Some people question, Is there a God? and thats a debate all of its own. But for the vast majority of humans who already believe in God there is an even more important issue which is, What kind of God is He? And the answer were looking for doesnt have to do with a list of the awe-inspiring capacities of a divine being. A person may know that God is eternal in existence, all-knowing, everywhere present, all-powerful, etc., but still understand very little about His character. Is He a good God or a bad God? Is He harsh and judgmental or kind and forgiving? Does He care what happens to us or is He too busy doing His own thing? In other words, if He is a Person, what kind of Person is He? Nothing makes a bigger impact on human existence than the answer to that. So as we listen to the Christmas story lets watch for the clues that story reveals about the heart of the One who wrote it. After all, there may be no event in history that tells us more about Him than that remarkable night two thousand years ago.
The Heart of Christmas
Creation shows me Gods power, and my conscience warns me Hes holy, but Christmas reveals to me His heart:
1. Hes impartial: He chooses people based on whats in their hearts, not what they possess or what they accomplish.
- 1Samuel 16:7 ...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
- Psalm 139:1-6
- Luke 1:26-38 Mary and Joseph
2. Hes faithful: He keeps His promises no matter how long it takes
- 1 Peter 1:10-12
- From the time of Adam onward He promised to send a Savior who would rescue us from the curse we had brought upon yourselves, and though many centuries passed before that first Christmas morning, when the right moment arrived He did exactly what He said He would do.
- Genesis 3:15 seed of the woman
- Isaiah 7:14 Behold a virgin will be with child and bear a son and she will call His name Immanuel.
- Micah 5:2 But as for you Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be a ruler in Israel. His going forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity.
- Luke 2:1-20 Bethlehem
3. Hes compassionate: He wants to save people, not judge them
- Isaiah 55:6-9
- John 3:17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
- Christmas is Gods gift of His Son so that we might be saved rather than judged and live in heaven with Him forever.
- Christmas morning shows us how deep His love is and how far He will go to rescue us.
4. Hes just: The very fact that He had to send His Son to rescue us tells us how severe the danger is which lies before us. He would never let such things be done to His Son if there were no judgment and there were no hell. Christmas reveals the danger we faced.
- Ephesians 2:1-9
5. Hes wise: He does things very differently than we would do them. In fact to the unenlightened His ways seem foolish (1Co 1:18-25), but by His wisdom He accomplished what appeared to be impossible. He found a way to save us when our situation looked hopeless. He sent His Son to:
- Israel rather than Rome
- A virgin rather than a queen
- Bethlehem rather than Jerusalem
- A stable rather than a palace
- Shepherds rather than princes
- Be greeted by angels rather than cheering crowds
- The cross rather than the throne
- Offer a gift rather than a reward
- People of faith rather than people of religion
The gift of Christmas
The gift of His Son two thousand years ago made it possible for God to offer us another gift. He has made it possible for all humans, even the most sinful, to be saved.
- Ephesians 2:8, 9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
- Phillippians 3:8, 9 ...so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith...
1. What was the best gift you received this Christmas and tell us why?
2. If gifts reveal the heart of the giver describe one of the best gifts youve ever received and then tell us about the person who gave it to you.
3. I believe many people reject God because they have a distorted view of who He is. Have you ever held false views of God? If youre comfortable doing so tell us about one and how you discovered it to be false.