Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Very Important Message: Part 1

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

   “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
Luke 2:13-14
How do you communicate a message that you believe is extremely important? Do you shout it to make sure it is heard? Or maybe you whisper it to draw them in closer? Perhaps you put it in print, in ALL CAPS, bold it, underline it, or change the font color. Whatever you do, chances are that you make sure people can tell your message is important.
God has His own ways of making sure we know when He is giving us important messages. One of those ways is by sending the message via His messengers, the angels. This is one way we know that the birth of Christ is so important, because there are so many angelic visits surrounding the event (Matthew 1:20-21, Matthew 2:12, Matthew 2:13,  Luke 1:11-20, Luke 1:26-38, & Luke 2:8-14). But there is only one message in the Christmas story that is delivered by more than one angel. In fact, God sent a great company of angels, possibly thousands of angels to deliver the same message to the same people at the same time. This must be a very important message!
Luke 2:14 reveals the two great accomplishments of Jesus’ arrival: glory in heaven and peace on earth. This week we will consider how Jesus' birth and life brings God glory. Next week we will consider how it brought about peace on earth. 
Scripture compares God’s glory to the sun in Revelation 21:23 when it says that in heaven there will be no sun for God’s glory itself will be our light. So God’s glory is like the sun that sends forth its warmth and light. God’s glory sends forth God’s goodness and excellence so that creation can respond in praise. Jesus is like the rays of the sun in this analogy. The sun would be warm and light giving even if its rays did not reach all the way to earth, we just wouldn’t know it. But because they do bring its warmth and light to earth we can enjoy them and give thanks for the sun. Jesus brings the glory of God’s grace and goodness down to earth in ways we never could have known otherwise. Through Him we experience God's love and forgiveness. Because of Him, God is glorified as we respond with faith and praise.
Christ also provides the ultimate example of obedience. John 17:4 says that Jesus glorified God by completing the work He gave Him to do. God had a perfect and wise plan for Jesus’ life. By submitting Himself to follow God’s plan completely, Jesus allowed Himself to be used to display God's glory supremely. He was born as a man. He lived a life of service to the sick, the dying, the needy, and the sinner. He allowed Himself to be falsely accused, mocked, tortured, murdered, & buried in the very ground He created; all to follow God’s plan for His life and bring glory to His name.

Do you know that God has a plan for your life too? Ephesians 2:10 says that God has prepared good works in advance for believers to do. It isn't just Jesus or ministers that God has a specific plan for. God has specific good deeds He has planned for your future. Only through prayer and the discernment of the Holy Spirit will you determine exactly what these good works are...if you are willing to fully obey Him like Christ. Is God calling you to quit work to stay home with your children? Is He calling you to go back to work, to share the gospel? Maybe you feel led to become a missionary or a minister? He might be calling you to make a big year end gift to a church or charity. Whatever the Lord is calling you to do, even if you don't know what it is yet, will you commit to following His plan for your life? At Christmas as we celebrate that Jesus was willing to come to earth following God's plan for His life, what better time than now for you to submit yourself to God’s plan?
For further reading...

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