STOVER: Preparing ourselves for birth of Christ

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, December 9, 2017

By Larry Stover | Stover lives in Valley Grande and is pastor at Praise Park Ministries Church of the Nazarene.

The weeks of Advent leading up to Christmas are an exciting time for believers as they prepare themselves spiritually for the arrival of Jesus Christ, the Messiah of the world. Isaiah 9:6 gives a portion of the Biblical background for this season. Those verses read, “For to us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon His shoulders, and He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

We began our journey last week by looking at the “Wonderful Counselor of Advent.” Today, we discover the “Mighty God of Advent.”

Two of our Lord’s outstanding attributes are seen in this title. They are His “Deity and His “Power.” These two attributes are joined together in the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Only a super powerful Messiah could redeem a fallen race and reconcile created man back to God. Romans 5:10-12 reminds us that, “sin entered the world through one man (Adam), but, we were reconciled to the Father through the death of his Son on the cross.” Only Jesus can redeem us from sin. He came as the living, Mighty God, a powerful Savior doing for us what only He could do.

The greatest sin in the history of mankind has been the denial that Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is the one and only Savior of the world. For centuries, man has been trying to fabricate an alternative god that would replace the Lord. Jesus came to lift us above that realm of fantasy.

How can we experience that Deity and Power during this Christmas season? What needs to happen to each of us today to move us beyond the illusions of the world to accept Jesus as the Savior He came to be?

“No man ever spoke like Him” was the common response of those sent to kill or arrest Him. He spoke and the sea was calmed. He spoke and the sick were healed, the lame walked and the blind could see. Demons fled at the command of his voice. Yet the greatest words ever recorded were, “Son be of good cheer, your sins are forgiven.” The prophets foretold, “You are to call his name Jesus for He will save the people from their sins.” His greatest power is to forgive. No other god can offer that miracle of grace. Jesus Christ still speaks these words today, “Your sins are forgiven!” To the individual whose heart is filled with raging violence, these words bring peace.  For that person who is enslaved and chained by the destructive habits of poor choices, these very words break those bonds and set them free.

Romans 8 reminds us that, “there is no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ, for they have been set free from the power of sin and disobedience.”  Those words not only set one free from the penalty of sin, it also sets them free from the guilt and potential destruction caused by disobedience to God.

We can also experience the Deity and Power of Jesus Christ this Christmas season through His “touch.”  He waked into the room where Simon Peter’s mother-in-law was sick.  Jesus touched her forehead and the fever left.  This Messiah touched deaf ears and people could hear.  His miraculous touch raised the dead back to life.

That touch is still amazing today through the presence and anointing of the Holy Spirit.  For those about to give up, He gives them courage.  Broken lives are mended.  Hope is restored.  New Beginnings are a hallmark of His ministry.  His touch makes all the difference.

Kirk Talley wrote a song many years ago that resonate this power. The words are, “He is here, hallelujah.  He is here, amen. He is here, holy, holy. I will bless His name again. He is here, listen closely. Hear Him calling out your name. He is here, you can touch Him. You will never be the same.”

If you need to experience a forgiving or healing touch from Jesus today, His life changing power is only a prayer away.  He is still calling us by name with a message of forgiveness and reconciliation.  Accepting this “Mighty God” as your Savior will make your life “Simply Beautiful” this Christmas season. You can testify with millions of others, “He touched me and made me whole.”