Day 4: Jesus — God Incarnate
And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us.
1John 3:23 NIV
Wow! Jesus, God incarnate, God in the flesh. One of the most stunning revelations I ever had centered on this truth.
It was Christmas time and I was contemplating a nativity scene. Baby Jesus in the manger… laying in a feed trough in a barn… and the word came to mind: Vulnerable. His vulnerability overwhelmed me. God placing Himself in helpless human flesh. Vulnerable. It was in that moment He said to me, “See? Watch Me. My Father is completely trustworthy.”
The concept of God stooping low, becoming vulnerable, not only to save those who love Him, but to draw me nearer to Him in faith. Showing me His Father is trustworthy. It’s just too much!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” When I realized for the first time that Jesus was there with God in the beginning it blew my mind. There Jesus resided in perfect community as God’s Word and He himself made the choice to come save me… save you.
When I consider it the word that comes to my mind is limited. God choosing to limit himself within the flesh and bones of a human body. No moving freely in time and space. God experiencing tiredness or hunger… sadness or physical pain. He didn’t have to do it you know. He wanted to. He loves us so much He limited Himself just to prove it. Who does that? No president or king I’ve ever known. Only God becomes that which He desires to save. Only God.
We must believe Christ was/is God in human form. That He walked the earth and voluntarily, willingly, sacrificed His life for our sins (past, present, future), so through Him we can be adopted into Father God’s family as His children and be brought back into right relationship with Him.
[Jesus Christ, the Righteous One] is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. — 1John 2:2 NIV
Because Christ was without sin, His crucifixion, death, and resurrection resulted in the defeat of death. Through Him, God offers us a wonderful gift of mercy and grace only received through belief. He offers us life, life eternal! We cannot earn this gift, Jesus has done all the work and He offers it to us freely, out of love.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” — John 3:16-17 NIV (Emphasis added. The Greek is pisteuō eis. See Vocabulary to Revive.)
God also had in place a plan to send us a Helper after Jesus returned to Him in heaven. He didn’t want to leave us alone. The Holy Spirit is poured into us when we believe in Christ, confess our sins, repent, and receive the gift of mercy He offers us. Through the Holy Spirit, Christ dwells in our hearts. He is our Counselor, our Guide, our connection to the entire body of Believers.
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit — the Father will send in My name — will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. — Jesus, John 14:26 HCSB
As a Believer, never forget what you have received and the power of the One who dwells in your heart.
Talk It Out
Talk it over with yourself:
Our society is “works” oriented. You must work for good grades, you must work to make a living. The predominant symbol of a person’s worth in our society is the amount of money they earn. As a matter of fact, one of our culture’s mantras is: You don’t deserve it unless you earn it. Is it difficult for you to accept that belief is all you need to receive the salvation Christ offers? Do you feel unworthy of receiving a gift without working for it? Explain. Write your thoughts in your journal.
Talk it over with God:
If you have not yet given your life to Christ, I ask you to consider doing so now. Tell God you believe in His Son Jesus Christ, accept His gift of salvation, confess your sins, acknowledge that you receive Christ as Lord of your life. Become a Believer.
If you are unsure of what you believe, at this moment, begin asking God for the gift of faith to believe. Ask Him to make the way in your heart for you to accept Jesus as the Lord of your life and Savior of your soul.
If you already believe, remember what you have been rescued from, recommit your life to Him, ask God to reveal His will for your life. Ask Him to provide the strength and boldness to follow Him.
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light (for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness and truth) and find out what pleases the Lord.
Ephesians 5:8-10 NIV
Exercise Your Faith
In your journal, write one thing Jesus endured in the flesh for you. Give thanks for His endurance that you might be free.
_____ __________ ___ _____ ____________________ ____ _______________ ____________ _______, ______ ______________________ ___ ________________ _______ ____________. _______________ _____:____