This is the eighty-fourth lesson in author and pastor Mel Lawrenz’ How to Live the Bible series. If you know someone or a group who would like to follow along on this journey through Scripture, they can get more info and sign up to receive these essays via email here.
See Mel Lawrenz’s new book, Christmas Joy for Kids: A Devotional.
ADVENT — celebrating the best thing that ever happened in the world, when Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world!
In the weeks leading to Christmas, we celebrate a significant, life-changing truth. God so loved the world that he sent his Son into the world to save us. How does Jesus save us? By solving the problem of the guilt of our sin, by helping us face disease and death, and by protecting us from the destructive effects of evil.
“Advent” is a word that means coming. The process of Jesus saving us from sin, death, and evil begins with his coming into the world. That is the great Bethlehem event. Not merely the sweet moment of a newborn baby, but God’s entering into the world to do battle with everything that tears us down.
The days before Christmas present us with an extraordinary opportunity for us to grow in our knowledge of Jesus the Christ, who called himself the way, the truth, and the life. On many occasions, Jesus told his followers the reasons why he came. Ordinary people don’t speak in that fashion. Even if we have a sense of purpose in life, we don’t talk about “coming into the world” on a mission.
- Jesus said he came to fulfill the Scriptures: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them” (Matt. 5:17).
- He said he came to preach and proclaim: “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come” (Mark 1:30).
- He said he came to lead us out of darkness: “ I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness” (John 12:46).
- Standing before Pontius Pilate, Jesus said: “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth” (John 18:37).
- He said that he came to give life: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).
- And if all that were not enough, he said he came to serve and sacrifice: “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
There are many ways to contemplate the life-changing reality of the coming of the Son of God.
Here is “A Prayer for the Christmas Season”
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Mel Lawrenz (@MelLawrenz) trains an international network of Christian leaders, ministry pioneers, and thought-leaders. He served as senior pastor of Elmbrook Church in Brookfield, Wisconsin, for ten years and now serves as Elmbrook’s minister at large. He has a PhD in the history of Christian thought and is on the adjunct faculty of Trinity International University. Mel is the author of 18 books, including How to Understand the Bible—A Simple Guide and Spiritual Influence: the Hidden Power Behind Leadership (Zondervan, 2012). See more of Mel’s writing at WordWay.