6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: Christmas shows God’s love as He came down in human form to be like us and save us from sin and death.

Illustration – A year or so ago Amy and I had just gone to bed, and the house was silent, and after a little while there was a noise which sounded like faint scratching on the wood floors. I was nice and cozy in bed and so I didn’t do anything about it, and by the next morning I had forgotten all about it. The next night I was getting ready for bed and as I reached for my night clothes I noticed the curtain by my head move. Of course as you can imagine it startled me, and so I slowly moved closer to get a look at what had caused the curtain to move, and much to my surprise there was a squirrel hanging on the other side of the curtain, a flying squirrel to be exact. I didn’t want the squirrel in the house and I knew it might be in danger from our dog or cat, and so I closed the door to the bedroom, went and found a box. I returned with the box and began the attempt to get the squirrel into the box. I don’t know if you’ve had encounters with flying squirrels before but not only can those little buggers glide they can leap a long ways too. It was quite a comical scene to see me chasing this squirrel all around our bedroom. I have to tell you it is about impossible to get a flying squirrel into a box.

I wondered how I could help this little squirrel without hurting him. How could I convince the little guy not to be afraid, that the reason I was chasing after him was not to hurt him but because I was trying to save him? The truth is, I couldn’t, no matter how hard I tried to convince him I was doing for him what was in his best interest. Probably the only way to convince this squirrel not to be afraid and cooperate with me was if…perhaps I could become a flying squirrel myself. That way I wouldn’t be as intimidating and I could tell him the truth of his situation.

God faced the same condition with us. How can the infinite, all-powerful, Creator of the universe communicate that he loves and cares for us and wants to help us? He could become like one of us.

Whether we realize it or not, we are a lot more like my little squirrel friend than we may know. I’m sure the squirrel thought it was great being in our house, it was warm, cozy, lot’s of places to hide, food available. But what he may not have known was that our cat was in the house and would love to have squirrel for dinner. My dog likewise would have loved to get a shot at him. We too are in need of help. We face dangers that we don’t even realize we need help with, to be saved from.

We may even think life is going pretty good, and yet danger is creeping at the door. And so we may think we don’t need God’s help. In fact we might be wondering what the big deal is in all of this talk about God. We’re doing pretty good on our own thank you very much. What we often don’t realize is that we face two very real dangers: ourselves and Satan. We are in danger from ourselves because we suffer from selfitis. Selfitis is our own selfishness. It’s the part of us that says, I want things my way. Selfitis leads to greed, materialism, envy, lust, anger, and all sorts of other problem. We care more about ourselves than God or others. Now at first this sounds great, because we may get what we want, but eventually this will work against us, in our relationships with other people, and definitely in our relationship with God because as Scripture tells us, our selfitis or sin separates us from God now and eternally because our sin deserves punishment.

The second danger is Satan. He’s gunning for us, trying to trip us up and get us to hurt ourselves, hurt others, get us angry, and feed our selfitis with temptations of all sorts. The Bible describes him as a roaring lion prowling around looking for the next person to devour. He wants to make you fall and be as miserable as he is.

Even if we don’t see these dangers, God does, and he wants to help. But when God tries to help us, we have this tendency to run away. We may be like my little squirrel friend and run in fear because we think God is trying to get us for all the stuff we’ve done, or perhaps we’re having too much fun to care about what God is doing, and so we keep heading toward danger. Unfortunately, even if we are aware of the danger there is very little we can do about it on our own.

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