Senator Alvin Barkley of Alabama once knew a man whom he had helped a great deal.
The Senator found out later that the man had not voted for him in an election...
so he asked the man 'why'. The man replied, "What have you done for me lately?"
God has done SO much for us, but sometimes we may respond as a spoiled child....
"God, what have you done for me lately?"
We are truly 'blessed to be a blessing' but sometimes we may forget Who the Giver of the Blessings is or what the blessings are for.
I heard a great statement this week on the Hallmark Movie.
It was "Let your Christmas grow this year".
The meaning of Christmas and the Christ of Christmas should grow all year long....
as Jesus is FOR us all year long!
In order for that to happen, let us look at what God has done for us...
past, present, future...and Eternal.
Hebrews 13:5 & 8:
"I will never leave you nor forsake you for Jesus Christ is the same...
yesterday, today and forever".
Jesus is the main Gift to us.
Colossians 2:9 is perhaps the greatest statement on the Deity of Christ,
but like in the 1st century when Paul made that statement...
so many think of Christ only as a 'nice person in history'.
The statement in Colossians 2:9 is:
"In Christ dwells all the fulness of the God-Head bodily".
Paul is saying "In Him and no one else, dwells the absolute and unique essence of Deity -- the state of 'being' God."
Dr. Herschel H. Hobbs wrote: "We must not judge Christ by any philosophy...
we should judge our philosophy by Christ!"
The sermon that I preach the first...and last....Sundays of each church I pastored.
It is entitled "Keeping your eyes on Jesus, the Incomparable Christ". (Col. 1:12-29)
1) Jesus is the HEIR of God. (vs. 19)
"It pleased the Father that in Christ should all the fulness dwell".
2) Jesus is the HEART of Christianity. (verses 13-14)
3) Jesus is the HUB of the Christian life and all life is to revolve around Him. (vs.15-17)
4) Jesus is the HEAD of the Church. (vs. 18)
5) Jesus is the HOPE of the Cosmos (Universe) (vs. 20)
James Denney wrote of the absolute necessity of Christ's nature as the God-Man:
"A bridge broken on either end is inadequate.
If Christ is only a man, we have a bridge broken on the Heavenward and can never find God through Him.
If Christ was only a phantom of God appearing on earth without actually becoming Man, then we have a bridge broken on the Earthward end...and we have no Redeemer".
This reminds me of Galatians 4: 4-7:
"When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying 'Abba, Father'. Wherefore you are no more a servant but a son and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ."
We see by this Scripture that God was in Christ, and through the miracle of the New Birth, Christ is in you. This Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit and He is Deity...
born of the Virgin Mary and is the Divine Human Son of God.
The name 'Jesus' is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word 'Joshua-Yeshua'....
meaning 'Jehovah is Salvation'.
Isaiah who prophesied of the Virgin-born Son of God, told us in Isaiah 12:3 that...
Christ would be our Salvation, our Strength and our Song. Is Jesus all this to you?
What do we have in Christianity that is not found in any other system?
We have Christ and when we 'lack' Christ, we lack Christianity's' Supreme Necessity!
I like this paraphrase of John 3:16:
For God.....the greatest Lover
So loved....the greatest Degree
The world....the greatest Number
That He gave....the greatest Act
His Only Begotten Son.....the greatest Gift
That whosoever....the greatest Invitation
Believeth.....the greatest Simplicity
In Him.....the greatest Person/Attraction
Shall not perish....the greatest Promise/Deliverance
But....the greatest Difference
Have...the greatest Certainty
Everlasting Life....the greatest Posession/Assurance
Christ as God's greatest Gift must be:
received by faith...
opened by faith...
enjoyed fully by faith...
and shared by faith.
Please remember that Jesus:
by His life...
and sending of the Holy Spirit...
underlines ALL the Promises as true....AND necessary to live the victorious Christian life.