Have you ever had to be the one carrying a message for someone else? My job at the middle school involves me communicating intentions and desires for special needs children.
For Christians, Christmas means that we have taken on a new role.
Some of you may have realized that we’re playing with prepositions this Christmas. We’re finding truths in the gospel stories that highlight the nature of the relationship between God and Us because of the coming of Jesus. So, we highlighted the blessings of that relationship first of all:
God With Us – Jesus, the Son of God has come to be with us that we might have life and salvation
God For Us – God the Father longs to re-unite his people to himself and is on our side in the person of Christ.
God In Us – God, the Holy Spirit dwells within believers to empower us and lead us.
This trinitarian relationship is beyond what we could have ever wished for. When we are thus united with God it directs and transforms our very purpose. We can see this in the individuals around Jesus’ birth.
There are actually two births in the birth story of Jesus. Of course, there is the story of the Savior’s birth. That is the most important and the highlight of all that we celebrate. But, there’s also the story of another baby named John. He is the forerunner to the Savior, the one who would prepare the way.
Turn to John 1:6-8. John, like Mark, doesn’t actually tell the birth stories. Instead he focuses on the divine and theological things unfolding behind the coming of Christ. When he jumps into the story of Jesus’ coming in his prologue (1.1-18), it is spiritual truths rather than retelling of events. Concerning John the Baptist he says this…
“that all might believe through him…”
John’s task, transformed by the work of God in Christ, was to witness to the Light (Jesus) so that people might believe through his testimony. It is clear in this testimony that he himself is not the savior (the light). The goal was that through him others find God.
This same truth applies to us as revealed in 2 Cor 5.17-20(6.1).
Salvation is possible in Christ (v17).
This is from God (v18).
We are reconciled to Christ and given the ministry of reconciliation. (v18).
God is reconciling, forgiving, entrusting (v19).
We are Christ’s ambassadors; he appeals through us; be reconciled to God (v20).
If you are in Christ, God desires to work through you. This is not a unique calling to a select few. This is for all who are saved. Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation – reconciled, forgiven, entrusted.
The natural response to God with you, for you, and in you is God through you. Like John the Baptist, we too become forerunners for Jesus. We can’t save anyone. But we can do our best to inform and prepare the way – to bear God through us.
How does God come through us to the world?
~ Pray – that God will send workers into the harvest field.
~ Practice – you are the salt of the earth, a city on a hill… Your life is a message.
~ Give – that ministers would be funded.
~ Go – be the beautiful feet that bring the gospel of peace.
Now the calling ultimately is to do all four. You are not your own, you were bought at a price, therefore honor God with your body.
But, if that seems too daunting, then pick one area to start with or one area where you know you are week in bearing God through you.
The reminder at Christmas that Jesus came for us is also a reminder of the calling to bear Christ to the world.
Messages in this series
Messages by Greg Taylor