As millions of people all over the world celebrate the Christmas season and what it means there are millions more who do not. In fact, for thousands of years, generation after generation people have worshiped all kinds of gods. Some, none at all. “You have been chosen to know me, believe in me, and understand that I alone am God, there is no other God, there has never been, and there never will be. I Yes I am the Lord and there is no other Savior! First I predicted your rescue , then I saved you and proclaimed it it to the world. No foreign god has ever done this. You are witnesses that I am the only God, says the Lord. From eternity to eternity I am God. No one can snatch anyone out of my hand. No one can do what I have done.” Isaiah 43:10-13 In the book of Exodus (old testament) there are many teachings that warn us against the worship of other gods: “You must not have any other god but me…You must not bow down to them or worship them, for I the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” “I know now that the Lord is greater than all other gods, because he rescued his people… Exodus 20:3,4 and 18:11. David said it this way, “No pagan god is like you, O Lord. None can do what you do. All the nations you made will come and bow before you, Lord; they will praise your holy name. For you are great and perform wonderful deeds. YOU ALONE ARE GOD.” Psalm 86:8-10.
So what are some of the wonderful things that God has done? “We have come to bring you Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them.” Acts 14:15 nlt If you notice in this particular passage, the creator of heaven and earth is referred to as the Living God. All “other” gods mentioned throughout the Bible are not living. In fact, they were created by the hands of men. In one passage some of them were made out of gold and silver. Even though people worshiped them (and still do today) these gods have no life in them therefore they cannot save, heal or even deliver their followers. But I have good news! There IS one who can! “…for our hope is in the Living God who is the Savior of all people…” 1Timothy 4:10
The coming of the Savior, the Messiah was foretold (prophesied) through the Prophet Isaiah, “All right then, the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child, she will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’). The fulfilling of this prophecy is recorded in the book of Luke when the Angel Gabriel, sent by God appeared to Mary: “God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant to King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever! His Kingdom will never end!” Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she’s now in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God.” Mary responded. “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true…” Luke 2:26-38 nlt
The Birth of Jesus did in fact come true! “Suddenly the angel of the Lord appeared among them…” “Don’t be afraid!” he said, “I bring you Good News that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior–yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others (angels) the armies of heaven–praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” After seeing Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus they went back to their flocks, “glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.” Luke 2:9-20
Even as an adult, before his death and resurrection Jesus was recognized and believed by his followers as the Son of God, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John, because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being…” Mathew 16:16,17
Millions all over the world today continue to worship and serve the One and only Living God! Paying the penalty of the sins of all mankind by going to the cross. Jesus the babe born in a manger lives today in the hearts of his followers the Christian (by his Spirit Romans 8:11) and although Christians celebrate the blessed birth of our Savior Jesus Christ at Christmas…we live and give thanks each day for the greatest gift of all!: Jesus, the Savior of the world!