For This He Came

For This He Came

This reflection was shared at the 2015 Christmas Eve service at Evergreen SGV.

This season, it can be easy to get caught up with the festivities, gatherings and gift giving, that Christmas passes us by and we forget why Jesus came in the first place.

Why did Jesus, God the Son, come to this world?

It would seem too fleeting to say that He came to merely cause a scene –a glimmer of hope with choirs of angels and shepherds keeping watch over their flocks.

It would seem too shortsighted to say Jesus came just to die. For He lives, and He lives to see us free.

It would be too limiting to say Jesus came to simply rescue you and me. For the entire creation groans in expectation of His coming again.

No. Jesus came to make things right. He came to make good again what had turned bad. He came to overcome injustice. He came to turn sorrow into joy. He came to reverse the curse. Jesus came to make all things new.

Jesus came to redeem, yes, but for what purpose? He came to redeem a people for himself in a world free from pain, suffering and death, where the blind see, the lame walk and the dead are raised to life again.

Jesus came to reign, yes, but not merely in our hearts. He came to reign over all of creation, over all of the world, for all eternity. For of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end.

Jesus didn’t just come for you and me. He came as the light of the world that all the ends of the Earth might know His name.

Jesus came to bring life and life abundantly. Not merely life that lasts forever. But life with God at the center and Christ on the throne, a life lived together under the kingdom of God here in this world.

Don’t you see? Jesus came to make all things new, to make the sad things come untrue, to make children of wrath children of God, to redeem all of creation to be good once again. He came into this world so that we could come into it too, bearing the light and life found in Christ to the entire world.

So this Christmas, maybe it’s not a feeling that your heart is longing for. For Christmas will come and go, and with that may come a tinge of sadness.

But Jesus came to reign forever. In this, may we find joy that will last forever.


Have You Ever Been Thirsty Before?

Have you ever been thirsty before?

Have you ever been thirsty before?

I mean thirsty to the point where it feels like your mouth is filled with cotton balls and you yearn for one taste of water. Just one taste.

Thirsty to the point where your mouth is so parched, your tongue sticks to the roof of your mouth and you’d find relief in swallowing your saliva but that too has run dry.

Thirsty after playing basketball or running on a hot summer day it doesn’t even matter if it’s lukewarm, you’re dying for some water.

If you’ve ever felt that way before, then you probably don’t have any idea of what Jesus experienced when he uttered on the cross, “I thirst”, in John 19:28. Continue reading “Have You Ever Been Thirsty Before?”

Within the Love of Jesus, Lies a Mother’s Love

With Mother’s Day approaching, I am reminded of a message I gave to the MOPS group at Evergreen SGV how within the love of Jesus, lies a Mother’s love.

Let’s all remember to thank our mothers (and spiritual mothers) for reflecting the love of Jesus.

Here are a few quick excerpts:

O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! -Matthew 23:37 (ESV)

Jesus protects like a mother hen

“Perhaps that is why He likened His heart and love to the love of a mother hen. You see a hen would not just provide shelter and protection for her young. She was their shelter and protection. Her very body would be a hiding place of security for her chicks and they could find rest under her wings.”

“In the same way, Jesus desires and longs to gather us and be our protection, our hiding place and refuge. We see that Jesus would literally protect us from God’s wrath and punishment with His body, by dying on the cross for us. But I want all of us to realize that this offer of protection is not a one-time thing. Jesus desires to be our protection, our refuge and hiding place for the rest of our lives and even into eternity.”

Jesus defends like a mother hen

“Have you ever seen a hen in comparison to her chicks? She is quite an intimidating presence and for good reason. She has to defend her chicks from predators, even when her chicks have not hatched from their eggs. If you ever see a mother hen defend her young, you know how fierce she can be. You might as well put a sign on a mother hen to all predators, “Don’t mess with my chicks!””

“In the same way, we must remember that Jesus fiercely defended us on the cross. He suffered ridicule, rejection and shame and endured the wrath of God -everything we deserved. But we also must remember that Jesus actively defends His followers daily, pleading before the throne of God for us. He is active in the lives of His followers, fighting for them against the pressures and temptations of the world.”

Jesus gives life like a mother hen

“And we look at a mother hen who provides protection for her young and fiercely defends them just so that her young would not only survive, but have a chance to live. She is willing to sacrifice everything just so that her chicks can grow and thrive. She gives life to her young.”

“You see Jesus wanted to give the people of Jerusalem the opportunity of a life with Him. He desired to gather them so that they could enter into a relationship with Him where He could protect, defend and give life to them. Jesus would pour out abundant life and change, transform and grow His people right then and throughout eternity.”

Compelling Christian Fiction. A Rare Feat Indeed!

There is an unfortunate tendency in Christendom when it comes to the arts, to wrap a Kingdom message in a good looking package that resembles what is popular today. The result is a movie that may look pleasing at first glance, a song with a catchy tune or a book that grabs our attention, but fails to go any deeper.

We end up feeling unsatisfied because we feel that the powerful Kingdom themes spoken about should be matched artistically in quality, or attempted at least. Should not Christian endeavors in the arts proclaim the glory of God on its own merit without the Christian label?

Maybe that’s why I’m blown away when I come across a Christian band that is creative musically and profound lyrically (David Crowder Band), a Christian movie executed well and tastefully given its sensitive nature (October Baby) and a Christian novel that challenges us to explore the depths of God’s love in ways that only stories can do. Continue reading “Compelling Christian Fiction. A Rare Feat Indeed!”

Give Thanks, Give Bibles

Here’s a great way to give thanks this Thanksgiving and also put it into action. From Crossway:

If you’re reading this, you have a wealth of theological resources at your fingertips, most importantly God’s Word. Unfortunately many Christians in the world don’t yet enjoy a similar abundance.

That’s why this Thanksgiving week, as a way to raise awareness for how important books are in passing truth on to the next generation, Crossway is inviting you to help send Study Bibles to leaders in the Global South (in partnership with our friends at Desiring God).

It’s super easy.

Through next Monday (11/28), for every new “Like” on our Facebook page, Crossway will give $1 worth of Study Bibles through Desiring God’s International Outreachinitiative. Every Study Bible given will go directly to our brothers and sisters in the Global South, many of whom are hungry for tools to better understand, apply, and share God’s Word.

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  • Share this Facebook post with friends
  • Share this blog post on Google+ or Twitter with the hashtag #givebibles
  • Link to this blog post from your blog or preferred social network.

May God use these Bibles to encourage many Christians in the Global South!