Fear drives people to the rock bottom of despair. When you hit the bottom you’ll think it is a secret, isolated place; but many Christians can tell you that they met Jesus at the bottom. The lie Satan tells the world is that you must be perfect before God will accept you. You must solve you’re own problems before Jesus will call you friend. The truth is that Jesus left the perfection of Heaven to meet sinners where they were…in their sin. Fear of judgement or fear of shame brings you to the pit of despair, but if you pause and listen you will find Jesus standing beside you with arms wide open.
It’s difficult to be humble when life is going they way you expect it to go. Yet, when your plans are falling apart and hope seems lost you can better understand your need for God and, if you’re willing, you can receive his love for you.
Fear is a liar. Jesus is true. Grace, mercy, forgiveness, and wholeness are yours through Him.
Merry Christmas. The old story is true. The peace of God is real.
Christmas isn’t just another cultural religious story made up to make the religious followers happy or convinced that their god is the real god. The story is true. The story has been incorporated into religious services and a lot of artistic license has been granted to holiday pageants and plays, but this doesn’t make the original story false.
The virgin birth was just as unbelievable to the Jewish community as it is for all of us “science minded” people today. Joseph desired to separate from Mary privately so as not to bring her into more public shame. He knew (as did the public) just as well as you and I that a child is not normally conceived outside of normal natural means. Don’t let the festive traditions, ones that were unfamiliar to the people who experienced the birth of Jesus, deceive you into thinking that all of the Christmas tradition was created by followers of the Christian church much later after Jesus was born. We celebrate because the event happened, just as the historic record (as recorded by Matthew and Luke) explains. We personalize the story because we love Him and choose to celebrate his birth and his mission.
The old story is true. The salvation of God is here.
Before Jesus was crucified he prayed that all of his disciples (then and now) would be sanctified in truth and perfected in unity. He wanted his disciples to be known for truth and be united as a loving family. The combination of truth and perfect unity would show the world that Jesus is the Son of God. Yet, truth and unity is a difficult achieve and can be hard to balance. In the well intended search for truth Christian churches may easily divide by demanding that the everyone must believe in a long list biblical facts in order to maintain Jesus’ desire for truth. On the other hand, through the well intended pursuit of unity a church may water down biblical truth to the point of vague morals in order to avoid disagreements amongst the group. So how can we seek the truth without causing division and how can we stay unified without abandoning truth?
In Romans 12, the Apostle Paul encourages Christians to practice godly principles in all situations: to love enthusiastically, to hate evil but love good, not to think too highly of yourself, to practice hospitality, and pray often. We are to remember that Christians are members of the body of Christ and therefore “individually members of one another”. Christians are a real family and we need to act like it no matter where we are from and no matter the situation. Paul taught that the we are to practice this behavior because of God’s truth and such behavior is the only reasonable way to worship God because of the mercy he has bestowed on us. As we are transformed in the way we think and act by the truth of the gospel, we will act in a way that will create an attitude of unity, but it takes practice and requires patience. To balance truth and unity we must learn to love God with a passion and forgive often.
Scripture references: John 17:11, 14-23 and Romans 12:1-21
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