I was seven and I had pretty much grown up in the church. My dad was a pastor then and I had been around church life since I was all of 3. But this service was different. We were at the Pensacola Revival when I felt the draw to go to the front. It was the first time I felt the need for salvation. I had probably prayed the prayer before and just didn’t remember, but this was different. This was a personal choice and I was well aware of what it meant. It was my decision to accept Christ. Now, knowing that I grew up in a godly home and around godly parents, one might assume that I had been set to be a believer since birth, but the thing about salvation is it is not inherited. My culture could not save me but it could lead me to salvation. I had to discover the gift of God for myself. Amazingly enough, it has been 21 years and I am still discovering Him.
That walk to the front was only the beginning of my journey. I didn’t know where it would go from there but I knew I would not be alone. I knew inside I was changed. It was a freeing feeling. Funny thing about salvation is that as soon as you declare it, it’s like the devil gets it in his inbox and he immediately goes to work to fight it. Sly devil.
The devil hates us. He loathes the existence of the believer. But God, God equips us to fight. How? His Word. And I don’t mean just the written Word but the living Word that was manifested through Jesus.
Discovering the Word leads to a discovery of life, light, and adoption into the family of God. This Christmas I am rejoicing in the gift of God’s word made flesh in Jesus and this is what it means for us.
Word of Life
In John 1 the author talks about how in the beginning was the Word. There is no birth narrative or history of how Jesus came to be. He simply was and that’s all the author wants us to know. His entrance into our world brought life. Verse 4 says, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Life could not exist outside of Him. In Him was the beginning of all things and the reason for it all. Without Him, nothing was made.
Life was the first thing God gave to man. He created him and then He breathed into him. He gave him breath. Later, man sinned and the life was never the same. Man caused a breach between him and God. The life source was removed because the Father had been pushed away. What could bridge the gap? What could bring back life?
Sin was not free. Sin is never free. Romans says, “the wages of sin is death.” A wage is something that is paid for a service rendered. Our service was to sin, the price was death. The devil always makes good on paying his wages so when we sin throughout life with no repentance we invite death. How can it be stopped? Someone else would have to step in. Someone who could accept the payment in our place.
He is the Word. He is life. He took the wages we had earned through sin and intervened to save us. His death was what we were owed but we did not have to pay it. Life came back into our lives. Our relationship was restored. The gift had been replaced.
As if having life, was not enough, Jesus went even deeper. He did not just want to bring life into our lives He also wanted to bring light. Life invites the light to come and where there is light even darkness cannot overtake it.
Verse 5 says, “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The light that His life released into the world turned the power back on. It was as if the world had been walking around with a light switch off for generations. Then Jesus came and click! The light came on. We were once again able to see to get to the Father and more importantly we were able to see who we really were.
Darkness brought a loss of identity.
When we walk in darkness we are not in the Word and when we are not in the Word there is no light in our life to illuminate who we really are.
The Word brought life and through life came light and through light came identity to be called children of God.
I grew up with many adopted siblings. In the mix it is easy to tell which ones accepted their identity as part of our family and those that did not. Some walked it out and took ownership of us. Others walked away and caused distance. When God brings us into His family we have a choice. We can either walk in our identity as sons and daughters or we can act like illegitimate children. Sons and daughters know they have authority. Illegitimate children do not.
We are His as He is ours if we walk in it.
The Light was brought so we could finally see the truth of the Word and in looking at the Word we see who we really are. Identity is in Him. It is birthed when we allow life and light to lead us into intimacy with Christ.
Fixing Our Eyes on the Word
During Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus. Jesus is the Word. So this year let’s fix our eyes on rejoicing in the gift of the Word to the world. We were broken, separated and lost until He entered and restored right standing with God.
As we rejoice in Jesus lets set our hearts on rejoicing in the knowledge that He is the Word made flesh. We can know Him through the Word and be known by Him. He is not far off nor is He a baby in a manger. He is real. He is life. He is Light. He gave us the right to be called children of God. We look to Him and say, “Thank you!”
Take some time to look up John 1:1-18. Ask God to help you be intentional as we draw closer to 2017 to getting to know the Word better and so getting to know Jesus more. Then be sure to grab today’s FREE print as a reminder of the Word being in the beginning. Remember He is life, light, and adoption!