Friday, December 13, 2013

Jesus! The reason for the Christmas season...

Jesus is the reason for the season!

Isaiah 9:6 (HCSB) “For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on His shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”

As we approach Christmas I can’t help but think about the reason we, as Christians, celebrate the season. It’s the day we celebrate the humble birth of Christ. Foretold in the Old Testament book of Isaiah, a child would be born and the government would be on shoulders and there would be endless peace.  When Isaiah wrote these words it was a time of great darkness for Israel.  God promises to send a great light whom would shine on everyone living in darkness. Jesus would not come for another 750 years.

Jesus came to earth in the humblest form possible, a baby. He came to teach us and to show us the example of how to live a God-centered life.  While He was the greatest example of how to live in a Godless world, did you realize He had a specific mission statement?  It’s found in Luke 4:18 – 19 ““The Lord has put his Spirit in me, because he appointed me to tell the Good News to the poor. He has sent me to tell the captives they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. (prophesied in Isaiah 61:1) God sent me to free those who have been treated unfairly (prophesied in Isaiah 58:6) and to announce the time when the Lord will show his kindness.” (prophesied in Isaiah 61:2)

Jesus came to earth to:

·         - Tell the good news to poor
·        -  Free the captives
·         - Heal the blind
·         - Free the oppressed

If you look at Jesus’s ministry here on earth we can see that he accomplished each and every part of that mission statement. In his three years of ministry, He told the good news of God’s love and how it was available to everyone (Matthew 11, Luke 7).  Just as God had delivered the children of Israel out of Egypt, Jesus freed people from whatever held them captive such as guilt, shame and condemnation (Woman at the well as told in John 4, the adulterous woman as told in John 8). He healed their diseases, infirmities, and gave sight to the blind (Matthew 12, Matthew 15, Matthew 21). Furthermore, Jesus healed the spiritually blind. Meaning, Jesus allowed many to see that true worship of the Father must be in spirit and in truth…  it’s a relationship…  not perfectly keeping a set of laws and rules. Jesus also came to set us all free from the oppression of sin. He bore our sin and paid our debt in full when he willing gave his life in exchange for ours on Calvary’s cross.

That’s one hefty mission statement wouldn't you say? After his resurrection, Jesus  gave all of us a mission statement too.  It’s called the great commission and is found in Matthew 28:18 – 20.  “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All power in heaven and on earth is given to me. So go and make followers of all people in the world. Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.  Teach them to obey everything that I have taught you, and I will be with you always, even until the end of this age.”

Jesus walked this earth for just a little while, 33 years in fact. While he was here he provided us with the example to follow. I know what some of you must be thinking…  “how can I tell anyone about Jesus, they will think I am just forcing my “religion” on them. If you look at the life Jesus led, He met people where were and they responded to him. He cared for them and met their needs. He didn’t hit them over the head with a 2-ton scriptural scroll. He spent time with them, loved them and told them the truth. We can do the same with the people we come in contact with.

Build a bridge then tell your story

A few years back I was talking to a co-worker. She shared with me about a situation she was going through because she had made a bad decision. I could completely relate. I too have made the same bad decisions. As we continued to talk she asked me how I stopped making those bad decisions. She asked the question, the door was open for me to tell her about “my encounter with a man named Jesus who changed my life and the way I looked at things.” I didn’t hit her with a 2-ton Bible… I simply told her my story. I don’t know if she ever accepted Christ as her savior because she left to work on her nursing degree, but I built a bridge to Jesus. She knows she can trust me and talk to me about anything. My prayer is that one day she will come to know the Jesus I know.

How can you build a bridge to someone in need of Christ’s love today? Look for a way to tell someone your story.

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