God’s gift of Jesus shows us how much God loved the world. So as you enjoy the Christmas season, consider how traditions that minimize your focus on self and turn your attention to others can honor the teachings of Jesus, God’s gift.
An Ordained Anointed Minister of Jesus Christ to Minister His Gospel, to this online Church; House of the Nazarene, To spread the Good News of Salvation to the four corners of the Earth. All Christians have, in profession at least, received Jesus Christ the Lord, consented to him, and taken him for theirs. We cannot be built up in Christ, or grow in him, unless we are first rooted in him, or founded upon him. Being established in the faith, we must abound therein, and improve in it more and more. God justly withdraws this benefit from those who do not receive it with thanksgiving; and gratitude for his mercies is justly required by God. There is a philosophy which rightly exercises our reasonable faculties; a study of the works of God, which leads us to the knowledge of God, and confirms our faith in him. But there is a philosophy which is vain and deceitful; and while it pleases men's fancies, hinders their faith: such are curious speculations about things above us, or no concern to us. Those who walk in the way of the world, are turned from following Christ. We have in Him the substance of all the shadows of the ceremonial law. All the defects of it are made up in the gospel of Christ, by his complete sacrifice for sin, and by the revelation of the will of God. To be complete, is to be furnished with all things necessary for salvation. By this one word “complete,” is shown that we have in Christ whatever is required. “In him,” not when we look to Christ, as though he were distant from us, but we are in him, when, by the power of the Spirit, we have faith wrought in our hearts by the Spirit, and we are united to our Head. The circumcision of the heart, the crucifixion of the flesh, the death and burial to sin and to the world, and the resurrection to newness of life, set forth in baptism, and by faith wrought in our hearts, prove that our sins are forgiven, and that we are fully delivered from the curse of the law. Through Christ, we, who were dead in sins, are quickened. Christ's death was the death of our sins; Christ's resurrection is the quickening of our souls. The law of ordinances, which was a yoke to the Jews, and a partition-wall to the Gentiles, the Lord Jesus took out of the way. When the substance was come, the shadows fled. Since every mortal man is, through the hand-writing of the law, guilty of death, how very dreadful is the condition of the ungodly and unholy, who trample under foot that blood of the Son of God, whereby alone this deadly hand-writing can be blotted out! Let not any be troubled about bigoted judgments which related to meats, or the Jewish solemnities. The setting apart a portion of our time for the worship and service of God, is a moral and unchangeable duty, but had no necessary dependence upon the seventh day of the week, the Sabbath of the Jews. The first day of the week, or the Lord's day, is the time kept holy by Christians, in remembrance of Christ's resurrection. All the Jewish rites were shadows of gospel blessings.
The baby Jesus is worth so much more than any earthly gift. Christmas presents are enjoyed for a little while; Jesus will be enjoyed for all eternity. Remember this season to sing praises to Jesus, as the angels and the shepherds did. Jesus is worthy of all honor and glory.
This Christmas, when we are encouraged to focus on Jesus, let us consider our own vulnerability and take comfort. While here, Jesus had to depend on the same Heavenly Father as we do. Thankfully, God is faithful.
Herein is the mystery. If the newborn in Mary’s arms is God, then was He at the same time sustaining all the universe? Scholars puzzle as to how this could be.
Paul identifies this two-fold miraculous mirror effect of Christ in 2 Corinthians: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit”