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Maybe you have image of what God is like. God is like a judgmental Father waiting for you to mess up so he can punish you. God is like Santa Claus who wants to grant your every wish, just pray and God will do everything you want, as long as youíve been a good boy or girl. God is like a gentle old grandfather who loves everybody and doesnít really care what we do. God is some remote being out there somewhere on the edge of the universe somewhere, who really doesnít care about us very much. Like Bette Midler sings, ďGod is watching us from a distance.Ē There are lot of images people have about what God is like.
But what the Christmas story reminds us is that we donít have to wonder what God is like because the Bible says Jesus is God come in the flesh. Jesus himself even said, ďAnyone who has seen Me has seen the Father (John 14:9).Ē Itís hard to imagine looking at a defenseless baby to think somehow this is the very presence and glory of God had come to earth, but that is what the Bible teaches us. So what does that teach us about God?
a. God is near
Because of Jesusí birth we know that God is not some distant deity living on the edge of the universe looking at us through a super Hubble telescope, but a God who is near us. Jesusí title was Immanuel, which means ďGod is with us.Ē Through Jesus we know that God is right here. God is with us as we worship. God listens to us as we pray. God is with us when we sleep, at work, at play, wherever we are at whether we are aware of Godís presence or not, whether we feel Godís presence, God is near.
Jesus told his disciples he would be with us always. Jesus even promised those who follow him that he would not only be present with them, but would actually live within them through his Spirit. You canít get any closer than that.
b. God is Love
Some people think God is out to get them, or to punish them for their wrongdoing, but Jesus shows us otherwise. Through Jesus we see Godís incredible love for us. The Son of God was willing to give up his throne in heaven to take on a frail human body, to be born a helpless infant into humble situations (stable, manger), to grow up and endure temptation, to face the evil and injustices of this world (Phil. 2:6-11). Why? Because of Godís incredible unfailing love. God did not have to come to us, but he chose to come of his own free will because he knew there was no other way to make our world right.
Ultimately, Jesus demonstrated Godís unfailing love when we died as a sacrifice on behalf of every person. NLT Romans 5:8 But
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