It’s About Life


Our celebrations wear best over the years if they have a lasting message reminding us whence we came. We celebrate that which is most meaningful in our life. As we raise up Ebenezers of Remembrance in our lives to remember all God has done for us, let us celebrate the seasons and reasons, as well as the days as a reminder where it all started and how it all came to us. It’s about life. It’s about life now, and life everlasting.

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CHRISTMAS 

If the baby in the manger were simply another baby born of a woman, there would be no Christmas. The Annunciation would be mute if there were no Christmas, as the rest of the story would not exist. But it does exist and is all very true, as so many of us can attest. Not only so, but we invest our lives in that Truth.

“This is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst.” (1 Timothy 1:15)

As recorded in the Bible, the Christmas narrative is accurate, trustworthy, and worthy of deep study. First, however, we should consider why we read and study. (Christmas Story Luke 2:1-40)

Following is a familiar Christian saying, “We do not have the Bible to increase our knowledge, but to change our lives.” This quote, often attributed to the American evangelist D.L. Moody, captures the central importance of our relationship with God’s Word

We don’t engage with the Bible to increase our knowledge about God (though that is an important part). Instead, we read, study, memorize, ponder, and apply it to know God Himself. And as we do that, God’s Word—and God’s Spirit—transforms us. As a result, how we view the world, life, other people, and ourselves change. Some things that were always visible but unnoticed now become visible to us as though they were completely new and exhilarating to behold. Bible truths hidden from us now become “so simple a child could understand it.”

In one of His testy exchanges with the Pharisees, Jesus pointed out the reason for their error regarding religious zeal. “You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God” (Matthew 22:29).

Were the Pharisees committed to the Scriptures? Absolutely! Were they familiar with them? Of course, they read them constantly and heard them preached regularly in their synagogues. But they did not know them intimately, and they did not see the power of God behind them—power that could change lives. The Bible brings meaningful change, or it brings nothing of lasting value to the reader. If it is read strictly for Intellectual human knowledge to puff one up, it may still have some value in this life, but such knowledge is passing away. [1 Corinthians 13:8]

Contrast that with the way the Apostle Paul described the believers in Thessalonica. Then, the Word of God was at work in these people’s lives—transforming their lives at the very essence and the core of their humanity.

“When you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it truly is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe” (1 Thessalonians 2:13). 

-And:

 “The word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

-More

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it” (Isaiah 55:11).

In the Bible’s own words, we can see why we call it the Living Word of God. It’s the word of life for us here and hereafter.

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

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Addendum

Christmas is not a stand-alone story.

Christmas and Easter are one complete story that is explicitly and verifiably true. Christmas, the fulfillment of the prophecy of His coming, is the beginning of His mission. The completion of Christ’s earthbound mission is represented with Easter, in the crucifixion, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension back to heaven sitting at the right hand of His Father. Then, He sends the Holy Spirit to all believers while making intercession for us before God with each accusation against us by the evil one. The mission is entirely accurate, fulfilled, and waiting for the finale – in a nutshell.

For more comprehensive information on this fulfilled prophecy please visit Pedro’s page here.

~G.W.

Music video below from Isaiah Chapter 55

MERRY CHRISTMAS!



16 thoughts on “It’s About Life”

  1. That is a great message about the arrival of Christ, a great strategy for his birth and purpose. This season brings to memory and validity of the birth of Jesus, it’s important to move on through to his mission and sacrifice.
    God bless you G.W., and thanks for the link. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Incredibly beautiful, G.W! I love the way you’ve laid this out, as the living Word of God. And the contrast between the Pharisees and the Thessalonians is such a powerful example. Thank you for this most poignant post. So thankful for the Word who became flesh and dwells among us – even today!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Adding a postscript here. I was just reading I Samuel chapter 7, and came across the Ebenezer Stone in verse 12. What timing, after reading your post earlier today, and seeing the reference to it! Very cool! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. GW, I just began to delve into Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book “The Cost of Discipleship.” This morning I read the opening chapter which contrasts cheap grace to costly grace. Your words- “The Bible brings meaningful change, or it brings nothing of lasting value to the reader. If it is read strictly for Intellectual human knowledge to puff one up, it may still have some value in this life, but such knowledge is passing away” could have been woven into the framework of that chapter. I’ve actually added what you wrote to my notes from the book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beth, I am amazed by your thoughts that my words belong alongside Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s writing. “The Cost of Discipleship” was the first book of his I read early on, and it shaped the kind of walk I wanted to have with the Lord. I have since given that book as a gift to several people over the years. Your kind words truly humble me. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At our pastor’s recommendation I read Bonhoeffer’s biography by Eric Metaxes. That book prompted me to get “The Cost of Discipleship.” It will probably take most of 2023 to finish it as I’ve decided to read through it a a turtle’s pace- annotating as I go. Recently I came across his book “Ethics” in the free bin at our used bookstore. I snatched it up and it now resides on my “to read” pile. I’m curious as to whether you have read it and would recommend it as well.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yes, I would recommend “Ethics,” and “Letters and Papers from Prison,” as well. “Letters” is considered his last will and testament being it was compiled after he was hanged by the SS.
          Bonhoeffer is the most famous of the “Heroes of the Faith” executed during the WWII Nazi regime of Germany. He is probably the best known, also. I have a huge respect for him. The areas I disagreed with him on were merely a matter of personal perspectives.
          Considering the days we are now living in, I think it very insightful of your pastor to recommend reading Bonhoeffer’s biography by Eric Metaxes. I read it after I became familiar with much of Bonhoeffer’s writing.

          Liked by 1 person

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