Torchbearers for Christ
Monday, December 10, 2018

Joy to the World

Amid the many activities that occupy our minds at Christmas time, how important it is to focus our thoughts on the most momentous event in the history of mankind; the event that gave birth to the Christmas tradition. I am thinking of how God expressed His love for all of us in sending His Son, the Lord Jesus, to give us life, peace and a meaning for our existence.

It can rightly be sung that “Love came down at Christmas”. The message that Christmas emphasises is the condescending love of God. Before the first Christmas, it could easily have been thought that God was afar off and disinterested in the affairs of mankind, but the Bible tells us, “Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (I John 4:10).

Among the many carols sung at the Christmas season, is the well known song about the shepherds who were watching their flocks by night when the angel of the Lord visited them and the glory of the Lord shone round about them. Understandably, they were terrified, but the angel reassured them and then explained his mission, “I bring you good tidings, the most joyful news ever announced and it’s for everyone”. He then announced the birth, that day, of the Saviour of the world, the Lord Jesus. Then a heavenly host praised God saying, “Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, goodwill towards men”.

How comforting are these words to us all; good news, joyful news and peace for all men. In the simplest of terms the Bible explains the reason for the coming of the Lord Jesus.   We are told in 1 Timothy 1:15, “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners”. Jesus told us “I am the Light of the world; he that follows me shall not walk in darkness but shall have the light of life” (John 8:12). He also promised His followers that they would enjoy a peace that passes understanding. He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you; let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid”. He also assured them that they would live forever with Him in Heaven.

So many men and women have lived, and are still living, with feelings of guilt, emptiness and without any assurance of their destiny when they leave this life. The Lord Jesus is the answer to these basic needs and ever since Christ’s ministry on earth nearly two thousand years ago, multitudes of His true followers have found God’s promises to be true. 

Surely God’s “unspeakable gift” should call forth our deepest gratitude and our highest praise. “Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men. For He satisfies the longing soul and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:8,9). This Christmas can be truly a time of inward peace, joy and the assurance of life everlasting. How can this happen? God requires us to repent of our sinful ways, to humble ourselves and to believe with all our hearts that the Lord Jesus bore our sins in His own body on the Cross. The Word of God tells us in the simplest terms how we may be saved from our sins and enjoy God’s acceptance. We have the answer to our deepest need in Ephesians 2:8,9, “For by grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God: not of works lest any man should boast”.

This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has travelled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.  

 Click here for Previous Messages from Pastor Geoffrey Davies.