During this Christmas season, let the truth of Jesus come alive in your hearts like never before. God is not some far off impersonal force - He's a personal God that loves us so much that He came to live among us. Even now, through His Spirit, God is with us!
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Jesus came to this earth in human flesh - to be with us and to experience the things we experience. Jesus knows what it's like to be tempted, rejected, abandoned, stabbed in the back. How do we cope with suffering/persecution? Pastor Matt gives three points:
1. Realize that we will endure suffering
Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. John 15:20
2. Realize that Jesus himself suffered
But we do see Jesus, who was made lower than the angels for a little while, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. Hebrews 2:9
3. Realize that eternity is our home
The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:16-18
Matthew 1; John 14
Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year! It's a time of lights, songs, food and family. But there's a reason why we do all these things - it's to celebrate Jesus. We celebrate the point in time when God humbled Himself and entered human history.
God desired to be with His people. He is not an impersonal force, but a person. He came to us that we might know Him. The major theme of the entire Bible is that God is redeeming us back to Himself so that "He will be our God and we will be His people." Unlike any other religion in the world, we can have a relationship with God.