With the many references at Christmas to Jesus’ arrival as the Babe in the manger, let’s remember why He came.
From his jail cell, the apostle Paul carefully crafted a life-changing message to the Philippians. He didn’t preach a religion, a lifestyle or a Christian worldview. Paul’s message was simple. He preached Jesus. And that everyone who believed in Him entered into intimate communion with Him — a communion so tight that His life consumed theirs.
When a human being meets the living Christ, a deep bond develops between the two. This divine friendship awakens new appetites, new desires — a thirst for spiritual understanding, for holy living, and all things pleasing to the Father. We find ourselves loving God instead of fearing or ignoring Him. No wonder we use the expression “born again” to describe this experience.
Christ not only awakens new and wholesome desires in us, He gives us power to act on them. His power releases us to live in a manner that delights the heart of God. Paul encouraged believers not to try to walk in Christ’s footsteps but to allow Him to walk in theirs. What a difference! Why should we plod along in our weaknesses when Christ offers us His strength?
His strength pours into the crevices of our souls and reaches places that no sermon, letter or lecture can touch. Paul bid farewell to the men and women, boys and girls from every strata of society in Philippi knowing they had one thing in common: Jesus living in their hearts.
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:3-6)
When we introduce others to Jesus we can confidently trust Him to do His work in their lives. We are still called to mentor, nurture and teach, but Christ is the most important person in their lives, not us.
Paul preached Jesus, and He’s a life-changing message.
Prayer: “Lord, thank You for this born-again experience. I treasure my friendship with You. Help me to bring Jesus to others — not a lifestyle or a list of rules, but only Jesus.”