1 Timothy 1:15 - The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
When an old preacher was once asked how can the love of God be shared in a world that seems like everyone's heard it all, he answered: "Just tell them as though they've never heard it before." It really is true, isn't it? Though sin marks our lives on a daily basis, God in His amazing love has given us the Savior, through whom we have forgiveness and redemption. The evil in this world is troubling. The perplexity of our situation is grave. But God has not left us to figure it out on our own.
The greatest of Old Testament prophets once pleaded with God, "Oh that You would rend the heavens and come down!" (Isaiah 64:1a) In Jesus Christ, God did just that. The Christ who was born in Bethlehem; who increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man; who touched with sympathetic and healing hand the blind and palsied; who spoke as no one has ever spoken; who was crowned with thorns and crucified in shame; who rose majestically on Easter morn—He was true God!
God knew what we needed; He always does. What a Gift He has given us in Jesus. What a Savior! God was stepping out of eternity into time; the Ruler of heaven and earth came down to earth in human form. And as a human, He would belong to every human. No nation or race would ever be able to claim Him exclusively for its own. And no nation or race is beyond His love—and forgiveness. "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him" (John 3:17).
We have come a long way since the days when Jesus walked the earth. The world problems of that day, when life wasn't bustling on every side, seem insignificant compared with ours. We live in a world that is frenzied and struggling. If we needed a demonstration that all the achievements of man in science and technology, art and learning, can leave the world bankrupt in the life and heart of man, we have it now.
But what we also have now is hope eternal. Into the complicated issues of our lives, the Savior steps. Our problems, whether self-induced or brought on by others, are not too messy for Him. In fact, they are the reason He came. Jesus tells us so in Luke's Gospel: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed" (Luke 4:18).
Today, no matter how bad things might be, Jesus is there to help. Call on Him.
WE PRAY: Heavenly Father, we thank You for thinking of us—and sending us the wonderful Gift of Your Son. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.
From "God's Wonderful Gift," a sermon excerpt from Rev. Dr. Armin Oldsen, former Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
1. Why does a one-size-fits-all style of witnessing typically not work? What's short-sighted about this relational approach to human beings?
2. Was the world of Jesus' day really any easier than it is today? Why or why not?
3. Do you feel called to share the Gospel with others? If so, how does your life reflect that?
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