Many of the people who had followed Jesus and had become His disciples were offended at the words of Jesus when He said you must eat my flesh and drink my blood. They complained that His words were too hard to understand. In today’s society, we have the same thing happening. There are people who go to church, hear the Gospel of Jesus and leave offended. Because they don’t understand, they think that Christianity is a negative, bloody religion. It is only when the Holy Spirit calls us and we come to Jesus and believe His words that we can understand the message. The Spirit leads us into all truth and gives life to the words of Jesus. It is then that we can understand that the spoken words become the living Word, Jesus.
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.—John 1:14 (NLT)
Once we accept this truth, we become the Children of the Living God.
Sometimes when I am reading about one of the great miracles that Jesus did when He was here on earth, I forget that He was a man just as we are. I want to attribute those miracles to someone with access to more power than we have access to. If I could truthfully do that then I would be relieved of trying to live up to His example. But, woe is me, because to do that would be to deny His full humanity and therefore, it would be a lie. So, I must agree with Jesus that I have access to the power that enables me to do “greater things than these”.
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.— John 14:12 NIV
I recognize the sins that I commit and I ask forgiveness for them. But how many times have I sinned by omitting or not doing what the Holy Spirit has asked me to do and used the excuse “I can’t”? God is not a man that He should lie and He says that we can through His power. To believe anything less is to believe a lie.
So, today, right now, Father, I ask your forgiveness for those times when I could’ve and I should’ve but I didn’t. Make me more aware when those situations arise again and arouse in me the boldness and power to do what you have asked me to do. Thank you for your forgiveness, your mercy and your love. I ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. Amen
8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.— 1 John 1:8-10 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
John 1:1-5 NLT
The Word existed in the beginning. The Word was with God and the Word was God. This Word of Life was revealed to us in human form as Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Hundreds, no, even thousands witnessed His walk here on earth. Biblically and historically, there is no doubt that a man named Jesus lived and walked on this earth approximately 2,000 years ago. He was seen, He was heard and we have read the reports. It is now up to each individual to accept or reject this truth. Those who accept it can have a real relationship with the Living Word. The Word is God is Light is life is Jesus is the Holy Spirit. If we have one, we have Them all. We cannot choose to have One without accepting them altogether. How much of each we access and the effect they have on our lives is up to each of us. The fullness of our joy and the absence of fear in our lives is the measure of how much of All of Them we have accepted. Walk in the Light and there can be no darkness, walk in Love and there is no fear.
Jesus took on flesh and blood and became human just as we are. He became like us so that He could experience the same things we experience. Because Jesus was willing to do that, He knows our feelings and our weaknesses. He understands the situations we go through and the temptations we face. The difference is that He went through these same things without sinning. Because He is perfect, He is more than qualified to serve as the sacrificial Lamb for our sins. His perfection also qualified Him to be our chief Priest. It also qualifies Him to judge us and correct us when we sin. God made Him a little lower than the angels and then restored Him to His glory in heaven, where He is, even now, interceding for us when we fall to temptations.
Since so many people heard the message that Jesus brought into the world, we have more than sufficient evidence to confirm His birth and His life. In John 1, we are told “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. Jesus, the second Person of the Trinity became a living human being in every aspect except sin. The angels brought this message to the shepherds and it was confirmed by the many signs and wonders that Jesus did while here on earth. Then at the crucifixion of Jesus every sin ever committed or that ever will be committed was poured into Him. Those sins were properly punished by His death as His blood poured out from His body. After the Resurrection, Jesus was seen by many people and then His message was again confirmed by miraculous acts from God. The believers spoke the words given to them by the Holy Spirit. Amazing, awesome things happened as the disciples spoke the truth and thousands upon thousands were saved. That same miracle-working power is still available to us today. God has given each of us a spiritual gift that we are to use for His glory and the edification of His church. Our lack of faith and refusal to believe that God is the “same yesterday, today, and tomorrow” has limited God in what He can do now, just as the children of Israel limited what He could do in their wilderness journey.
