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“This is the God of the gospel of grace. A God who, out of love for us, sent the only Son He ever had wrapped in our skin. He learned to walk, stumbled and fell, cried for His milk, sweated blood in the night, was lashed with a whip and showered with spit, was fixed to a cross, and died whispering forgiveness on us all.”
— Brennan Manning

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23

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God with us.

in the good times, and the hard times.

in the day and the night.

today and tomorrow.

yesterday, in the past and in our future.

in the valley and on the mountaintops.

God, with us.

near, personal, close.  with us.

The Word became flesh and dwelled with humanity.  He was with us in body.

He is always with us because now He dwells within us, the Holy Spirit.

with us.  always.

Immanuel, the promise of good news, that God would draw near and dwell with us.

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Christmas begins the unfolding of the revelation of God’s love and salvation for all of us – it begins with a birth.

1 John 4:9-10  In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.

Some Bible versions say “this is how God showed his love for us…”  or “God demonstrated his love for us…” Love is shown in its actions.  Its not just an airy fairy feeling, but a doing thing.  In the birth of Jesus, in this man, the revelation of God’s love was shown as being real and powerful and personal.  We can know that God loves us because of Christmas, because of Christ.   Christmas is love living and breathing, active and alive!

Jesus is the demonstration of the love of God for us.  He came and lived as a demonstration of WHO God is. Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus  “is the image of the invisible God.” Colossians 2:9 says “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.”  As Jesus lived he showed us how God loves us – touching the untouchable, healing the sick, accepting the rejected, freeing the bound…  Jesus not only in his divinity was God wrapped in flesh, but in the way he lived his life displayed the mercy, graciousness, compassion and power of God.

1 John 4:11-12  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.   No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

As God has demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus his great love for us, so we too should be demonstrators and do-ers of love.  As Christians God calls us to be witnesses and ambassadors for Himself.  We demonstrate the reality of God through the active ways we love. 

People talk about the Christmas “spirit”, the joy, happiness and giving-ness of Christmas.   People smile at each other, give seasonal greetings.   Christmas shouldn’t begin and end in December – it should permeate every part of our life.  That is – the whole thing of God loving us first and giving His Son Jesus so that we can have eternal life and know Him – should be demonstrated in our life at every minute.   As God loved us we should go and do likewise.

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  John 1:1-3

 

 

in the beginning.

the before time.

in the eternity.

in the beginning was God and was Jesus, The Word.

Jesus was with God.  they were together.  with each other.

and Jesus IS God.

Through Jesus all things were created.  All the universe.  All the sky.  All the plants and animals and angels and amazing things we see and dont see. 

Jesus made them all.

There was nothing made that He did not make.

There was nothing made without Him.

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.  Genesis 1:1-3

In the beginning. I’m sure John is intentional in his choice of words, in the beginning.  linking Genesis and Jesus together. 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:15-17

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

John 1 says The Word became flesh and dwelled with man. Jesus came and lived with normal humans, as a human himself. The Word became flesh… and moved into the neighbourhood. One of the wonders of what Christmas really means is the reminder that Jesus demonstrates who God is to us.  If we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father.  Jesus made God real and real personal.  He came and dwelled with His creation, He loved and touched and felt and lived.

there’s just something about Jesus.

when He walks into a room people take notice.

He captivates attention.

People of every age and every stage want to be with Him.  near Him.

He’s Jesus.

King of the Universe.  Lord of Lords.

Saviour.

This is extraordinary!    God, creator of the universe, namer of the stars, who spoke and formed the world from nothing, became one of the very creatures He created.  He became a man.   A human! 

I’ve been reading Philip Yancey’s THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW so reading John 1 again with fresh eyes makes me fall in love with Jesus even more, makes me more awed by His actions and His coming.  The King of Glory, born.  a child. a baby.  crying.  breastfed.  nappies.  then childhood and adolescence.  into manhood.  Jesus.  our Lord.  touching people.  healing people.  walking with people.  living life.  the glorious and the mundane.

