Christmas carols have been sung, cookies have been eaten, and the kids have abandoned their gifts.
As this Christmas season comes to a close, it is essential to take some time to reflect on the season. We have taken the time to celebrate that Jesus came into the world as a newborn. We have remembered He was born in a manger. We have been awed by the thought of the star in the sky, angels announcing his birth, and the Wisemen’s journey.
But we must not forget that after a 3 1/2 year ministry He took the sins of the world to the cross to die in our place and give us the hope of eternal life. That was the purpose of His birth in the first place- so we can know Him.
There is a difference between knowing about God and knowing God.
Jesus came so that we can know him and enter into a relationship with Him instead of just knowing about Him. His mission was to provide the way to turn head knowledge into heart knowledge.
He turned water into wine, healed the lame, blind and mute, and did countless other miracles. He taught us how to pray and to love one another. His life was an example of grace, mercy, love, kindness, justice, and even appropriate anger.
Yes, Jesus is God’s son. The baby who was born to a virgin on that dark night many years ago. Savior of the World. Light in the Darkness.
We can know all that about Him and then some. There are whole books of the Bible about Him- prophesying his coming, proof he was who he says he is, documentation of His ministry here on earth, and predicting his second coming.
More books have even been written about those books with a historical context and commentary. It’s easy to know all about the man named Jesus, just like we know about George Washington.
We can know all about Him and not know Him.
When you know God, you experience Him in your life leading you. When you know God, you
- can rest and have peace despite what is happening around you and even to you.
- experience hope, and be sure you will be with him in Heaven when your life is over.
- experience joy regardless of the circumstances of your life.
- feel completely loved, cared for, and led.
See, if there were no baby in the manger on that holy night, no ministry here on earth to teach us His ways, no death on the cross to pay for our sin, there would be no way to know God. We would only know about Him like any other historical figure we read about.
Knowing Him with a personal relationship gives us our identity. It provides our purpose and passions. We live spirit-led lives and can trust God to guide us. Knowing Him is WAY better than knowing about him.
We have contemplated hope, peace, joy, and love throughout advent. The last candle on the Advent wreath, usually lit on Christmas Eve or Day, is called the Christ candle. We light it not just to celebrate His birth but because He is our hope, peace, joy, and love. He brought those things and made them available to those that know Him.
Knowing Him was the gift His birth provided.
Take some time as Christmas winds down to reflect and comprehend the scope of what Jesus was born to do that first Christmas. Eternity past, the present, and the future eternity all hinge on that one holy night when Love came to earth.
Do you only know about God in your head, or do you also know Him in your heart?
Knowing God is a matter of surrender to Him. If you discover you don’t really know Him, it just takes some prayer. Surrender your life to Him, ask Him to forgive your sins, and invite Him to be Lord of your life. Ask Him to create a clean heart in you and teach you to be more like Him.
If you hear His call to know Him, he will meet you where you are. In Matthew 7, we read:
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, it will be opened.”
Becoming a Christian means getting to that place where you know him in your heart. It is a delicate balance between God calling you and you responding to that call. I pray that you know God.
It is a relationship that will last forever- long after the last Christmas carol is sung and toys have been abandoned. Have you heard and answered His call?