11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
We take so much liberty with these two verses. There is no doubt God’s grace has appeared to all men. Our lives are gifts from God, gifts of His grace. It started on that Christmas Day, so many years ago, in a manger. We are coming up on that time of year, and this is a perfect place for me to chare a piece I wrote a few years ago. This piece is just a little picture of the grace that was given on that day.
What exactly took place that made
Christmas so important?
The one who strengthens us became weak
He had all the strength of thousands of armies and was victorious in every battle. No foe could stand against Him, no enemy could stop Him. No problem was too big, no trial to hard, no test too overwhelming. Nothing scared Him or made Him fear.
Jesus, who is my strength, became a baby, the weakest of all men. No strength to help Himself with any need. Only a cry could bring Him someone to provide strength in His little life. From ultimate strength to ultimate weakness, all for me.
My provider became the neediest of all
He says if I ask anything in His name, He will do it. He is the creator of all things, the supplier of food, water and air. All that I need comes from Him. Without Him, I am nothing and I would have nothing. All that I have come from Him. All peace, joy, hope, faith and love comes from Him. All good in this world comes from Him. He is the source of life.
Jesus, our provider, became the neediest of all humans, a baby who could not feed Himself, relieve His thirst by Himself, clean Himself, change His clothes. Completely dependent on everyone and everything. From provider to needy, all for me
He went from knowing all to no knowledge
He numbers the hair on my head. He knows my every need. He knows my voice and He hears me when I call. He knows my heart, my thoughts, my desires, my dreams. He knows the plans He has for me and they are good. He knows all there is to know.
Jesus, who was omniscient, became one with no knowledge. A babe in a manger. Barely learning to know His parents’. Not knowing anything around Him. Not knowing how to talk, or understand or reason. From all knowing to knowing nothing, all for me
He went from Creator to created
He was there at the beginning, the Word that went forth when God said “Let there be..”. He was the Word, and all things were made by Him. He made the stars above and names them one by one, 400 billion in our galaxy alone. He made all the animals, birds, bugs, and things in the sea. He made the earth, the seas, the rivers, the dry land and the mountains. All things were made by Him and without Him nothing was made
Jesus who was the creator, was now created in Mary’s womb. He had no control over this creation. He could not speak His desires into existence. He was subject to the DNA of Mary. He could not determine His hair color, or His eye color, or His height or weight. He was helpless in His own creation after creating all things. From creator to created, all for me.
He went from being King of Kings to a lowly babe.
All power, all authority, all knowledge, all wisdom was His. Undefeated for all time. All the kings of the earth are subject to Him. H controlled their destiny, the length of their reign, the people who serve them, and every battle they fight. Creator of all things. Knowledge of all things.
Jesus, King if all Kings, Lord of all Lords, humbled himself and became a man. Leaving all His kingly praise, power and strength to come and die for us. He humbled himself and became obedient to death, even the death of the cross. He withheld His power to escape this excruciating death for all of us. He humbled himself more than we can imagine. From King of Kings to Lowly babe, all for me
Jesus gave His all to pay it all so we could have it all. A divine act of humility
That’s what happened. That’s why we Celebrate Christmas.
That is His love for us.
But we take advantage of this grace by not heeding to verse 12. I have areas in my life where I do not live soberly as Paul says we must do. I count on God’s grace to get me through these frailties of mine instead of clinging fast to Him and letting Him help me let them go. I do not always put aside ungodly things. I do not always endeavor to life righteously. How presumptive of me to just assume His grace will cover me when I don’t walk as He ask me to walk in this present world. How bold will I have to be to stand before God on that day and say to Him I trusted in His grace when I walked off the path? I should not be counting on even getting that chance if I walk in willful sin. I need to deny ungodliness and live righteously, as Paul days, in this present world if I am planning to live with Him in eternity.
Yet, so many rely on His grace to cover anything they want to do. The church relies on grace when they embrace unbiblical practices and lifestyles. They say grace has come to all men, but forget that God calls us out of our sinful behaviors and into righteousness. He asks us, as He asked the women caught in adultery, to leave our sin behind. He asks us to walk toward Him and away from our past, putting those things behind that would hinder our closeness with Him. He asks us to forget those things which we once were, and run with patience the race that is set before us. He asks us to press toward the mark of the high calling of God, not live our lives still enslaved to sin.
His grace teaches us these things. His grace is our instructor in righteousness. We have an obligation to share this grace with all we see, because it has appeared to all men. That day in a manger the world was changed forever. That day at the cross the grace of God became available to anyone who wants it. It is there, just waiting for one hearty to cry out and ask for Him for grace. Never forget that His grace is for all men, but that once we have received that grace, we have work to do. This ungodly, unrighteous life must transform to a righteous, holy lifestyle that honors the one who saved me. We have been made new creatures on the inside, and now we have to work our own salvation with fear and trembling. This transformation only begins at the cross. It continues through the rest of our lives as we learn, by His grace, how to live for Him. Let us all examine ourselves and see if we are taking advantage of our sin. May we have the heart cry of David in Psalm 139:23-24, where he says “Search me, Oh God, and know my heart. Ty me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in thy way everlasting.” Allow God to search your heart today and bring you closer to Himself. That is where he wants you to be, right by His side, walking in the garden with Him in the cool of the day. Do you know where your heart is today?