The good news of Christmas produces a ripple effect throughout every area of our lives. It turns the values of the world upside down and shows us, that we have no power to save ourselves. As we wrap up week 1 of Hidden Christmas by Tim Keller, we can stand in awe of God’s perfect timing and perfect plan of salvation.
The Christmas story is the ultimate “fairytale”, except that it is a true story. Jesus broke into this dark world and performed miracles of healing bodies and souls. The evil powers killed him, but he rose from the dead overcoming death and darkness. All the Hallmark movies and happy-ever-after tales point to the good news of Jesus.
God’s perfect timing
The promise of the Messiah took many generations to come to fulfilment. God promised that he will send someone to crush the head of the serpent at the very beginning (Genesis 3:15) and made an oath with Abraham to fulfil this promise through his descendants. But it took 48 generations, including 400 years of silence before Jesus was born. But he was born at the perfect time.
Many Jews must have lost hope after such a long time. Similarly, we cannot judge God by our calendar.
God may appear to be slow, but he never forgets his promises. He may seem to be working very slowly or even to be forgetting his promises, but when his promises come true (and they will come true), they will burst the banks of what you imagined.Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas
We can look at examples like Joseph in the old testament, who had to suffer unimaginable hardships to fulfil God’s purposes for his people but still managed to confidently say to his brothers “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” (Genesis 50:20) Although God never promises an easy, carefree and prosperous life, he does promise his presence and his purpose (Romans 8:28). Tim Keller warns us that if we want to impose our time frame on Jesus Christ we will never feel loved by him and it will be our own fault.
God’s perfect plan
The beauty of the true gospel lies in the perfect love of Jesus Christ on the cross. This love cannot be earned. This love is undeserved grace. When you come to know Jesus Christ and believe in the power of his love and sacrifice for you as a sinner, you cannot help but want to live a life that pleases him. He already loves you and wants you to be saved, you don’t have to prove yourself. What a relief in this hustle/achievement crazy world we live in!
God is in control of the story – we are not. He will make everything right in his time. This truth fills us with complete rest in his goodness. We look forward with powerful hope – the certainty that all will be well in the end. This hope, in turn, fills us with strength and peace as we navigate life’s toughest challenges.
In Jesus you stop having to prove yourself because you know it doesn’t really matter in the end whether you are a failure or a king. All you need is God’s grace, and you can have it, in spite of your failures. After you know him, you want to live your life to please him; but you don’t have to clean up your life in order to know him as Savior, and that brings rest inwardly.Tim Keller, Hidden Christmas
How does it make you feel to know that you don’t need to prove yourself for Jesus to love you?
Disclaimer: I do not own the rights to any of the books studied by Nettie’s Book Club. I am not profiting from the sale of these books. I will carefully select books that have had a significant impact on my faith. My goal is simply to share the wisdom in these books with others so we can assess and apply the wisdom of these authors to grow in understanding of our faith together.