Read: Matthew 1:18-25
Reflect: Today, much of the world’s population is looking for something. They are trying to fill a hole in their lives so that life might have some type of meaning. Maybe this is why there are so many religions in existence today. According to online statistics there are by some estimates roughly 4,200 religions, churches, denominations, religious bodies, faith groups, tribes, cultures and movements in the world with most of these falling under the umbrella of 12 major religious disciplines. With so many choices, it’s no wonder why people are confused today and fall into spiritual error. Even those without a religious affiliation tend to worship money. The problem is that you can’t take it with you and if you make the wrong choice in this life, you will end up in the wrong place in the next life.
Yet, there is hope and that hope is found in the Jesus of the Christian faith. Christianity is drastically different from all of the world’s religions in one major way. The world’s religions try to tell us how to get to god while Christianity tells us what God did to bring us to Him. We can read about this story in Matthew chapter one. It tells of a virgin named Mary who was betrothed to a young man named Joseph. They were to be married but before they could come together, she was found to be pregnant. Joseph, being a good man was going to put her away secretly (i.e., a quiet divorce) instead of publicly disgracing her but God intervened. An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and told him that the child was conceived by the Holy Spirit. She would give birth to a son named Jesus who would save His people from their sins. The child would be called Immanuel, which means “God with us”. This is what God did to bring us to Him. Jesus came into the world fully man and fully God. He was born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit. This means that He could die in our place because He was a man yet He had no sin nature because He was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus was the only perfect sinless sacrifice that could pay the price for our sins on the cross. He didn’t have to pay for His own sins first because there was no sin in Him. He was and is perfect in every way. This is God’s provision for humanity’s salvation. We can’t get to God but thankfully, He came to us.
Apply: Christmas is the perfect time of the year to tell others what God did to bring us to Himself. Tell them that we can’t earn our way to heaven and that we were never meant to. Tell them about the wonderful Savior who came into the world to save sinners. Tell them what God did. It’s the best present you can give to anyone.