Christmas vs. Christ-In-Us -- By Rob Chaffart

Luke 1:31 "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus." NIV

Can you imagine carrying the Son of God, the Saviour of the world in your womb? Can you imagine how Mary must have felt when she heard the angel announce she would give birth to Jesus, the Christ?

Luke 1:31 is much more than a Christmas story. It displays the truth about how much God cares for us and how close Jesus will come to us. Jesus was willing to enter a womb to touch the world and bring them the glorious news of eternal salvation. What a blessing for Mary to carry the promised child of God.

How would you like to be in Mary's place? How would you like to carry Jesus inside of your body? Inside of you? How would you like for the Saviour of the world to have His lodging in you? The truth is... what Mary experienced, we experience it as well! When you look deep into yourself, what do you discover? Jesus in you! He offers us all a "Mary invitation": if we let Him into our lives, He will come and live in us! It's in the Scriptures:

John 14:20 "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." NIV

Eph 3:17 7 "so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." NIV

Col 1:27 "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." NIV

1 John 3:24 "Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them." NIV

Rev 3:20 "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." NIV

This is fabulous news! What Mary experienced, we can experience as well! Jesus wants to live in us if we let Him in!

If Jesus is in us, nothing can discourage us! If Jesus lives in us, we will never be out of energy! (Unless naturally we do not rely on Him.) With Jesus in us, we can proclaim with the apostle Paul: Col 1:29 "To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me." NIV

No wonder that those touched by Jesus cannot resist sharing their glorious experience with others. Not to rub it in and say "look what I have that you don't have". They want to share Jesus because they want others to experience Him as well in their lives!

Remember the days when you did not know the Lord? How did you weather the days when disaster struck? Now compare that time with your life since you accepted Jesus into your life. Do you see any difference? How do you handle disaster differently compared to your past? Any difference? Absolutely! The difference is because Jesus is living in you!

May our reaction be like Mary's reaction:

Luke 1:38 "And Mary said, Yes, I see it all now: I'm the Lord's maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say." (from THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language © 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson. All rights reserved.)

Are you ready to serve? Are you ready to let Jesus shine through you? May this Christmas season be a revelation to you about Jesus living in you. May it be a revelation that Jesus' power (Matt 28:18 "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." NIV) is available to us. Are we ready to serve? We have nothing to lose, except experiencing God's miracles in our life. Let's go, we have Jesus in us and nothing will stop us!

Illustration: Following World War II some German students volunteered to help rebuild a cathedral in England, one that had been badly damaged by the Luftwaffe bombings. As the work progressed, they weren't sure how to best restore a large statue of Jesus with has arms outstretched and bearing the familiar inscription, "Come unto Me."

They were able to repair all the damage to the statue except for Christ's hands which had been completely destroyed. Should the even attempt to rebuild these?

Finally, the workers reached a decision that still stands today. They decided to leave the hands off and changed the inscription to read: "Christ has no hands but ours."

Author unknown

Are we ready to be serve?

Thank you, my friends, for being that shining beacon to the lost world. Thank you for letting Jesus shine through you. Hallelujah! We have Christ within!

In His love,

Rob Chaffart

Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org