LUKE 21:28: “When these things begin to happen, stand with confidence! The time when you will be set free is near.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: This Christmas season – am I cowering in fear, or standing in confidence? Am I filled with hope, or am I waiting for something bad to happen? If you look at the world today, if you listen to the daily news, if you believe the pundits – then fear and hopelessness are the logical conclusion. However, if you have faith in Jesus Christ, if you believe the Bible, and if you understand the testimony of God throughout history – it is a time for hope and confidence!
This is not a hope for a future utopia that will be built by man. One of the most enduring television and movie franchises that exists today is Star Trek. From its original TV show, to its many movies and spin-offs, it has portrayed a hope when man would finally achieve utopia, a world without prejudice or war. And yet, even in Star Trek, there is always someone or some entity that opposes the achievement of this goal. In real life this something is called sin. Man’s sinful nature continually overcomes his attempt to usher in utopia.
In this Christmas season we are drawn to reflect upon the birth of Jesus Christ, and the promise of the Kingdom of God.
- “The angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid! I have good news for you, a message that will fill everyone with joy. Today your Savior, Christ the Lord, was born in David’s city.” (Luke 2:10-11 GW)
- “A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and peace will have unlimited growth. He will establish David’s throne and kingdom. He will uphold it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The LORD of Armies is determined to do this!” (Isaiah 9:6-7 GW)
Many, like the Jews in Jesus’ day, are confused by these statements, and the conflict that continues in our world. Where is this kingdom of peace? Where is this message of good news and joy? Jesus came to this world, and the world did not receive Him. They were looking for a savior for the world, before they found the Savior from their sin. So many today continue to make the same mistake and continued to be confused, dismissing the words of Jesus as those of a mythical figure, or a deluded prophet.
Yet, to those who understand that He first had to come to deal with man’s sin – To those who see His death on the cross as their personal victory over sin, death, and the power of the enemy – To those who by faith receive God’s gift of salvation through Jesus Christ – everything makes sense, and the future holds the blessed assurance that He is coming again! Through faith in Jesus Christ we are confident that He will fulfill the promise to come again and establish His eternal kingdom of peace!
And so, with this confidence, we look up in hope. We know that, just as He ascended into heaven in the clouds – so will He return in the clouds with glory!
- “Miraculous signs will occur in the sun, moon, and stars. The nations of the earth will be deeply troubled and confused because of the roaring and tossing of the sea. People will faint as they fearfully wait for what will happen to the world. Indeed, the powers of the universe will be shaken. “Then people will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” (Luke 21:25-27 GW)
If you thought the shepherds were blessed when they encountered the heavenly hosts announcing His birth – just think of the wonder of the heavenly hosts announcing His Glorious Return!
In Jesus Name!