by Pastor Tim Burt
It’s Christmas time. Most places you go, you see Christmas decorations, you hear Christmas music, and you see or hear about Christmas shopping bargains like, “So hurry and take advantage of these great deals today!” Many people are attending a Christmas production at church or some other venue. Many people have made their transportation plans to go home for Christmas. And all those tasty but ultra-fattening home cooked goodies or holiday nuts someone sends you—oh the temptations! We smile while looking at the annual photos or kind sentiments of holiday greetings sent in the mail from those we love. And we hear those few words spoken over the season that sincerely remind us, even if ever so briefly, that the holiday is about God’s love sent to us through the gift of Jesus Christ.
I love all this but find that those messages about what God did in giving us Jesus fall so short of all He really did. Even as I say that, if I share more about what He did, it will fall short here because it is impossible to capture it all in a devotional. But let me try to take you just a little deeper.
You most likely know the Christmas story from Luke Chapter 2 well. But maybe you’ve never gotten into your Bible further to see what Jesus’ entrance into earth accomplished for you.
In Galatians 4:3-7 (NLT) we read: “…before Christ came. We were slaves to the spiritual powers of this world. But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son (referring to a child of God); and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.”
The understanding of these words may be difficult for you to grasp at first, but what they are saying, is this: Before Jesus came, God’s people lived by the law God had given to live righteously. They were supposed to follow it. In trying to follow it, they would come to realize that although the law showed them righteous living, personal transparency would reveal that no one was capable of keeping everything in the law. They all failed, thus they needed help. Jesus came and lived the law perfectly and He did that for us. He was the only one who could. He did for us what we couldn’t. And after doing so, the jealous leaders of the day killed Him. He allowed them to do this because by doing so, He could go to Hell for three days and nights to pay the punishment for your and my sins.
Now maybe you know that much already, but these verses tell us more saying, “God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE FULL RIGHTS AS SONS.” Because of this it continues; “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son (referring to a child of God); and since you are a son, GOD HAS MADE YOU AN HEIR.”
When you go deeper into the Christmas message you realize, although God wants you to live as righteously as you can, you’ve been redeemed from your shortcomings and having to live perfectly to be alright with God. God has washed you and accepted you and received you as His child through your faith in Jesus Christ, AND called you an heir. We all know what an heir is and the benefits of an heir, but what does that look like in this earth?
The Bible tells us that Elijah was a human being just like us. He loved God and lived for Him. There was a time during a famine that provision was scarce, but because Elijah had faith that God would bring supernatural provision, He did. At one point God sends Elijah to a place where He will provide for him through a single mom. But why her? She was destitute herself when Elijah came to her. She was about to prepare her very last meal for herself and her son when Elijah asked her for that meal. How could Elijah be so selfish? He wasn’t. It was the key to both their survival. 1 Kings 17:13-14 (NLT) “But Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid! Go ahead and cook that 'last meal,' but bake me a little loaf of bread first. Afterward there will still be enough food for you and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: There will always be plenty of flour and oil left in your containers until the time when the Lord sends rain and the crops grow again!"
God made supernatural provision available to Elijah and to this woman and her son because of their faith to follow God’s leading. This is what it looks like to be an heir of God. Everyone around them was starving, but they weren’t. They were heirs of God’s grace through their faith in Him. And today you read more of the Christmas story; “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, "Abba, Father." So you are no longer a slave, but a son (referring to a child of God); and since you are a son, GOD HAS MADE YOU AN HEIR.”
Jesus made you an “heir of God” through His actions of love. Don’t appeal to God for help like a beggar. Appeal to God for help as the heir He made you and from a heart of thanksgiving for what He did and what He promised to you! Do so with confidence and faith. It is a supernatural and exciting journey in God!
Philip. 4:6 (NIV) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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