Summary: One thing is for sure. God is ready & anxious to reveal Himself to us. But the question is, "Do we want to meet Him? Are we really prepared to hear His words, & listen to what He has to say?" (Powerpoints available - #279)
MELVIN M. NEWLAND, MINISTER
RIDGE CHAPEL, KANSAS, OK
(Powerpoints used with this message are available at no charge. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and request #279.)
TEXT: 2 Peter 1:16-18
Listen to what the Apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:16 18. "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power & coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitness of His majesty.
"For He received honor & glory from God the Father when the voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, 'This is my Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.'
"We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain."
ILL. Bob Evans was blind. For the first 51 years of his life he lived in a dark world filled with sounds, but not sight. Then delicate surgery was performed, & for the first time in his life, he could see.
He has written of his experience in seeing things for the very first time. He wrote, "I couldn't believe yellow. I never dreamed that yellow was so, well, yellow. And red. Red is my favorite color. It's so brilliant & warm & penetrating.
"Then there are the airplanes flying high in the sky, stretching their vapor trails behind them. I love watching the airplanes."
"And the sunsets. There are times when I just sit outside to drink in the beauty of a sunset, followed by a night filled with the brilliant light of the stars, blinking in the heavens."
Then he asked, "I wonder if you realize just how wonderful the gift of sight really is?"
We have always seen, haven't we? We just open our eyes. Sometimes we need a little help from glasses that correct our vision & bring things into focus. But most of us have always had this wonderful gift of sight.
Bob Evans also wrote, "All my life I was surrounded by beauty & I never realized it until now. I didn't even know what I was missing."
I believe that it is possible for us to be that way with God, too. To come to church & sing songs of praise, even to pray & read His Word, & yet never know Him, to know only what others have learned of Him & have taught us, but never really to know Him for ourselves.
Maybe our goal for this Christmas ought to be to know Jesus for ourselves. Because the message of Christmas is this, "Heaven visited earth & made it possible for earth to get right with God. God became flesh & lived with us for a brief period of time, so that the eyes of man could behold Him, & ears could listen to what He had to say."
Would it be too bold a prayer for us to pray at Christmas time that we might behold Him, too? Listen to these words of some who did see Him: Thomas saw Him & fell to his knees & said, "My Lord & my God." (John 20:28)
And maybe Peter said it best when he said, "We were eyewitnesses of His majesty." (2 Peter 1:16)
Are you ready to see His majesty? Are you ready to behold the King of Kings & the Lord of Lords? Are you ready to be in His presence?
One thing is for sure. God is ready & anxious to reveal Himself to us. But the question is, "Do we want to meet Him? Are we really prepared to hear His words, & listen to what He has to say?"
PROP. If you are, then pew warming will not be enough. Imitation Christianity won't satisfy. Once you know Him you'll want to stay with Him, to give your life to Him. You'll want to follow Him. So do you really want to see Jesus?
I. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE?
Christmas reminds us that God is near & that He is available to all who will open their eyes to see, their ears to hear, & their hearts to follow Him.
But our problem at Christmas time is that when we do open our eyes we see so many different things.
A. On one hand we see crowded shopping malls, & presents that need to be bought, & traffic jams, & a pile of cards to be sent out. We see all the commercialization of Christmas.
B. But on the other hand we see a manger & a young mother holding a baby in her arms. We see a tired carpenter who has brought them through a desolate area to a place of warmth & safety.