God loves the middle. He placed “the tree of life…in the midst” of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9). He told the ancient Levites to put their city “in the middle” of their tribal land (Numbers 35:5). The Israelites considered Yahweh God as the center of their capital city: “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved…” (Psalms 46:5). No wonder the cross on which Jesus died was the middle cross, between two thieves (Mark 15:27); there God positioned Christ to be mightily raised from the dead. LORD, I make You the center of my life that You can do Your best work from the middle of my situation.
“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak…”(James 1:19). “Do not be rash with your mouth… For God is in heaven, and you on earth; therefore let your words be few” (Ecclesiastes 5:2). Someone said, “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we talk.” Billy Graham said, “One of the greatest ministries that a person can have today is just being a good listener. Many people are longing not only to be loved but to have someone who will listen to them.” Lord, sign me up for the ministry of listening; I want to be more ears and less mouth today.
“The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree… Those who are planted in the house of Yahweh shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing” (Psalms 92:12-14). Vance Havner said, “The man who lives in God is never out of season.” Pray out loud, “Lord, You have made me righteous to live in Your presence where I flourish, remaining fresh and fruitful, regardless of my age. With You, I am evergreen in every situation, in every season of life.”
Bible Breakfast for the soul: “…great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory” (I Timothy 3:16). Pray and say, “Heavenly Father, I am amazed that in the person of Jesus and by the power of the Holy Spirit, You achieved my salvation, made me righteous, and gave me abundant, eternal life through Christ’s virgin birth, His sinless life, His vicarious death, and His victorious resurrection. I praise You, my King!”
“…call Him ‘Immanuel… God with us'” (Matthew 1:23). He left the glory of Heaven and came to Earth amidst chaos and pain. Joseph was forced by the Roman emperor’s decree to travel over 90 miles on foot from Nazareth to Bethlehem with Mary, his hugely pregnant wife. Little Bethlehem was so crowded, every home filled, every motel overbooked, this young family had to lodge in a barn or tent with stinky animals. There Mary gave birth to Jesus, the Messiah of the Jews and Savior of the world. You see, in His quest for you, there is no distance too far, no pain too deep, no crisis too messy to stand in the way of Jesus coming to be where you are, and to feel what you feel.
The 12th reason why Christ was born: To be God’s Best and Greatest Love-Gift for the Human Race. Through Jesus, God lovingly gives divine life to everyone who believes. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life…” (John 3:16-17). By sending us Jesus, God is saying, “I truly and fully love you!” The Bible says, “God showed how much He loved us by sending His one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through Him” (I John 4:9). If you have received Christ as God’s love-gift, say with Apostle Paul, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:15)!
Here’s the 11th reason why Christ came: To Save Sinners by Sacrificing His Sinless Life on the Cross, serving the Death Sentence that we deserve. The angel told Joseph, “And she (Mary the virgin) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). Paul wrote, “…Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners…” (I Timothy 1:15; see Matthew 18:11; Luke 19:10). Thus Christ Reversed the curse of our breaking God’s moral law, and Rescued us from God’s wrath against sin, which ultimately means everlasting punishment in Hell for the sinner. Thank God, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us…” (Galatians 3:13; see Galatians 4:4-5; Romans 3:23; 6:23).
The 10th reason why Jesus was born: To Model Servant Leadership as the New Leadership Style, whereby the Leader pours out his life as the Chief Servant of All. Jesus explained, “…Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant… For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:43-45). At the Last Supper, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet, and told them, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14). When He introduced servant leadership to the world, Christ forever transformed the concept and practice of leadership, from head of household to head of state.
Consider the 9th reason why Christ was born: To be the High Priest of Man and the Lamb of God. The Bible says, “…Christ came as High Priest…. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption” (Hebrews 9:11-12). He is “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). As Lamb of God, Jesus sacrificed His life and shed His blood on the Cross to atone for sin and to cleanse you from sin (Isaiah 53:5-8). As High Priest, He is the Advocate who pleads for you, the Intercessor who prays for you, the only God-Man who represents your interest in Heaven (1 John 2:1-2).
The 8th reason Jesus was born: To Offer Sinners the Wonderful Opportunity to Change their Minds about Sin, Turn from Sin, and Turn to God so He can Forever Change their Hearts and Lives. When some religious leaders asked why Jesus befriended sinners, He replied, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent” (Luke 5:31-32). When we don’t justify our sin, but humbly confess it to God, asking Him to forgive us, we will experience the spiritual healing for which Christ, the soul-doctor, came.
The 7th reason Christ came from Heaven to Earth: To Give Spiritual Sight to those who Admit they are Blind, and to Expose the Blindness of those who Deny their Need for Spiritual Help. In John 9:39, Jesus informed the religious elites, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.” Religion is rooted in self-righteousness, the pride that man can be good and do good enough, thereby pleasing God, earning his own salvation and bliss in the afterlife. But God’s forgiveness, which results in eternal life and leads to Heaven, is not a goal to be achieved but a gift to be received. Humbly tell God you are spiritually blind and need His Christ to open the eyes of your heart.
The 6th reason Jesus was born: To Separate people who Reject Christ from those who Receive Christ. Devotion to Jesus can mean division in a family. Faith in Christ may not mean peace in the home, thought it always means peace in the heart. In Matthew 10:34-36, Jesus warned, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be those of his own household!” You will suffer harassment even from family members for the sake of Christ. Will you remain faithful to Jesus when you are mistreated?