We are visual people living in a visual world. Wherever we look messages are being sent from our televisions, newspapers and computers. Consequently, many of us have great difficulty focussing on the unseen realm. Maybe you are wondering what (if anything), is happening behind-the-scenes, in the spiritual realm? I have good news for you…
You have a behind-the-scenes God who has been working in your life from before you entered this world, to bring you to Himself. God is on a Mission – His Mission. Dr A.T. Pierson, a preacher and missionary, revealed his great understanding of God’s Mission when he described history as “His-story”. The Bible, from beginning to end, is a record of God’s gracious plan to redeem and save mankind, known as “salvation history”, and this is how God’s story will end: …behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9-10).
If you read the first two chapters of the first book of the Bible, Genesis, you will see how God made creation and mankind – all was perfect and good in His sight. In chapter 3, mankind rebels against God by doing what was right in their own eyes, and the human race collectively ‘fell’ into a hopeless and helpless state of being separated from God, known biblically as “The Fall”. You may be surprised to learn that from that point until today, our behind-the-scenes God has set in motion His Mission to restore mankind back to the state of perfection that He made Adam and Eve, and in relationship with Him.
The Old Testament is the record of God’s dealings with the nation of Israel and it highlights God’s faithfulness and long-suffering with rebellious Israel. Israel failed to draw the nations to God and they found themselves in just as much in need of salvation as the nations of the world. Our behind-the-scenes God did the most remarkable, surprising and gracious act in history – God sent a baby, a symbol of hope and new beginnings, to the world. God had become flesh and Jesus, the Son of God, had been sent by God to fulfil God’s Mission to save the world. The behind-the-scenes God CAME-ON-THE-SCENE and Jesus took centre-stage in the world with the primary objective of reconciling us, through His death on the cross, back to God the Father:
The birth of Jesus took place like this. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. Before they came to the marriage bed, Joseph discovered she was pregnant. (It was by the Holy Spirit, but he didn’t know that.) Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. God’s angel spoke in the dream: “Joseph, son of David, don’t hesitate to get married. Mary’s pregnancy is Spirit-conceived. God’s Holy Spirit has made her pregnant. She will bring a son to birth, and when she does, you, Joseph, will name him Jesus–‘God saves’–because he will save his people from their sins.” This would bring the prophet’s embryonic sermon to full term: Watch for this–a virgin will get pregnant and bear a son; They will name him Emmanuel (Hebrew for “God is with us”). Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God’s angel commanded in the dream: He married Mary. But he did not consummate the marriage until she had the baby. He named the baby Jesus. (Matt 1:18-25 The Message Bible).
All this is meaningless, unless you, by faith, believe and accept that God has been working behind-the-scenes for thousands of years and at great personal cost, to bring you into the family of God. Jesus Christ is the reason we celebrate Christmas. The sole purpose of my letter is to help you come to a time and place in your life when you fall at the feet of Jesus and cry “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Rev 7:10).
May you and your family do what is right in the eyes of Godthis Christmas. Bring your worship to Jesus Christ and experience the fullness of God’s blessings.
x Christmas Blessings from Libby & Jan