God so loved the world that He stepped down from a holy throne and became human so that you might touch, see and absorb His grace and, in turn, reflect His glory.  So compelled by our imperfection, perfection became human. @stickyjesus

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 MSG

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honour, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favour, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14 AMP

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The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.  Exodus 20:21 MSG

Moses was the rare individual that would not settle for knowing the acts of God but he desired to know His ways. While there are many who will stand at the bottom of the mount wanting someone else to climb the mountain to meet with God and relay the information. There are few who will climb-(exert effort), press past fear and preconceived notions and disappear behind the cloud. It is there that a man meets God. All were invited but only one ascended. Only one who came back with the radiance of God still shining upon him, only one who spoke with God face to face as a friend. The mountain and the invitation awaits ….. Who will climb? Father I know how many obstacles/excuses there are for me to stay at the base of the mountain. My desire and longing is to climb to meet You. Keep that passion at the forefront of all that I do this day!  youversion note

 

its interesting to note in exodus 19 and in this chapter the limits had to be put around the mountain and how only one called man could come and approach God.  the people had to consecrate themselves but even then the mountain was off limits.  God appeared in a dense cloud with fire and thunders and lightenings.  if the people crossed the barrier they would die.

 

contrast to the reality that Jesus is God with flesh, incarnated.

  • The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

  • Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  John 14:8-11

  • The Son is the image of the invisible God.  Colossians 1:15
  • Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men  Philippians 2:6-7

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.

and the beautiful thing is that He came and dwelt with us, to show us the Father, to demonstrate His love and grace and power.

because of Him we have access and freedom to approach God, just as Moses did : In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

309408240_GlqT5OpS_c

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.  John 1:1-3

 

in the beginning.

the before time.

in the eternity.

in the beginning was God and was Jesus, The Word.

Jesus was with God.  they were together.  with each other.

and Jesus IS God.

Through Jesus all things were created.  All the universe.  All the sky.  All the plants and animals and angels and amazing things we see and dont see. 

Jesus made them all.

There was nothing made that He did not make.

There was nothing made without Him.

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.And God said, Let there be light, and there was light.  Genesis 1:1-3

 

In the beginning. I’m sure John is intentional in his choice of words, in the beginning.  linking Genesis and Jesus together. 

 

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  Colossians 1:15-17

 

 

 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

 

John 1 says The Word became flesh and dwelled with man. Jesus came and lived with normal humans, as a human himself. The Word became flesh… and moved into the neighbourhood. One of the wonders of what Christmas really means is the reminder that Jesus demonstrates who God is to us.  If we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father.  Jesus made God real and real personal.  He came and dwelled with His creation, He loved and touched and felt and lived.

there’s just something about Jesus.

when He walks into a room people take notice.

He captivates attention.

People of every age and every stage want to be with Him.  near Him.

He’s Jesus.

King of the Universe.  Lord of Lords.

Saviour.

This is extraordinary!    God, creator of the universe, namer of the stars, who spoke and formed the world from nothing, became one of the very creatures He created.  He became a man.   A human! 

 

I’ve been reading Philip Yancey’s THE JESUS I NEVER KNEW so reading John 1 again with fresh eyes makes me fall in love with Jesus even more, makes me more awed by His actions and His coming.  The King of Glory, born.  a child. a baby.  crying.  breastfed.  nappies.  then childhood and adolescence.  into manhood.  Jesus.  our Lord.  touching people.  healing people.  walking with people.  living life.  the glorious and the mundane.

 

 

God so loved the world that He stepped down from a holy throne and became human so that you might touch, see and absorb His grace and, in turn, reflect His glory.  So compelled by our imperfection, perfection became human. @stickyjesus

 

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighbourhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish. John 1:14 MSG

 

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honour, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favour, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14 AMP

209792279_mHbGtDmu_c

The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.  Exodus 20:21 MSG

 

 

Moses was the rare individual that would not settle for knowing the acts of God but he desired to know His ways. While there are many who will stand at the bottom of the mount wanting someone else to climb the mountain to meet with God and relay the information. There are few who will climb-(exert effort), press past fear and preconceived notions and disappear behind the cloud. It is there that a man meets God. All were invited but only one ascended. Only one who came back with the radiance of God still shining upon him, only one who spoke with God face to face as a friend. The mountain and the invitation awaits ….. Who will climb? Father I know how many obstacles/excuses there are for me to stay at the base of the mountain. My desire and longing is to climb to meet You. Keep that passion at the forefront of all that I do this day!  youversion note

 

its interesting to note in exodus 19 and in this chapter the limits had to be put around the mountain and how only one called man could come and approach God.  the people had to consecrate themselves but even then the mountain was off limits.  God appeared in a dense cloud with fire and thunders and lightenings.  if the people crossed the barrier they would die.

