Does the birth of Jesus actually make any difference in our lives today, right here and now in our present circumstances? Yes, it does! When Jesus came into the world, He was “God with us”, and because God is with us, every moment of our lives is radically different. Because of His abiding presence, we can face the confusing, troubling situations of life without fear, knowing that He will never leave us or forsake us.
The stress of our daily lives and the uncertainties of the world in which we live can leave us filled with fear and despair, and even the best counselors will admit they don’t have all the answers. But Jesus, whose birth we celebrate at Christmas, was called the Wonderful Counselor. He not only cares about all our troubles, but He knows exactly what to do about them because He is the very embodiment of wisdom and knowledge. Have you talked with this Wonderful Counselor lately?
Have you ever wondered why people use the name of Jesus as a curse word 2,000 years after He lived and died? Why do they never curse using anyone else’s name? It’s because all the powers of darkness are trying to stamp out the very name of Jesus! In fact, they are trying to rid the world of Him completely. In a time when the voices of evil are growing louder and stronger, we need to stand boldly for Jesus!
God showed us what love looks like by sending His Son into the world to save us while we were still in our sin. He took the initiative and came to us without waiting for us to come to Him. And now we have been called to take His love and truth into the world to those who do not know Him. Are we taking the initiative to love others the way He loved us?
As we face the struggles and uncertainties of life that often come our way, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, alone and afraid. In those times, we can find great encouragement by remembering the things that are already true of us in Christ. If you are facing difficult times, let these truths from God’s Word be the encouragement you need to find renewed hope and strength for the future.
When Jesus was born 2,000 years ago, people reacted in very different ways to Him. Some were threatened by Him, like King Herod. Others, like Simeon, welcomed His arrival. And Jesus still evokes the same two responses today. People either reject Him or receive Him, and which one you choose will make all the difference in your life. How have you responded to Jesus?
If a prisoner served his time and was set free, it would be unthinkable for him to go back and live in his prison cell. Yet many Christians who have been set free by Jesus continue to live as prisoners to their past. Jesus said if we know the truth, it would set us free, and we would be truly free. Are you saved, but still living under a cloud of guilt and fear because of your past sin? Jesus invites you to be set free today!
A child who awakens in a dark room in the middle of the night is often gripped with fear, yet all it takes to comfort him is the presence of his father or mother. The same darkness is still there, but the child’s heart is now at rest simply because he is not alone. As we walk through the dark seasons of life, we are easily filled with fear. The one thing that will bring true peace and comfort into those situations is knowing that Jesus has promised to always be with us to the very end of the world!
Just a quick glance at the headlines reminds us that we live in a world filled with trouble. Terrorism, wars, toppling governments, economic instability — it’s enough to make us want to run and hide. But even though we live in a world of fear, we do not have to live in fear! The Bible reminds us that God is in complete control of all things, and that nothing happens in the world at large or in our own lives that is outside of His providence. Knowing this truth will bring us peace even in the most troubling times of life.
As we trace the spread of the gospel through the book of acts, we learn that as it was preached it would cause two results; salvation for some who heard the message and persecution to those who brought the message. How is it that the Gospel can be considered “good news” if the people who share it are always getting beat up? So when Paul says that he’s not ashamed of the gospel, does he have in mind just the extrinsic fact of it, or the intrinsic effects of it on his own life?
The economy, loss of jobs, our health, our finances, our children, the future — there are plenty of things in life that can fill us with worry and anxiety. In fact, if we allow it to, worry can become all-consuming and drain us of our joy and effectiveness. But we are not just helpless victims destined to live in the stranglehold of fear! The Bible shows us how we can rise above our anxious thoughts and find a supernatural peace that comes only from God.
The Bible says there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. We live our lives in fear… fear of public speaking, losing control of situations, losing our job, having our inabilities found out, fear of the unknown, fear of confrontation, even death. If you are afraid, you have not allowed God to love you. We must accept God’s love on His terms and allow His love to drive out fear.