Proverbs 18 12-18-19

Christmas is NOT just a story. It’s an event, one with life-changing potential. Jesus in the manger = Christ in our hearts.

16 A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

God gave us the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. His love for us showed itself in compassion, which displayed itself in Love in a Body: Jesus. His birth was the beginning of the salvation process that would culminate in a crucifixion and a resurrection.

We see the Giver being ushered into the presence of the great, which is God, in this passage:

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

We see ourselves being ushered into the presence of God, because of Jesus in this passage:

24 To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy 25 to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

I am enjoying the little book by O. S. Hawkins called “The Christmas Code” that Bryan handed out at the first of the month. It is has some really thought-provoking concepts in it. One in particular is December 8 where it talks about if you could transport back to the birth of Jesus, would you be standing off to the side watching or would you be down on your knees worshiping with the shepherds? He then goes on to say that we are a type of Bethlehem. We are where Christ resides.

Christ is also wherever His Church/Bride meets. When we come to worship on Sundays, is Christ here? Are we on our knees before him worshiping him or His feet praising him? It really is that important. It really is that real.

If Christ doesn’t feel real to you, then I recommend you:

  1. Get alone and read Romans 10:9-13.
  2. Ask the Lord to reveal to you:
    1. If you believe that Jesus is who He says He is: the Messiah;
    2. If you believe that He will do what He said He would do, which is save you;
    3. If you have trusted Him with your life and received Him into your heart;
    4. If you know that you know that you know you are His.
  3. Ask the Lord to reveal to you any sin that is keeping you from experiencing the love, hope, joy and peace of His salvation.

23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
[fortunately, we don’t have to worry about this verse once Christ is in our hearts]
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

This Christmas promises to be the best Christmas ever if we get our relationship with Christ straightened out! Allowing Him to be Lord is not just a one-time event, but a daily process. That manger eventually transforms into a cross! When we kneel at one, we are kneeling at the other, as well. Let’s worship Him today as our Savior and our Lord.

Abba, thank You for coming in the form of Jesus. Thank You for offering Yourself for me on the cross. Thank You for rising from the dead and offering me NEW LIFE in You. Thank You for coming into my heart and life and cleansing me, and then beginning the process of transforming me into Your image. I know I am still myself, but now I am beginning to be loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle, and getting better at controlling myself and allowing You to live through me. I see myself as crucified with Christ; now, come and live through me, O LORD! I know that when You do, I experience Your overflowing love, joy, peace, hope, and grace that emanate from You. Today is gonna be awesome! Amen.

 

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