My lesson this past Christmas came the day after.  All through the holiday preparation, I felt the Lord working in my life, calling me to be closer to Him.  As I wrote in a prayer journal on December 26th, I was praising God for the gift He so willingly bestowed.  That is when it dawned on me.

The Bible tells of Jesus’ birth.  Humble, yes.  Unremarkable except to a few, yes.  It was celebrated by angels as wonderful news for all men.  The heavenly host gave glory to God the Father for what was being accomplished.  God’s plan, which was centuries old, had moved from the design stage to being actively underway.

There is no mention in Scripture of reluctance on the part of the Son.  He willingly left Heaven’s glory to walk the earth as a man.  The Creator joined with the created to become the sinless Messiah.

His name was called Jesus as the angel had directed.  He “kept increasing in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52 NASB).  At the age of thirty, Jesus began His ministry.  He taught with words.  He taught by example.  He demonstrated what it meant to live a perfect life of faith and trust in the Heavenly Father.

We do not read of any hesitance on Jesus’ part to be where He was.  He had a purpose and followed through with it.  He drew strength from His Father on a daily basis as He faced a life of traveling from place to place displaying what love truly means.

Then came Gethsemane.  It was there that we see Jesus’ humanness really begin to show.  His struggle with His fleshly form demonstrates itself as he cries out, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done (Luke 22:42 NASB).”  The limitations of His earthly body had Jesus begging the Father for another way to accomplish what He knew must be done.  I have to wonder if He dreaded the separation from God that would accompany the sacrifice for our sin more than the agony He would endure.  As Jesus prayed for another possibility, perhaps He was thinking of Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac.  God provided an alternative for the son Abraham was willing to give up in obedience to God’s command.

It was when His flesh became involved that Jesus showed reluctance.  His reluctance was not sinful; it allowed Him to fully display His humanness.  It is a testimony of His divinity that He was willing to follow through with God’s plan.  Jesus won the battle over human nature and in doing so, He made a way for us to do the same.

Jesus willingly took on flesh.  His birth was heralded by angels.  He was loved by some people and hated by many, yet He still carried on with God’s plan.  When the frailty of His human form might have interfered with God’s desire, Jesus chose to do His Father’s will.  He did not allow his humanness to dominate over His obedience to His Father.

What a lesson for us to learn!  We who are Christians have the power of the Holy Spirit.  He (the Spirit) makes it possible for us to overcome our fleshly nature and be obedient to the One who loves us most.  Just as Jesus was willing to give His all to the Father’s plan, we should be willing to give Him our all as well.  Nothing on this earth is worth trading for our relationship with our Father.


“So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty. Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit that brings life made you free from the law that brings sin and death.  The law was without power, because the law was made weak by our sinful selves. But God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son to earth with the same human life that others use for sin. By sending his Son to be an offering for sin, God used a human life to destroy sin.   He did this so that we could be the kind of people the law correctly wants us to be. Now we do not live following our sinful selves, but we live following the Spirit.

Those who live following their sinful selves think only about things that their sinful selves want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about the things the Spirit wants them to do.   If people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, there is death. But if their thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace.   When people’s thinking is controlled by the sinful self, they are against God, because they refuse to obey God’s law and really are not even able to obey God’s law.   Those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God.

But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But the person who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ.   Your body will always be dead because of sin. But if Christ is in you, then the Spirit gives you life, because Christ made you right with God.   God raised Jesus from the dead, and if God’s Spirit is living in you, he will also give life to your bodies that die. God is the One who raised Christ from the dead, and he will give life through his Spirit that lives in you” Romans 8:1-11 NCV.