The Night Jesus was Born
December 7, 2015
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The night Jesus was born, God gave us three extraordinary gifts. God’s first gift to us was love—a profound, intense, divine love. The almighty Creator of the universe set aside His magnificent power and glory and took on a human form to bring salvation to the world. “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NLT). Jesus washed away our sins and imperfections with His perfect love that we may forever be with Him. In His all-knowing wisdom, God chose to love us even though we did nothing to deserve His favor or love.
The night Jesus was born, God gave us peace—supernatural, never-ending, perfect peace. That night in Bethlehem, shepherds watched over their flock of sheep, “Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those with whom God is pleased’” (Luke 2:13-14). Jesus, who is called the Prince of Peace, took the punishment we deserved for our sins, to make it possible for us to have unity and peace with God. “Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us” (Romans 5:1). The inner calm that results from confidence in one’s personal relationship with Jesus is peace that only He can give.
[Photo by Waiting for the Word on Flickr.com]
The night Jesus was born, God gave us joy—inexpressible, overwhelming, genuine joy. An angel announced to the shepherds, “…Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people” (Luke 2:10). The joy the angel spoke of is a true fulfillment that only comes from trust and satisfaction in the Lord. In Psalm 16:11 David wrote, “You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.” True joy is eternal because it is based on our personal relationship with Jesus that is itself an unending source of joy. Joy is a sense of comfort and confidence experienced by one who knows all is well between himself and the God. Paul wrote in Romans 15:13:
“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Amidst the hectic flurry of activities during this Christmas season, I challenge you to take time to pause and meditate on these amazing gifts that God gave us on the night Jesus was born. How can we show our gratitude to God? The best way to thank God is to use these gifts to bless others. We should extend our love, kindness, generosity, and compassion to as many people as we can so that they may experience God’s love for them through our actions. Loving others is evidence of a true believer in Christ:
So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:34-35).
Peace can only be achieved and found through seeking a personal relationship with Jesus. “Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14). To anyone that claims to follow Jesus, we should “…let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts” (Colossians 3:15). God’s peace is humbling peace because it brings underserved favor and humility to our lives. Jesus himself said, “God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). Paul echoed a similar sentiment in 2 Corinthians 13:11, “…Be joyful. Grow to maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you.”
[Christmas Nativity by Martin Von Feurstein]
Lastly, we need to “Shout joyful praises to God…” (Psalm 66:1), so that others may experience God’s promise of a fulfilling life of “…goodness and peace and joy…” (Romans 14:17). Genuine joy cannot be found inside busy malls or on a mountain of expensive presents. Christmas is perhaps one of the single greatest opportunities to speak about Jesus during an entire year, giving us an open door to explain the reason for the season! This Christmas, how about inviting your family, friends and neighbors to fellowship with you at home or at church? Or better yet, tell them the amazing story about the gifts God gave us on the night Jesus was born.
Edited by Carmencita F. Davino, Ph.D