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His Presence

What is the meaning of Christmas? Some would say it is Jesus’ birth. It is indeed the time of year when we celebrate His birth. There is much more to Christmas than the birth of Jesus. We celebrate God coming in a flesh and blood body. We use the word incarnation which means come in the flesh.

Think about what that means. God sent His only Begotten Son to this dark and fallen world. Jesus preexisted. He is the creator of the world, and because of mankind’s rebellion, what He created was corrupted. Jesus was God’s only Son. In John 3:16, the word begotten means the only one in the family. God the Father didn’t just send us a son. He sent His only Son. God didn’t send His Son to rule but He sent Him to be the only possible sacrifice for the sins that we have committed. The only way mankind could be freed from sin was to have a perfect man shed His blood. His blood would be the payment or sacrifice for the sins of all mankind. This is the greatest gift to ever be given at Christmas. In fact, it sets a precedence that at this time of year, we give gifts to those whom we love.

God’s gift to mankind was undeserved. The wages of sin are eternal separation from God and His love and life. God gave the gift of His Son to bring us into a relationship with Him. God gave this gift without any guarantee that we would receive it. He gave it without condition. He gave it because of His mercy and love for mankind.

A great part of this wonderful gift is being able to experience God’s presence in our lives. Hebrews 10:19 (NASB95) tells us, “Therefore, brethren, since we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus.” Because of this great gift, we can confidently enter the very presence of God. We were once fearful of His presence. His presence could consume us in an instant. But because of the blood which Jesus gave, we can now enter into the presence of God with confidence. Just think about that. This is beyond amazing! The writer of Hebrews continues by telling us we can draw near to God because our hearts have been cleansed.

Not only can we enter His presence, but He has entered our presence. Jesus told his disciples, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. No matter where we are, He is there. He isn’t there as a spectator but as a helper. David prophesied that God would be to us a very present help in trouble. Are you in trouble? God is there because of the gift of His Son. In Psalm 46:1, the Hebrew word that is translated in English as very present means that He is abundantly present. There is nothing He will not do for you!

Are you going through a time of testing? He is there as a sympathizer. Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.” He sympathizes with us because He came in the flesh. He knows what it is like to live in a sinful world. He also knows how to live without ever committing a sin. His presence is always there to help us overcome.

Celebrate with us the presence of Jesus in our lives. That is what Christmas is about. That is the meaning of Christmas!

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