The greatest birth in the history of man was the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Every birth of a child is a marvelous event and an occasion to celebrate. It brings into being a soul that will never die. Never since the beginning of the world was a birth so marvelous as the birth of Jesus. The birth of Jesus Christ was the first of His two comings to the earth. It was a glorious act, apart from which there can be no salvation for mankind. Therefore, the birth of our savior is one of the foundational stones of the christian faith, for without it there could not have been the sacrifice on the cross.
The birth of a child usually brings great joy, and so it was with the birth of Christ. In fact, the birth of Christ has brought more joy to mankind than any other birth. The joy at the time of this birth, was so great that even the angels in heaven declared it to be the time of good tidings of great joy to all people (Luke 2:10). His birth makes this possible to us, and it is the joy which occurs today in the Christmas season.
Do you realize that no birth has ever been celebrated so long and so faithfully as the birth of Jesus? Though He was born in a stable, His birth is still a major celebration every year. Many have tried to stamp out the memory and mention of Jesus, but every year the celebration of His birth goes on. The first coming of Jesus has effected even our calendars. Many may deny Christ, talk against Christ, and be ignorant of Christ, yet every time they write down the day of the year, they are giving witness to the fact of the birth of Christ in Bethlehem.
As the angels declared to the shepherds in the field, it is at time of great joy, peace on earth, and goodwill toward men because there was born in the city of David (which is Bethlehem) a savior who is Christ the Lord. As always, the things that God gives for one reason, the world or the devil flips it and causes it to mean something totally different. When we celebrate the first coming of Jesus it should be a time of rejoicing, gladness, and peace, but instead it has become one of the most depressing times of the year for a lot of people. When they cannot afford to buy gifts, they don't receive the gifts that they want, and/or they may not have that special someone to spend the season with, it can become depressing to people. All of this happens because we have failed to understand what the coming of the Lord is all about.
The Bible makes it clear: "for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son". That was the babe in the manger, but even more so it points to the Son on the cross over thirty years afterwards. It is important that we remember that Jesus didn't just stay a babe in the manger. He wasn't just Mary's baby. He was God's son, the last Adam, sent specifically for the purpose of undoing what the first Adam had done; succeeding where the first Adam had failed; overcoming what the first Adam had succumbed to. Jesus said, "I come that you may have life", (this is the first coming) "that you may have it more abundantly". The more abundant life is not just in possessing more things. He was rich in heaven and became poor on earth for our sakes, says the Bible.
In the quest to have a good Christmas, many put pressure on the people in their lives to bring them happiness. We mentioned, in the last blog, about the need for intimate relationships, and how many people distort or don't understand what defines a good relationship. Even at this time of year, people desire to have greater intimacy in their relationships and they measure this by the number of gifts received, the quality of the gifts received, or the amount of time they share with others they desire to spend time with. They pursue after validation of their importance to others during this time of the year in the wrong way; putting unnecessary pressure on themselves and others to give them that which can only come from within. They often look at others and envy what they think the others have and drive themselves into a depressive state. We should seek to become even more intimate with the one who gives life, Jesus Christ, celebrate Him, and be grateful for His death on the cross as the greatest gift of all.
Pastor Earl Goings shares his thoughts on everyday concerns.
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