Christmas – He Came to Save

Luke 19:10   (KJV)   10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.

It’s God’s earnest and loving desire that you and I—everyone—be rescued from the fires of judgment, from life and eternity without Christ. That’s the reason why Jesus willingly came. He was born to die for us—to give His life as a ransom for many. Not all are saved, luke-19-10-christmas-he-came-to-savebut all are salvable, and there are those who are and will be saved. We were once lost, but now we’re found, we were once blind, but now we see; we were once dead, but now we’re alive.

God’s eyes are still looking to and fro; Jesus, through His Holy Spirit is still knocking on the door of our hearts; the door for salvation is still open. Anyone, from the most moral sinner to the most hardened criminal, can be saved. All over the world, people just like us are looking for Jesus. For some, the process isn’t as easy and comfortable as we have it here in our free country. But against all odds, they find ways. With tears in their eyes and with indescribable gratefulness, they joyfully cling to the Savior, and bow in absolute surrender before the Lord.

The Lord never disappoints His own. He always sees us eye to eye; He always meets us at the point of our need, always, with a loving invitation to rest in Him. Others don’t understand this beautiful divine dynamics; they can’t understand how sinners such as I can be saved and accepted by a perfectly holy God. They can’t believe the genuineness of good drastic changes that transpire. But the Lord doesn’t have any problem with it. He knows His purpose is just getting accomplished. The salvation for which He came is happening, proven by genuine repentance of those who experience it.


Knowing God’s Gift

John 4:10   (KJV)   10 Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The more we know Who Jesus really is, the more we receive of His blessings. That’s why ours is a continuous journey of drawing closer to our Lord. Whatever our level of spiritual maturity is, we still very much want to increase in our knowledge of our Lord and the john-4-10-knowing-gods-giftpower of His resurrection. Others miss out on so much simply because they don’t know what they’re missing. Others don’t have a desire to seek or know Him; others have a desire but not the action; others stagnate and get stuck.

But oh, the wonders of getting a greater view of the wonders of our Jesus—no words can describe the glory and the experience. That’s why it’s a joy and high priority for us to spend more time in His presence; it’s there, immersed in His Word and the precious Holy Spirit that we get to cultivate a greater knowledge and intimacy with Him Who loves us most—Him Who we love most.

It’s easy to be tossed to and fro by the natural flow of our daily tasks. Through it all, we know our Jesus is always present, in gentle and careful whisper, recalibrating our focus to those that really matter. He ushers us into the wonderful and amazing world of the permanent and eternal. There we expand from the limited to unlimited resources. There we go in and out and find immeasurably priceless treasure.

We praise Him for calling us to be partakers for this incomparable task of being His children and co-workers. In His spectacularly gracious design, we always get more than we put it. We work faithfully, no matter how little, and we harvest way much more. That’s our God. Who can equal to such life, journey, and pursuit? Lord, we really want to know You more.

Continuing Guidance

Matthew 2:9   (KJV)   When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

The star led the wise men until it stood precisely where Jesus was. The wise men who searched for Jesus finally met God’s beloved Son. There, they finally got to do what they longingly purposed to do: they bowed in worship and gave their gifts to the King. God’s matthew-2-9-continuing-guidanceextra-ordinary guidance however continued. He, through a dream, warned them not to return to Herod and they were saved from Herod’s pernicious shenanigan.

That’s our God. He never leads us just to leave us. He’s with us from start to finish. In that assurance, our peace is anchored. All of us need guidance, and knowing that God Himself—He Who sees everything—is the One directing our steps, nothing really beats the quiet comfort, courage, and confidence it brings. We’re hope-filled pilgrims in an exciting journey; we’re also fully armed soldiers advancing against the gates of hell; we need all the guidance we can get.

And guide, God does—guaranteed. The star the wise men saw most probably approximately two years earlier was there until they were vis-à-vis with our Lord. Through the Christmas narrative, we see His ongoing and perfectly timed guidance. He sent His angel to speak directly to Mary; He had an angel speak to Joseph through dreams; He Himself directed the wise men through a dream; and yes there was the star.

There are many ways we receive His loving and clear direction. We still have the star brightly shining in different expressions: His Word, His Holy Spirit, our sanctified conscience, His messengers, the counsel of the living saints, inner witness, circumstances, open and closed doors, etc. He has brought us this far; He won’t forsake us; He never will. We continue to acknowledge Him in all our ways, and He never fails highlighting our path and directing our steps.


The Magi and the Star

Matthew 2:2   (KJV)   2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

The wise men sought for Jesus. They didn’t know His Name, but they knew that the King of the Jews was born. The sign they pointed to was unusual: a “star in the east.” Their motivation was pure; their purpose was on target: they came to worship the King. Both the matthew-2-2-the-magi-and-the-startheologically astute and the critics may question one aspect of the narrative: the inclusion and promotion of what seems to be a practice of Astrology—one condemned by the Scriptures.

