By Edward Thal /
The wonderful truth that we celebrate at this time of year is that God came to us!
He did not come as a King to be revered and feared, for men will bow to a king whom they fear but still remain rebels at heart. Instead God came meekly to be born in a stable, because He wanted to make clear that He desires to be born in every humble human heart, where He can transform us from within.
This is the all-important difference between Bible Christianity and all other religious systems: we enjoy the manifest presence of God! Religions have a belief system, rules, commitment, certainty and passion, but they all lack this one vital component. Religions seek after God, try to explain God, and labor to impress God; Bible-believing Christians simply receive God.
Religion is speculative; Christianity is experiential. Or it should be. When Christians lose sight of what makes them different they become merely religious.
The manifest presence of God changes us and brings us great joy. When David wrote Psalm 139 he could not fully appreciate that the God He spoke of, who knew him so well that He was aware of David’s every movement, word and thought, knew David because He lived with David.
Every Christian should be able to say: “Because of my relationship with the resurrected Jesus Christ, God is not merely the Creator, not just a god or even the God, He is my God! His Life sustains me and empowers me.”
Two wonderful passages, in Ephesians 1:17-19 and 3:14-19, tell us of the riches of His glory in us and the strength it brings to us. This Christmas season, may we each “know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge [and] be filled with all the fulness of God.”