Summary: He predestined us to become image-bearer of Jesus. He called us for His purpose. He justified us. He glorified us.
Wow! Barely two days before Christmas! It’s a challenge to find a parking space in Westfield, or Kmart or possibly in any shops these days! Not many holidays can throw the world in such a frenzy, but Christmas surely do. Christmas is always special.
In last Sunday’s message, we were reminded how blessed we are in this country and that we should be thankful. If there are things to be thankful this Christmas, more than the Philippines winning the Miss Universe, it must be the love of God! The Scriptures (John 1:17-18) says “that the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ!
So, if you know someone who is heartbroken and downcast, sure, give them a present as you wish, but give them Jesus. After all, the first six letters in the word Christmas is the most important! Have you been to a 3-course dinner lately? When you dine in a restaurant, most people go for the main course, not the garnish or the dessert. You enjoy the appetizer or the dessert, but really, you are after the main course. You may leave the restaurant without tasting the appetizer or the dessert, but surely not without touching or tasting the main course, at least. In Christmas, Christ is not the appetizer. Christ is not the desert. Christ is the main course. So, let us not remove him in Christmas, let us not cross him out because, without Him, there is no Christmas, only pagan festivities. Do our best to put Christ in the Christmas. Tell them that the God Incarnate in the flesh is on their side! This is the main plot of the Christmas story! In Matthew 1:20-21, the angel said to Joseph, “Joseph do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins.” God is on our side!
Paul tried to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters in Rome what it means to have God on our side. Before we pray, LET’S READ Romans 8:31-32.
These Scriptures are a powerful and faith-filled declaration by our Brother Paul to them and us now!
When our contractor called to tell us that they will not start construction of our granny flat until we remove the shed, the fence, and the clothesline, Allan and I both knew that we’re stuck! Allan and I did not have the knowledge nor the skill to tear down a big shed, to uproot a clothesline buried deep in concrete, or to demolish a long sturdy and welded fence. The easiest was to get someone to do it for us, but it was not that easy because we didn’t allocate a demolition fund. Our minds were spinning thinking of who, what, and how much it would cost. Sitting in our kitchen table, the Holy Spirit urged me not to worry. So I started to declare what I already knew! God is on our side. He got it covered! I fed myself with hope in the Lord. I tried to see the good that God would make us get out of it. We jumped in youtube for DIY tutorials, and we decided we would demolish it ourselves. It was long and many days of hard work under the heat of the sun. Each day, I said to myself, God you are on our side, help us finish this today. Each time we climb that six steps ladder, I silently pray, God you are on our side! Send your angels to help us. When we hit a section that we couldn’t remove, I silently say, God you are with us in this, help us to get it out.
The fence was gone, the shed was gone, and the clothesline was gone because God was on our side. He gave us wisdom, knowledge, skill, patience, strength, and faith that God was right there with us pulling a hard screw out, grinding hard steel out, or lifting a heavy bar of steel. He didn’t leave us at all. God was with us each day! The bonus part is we now know how to use a grinder and a driller properly. No clue how these tools work at the beginning but you wouldn’t know how powerful these tools are until you learn how to use it by heart.
Another bonus is we only spend less than $100 to do the work. God knows we need more than $100 if we choose the easy way. You and I have a choice to either get mad or to use our situations to get the best of God’s seed in us. In our relationship with God and with others: it is not how much Scriptures you know, but how much you live out the Christ in the Scriptures.