John 3:17 reads “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”
The Bible is really something when you stop and think about it. Our foundation of faith is based upon the words of this book: One either believe its truth, or not. Ponder this profound truth: God sent his Son to save the world, not to condemn it, but to save it: to save us.
When you think about faith, salvation; Jesus coming from a virgin birth, living for some 30+ years, hanging on a cross, dying a brutal death – it is all mind boggling to say the least; but, for those of us who believe, it happened, and in this season we celebrate the birth of Christ: He who was sent.
Think about it: Mary was around 15 or 16, engaged to Joseph and comes up pregnant: A virgin pregnancy. She gives birth in a less than noble environment; such humble beginnings for a man who would is king of kings and lord of lords. How does faith receive such information? Scripture says He (God) knew us before the foundations of the earth. He knows our end before its beginning. Is it because we are chosen to believe?
Not everyone receives salvation (although it is available to all) and there are quite a few who do not believe that the words of the Bible are true. Many think it is just a book with marvelous stories; stories that compel one to think, but not necessarily believe. My favorite story in the Bible is in Ezekiel, Chapter 37: the valley of the dry bones. The story portrays God where nothing is too hard for him. The story might be symbolic in nature, but I see hope in that the seemingly impossible becomes real. The Lord asks Ezekiel, “Son of Man, can these bones live …”
My youngest, my prodigal returned, and I are constantly battling religion. At one time she believed, now she denounces ‘organized’ religion. Maybe it is the thought formation of the millennial generation, but I’m not sure. I recall Scripture says I revealed myself to those that did not ask. Jesus came not to condemn, but to save and just like he made an army out of a valley of dead bones, He can turn a heart around to him. He can open a heart to receive the love that is in Christ Jesus. He can make an unbeliever a believer; a backslider a faithful partaker.
The celebration of Jesus’ birth is right around the corner. Maybe the world doesn’t remember Christ in Christmas, but let us remember the season; let us honor His birth. Let us recall that He was sent for us.
Oh Father, how do we contemplate that you gave us your son and there is no condemnation in believing the Gospel? Help us to pray for those who do not yet believe and let us celebrate He whom you sent. In Jesus name, we so pray. Amen.