Here’s my humble take. The magi weren’t just magi; they were magi earnestly seeking the Lord. They were wise indeed. Wise people seek God. The star wasn’t just any other ordinary star; it was a unique star; it was especial enough to let the wise men know that it was pointing to the birth of the King of the Jews Who we now know is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We have a special God Who does special things in special ways.

This isn’t a dogmatic statement, but just a humble opinion: the Lord saw the sincerity in the hearts of the magi. They were intently and industriously seeking God. God honored them and in some undocumented manner, He communicated with them to look for a specific kind of star as a sign for the birth of the King. That’s why they knew what to look for. And although explanations were given to give a “natural” flair to how the star led them, there really is no problem for God creating a star just for a particular group in a particular situation at a particular time for a particular purpose.

God will shake heaven and earth to be true to His promise to those who look for Him: But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 4:29).  He seeks us; we seek Him. He finds us; we find Him. He draws us; we draw near; He draws near. However the divine dynamics are, we’re just indescribably overjoyed in being closer to and worshiping the King—our heavenly Dad.

True Messiah Has Been Born

Luke 2:11   (KJV)   11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The Savior has been born. We don’t have to wait anymore; the long awaited promise has already come. The Messiah—Christ—Anointed One has come. He’s the One Who brings Good News; in fact, He is the Good News. His given Name is Jesus, which means “The Lord luke-2-11-true-messiah-has-been-bornsaves.” He proclaims liberty to the captives; He brings sight to the blind; He sets the captives free, and He proclaims the arrival of God’s favor.

Sadly, there are so many people still longing and looking for the Messiah to come. Sadder still, there are also so many who are now following self-proclaimed messiahs. The true Messiah’s birth was heavenly initiated and orchestrated. Angel Gabriel brought the news to Mary; an angel spoke to Joseph in a dream; the Holy Spirit supernaturally overshadowed Mary and she had a supernatural conception—a virgin with child.

The Name alone is very telling: Jesus. The purpose of the Name says more: For He will save His people from their sins. What about the prophecy: “…They will call Him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us’?” So many things about Him are unexpectedly unique. His advent was surprisingly humble; His birth was surprisingly miraculous; the promises were surprisingly grand. The fulfillment was surprisingly precise. He is the one true Messiah.

The true Savior has been born. The Messiah, the Savior born is also the Lord. The angel told Mary something interesting when he told her about the Son to be born through her: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end (Luke 1:31-33).” Yes, Jesus has come, but there’s a lot more to come.

Christmas’ Greatest Gift

John 3:16   (KJV)   16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The incarnation of our Lord and Savior Jesus—Christmas, is an extremely clear statement and demonstration of love and salvation. God loves us. He desires all of us to be saved. That’s the reason why He generously gave us the best and most valuable Christmas gift john-3-16-17-christmas-greatest-giftever: God’s Son wrapped in humanity cloak. The little Baby laid in a manger is God’s gentle yet profoudly emphatic declaration that imperfect and fallen humanity has hope.

One of the worst feelings is that of being unloved. So many people all around the world suffer this tragedy. It’s not that they don’t love; it’s that their deep and true love isn’t reciprocated. True love is willing to give without anything in return, but it does really feel wonderfully great when it’s returned, or when you receive it even from another source/s. I’ve learned it from somewhere before: love is man’s greatest need. In the context that God is love, I agree.

Love came—in the person of God’s Son. The majestically and perfectly pure Darling of Heaven willingly came in complete submission to the Father. Here on earth, He lived to die; He left the heights of heaven to descend to the depths of hell. The beautifully wrapped Perfection was to be horribly and cruelly desecrated and destroyed. It didn’t deter Him; He willingly offered His body as a living sacrifice: truly holy and acceptable to His Father and totally beneficial to us.

In humble and truthful admission of our desperate need of Him, we bow and walk in complete yieldedness to His Lordship and total dependence in Him as our Savior. Gratefully, we offer ourselves in love and obedience—in peaceful and joyful awareness of the truth that all He wants for us is the best, comforted in knowing that He’s absolutely able to take us there.

The Return of the Son

Matthew 25:31   (KJV)   31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

There will come a time when peace will be a reality in a worldwide scale. More than a hand sign, more than a bumper sticker, more than a wish from many nations’ ambassadors, more than a Ms. Universe contestants’ response, it will be a reality. It won’t be peace for a matthew-25-31-the-return-of-the-sontime; it will be permanent. The Lord Jesus is coming again in majestic splendor. With Him are His holy angelic armies. This time, He won’t be laid in a manger; he will sit upon His glorious throne.

His return is a clear and established biblical truth. There may be differences in interpretation as to when and how, but there’s no question about Him coming back. When He ascended to heaven, two-white robed men—probably heavenly angelic beings—declared that He will return from heaven in the same way they saw Him go. The popular (Apostles’) Creed states: “And seated at the right hand of God, the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead.”

