CHRISTMAS IN JULY: THE GRACE BRINGER
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ”) Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
-John 1:14-17 NIV
The message of Christmas is not something that ought to be reserved for a certain time of year. I think many of us are familiar with the story from Luke, of the baby in the manger and the shepherds, but how familiar are we with the background of the story? It’s great to know THAT Jesus came, but it’s critical to know WHY Jesus came.
In the passage above, John tells us that Jesus came to Earth in order to bring us grace. The law was given through Moses, and it served to show us our sins. But only through the grace that Jesus brought could any of us ever hope to know the fullness of God’s love for us. The law could never cleanse us enough to bring us into the presence of a Holy God, but grace can give us that gift.
This always reminds me of my marriage. If my wife and I held each other to a standard of rules and laws, (which we sometimes wrongly do) then neither of us would ever be good enough for the other. But, if we have grace to cover each others weaknesses, only then can we move beyond our faults, and into a really glorious relationship. This is what God offers us, a truly glorious relationship with Him. Accept the greatest Christmas gift, grace, and don’t wait until December.
1: What have you always believed the purpose was of Jesus coming to Earth as a baby? Does this passage from John help to give you a better understanding of the purpose of that event?
2: What are some ways that you have seen evidence of the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, in your own life? What are some times you have tried to live through the law, and how can you apply grace in those areas?
Take some time to pray that God would give you a clear understanding, through His Word, of who Jesus is, and why Christmas had to happen in order for us to receive grace. Pray that your life would be full of grace, and that not only would you know grace and forgiveness from God, but that you would show grace and forgiveness in your life, to display the glory of God in a world that desperately needs to see it.