1Peter 1:3-4 - Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope THROUGH the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you...
Great Christmas Eve message from our pastor and part of it was what I had been thinking about the day prior! My words: While we celebrate this time of the season the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am continually reminded why He came. He came to die for our sins. There is no way we can look at one and not think about the other. He came to preach the truth both in love and in firmness that we might know Him who is able to give us life. He was born that we might experience a new birth ourselves. He lived and died for that very purpose...that we might live and not die spiritually.
Pastor's message: We cannot stay focused on that Baby in a manger. He didn't remain there. He grew into His purpose and so must we. He mentioned Moses, who was born with a purpose. His life was spared for that purpose...that he would be a deliverer of his people, Israel. (Without their being saved, Jesus would not exist today to bring about our new birth in Him.) Samuel was born out of the fervent prayers of his mother...and she gave him to God to be used of God. This is like our second birth. Someone may have prayed fervently for this new birth. Now we have a purpose also...to be steadfast in Christ and, as Samuel did, lead others to God.
I got to thinking about how we celebrate birthdays. We celebrate the here and now, not us as babies. It's what we need to do with Jesus too. He IS no longer in that manger. He did grow, He did live, He taught about Himself and He fulfilled His purpose...to die that we might have eternal life if we so choose to believe and follow Christ. And He is alive today to do that. When we are born again we cannot stay there. We must grow in Christ and fulfill our purpose in Christ.
Praise God for His birth, but remember it is not just about that. Praise God He was born to give us second birth (Hark the Herald Angels Sing). It is His desire that we become begotten again.
2Corinthians 5:17 - Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.