 

contrast to the reality that Jesus is God with flesh, incarnated.

 

  • The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

 

  • Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  John 14:8-11

 

  • The Son is the image of the invisible God.  Colossians 1:15

 

  • Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men  Philippians 2:6-7

 

 

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.

and the beautiful thing is that He came and dwelt with us, to show us the Father, to demonstrate His love and grace and power.

because of Him we have access and freedom to approach God, just as Moses did : In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. Ephesians 3:12

Its nearly a fortnight till christmas.  my kids could tell you to the minute i am sure how long it is away.  our letterbox is jammed each day with junk mail.  buy this.  get this.  give more.  you neeeeed this great new gadget toy thing dodacky.

but the reality of christmas is all about celebrating who Jesus is and what He did.  the audacity of His gift – His life.

 

 

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This is what Jesus did:

John 1 says The Word became flesh and dwelled with man. Jesus came and lived with normal humans, as a human himself. The Word became flesh… and moved into the neighbourhood. One of the wonders of what Christmas really means is the reminder that Jesus demonstrates who God is to us.  If we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father.  Jesus made God real and real personal.  He came and dwelled with His creation, He loved and touched and felt and lived.

 

"The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14 NIV)

"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish." (John 1:14 The Message)

 

This is extraordinary!    God, creator of the universe, namer of the stars, who spoke and formed the world from nothing, became one of the very creatures He created.  He became a man.   Christmas is a celebration of Jesus’ birth – the beginning of His earthly life.   The official doctrinal name for this is incarnation.  God dwelling in Christ, dwelling on earth.

Then Jesus left and returned to Heaven and sent The Holy Spirit to live within us.

Now the Spirit of God dwells in flesh, and our flesh continues to dwell with man.

In other words the Holy Spirit moves into us and thus continues to live in the neighbourhood – JUST AS JESUS DID.

Yes!!!

We are meant to be ambassadors and representations of Jesus here on earth. We are meant to demonstrate the same love and grace and holiness and truth as Jesus did while He lived on earth.

The Word became flesh first and then passed on the same mission to us.

This is also extraordinary!

How will the people around us know about the love and grace and salvation of God unless they hear it and know it through our lives, through what God is doing to us and through us?

We are called to be witnesses to our family, our friends, and complete strangers we meet. God has placed us in our neighbourhood, with the Holy Spirit alive and active and living in us, giving us power to live for Him.

Much of Jesus’ interaction with people was “normal” and common place interaction.  The Bible contains but a fraction of Jesus’ life as a man on earth. “The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believe.”  John 20:30-31.  While He did indeed do many miracles and healings, He also ate with people and talked with them as He walked.  He went to the market, to the synagogue and encouraged them.   Jesus shows us, both in what is said in the Bible and unsaid, that life is lived with people.

Jesus associated with fishermen, tax collectors (servants of Rome! traitors!), lepers, prostitutes, adulterers, religious men, children, women, servants, soldiers, mothers, fathers… He associated with all people. He loved them and revealed the love of God to them. Can we do the same to those around us?

We are called to be witnesses of God to those around us not just with our words but with the actions we use.  We demonstrate His love by extending that same active love to others. We show that God is just by our unfailing commitment to what is right and good.  We reflect the glory of God in our own simple lives.  Just as Jesus reveals to us who God is, we too are called to reveal God.  Micah puts it as “loving mercy, living justly and walking humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8)

The wonderful mystery of Christmas is that God arrived with the wail of a newborn.  Incarnation.  The Word became flesh and dwelt with mankind.   The wonder of Christianity is that there is a Boxing Day and the day after that and the day after that… that the baby grew up and became the man who died on the cross to reconcile us to God and that He calls us to be His representation in our own neighbourhoods – to continue to allow Him to dwell with mankind through us.   Are we allowing God to be in our neighbourhood?

