12/20/14

The Wonder of the Incarnation

This December, I asked the Lord to revive the wonder of Christmas in my heart. I didn't exactly want to see it like a wide-eyed child, but rather, to understand more about the Incarnation of Christ.

The Lord answered my prayer with a book I purchased on Kindle titled Found in Him: The Joy of the
Incarnation and Our Union with Christ by Elyse M. Fitzpatrick.

"We will never know how found, loved, welcomed and reconciled we are until we see how he (Jesus) has forever taken our nature to himself and has bound us to himself in enduring oneness," Fitzpatrick wrote (pp. 18-19). "God is one with man in Jesus Christ and we are one with him. . . .We are not alone. He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23)." 

The first wonder of the Incarnation is God with us. "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). 

C.S. Lewis wrote (Miracles, Chapter 14), "The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation . . . He (Jesus) comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity . . . But He goes down to come up again and bring the whole ruined world up with Him."

God came to dwell among man in Christ, and He still dwells with us through the Holy Spirit. We are never alone. The promise of His constant presence reassures us, encourage us, comforts us and empowers us.

The second wonder of the Incarnation is God in us. Christ came to bring us hope of life and eternal glory.

"And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son . . . In him was life, and the life was the light of men" (1 John 5:11; John 1:4). The mystery of God's grace is "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

In Christ, "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily"(Colossians 2:9). In Christ, we are truly blessed with a new identity, absolute security, and God-given dignity - we have "every spiritual blessing" (Ephesians 1:3-4).

The third wonder of the Incarnation is God for us. God "is not shocked or surprised by your weakness or sin," Fitzpatrick wrote (p. 30). "He saw it all before you were ever born and yet purposed to come to you with his gracenot in judgment, but in lavish grace. . . . Our sin didn't paint him into a corner or leave him scrambling to try to fix the big mess we had made. We were chosen "in him before the foundation of the world" (Ephesians 1:4).

God is for you!

"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32).

The fourth wonder of the Incarnation is God through us. The angels told the shepherds, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy . . . there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10-11).

Fitzpatrick wrote, "How long has it been since this story was good news of great joy for you?" 

When we lose the wonder over the Gospel,  
we will likely lose our enthusiasm to share its truth.

God has both commissioned and empowered us to share the "Good News" of why Jesus came (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8). The more our wonder over the Incarnation grows, the more likely we will want to share the gospel story with others!

In a great carol of Christmas, "Joy to the World," we are reminded of "the wonders of His love." God so loved the world, he gave His Son to redeem sinful man (John 3:16-17).

The wonder of God's love compels usas Christ's ambassadors and ministers of reconciliationto share the truth about Jesus' incarnation, death and resurrection  (2 Cor. 5:14-15, 18, 20).

In Christ, God is with us, in us, for us and aims to reach the world through us. May we be humble, prepared, eager, wonder-filled servants of the Lord.

Which of these four wonders most speaks to you this Christmas?

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