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December 21, 2016

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The Word made flesh sustains believers with the gospel

by Dave Malnes

Words can engage and implore. They are engraved in granite to remember and inspire.

Words can tear down or destroy. Unloving remarks can forever be engraved in our hearts and minds.

Words are that important.

Out of his love for us, God became the Word in flesh. He came to save the world from our sins.

His Word is that important.

Through a virgin birth, God sent his Son into the world so that he may be fully human. The Word became flesh so he can be our perfect substitute. Only through the Word can a soul receive salvation. Only through the power of the Word, we receive a sure hope and a future.

Every Christmas, a Christian believer wraps their arms around the Word lying in the manger – and their hearts around his name – the Christ, our Savior.

God’s Word is effective. It encourages, rebukes, commissions, and sustains.

God’s Word produces faithfulness.

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The new Christians in Thessalonica were struggling. Fear, persecution, suffering, and trial were facing them each day. They could easily turn away from Christ and be absorbed into a dark, pervasive culture.

In Paul’s letter to God’s church, the Holy Spirit inspires him to write a message of encouragement that still resonates with believers today.

“You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed. For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children. Encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory. And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the Word of God, which is at work in you who believe.” (1 Thessalonians 2:10-13)

Paul, at first, comes across kind of smugly in these verses. In what appears to be Paul bragging about himself, he is really bragging about the Word working through him. Paul is pointing to the Word as the means to receive encouragement, comfort and most important of all… hope.

Where does true hope come from? Where does hope lead us? Do we tend to spend more time focusing on the journey rather than the destination?

False hope relies on earthly solutions for relief from present circumstances.

Real hope broadens our scope that looks beyond our present circumstances.

Real hope does not yearn towards a comfortable life that is without pain, hurt, disappointment, loneliness, or suffering. Instead, hope prompts us to look towards t that time when God calls us home to heaven.

The Word prompts us to be watchful for Christ’s return.

Hope recognizes that everything that happens in our life – the good and the bad — is a means for which Christ keeps us watchful. He does not want us to be distracted by this world.

Real hope rests in our sure salvation because of what Christ has already done for us. The comfort and assurance believers receive from God’s promises is what sustains our faith.

Our eyes of faith looks upon that baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in the manger. Innocent and pure. A promise given and kept. Jesus – the Word made flesh – did not come to save us from present problems – as the Israelites hoped the Messiah to be. Instead, Jesus came to give us rest, hope, and eternal security.

The Word made flesh says, “Believe. Your sins are fully forgiven.”

God is trustworthy and reliable. True joy rests in the Christmas promise – Christ came to live, so he may die for you.

The Word is at work right now – to sustain believers until he comes again.

 

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2016 in Review

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Dec 27 2016

    Thank you for the reminder of the importance of reading the Word. It is an imperative, powerful tool in our walk with God.

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    Reply
    • Dec 28 2016

      Thank you Terri. You are right. God’s Word is imperative. It’s the only way to bring reality to the truth that the Word lives in us.

      Like

      Reply

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