“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10 NIV)
Knowing that Christmastime is God’s chosen time teaches us that Christmas is the time for us to renew our faith.
We need not fear God because of the Good News of Christ’s arrival; it is a Good News meant to “bring great joy to all people” (Luke 2:10 NLT).
What is the Good News?
You matter to God. God knows everything about you — the good, the bad, and the ugly — and he still loves you. He cares about you. He loves you more than you could ever know. God is for you, not against you.
You are not an accident. Regardless of the circumstances of your birth, you were not the result of an accident. God has a plan and a purpose for your life. The only way you will find meaning and satisfaction is to discover God's purpose for your life and then to get right into the center of his will.
God sent Jesus so you could know what he's like. If God wanted to communicate to birds, he would have become a bird. If God had wanted to communicate to cows, he would have become a cow. If he wanted to communicate to dogs, he would have become a dog. But God wanted to relate to you and to me, so he became like us — a human being.
The thing is this: I don't have the foggiest idea of what it means to relate to something like “‘The Force” — some impersonal power in the sky. But when I see Jesus in human form, I can say, “That's what God's like. I can understand that.”
This is why Christmas is not about a religion. You may be Catholic; you may be Jewish; you may be Presbyterian, Buddhist, Baptist, or Lutheran. I don't care what your religious background is; Jesus didn’t come to give you religion. He came to give you a relationship.
Christmas is God saying, "I want to relate to you. I want you to know me as much as I know you." That's joyful news. It's Good News!
Talk About It
What steps can you take to get to know Jesus better this Christmas?
Is there someone in your family or in your neighborhood who needs to hear this Good News?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.