remember that. In giving gifts we reflect the nature of God who gave such a wonderful gift to us in Christ Jesus. It boggles the imagination. Jesus Christ was given to us with one condition. The same condition that goes with any gift ever given -- it must be received. Imagine giving a gift on Christmas morning to someone only to be told, "I won't take it. I don't want it." You'd be pretty hurt wouldn't you?

God's grace is such a marvelous concept. God rescues us. He save us. He gives us Himself. He does this in spite of our sin and shortcomings. He does this, not because we are good, but because of His great love for us. Let's remember that this Christmas. We really do have so much to celebrate!

"How silently, how silently,
The wondrous gift is given
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in."

(O Little Town of Bethlehem by Phillips Brooks)