He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.
I want you to try to imagine what the world would be like without the birth of Jesus Christ. It’s beyond our imagination, but just try to picture it. We certainly wouldn’t know God as we know Him. In fact, we’d be fortunate to have even heard about the God revealed in the Old Testament.
So what changed on that first Christmas so long ago? Well, when Jesus Christ came, the Bible says He was Immanuel… “God with us.” God was no longer a distant Deity. He was no longer an unfathomable, unapproachable image. But God became flesh and blood; God was with us! That’s why Jesus would later say, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).
When Jesus was born into the world, He was God! He wasn’t a man acting like God; not even God acting like a man; but God who was fully man and a man who was fully God! When Christ was seeing, that was God seeing. And when Christ was walking, that was God walking!
If Jesus hadn’t come, and if He wasn’t God, we’d never have the knowledge of God we have today. So thank God today for sending Jesus to Bethlehem all those years ago so that you might have a clear picture of a God who loves you unconditionally! (1)
A while back, it was in vogue for believers to make comments like “I’m saved, but I’m not a Christian.” Then the person would explain, “Well, I’m not worthy to call myself a Christian because I’m not living like one.” Let me nail this down for you. Have you believed upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and repented of your sins? Have you called upon Him to save you from the judgment of hell? If so, then you are the next of kin to the Trinity. You are a child of the King! Since you are part of God’s family, Jesus is not only your Lord and Savior, but He is your Friend and Brother.
God has not only created us, but he has created us as free beings, and in our freedom we are given possibility and choice. I would like for you for a moment to imagine God freely calling you toward his good purposes. And as you journey in that direction you may find yourself caught between the present and the future. That in-between place of present and future can create all kinds of anxiety because of the freedom of choices God has given us in our life. Perhaps we are anxious because the experiences of our past have shaped us in such a way that we are in dread of making a free and deliberate choice. Or perhaps just the mere possibility of making a wrong choice has left you feeling anxious.
Here's a promise you can stand on when your world has been shaken: 'But God is faithful.' Jesus said, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away' (Luke 21:33 NIV). In a world of uncertainty you can sing, 'On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand.' Your job, your health, your relationships and your investments are all 'sinking sand'. But God's faithfulness is as solid as a rock. He will be faithful to you in the delivery room, in the operating room, in the nursing home, in the unemployment line, in the criminal proceedings, and in the divorce court.
The Psalmist wrote: 'I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...' (Psalm 27:13-14 NKJV). Focusing on God's faithfulness will keep you from falling apart, giving up, having a nervous breakdown or losing your mind. Be honest; hasn't God been better to you than you've been to Him? Hasn't He been faithful when you've been unfaithful, and consistent when you've been inconsistent?
Maybe you've experienced death and disease, divorce and conflict, physical and emotional trauma. And maybe those things have stirred up so much anxiety in you that you don't know if you can step out and take any more risks. Or maybe you find yourself in the midst of some major life transitions, and all the options before you have you paralyzed in the grip of anxiety.
But I want you to know that God is not finished with us. He has only just begun. And if we take the risk and step out in faith, he is there to guide our anxiety toward a fruitful endeavor in order that we may grow into the person he desires us to become. I'm here to encourage you today, and to tell you that you can face your anxiety, and God can use it in a way that breathes new life into you.
The Apostle Paul reiterates this in Philippians 3:13, “But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.”Few things bring us greater joy than serving our Creator. When we are serving God, we are focused on what we can give and not on what we are lacking. We focus on what is good in our lives and not what is wrong. When we contribute to God’s world we feel good about who we are instead of upset about who we could or should have been. When we bring joy to others, we can’t help but light up with joy ourselves!
What’s more, serving the Lord is something that we can do anytime, anywhere, and under any circumstances. In times of abundance, we can give. In times of scarcity, we can have faith. When things are easy, we can sing out praises to God. And when times are tough, we can call out to Him in prayer. In our homes or in our workplaces – there is always someone to help or God’s Word to share. The possibilities are endless.
We can always worship God, which means that we can always be happy. No matter what! We don’t have to pursue happiness. We just have to stop running away from it – and serve the Lord today!
(1) Reference: Dr Jack Graham, Power Point Ministries, 24 Dec 2012 .