walk in the word
6For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. —Isaiah 9:6-7
In every strained, broken relationship there is reciprocation. Reciprocation is the opposite of reconciliation. The problem isn’t that you did something to hurt me. The problem is that when you do something and then I do something back at you, that’s when the problem comes. Relationships aren’t severed over one person doing something wrong. Relationships are severed through reciprocation. Revenge, payback, and entrenched hostility—those are what destroy relationships. God refuses to play by those rules.
We said to God, “I don’t need You. I don’t want You. I will do what I want, God.” And God could have reciprocated with retaliation. But God did something different. He set reconciliation in motion with an unexpected move.
And that’s what’s in those words “to us” that I memorized from the New King James as “unto us.” Unto God? Stubborn, sinful, rebellion, rejection unto God. And unto us . . .? A child is born. We did. Then God did. God broke the cycle. God stopped the downward spiral. He reached down to rescue us from the vortex of our sinful condition.
You say, “Well, James, this is such good news.” Correct. When you see the condition, the problem, the extent of it, and you realize what God did! He did something really different—unto us. You say, “How do I respond to a message like that?”
Here is how you respond to the Gospel:
God did something different at Christmas. Instead of the reciprocation we deserved, He established reconciliation for time and eternity!
Prayer: Father, Your great Son, Jesus, is the Lord of the different and unexpected. When I read Your life and Your words I’m stunned with the way You had a truthful and different take on everything! Lord, create in me that kind of heart and mind—not just different for different’s sake but different in a way that is honoring to Your will and Your ways. Thank You for making such a difference in my life! In Your name, Jesus, Amen.
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