The King of kings and the Lord of Lords is coming. Every injustice will be remedied; justice and righteousness will prevail. We will have the kind of one world government that’s perfect—led by a non-corrupt, perfect, holy, absolutely good and loving Ruler. That’s why I oppose any one world government to be supremely ruled by an imperfect individual or imperfect group—more so, by selfish, greedy, corrupt, and power-hungry tyrant/s.

As for now, we live in joyful faith and hope—in watchfulness and readiness, longingly waiting for our beloved Lord and Savior. We make sure we have enough “oil” for our lamp—always excited and ready to welcome and meet our heavenly Groom on His second advent or arrival. We’re seizing the gift of time, making the most of every opportunity He gives us, blooming where we’re planted, enjoying and making the most of the potential of our present, celebrating the memory of His first advent as we eagerly look forward to the heavenly curtains pulling back, the clouds breaking open, and our Jesus… oh…

Dayspring from Heaven

Luke 1:78   (KJV)   78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

Because God, our heavenly Father loves us infinitely much and is immensely merciful to us, He brightens our days and lights our paths. Our precious Lord Jesus, the Dayspring from on high, the Morning Light came “to give light to them that sit in darkness and in luke-1-78-79-dayspring-from-heaventhe shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace (Luke 1:79). This is one of the clear and vital meanings of Christmas or His incarnation.

We humbly admit the obvious: we are imperfect. We’re surrounded by ever-expanding and deepening darkness. There are unanswered questions and unexplored roads ahead. These seemingly daunting realities render many people fearfully paralyzed. Many are stuck or are sinking deeper in despair and desperate circumstances. But Christmas is a message of hope and God’s powerful yet lovingly gentle intervention.

Our Father, our Lord God Who has made heavens and earth by His great power extends His mighty and inviting arms to us. There, we find grace and mercy that’s able to cover the multitudes of our sins. There, darkness flees; there, death is powerless; there, troubles are calmed. We don’t fear treading on our future. We may not know what waits, but we take comfort in the truth that the Rising Sun—our Lord Jesus—lights our way and indeed brightens our day.

Glory of Incarnation

John 1:14   (KJV)   14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Creation shows God’s existence; Christmas shows God’s existence among us.

The greatest act of humility is when God took upon Himself humanity.

john-1-14-glorious-incarnationThe Word becoming flesh is the best and clearest revelation of God.

The first man walked with God. The fall of man broke that fellowship. On the coming of the Son of God, on Christmas, after thousands of years, God “walked” among men—again.

Jesus is full of grace and truth; a Jesus void of grace and truth is a different Jesus.

Christ is full of grace and truth, that’s why Christians also walk in the fullness of—and continuous growth in—grace and truth.

On Christmas, Jesus lived among us—visibly, temporarily. Now, Jesus lives in us—invisibly, permanently (?). Both are glorious. How much more glorious it is when He comes the final time and lives with us—visibly and permanently.

Christmas Spirit

Luke 2:10   King James Version (KJV)   10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Christmas is my favorite season of the year. I don’t get tired of saying that. I don’t know why, but I just sense some kind of inexplicable feeling deep within my soul. Is it joy? It feels like it, but it’s deeper. Is it love? It definitely feels like it, but it’s deeper. It just feels luke-2-10-christmas-spiritso good. It may sound weird to some, but I often aim to celebrate it for three months—from September to the first week of January. This hugely has to do with where I grew up. We have a common practice: when a month ending in “er” starts, i.e., September, the Christmas season starts. We start hearing Christmas carols played in Department stores, radios, and our own homes. That’s probably the reason why we really sense the “Christmas spirit.”

Where I live now, it seems like Christmas spirit is so evasive. I literally have to exert extra effort just for me to have a fraction of what I used to enjoy. But with all my efforts, it’s still not the same. It’s okay though; we still make the best of it. Although I don’t have that Christmas atmosphere where I’m immersed into, I still have the joy of Christmas in me. I just have to deliberately think about it. When I do, I sense the Christmas spirit rise from within. And as I mentioned earlier, it just feels so good.

Why would I not feel thrilled about the birth of my Savior? Anyone who understands what this means probably have the same reaction. Others may point out that our joy comes from the Good News of salvation through the sacrificial death, burial, and victorious resurrection of our Lord. And that’s absolutely true. But the birth of our Savior is also Good Tidings of great joy. The Good News isn’t either-or; it’s both. They’re both part of one life, and one redeeming story of love. That’s why joy is an intrinsic part of the season. So yes, I have my steady and dancing warm white Christmas lights up, silver bells, the dramatically lit nativity display, the heart-pulling Christmas village, heart-tickling and touching Christmas songs, and more.

Merry Christmas! Oooohhh, I love it.