Don’t Leave Jesus in the Manger…
Now that the Nativity displays are back in the boxes and properly stored away, we start gearing up again for the rat race of life and New Year’s resolutions regarding fitness, time management, saving money, more time off, etc. Question: What do you do with the baby Jesus? This time of year we need to be reminded that there’s a lot more to Jesus that the Nativity scene. The baby in the manger is comforting. It’s a wonderful story. It’s a warm picture. But what about the rest of the story? The rest of the story demands action. My favorite Christmas card from this year said it best: “Don’t Leave Jesus in the Manger. Let’s follow Him to the Cross.”
The story of Jesus is more than just a warm picture. It’s a divine rescue, a deliverance from evil, an eternally significant event. It’s the story of all that God has done for us through sending Christ. The Nativity is one aspect of the story. What are you doing with the rest of the story?
Jesus’ story includes His miraculous birth, His sinless life, His sacrificial death, His resurrection from death, His exaltation to the right hand of God. How can I complete His whole story with my life?
His Birth – Am I being led by Christ?
surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age – Mt. 28:20
Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. – Hb. 4:13
Am I allowing Christ’s presence to walk with me throughout my day?
His Life – Am I following and obeying Christ?
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. – Eph. 5:1-2
Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did. 1 Jn. 2:6
Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. Jn. 14:23-24
Am I seeking to be like Christ? Am I obeying Him?
His Death – Am I covered by His Blood?
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! Romans 5:8-9
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Cor. 5:21
Am I compelled by Christ’s love?
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. 2 Cor. 5:14-15
live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Eph. 5:2
His Resurrection – Am I free from sins power and death’s sting?
We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. Rom. 6:4
he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death–that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.– Hb. 2:14-15
“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Cor. 15:55-57
His Exaltation – Is Christ ruling my life?
Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. Is. 9:7
God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name – Phil. 2:9
let all Israel be assured of this: God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ. Acts 2:36
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. – Rom. 14:9
Don’t store away your relationship with Christ until the next religious oriented holiday or decorating season. Allow Him to complete His story in and through you.