It's Christmas Eve, so I decided instead of continuing on in 1st Samuel I would remind us why we celebrate Christmas?
Hundreds of years before Christ, the prophet Isaiah declared the prophecy of the Messiah,
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel."
Immanuel = God is with us.
Some of you may be familiar with that prophecy and may have even known what "Immanuel" means, but I'd challenge you to look at another verse about Isaiah and Jesus. I recently listened to a sermon by Francis Chan about this verse and it changed my thinking.
said this because he saw Jesus' glory and spoke about him. John 12:41
Isaiah lived hundreds of years before Christ, how did he see Him?
Not only how, but what did Isaiah see?
Here is what Isaiah saw:
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory!"
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
"Woe to me!" I cried. "I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty."
Try to get rid of some the images of Jesus you've seen since you were a child and focus on this passage for a minute. Here's why, Jesus was only on the earth for a short time, He was in Heaven, came down for a short time and then went back up into His glory, where He still reigns.
That would be a much better picture of what you should have in your mind in my opinion. If we have a small view of Jesus we can get very casual about Him. We can treat Him with disrespect in our singing, serving, giving, and praying, if we have a low view of who Jesus is.
Look back at that verse; Isaiah saw him and he was sitting on a throne, He is so big his robe filled up the whole temple, and these high angels – they covered themselves from head to toe because they felt they were unworthy to look upon God, a sign of respect a sign or awe. One of those angels cried out to the others, screaming – Holy (set apart, distinct, not like us), so Holy…he was screaming so loud the foundations shook!
Think about that for a moment, the foundations shook because he was speaking so loudly about his glory. When was the last time your worship shook anything?
Can you imagine being in Isaiah's shoes at that moment. The whole place is shaking and that goes on 24/7!
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, "Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this." At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian. A rainbow, resembling an emerald, encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. Before the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits[a] of God. Also before the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."
That is who Jesus is, that is who we are speaking to. Your whole life you've been taught about Jesus being someone else, which is true, mostly, but that is just a small part of who He is.
This Christmas may we show some respect for who He is…and the fact that He got off that throne and came to be "with us"! He got off that throne and humbled himself to be with us. He got off that throne where He is and always will be worshipped 24/7 to be "with us". He was persecuted, suffered and died so we could be with Him. That's why we celebrate Christmas!
Here's the really cool thing, He notices you right now, God notices you, and says he loves you!
When God looks at your heart right now what does he see in return, reverence, awe, respect for who He is, or does he see arrogance?
saw God in all His glory, it humbled him. My prayer is that through God's Word you might see Him differently and be humbled.
This Christmas join me as we give God a new respect, a new reverence for who He is; bow to someone bigger than you.
"His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace"