Friday, December 13, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

In the midst of all the shopping, decorating, and fun family traditions sometimes we can miss the real reason for the season. Christmas is the time that we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Pause with me for a second and let that sink in. What really happened in that manger in Bethlehem? Why did the God of the universe come to earth to take on flesh and live among us?

Scripture is filled with reasons. For example, John the Baptist proclaimed that Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. Jesus, while speaking to Pilot, gave the reason He was born in John 18:37 saying, “For this reason I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth.” He also said that He came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Jesus was born into the world for so many awesome and wonderful reasons that absolutely deserve our awe, our worship, and our praise. Don’t forget that. Spend some time this Christmas searching scripture and pondering what God was doing when He sent His Son to earth.

          One of those reasons we often miss, which deserves some consideration, is one that the religious leaders of Jesus’s day missed as well. In the 15th chapter of the Gospel of Luke Jesus, while teaching a crowd of sinners and tax collectors, was confronted by grumbling religious leaders who couldn’t understand why He would associate with “those” types of people. In response, Jesus shared a few stories that were aimed at helping them understand one very important reason He had been sent. The first story starts with a simple rhetorical question that reveals that reason.

“What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” Luke 15:4

The answer is that all of us would drop everything to go after something we lost that is important to us and we wouldn’t stop until we found it. What would you do if you had three children and one of them went missing? Wouldn’t you leave everything behind and move heaven and earth to find your child? Yes! Think about it. Isn’t that exactly what God is doing?

Luke 19:10 tells us Jesus came to “Seek and to save that which was lost.”  He came to seek out and save God’s lost children. Every single one of them is important. Everyone is a precious lost coin, which must be found, and a prodigal child that a loving father is longing to wrap his arms around. Jesus received sinners because He came to save them. He didn’t come to pat the righteous on the back and say keep up the good work. He came to heal the broken, set the captives free, redeem those sold into the slavery of sin, and reconcile the wayward prodigal children of God to their loving Father. That is an awesome reason to unashamedly celebrate and share the reason for the season. Christ has come! Merry Christmas!!!!

Shannon Compton
Lifegroup Pastor