Wonder: The Invisible Becomes Visible
It was amazing to follow the NASA InSight landing on Mars, which was sent to explore the planet’s unchartered interior. Lori Glaze, acting director of the Planetary Science Division in NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, stated, “We’ve studied Mars from orbit and from the surface since 1965, learning about its weather, atmosphere, geology and surface chemistry. Now we finally will explore inside Mars and deepen our understanding of our terrestrial neighbor as NASA prepares to send human explorers deeper into the solar system.” As amazing as it is to think about man landing on Mars, the greatest miracle was when God landed on earth.
I recently returned from a missions trip to Albania where we set up a new Global Church Partnership. The Albanian people are precious and were so happy we came and begged us to come again. In Albania 99.6% of Albanians do not know Jesus, and most in the Balkans have never heard the message of Christ. I’m reminded this Christmas that the greatest missions trip that ever was conducted was when Jesus came to save the world. He came to save you and me and the entire world.
Don’t forget what Christmas is all about. It is not ultimately about the presents on the tree, it is about the presence of God who died on a tree. Jesus became man so He could eventually die on the cross for our sins. It’s the greatest rescue mission in the history of the world. Keep making sure there is room in your heart, mind, schedule, calendar, wallet and life. Don’t build Jesus around your life… build your life around Jesus.
John 1:1-18 shows us three reasons WHY Jesus came:
- He came to SHOW us. He came to show us God: the way to Him, how to live for Him, how to show His love and grace and who He is. Had Jesus not come, we would be spiritually lost with no hope of finding our way. We would be in complete darkness with no way of seeing or understanding His truth. Have you ever been lost? Have you ever been in complete darkness? Jesus came to show us the way and be the light so we could find our way to eternal life and spiritual truth (see John 1:1-9).While visiting the Bible school in Albania a couple weeks ago, we were blessed to meet a young lady whose eye surgery BCA had paid for when Kurt, the local missionary we’re working with, reached out to us several months ago. This young lady is a student in the Bible school and was in need of an important surgery to prevent her from losing her sight and going completely blind. She was fearful of the darkness and of not being able to see. We unexpectedly had the chance to meet her when we were touring the bible school and tears and gratitude flowed heavily on both sides. She was so thankful, and so were we, that we could care for her and give her hope and show her the love of Jesus. This is what Jesus did for you, me and the entire world – we were blind and living in darkness but God sent Jesus to SHOW us His light.
He came to SAVE us. He was born in order that He might one day die. Easter is awesome – the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the lynchpin of the Christian faith, but there would be no Easter without Christmas. Jesus was born to die and He came to earth knowing He would die. He came to save us by giving His life for us – He came to rescue us from our sins.
Only God could save the sins of the world but He had to become man (while not giving up his divinity) so He could die for our sins as a fellow human, taking the penalty we deserved for our sins. This was God’s plan. Only God could pay for the sins of the world but only God becoming man could redeem a fallen humanity; fully God/fully man, one person/two natures. In essence, “God in a bod.” (See John 1:10-13)
John 1:12 is one of the most important verses in the whole Bible; it tells us to receive and believe. Where do you stand in your faith? If you have not committed your life to Him, go all in and give Him your heart – because He gave you His life. Many do the opposite and reject God instead of receiving him. Don’t ignore Him, believe!
Jesus came to save us, He came to save all Albania and He came to save the world. He doesn’t want anyone to perish; He wants everyone to come to repentance. He chooses everyone and invites everyone. Everyone – including YOU!!! Jesus chose you. Jesus came to save you. He came to save the world. Receive and Believe.
He came to SURROUND us. He came to us, to be with us, and to surround us with His love.
The other day I received a note from a dear friend in our church. She shared a powerful reminder of how Christmas is truly magical for most people but it is also very painful for those who are missing loved ones. She reminded me that there are those whose loved ones have passed away and of families who are experiencing hurt and dysfunction or those who have painful childhood memories. She wrote that “old wounds become fresh again” at Christmas (for some). Maybe that’s you. Maybe Christmas this year is going to be a bit less magical or more fragile.
John 1:14-18 reminds us that Jesus came to us. He chose us. He dwelt among us. He came to reveal himself and His power and love to us. He offered us His grace and peace and strength. He has surrounded us with his presence. He has wrapped His arms around us. We are never alone. We are not forgotten. We are loved.
Personalize it. He came for you, He came to you, He came to free you, and He came to prove His love for you. He came to surround you…and strengthen you…and comfort YOU.
I think I speak for most people when I say that I feel special when I know someone loves me, when someone gives me something deeply meaningful and when someone makes extraordinary plans for me. That is what God has done for you in Jesus (read John 3:16).
One of the most encouraging scriptures in all the Bible comes to us in the Christmas story: Matthew 1:23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means “God with us.”). Immanuel, “God with us.” He is always near and present with us, surrounding us with His grace, love and peace. He cares, cast your cares on Him.
Why did Jesus come?
- He came to show us.
- He came to save us.
- He came to surround us.
Take time this Christmas to thank Jesus for caring for us and for coming to us.