In final, C.S. Lewis  says “The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.”  The birth of Jesus means that we too can be called children of God.  One son born made the way for us all to be called sons and daughters.  Amazing!

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Christmas begins the unfolding of the revelation of God’s love and salvation for all of us – it begins with a birth.

1 John 4:9-10  In this the love of God was revealed in us, because God sent His only begotten Son into the world that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation concerning our sins.

Some Bible versions say “this is how God showed his love for us…”  or “God demonstrated his love for us…” Love is shown in its actions.  Its not just an airy fairy feeling, but a doing thing.  In the birth of Jesus, in this man, the revelation of God’s love was shown as being real and powerful and personal.  We can know that God loves us because of Christmas, because of Christ.   Christmas is love living and breathing, active and alive!

Jesus is the demonstration of the love of God for us.  He came and lived as a demonstration of WHO God is. Colossians 1:15 says that Jesus  “is the image of the invisible God.” Colossians 2:9 says “For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body.”  As Jesus lived he showed us how God loves us – touching the untouchable, healing the sick, accepting the rejected, freeing the bound…  Jesus not only in his divinity was God wrapped in flesh, but in the way he lived his life displayed the mercy, graciousness, compassion and power of God.

1 John 4:11-12  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.   No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwells in us, and His love is perfected in us.

As God has demonstrated in the life and death of Jesus his great love for us, so we too should be demonstrators and do-ers of love.  As Christians God calls us to be witnesses and ambassadors for Himself.  We demonstrate the reality of God through the active ways we love.  

People talk about the Christmas “spirit”, the joy, happiness and giving-ness of Christmas.   People smile at each other, give seasonal greetings.   Christmas shouldn’t begin and end in December – it should permeate every part of our life.  That is – the whole thing of God loving us first and giving His Son Jesus so that we can have eternal life and know Him – should be demonstrated in our life at every minute.   As God loved us we should go and do likewise.

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one thing i love about christmas and about jesus – God made flesh – is that it makes God personal, and relatable.  i am always mashing together john 1:14/phil 2:5 and exodus 19.

 

exodus 19 shows the magnitude of what jesus has done:

And the LORD said to Moses, “Go to the people and consecrate them today and tomorrow. Have them wash their clothes 11 and be ready by the third day, because on that day the LORD will come down on Mount Sinai in the sight of all the people. 12 Put limits for the people around the mountain and tell them, ‘Be careful that you do not approach the mountain or touch the foot of it. Whoever touches the mountain is to be put to death. 13 They are to be stoned or shot with arrows; not a hand is to be laid on them. No person or animal shall be permitted to live.’ Only when the ram’s horn sounds a long blast may they approach the mountain.”

14 After Moses had gone down the mountain to the people, he consecrated them, and they washed their clothes. 15 Then he said to the people, “Prepare yourselves for the third day. Abstain from sexual relations.”

16 On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. 17 Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the LORD descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. 19 As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

20 The LORD descended to the top of Mount Sinai and called Moses to the top of the mountain. So Moses went up 21 and the LORD said to him, “Go down and warn the people so they do not force their way through to see the LORD and many of them perish. 22 Even the priests, who approach the LORD, must consecrate themselves, or the LORD will break out against them.”

23 Moses said to the LORD, “The people cannot come up Mount Sinai, because you yourself warned us, ‘Put limits around the mountain and set it apart as holy.’”

 

 

limits had to be put around the mountain and only one called man could come and approach God.  the people had to consecrate themselves but even then the mountain was off limits.  God appeared in a dense cloud with fire and thunders and lightenings. 

 

contrast to the reality that Jesus is God with flesh, incarnated.

 

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.  John 1:14

Philip said, “Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us.”

Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you I do not speak on my own authority. Rather, it is the Father, living in me, who is doing his work.  Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves.  John 14:8-11

The Son is the image of the invisible God.  Colossians 1:15

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,  who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,  but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men  Philippians 2:6-7

 

 

Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.

and the beautiful thing is that He came and dwelt with us, to show us the Father, to demonstrate His love and grace and power.

He touched sinners.

He made the way.

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