through His Word
by Katy Kauffman
I wanted to say something. On Christmas Eve one year, I played an angel with some of my friends in our church’s live nativity. The three of us angels greeted Mary and Joseph when they arrived in Bethlehem, circled around them as with God’s love and protection, and stood in reverent joy celebrating Jesus’ birth.
We saw the shepherds come to worship the tiny King. Then the wise men came and knelt before the manger, placing their crowns on the ground before Him. All the while songs about Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection played in the background. While we stood on stage, the pastor talked about the significance of the birth of Christ, His life, and His death for each of us. He closed our Christmas Eve communion service with this declaration—“Jesus is alive!”
No wonder the angels praised God the night Jesus was born. I bet they couldn’t help it. As I stood on stage, I wanted to sing or to proclaim—“Here He is!!” The angels had been anticipating the moment of Jesus’ birth for centuries.
They had seen mankind’s history—the good, the bad, and the sinful. They had seen how much we needed God to intervene, come in our midst, and save us. They had heard God prophesy through His prophets that a Messiah would come. They most likely saw Jesus set aside His glory to become a baby in a virgin’s womb. They knew what this meant—the promise was fulfilled at last, hope finally became a reality.
No wonder they came in a multitude, filled the sky, and praised God saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14, NKJV).
Not Just for Christmastime
The angels understood the significance of His birth, and from God’s Word, so do we. God’s angelic messengers declared peace had come, goodwill had arrived! Today we carry the same message. Today we are God’s heralds, but we encounter hindrances to sharing what we know.
Just as fear and hardness of heart are two obstacles that can keep us from exercising faith in Jesus, they can also keep us from telling people about Him. Fear can paralyze us with “What if I say the wrong thing?” and “What will they think of me if I tell them about Jesus?” Unbelief causes us not to take God’s promises to heart, and we become unwilling to share them with others. Hardness of heart can also squeeze the compassion out of our hearts, so that we’re only focused on our needs and wants.
After Jesus’ resurrection, the disciples heard the truth that Jesus had been raised from the dead, but unbelief squeezed the hope out of their hearts. They stayed hidden for fear of the religious leaders, and they didn’t believe the word of the women of who had seen Jesus alive (Mark 16:14). Although Jesus rebuked them, He commissioned them—“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15 NKJV). We who have known the paralysis of fear and the stifling grip of hardness of heart, can overcome them with Jesus’ help and be His heralds on earth. We can move past fear and unbelief to boldly proclaiming that Jesus Christ has come and offers eternal life to all who will believe in Him. We become liberated heralds of the truth.
This week we wrap up our series on Overcoming the Obstacles of the Christian Life. Guest bloggers and I have shared strategies for overcoming life’s spiritual obstacles, as well as encouragement to have faith in Jesus and what He can do. He does the amazing. No longer a baby in a manger, He is the risen Savior, the key to overcoming any challenge and the Hero for every situation.
May your heart find rest and joy in drawing close to the Savior this Christmas, and may we all find in Him the wisdom and victory we need to overcome life’s challenges.
Glory to God in the highest! And on earth, peace! Goodwill toward men!
© Copyright 2018 by Katy Kauffman. First posted in 2013 and adapted for this series.
If you missed any of the other posts in this series, click the links below to check them out:
- “Jesus Can Make Your Giants Fall” – 10 reasons why Jesus can handle any obstacle we face, written by Katy Kauffman
- “Silencing the Questions of Fear” – how faith in Jesus can calm our fears, plus six faith-building verses to hold onto
- “The Day Hopelessness Had No Chance” – how Jesus can help us no matter how bad our circumstances get
- “The Day Helplessness Lost Its Power” – how faith in Jesus can overcome helplessness and lead to renewal
- “Enrich the Soil of Your Heart” – 3 ways to reap a harvest of blessing in your life, written by Joanna Eccles
- “Unity Is at the Heart of Christ’s Desire for the Church” – 3 questions and 3 guides to discern the difference between personal preference and God’s commands, written by Lyneta Smith
- “Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION, Part 1” – 5 consequences of hardness of heart that motivate us to have faith, written by Katy Kauffman
- “Refuse Hardness of Heart with a PASSION, Part 2” – 4 ways to remedy hardness of heart and unbelief
- “Extraordinary Moments” – 3 takeaways about Jesus, His power, and His heart, written by Mary Holloman
- “What Would You Ask Jesus For?” – One question, two responses … what would your response be? (written by Katy Kauffman)
- "He Calls Himself the Son of Man" - A beautiful example of true humility, written by Becky Hitchcock
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