Celebrating the Miracle Gift(s)
My first pastor said something quite brilliant regarding the Christmas celebration. In respect to non Christians, who are into the whole gift thing but have no regard for Christ, he stated: ‘those who are far from Christ who give gifts on Christmas day, even though they don’t realize it, are worshiping God by celebrating His nature on this particular day.”
I’ve hung on to that thought for over 3 decades now for two reasons: One, It’s true! The nature of God is love. This love was manifested by God giving the Gift of all gifts. Second, the setting aside of December 25th even though it, most likely, is not the day Jesus was born is one more indicator of the impact Christ has made on so many around the world, whether Christian or non.
Some two thousand years ago plus, a miracle took place. A young woman who had never been physically involved with a man gave birth to a child. Both the inception and the nature of this child were miraculous. When the mother to be asked “How can this be, since I’ve never been with a man” Gabriel answered “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” Gabriel then went on to speak to Mary about Elizabeth who, as well, was miraculously pregnant! With Elizabeth, however, the miracle was that in her old age, well past child bearing, she had become able to become pregnant. What I would like to zero in on is the nature of the gifts and greatest gift, which God the Father gave and gives. They are all birthed out of our co-operation with the Holy Spirit. In short, they are miraculous due to responding to God.
Mary was well aware that her cousin, Elizabeth, had been barren and was now too old to have children. Gabriel anticipating her question went on to say ““For nothing will be impossible with God.” It’s not only critical to grasp the fact that not only is God in the miracle business, but He is always in the miracle business. Gabriel’s comment regarding the omnipotence of God was echoing the very same thing God had previously said in the very same situation some 2000 years prior. When Sarah, the wife of Abraham, laughed at the prophetic words saying she was to have a child, even though she was decades past her childbearing years, the Lord responded “Is anything too difficult for God?”
At this season of celebrating the miracle of God becoming human I would like to point out four miraculous aspects of that one miracle that continues each and every day in the lives of those who call Him Lord.
“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,” Isaiah 9.6 & 7a
The Wonderful Counselor
Proverbs 3.5 instructs us to not lean to our own understanding, but to trust in God with all of our hearts. In the midst of turmoil in a very confusing world what voice do we trust in our heart of hearts? Jesus promised us, that He would not leave us as orphans but that He would send each of us the amazing gift of His Presence- the Holy Spirit. Of the Holy Spirit, Jesus stated: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.” (John 16.13)
What an amazing gift- the very counsel of God to lead us into His specific will, care, and provision for our lives. It’s an absolute miracle that we daily have the opportunity to commune with God Almighty. It’s a miracle flowing out of the miraculous Word becoming flesh.
One of the names God gives Himself in the Old Testament is El Shaddai- God Almighty, who is able to do for you what you cannot do for yourself. In life we all find ourselves, from time to time, in impossible situations. In fact, God often deliberately leads us into impossible situations so that His strength might be realized as our weakness’ demand we lean into Him.
What an amazing miracle that, because of Jesus, we have been birthed into God’s Kingdom, which is one of power, not mere words. (1 Cor. 4.20) The miracle of God’s amazing power available to us flows out of the Person of God’s Presence. The Holy Spirit is in our lives and midst due to the only begotten Son being given as the miraculous gift.
While praying to God the Father, Jesus said “This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” The “they” in the equation is you and I. Jesus did not come to merely save humanity from all it’s woes. Rather, He came to restore us to the relationship with the Father, which we lost due to our disobedience.
‘What is the Father like’ we might ask. Jesus answered that by telling His disciples that he who had seen Him had, in effect, seen the Father. There is a very real significance and security in life that can only be realized by experiencing the reality God’s love. It is a sense of significance and a deep life long caring and nurturing that God the Father loves to lavish upon us. In that Jesus came to restore us to the Father and, in that, He and the Father are one, the miraculous gift of all gifts has miraculously become our Eternal Father. And due to this miraculous gift of all gifts we can experience the miracle of the Father’s heart each and every day.
Prince of Peace
The apostle Paul described the peace God gives as one ‘that passes all understanding’. It is not a peace based on our current situation. Neither is it a peace based on our being invincible. It is also a peace that has nothing to do with our understanding of how our problems will be resolved or how our questions will be answered. Rather, it is a peace that flows from God’s Spirit within our hearts. In fact, Romans 14.17 reads ‘the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.’ In the midst of the most traumatic and dramatic difficulties there is a powerful peace that will allow us to relax and realize God is both bigger and wiser than any dilemma we may face.
Beyond all of that, however, is the eternal life of being reconnected with God. That is the ultimate gift that the only begotten Son of God, who became man, came to give us. The peace of knowing that for all of eternity we will dwell with the Prince and author of peace is, indeed, a miraculous gift beyond compare!
2011- A Time of Transition
The absolute miracle power of God, which renders nothing as too difficult, is always there as we walk with, and in, the miracle Gift. And as, Isaiah continued in Isaiah, chapter 9: there need be no end to the increase of His rule of peace in the world, in you, and through you. My prayer for everyone who reads this is that as you step into 2011- a time of great uncertainty, that you realize daily that God’s miraculous counsel, power, fathering, and peace are yours to experience- as you go forth with the miracle gift of all gifts.
You will have, no doubt, realized I have made a serious writing mistake in this letter. I have seriously over utilized the word miracle in many different forms. At the risk of coming off redundant I have done so for a reason. God desires you to experience the miraculous this year more than you ever have before. God will be ‘birthing’ new things, ministries, projects, missions, and miracles through your life this year. 2011 will be a key time of transition preparing you for many years ahead. Many of these things, if not most of them, will first appear as impossible due to your present situation, resources, and past experiences. The Biblical encouragement is, once you move past the momentary laugh of unbelief (like Sara laughed), realize that nothing is too difficult for God. The miracle Gift that we celebrate on December 25, and hopefully everyday, desires to lead you into a lifestyle of the impossible moving to the possible and transcending into reality. And when the Holy Spirit gives birth to outrageous visions within you, never be afraid to pray “Lord, I believe- please help my unbelief”.
Marc A. Dupont
December 25th, 2010