Christmas Devotional - Day 6: Christmas is About Family

We hear this over and over. Just about every Christmas movie has this theme imbedded in its DNA. Bad or good, whether the Griswold's or the Baileys; the Christmas movie message is Christmas is About Family. And like everything else, this is not entirely untrue, it has only just been twisted a bit - or a lot.

When Christ came into the world, God did not send Him without providing for Him a human family. Think of it. God could have easily sent Him without a family. But instead, He went to great lengths to be sure that He had a human father figure and a human mother. At one point Joseph, Jesus' Father figure, believed the most honorable thing to do would be to back out of this arrangement. But God sent Joseph a direct message to keep him in the plan for Jesus' to have a human family (Mt 1:18-21). And Mary, understandably, required a similar direct message from God to understand her part in this family plan (Lk 1:26-38). Now, when the big day came, Joseph showed what kind of man he was and why God had chosen him. He not only obeyed a government decree to travel and be registered, but he took incredible care of an extremely pregnant Mary who was apparently estranged from her parents because of the appearance of things (Lk 2:1-7). Not only that, but when this baby's life was endanger, Joseph listened to God's warning and moved his family to Egypt until the threat had passed (Mt 2:13-15). In Joseph we see a model of the selfless, God fearing, family leading husband. In Mary we see a picture of the submissive, God loving, child rearing wife. Knowing and obeying God in their respective roles kept this family together and functioned as protection for our much-jeopardized savior child.  
Because Jesus was protected through a human family, we are able to become part of a forever family here on earth and in heaven. See how John describes this marvel: 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. Jn1:12–13. Because of Christmas and all that God did in that family, we may become children of God. God sent His Son to create a family for Himself, a people for His own possession (1Pt 2:9). In order to enter His family, we must be reborn into the family of God through faith in His Son. That is what it means to "receive Him". This faith must be genuine therefore it must be an act of God whereby He puts saving faith in your heart and causes this internal new birth (Jn 3:3/Ep 2:8-9).
The evidence that this new birth is genuine will be threefold:
1- We will have a deepened sense of our sin and grieve for it and so desire to repent of it. 2- We will desire righteousness. 3- We will have new affections for God and the things of God. (1Jn 3:7-8/2Co 7:10/Ph 2:12-13)
The results of this rebirth are multiple, but foremost is a new family. Adoption into the family of God. God is your Father, Christ your brother and you have many real brothers and sisters who likewise have been born again into the family of God. This we call the church. (Ep 1:5/Ro 8:15-17/1Jn 3:1,16)
Christmas is about family.

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