God revealed His love for us when He sent Jesus, His only Son, into the world to live as a human. Jesus revealed His love for the Father and for us by being obedient, even to a cruel death on a cross. We can never attain to that kind of perfect love, but we can allow God to show His love to others through us. We are instructed to love and pray for our enemies and those that persecute us. As humans, we are not capable of such love, we must be willing to allow God to love through us. No matter, what we have to go through, we have the hope and faith that His love will sustain us and we can live victorious lives. Through Jesus Christ, we can be over–comers and conquerors.
The love of God is perfect and is far too great for the human mind to grasp in its entirety. How could the Creator of the universe and everything in it stoop to loving us? Why does He bother Himself to listen to and answer every prayer that we pray? At our worst, we are wretched sinners and even at our best, we fall so short of being what God created us to be. We can only bow our heads and say with the Psalmist, “what are human beings that you should care for them”? Yet, you gave up all of your glory in heaven, put on a human body and lived among us. You revealed your love to us in Christ Jesus our Lord. Such matchless mercy, such generous grace and such limitless love is more than we can even imagine. With our sins, we crucify you afresh every day, yet, you continue to forgive us and love us back to you. Help us, Lord, to love you enough to be channels of your love to those around us. Even though it may be painful at times, Lord, stretch us and fill us with your love until we overflow, until your love breaks forth from us and washes over those around us bringing them into “the healing stream that flows from Calvary’s mountain” .Amen.
All the things had happened just as Gabriel had told Mary. Having never known a man, she conceived a child fathered by the Holy Spirit. A fleshly Mother and a Spiritual Father, so it was that He became fully man and fully God in the flesh. Just as God had promised hundreds of years earlier, He sent a Redeemer to save us who would also one day reign as our King. He had to live as a human to experience all the temptations we experience and never fail the test. He had to choose and mentor men to carry on His message to a lost world. Through the Holy Spirit, He is still choosing and mentoring people to carry that message to their families, neighbors, friends and people around the world. Today, on the day that we celebrate as His birthday, let each of us give Him the only thing we can give to our King. Our souls and our commitment to accept the plan He has for each of us. Then it will truly be “Joy to the World, the King has come.”
May each of you have a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
What was the attitude of Jesus while he was here clothed in human form? He came first as a servant, giving up all of His glory. He came to earth just as an ambassador to a foreign country. He had access to all of the power and the angels of heaven yet He limited Himself to live as a mere human. He never used His powers to advance Himself as humans see advancement. The instances we read about of Jesus using His powers are actions that advanced the Kingdom of God here on earth. He could have called on legions of angels to protect Him at any time yet He chose to suffer and die for our sins. He ate with sinners. He showed mercy to the poor and to the needy. He could have allowed Himself to be crowned king by His followers. Instead, He chose to live a life serving others. He was a giver and He gave up everything to die on a cross for our sins. He gave His lifetime and His life for us. How much of our time are we willing to give up for Him? We are all familiar with the saying “time is money”, perhaps we should consider tithing our time as well as our money.
David was a man after God’s own heart. Time after time, David sinned and repented and God always forgave him. God blessed David with peace and with a super-abundance. Why does God do this for those of us who fall time after time? Because He loves us with a love that we cannot totally grasp or understand. He continued to forgive David because David always had a godly sorrow for his sins. After the heat and passion of the moment had settled, David always turned back to God and begged for His forgiveness. This was a continuing battle for David and it is a continuning battle for any of us as long as we remain in the flesh in this sinful world. God knows that we cannot be perfect in this flesh. If that were possible, then Jesus would not have had to die to redeem us and the old covenant would still be in effect. When we fail and come short of the mark, we must remember to be like David, admit our sins to God and repent from them. When we repent, we turn from the old way and to a new way. True repentance requires actions that show God and those around us that we are serious when we ask God for forgiveness. When we fail and we all do at some point, don’t allow satan to beat you up with guilt and condemnation. Follow David’s example and choose to be disciplined by God. His mercies are new every morning and there is plenty of mercy for all of us and enough to last throughout eternity. When God saved us, He knew our weaknesses and He knew that sooner or later, we would fall, but He chose us anyway and He hasn’t changed His mind about our salvation. Be honest with God, He already knows what we did and what we will do in the future. Those sins are already forgiven, but we must repent.