We celebrate the birth of Jesus. It is a day of great joy and celebration around the world.
All the promises of God were fulfilled when Jesus came. God promised his people blessing, peace and satisfaction. He launches His promises earthward.
Christmas is not only a nice story, but a decisive moment in human history. In the cosmic battle between good and evil, God and the devil, Jesus is the decisive figure. That battle, and Jesus’ centrality and victory in it, is the focus of our New Testament passage for today.
The wonderful news is that the Lamb wins. He doesn’t only win, but He also includes you in His victory: “They will make war against the Lamb, but the Lamb will overcome them because He is Lord of lords and King of kings – and with Him will be his called, chosen and faithful followers” (Revelation 17:14). As the church often comes under great attack and the forces of secularism sometimes seem to be in the ascendency, I find this verse to be a great comfort and encouragement.
As Mother Teresa said, “God does not call me to be successful; He calls me to be faithful.” If you are faithful to Jesus you will ultimately be successful; because Jesus will ultimately succeed.
Celebrate today the privilege of being one of those called, chosen and faithful followers of Jesus, the baby, born that first Christmas day, who grew up and died as the Lamb of God and was raised to life.
Ultimately the Lamb will overcome because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. That is wonderful news to celebrate this Christmas.
Christmas day especially, is a day when, all over the world the name of Jesus should be honored. What can we contribute to seeing the name of Jesus honored in our world?
Jerusalem was the city of God where God dwelt. God had called Nehemiah and the people to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. This is a wonderful visual illustration of the church today. We are called to rebuild and repair so that the name of Jesus may be honored again in our society.
Do you ever wonder “Am I needed?”; “Do I have anything to offer?”; ”Is what I do of any value or significance?”
In Nehemiah 3:1 – Rebuilding, restoring and repairing, we see that everyone was needed. Everyone went to work shoulder to shoulder, side by side, rebuilding, restoring and repairing. Each was given a portion of different lengths. The key is not to compare, but simply to get on with whatever God calls you to do. God notices what you do and values what you do.
Opposition and ridicule came from the outside (4:1-8) and discouragement from within (VV. 10, 12). The same was true for Jesus. His birth was not welcomed by all. Herod tried to kill Him. The opposition to Jesus and His church continues today.
But through prayer and action, success is possible. As Joyce Meyer puts it, “Intensify your prayers and increase your vigilance.” They never dropped their guard. (V.23)
The key: “Our God will fight for us!” (V.10). With God fighting for us, a nation can be changed, churches can be filled, family life strengthened, marriage honored, the crime rate can fall, and society can be transformed. Most important of all, the name of Jesus can be honored again.
As you look around at the state of the church, get involved in this task of rebuilding. Be willing to work hard and not to be put off by opposition.
As it says in Isaiah “6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this…” (Isaiah 9:6-7).
That’s what is needed this Christmas.