Incarnation Begins With I
Incarnation Begins With “I”
‘Tis the season. Christmas is upon us. And if we are not careful it would be easy to lose sight of what Christmas is all about. Bottom line – Christmas is about the incarnation. Now that’s just a fancy shmancy word which means that God took on flesh and became a man – in the person of Jesus. Jesus Christ is God incarnate. God knew that the only way a lost and dying world was going to fully understand how great His love was was to show them up close and in person.
The same is true today. The only difference is that He chooses to show the world how great His love is through His children. WE are to incarnate the gospel to the world around us. People should be able to look at our lives and catch a pretty good glimpse of the nature and character of God. So when I say that incarnation begins with “I”, I mean that it begins with me – and it begins with you. Here are a few specific ways for you to think on about how incarnation begins with “I”.
Ignorant of sin – Jesus walked through this world confronted daily with opportunities to sin and yet chose not to sin. He lived a holy life. His holiness pointed people to God. In the same way, when we choose to be ignorant of sin – not falling prey to temptation – our lives can point people to God as they see a life of faith and integrity being lived out.
Illuminates the darkness – Jesus came to be “the Light of the World.” We also are to let our lights so shine that the world will see our good deeds and give glory to our Father in heaven. As we illuminate the dark places around us the world will be able to see Jesus shining through us and the darkness will have no choice but to retreat.
Identifies with those who are helpless and hurting – It seems like everywhere Jesus went He met people who had desperate needs and huge hurts. He took the time to touch their lives whether it was through a word of hope or act of healing. We are called to incarnate Christ in similar ways as we reach out to those who are helpless and hurting in real and practical ways.
Initiates forgiveness – The greatest spiritual need we have as humans is for forgiveness. This is what Jesus came into the world to address. He came to reconcile sinful people to a holy God and rebuild the relationship that had been destroyed when we willingly and deliberately turned away from God. We, as God’s children who enjoy His forgiveness, are called to be agents of reconciliation offering Gods’ free gift of forgiveness to a spiritually destitute world. We have the message that people need to hear – the gospel of a forgiving God who yearns for people to turn back to Him and experience amazing grace and abundant life.
Illustrates servanthood – Jesus himself said, “I did not come into the world to be served but to serve.” As we take up the mantle of servanthood, putting aside our rights and desires to have others serve us, then the world will see a visible demonstration of what it means to know Christ.
Intercedes for others – Scripture records numerous instances where Jesus engages the Father in prayer on behalf of the people He connected with. His example should be motivation for us to do the same. God chooses to use the prayers of His people to provoke His hand to work and His heart to save those we are connected to. Lack of prayer on our behalf indicates unbelief and effectually says to God, “I don’t need you. I can get through this life on my own.”
A few years ago I shared the words to a song I wrote in a message I preached about the incarnation. Enjoy and don’t forget that not only does incarnation begin with “I” but it also begins with you!!!
The Word Became Flesh
The Word became flesh and lived for awhile
In a world plagued with sorrow and sin
The Magnificent Son, The Most Holy One
Was determined the plaque had to end.
The Word became flesh as the Father revealed
All His love in the life of His Son
His Manifest grace must have felt out of place
When He saw what the devil had done.
The Word became flesh as God testified
To the truth that had never been heard.
The Savior appeared, God spoke loud and clear
Through the voice of His Incarnate Word.
The Word became flesh as the Father set fort
To give freedom to all who were bound.
Hope was restored, though God’s Word was ignored
When a cross took the place of a crown.
The Word became flesh leaving heaven behind
Giving up all the honor He had.
“Abba Father” He cried, as He suffered and died
I now know what makes You so mad.