"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV)
Jesus was born; the Great Lord, the King of kings, the Alpha and Omega, the Word, He who was, Who is and Who is to come, He who became flesh. He showed up just like the rest of us, but that was not enough.
Later, right before starting His ministry, He was directly tempted by Satan in the desert. Jesus gave Satan a mighty beating, even though He was weak from fasting forty days and forty nights, but that was not enough. See, we can show up to every meeting, we can be in the building we call the church every time the doors are open, but that is not enough.
John 15:13 tell us, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (NKJV) Jesus was a sinless man; He was all knowing and all-powerful. Nevertheless, He voluntarily gave His life and allowed men to commit the greatest injustice in the history of humanity. That is Christ’s greatest legacy; He gave His life to save us. For the Bible tells us,
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. (NKJV)
Jesus gave us an example of the way we should live our lives. Beloved, thank you for showing up, thank you for showing your great strength by defeating a powerful adversary, but all that is meaningless until you display that greater love. I finish with this, think about it,
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:24-26 (NKJV)
I thank God for Christmas, I thank God for Jesus’ victory over Satan in the desert, but I am more thankful for the display of His greater love for us as He was willing to humiliate Himself, die the worst dead and, in that way, give His life for us so that we may be saved.
Beloved, I encourage you to go beyond Christmas, beyond the Christmas tree, beyond the lights, beyond the gift exchange, beyond the busyness of the season, and into the family of God.