The greatest gift God gave to the world was His son, Jesus Christ to save us from sin and give us life. Jesus came in the form of a baby and we celebrate His birthday every year and call it Christmas. Many of the ladies in jail told of gifts they received when they were little, some recalled their favorite song or memory and we laughed and had a good time. I enjoy spending the holidays with them because they seem to be appreciative of the times we have right now.
I wanted to read them the Christmas story found in Luke 2, but I felt like the Lord wanted to share His whole story, not just His birthday. “Jesus was born to die”, I told them, He loves us so much that He didn’t stop at just dying on the cross in our place, but God raised Him from the dead and He ascended to heaven and God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell redeemed man. God made a promise with Him self to reconcile mankind to Him self so that He would have many children. God is all about others, He is a “self for others” kind of God. He wants to change us, not clean us up. Let’s look at 2 Cor. 2:17 where it says, Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creature; old things are passed away behold, all things are become new. What this is saying is we are the wife and Christ is the bridegroom, we get His last name. It’s like when you get married you get a new driver’s license, social Security card, bank card; all bills are now in your new last name. For years to come you will be known as Mrs. SOANDSO and no longer will people refer to you as your maiden name. Nobody will know that name unless you reveal it to them. This is an example of how we are changed into a new creature. God changes everything about you. It is only through your testimony that others learn about who you used to be.
This is the same point made with the story of the butterfly. I have never heard anyone look at a beautiful butterfly and call it a caterpillar with wings. The metamorphosis is literally a pathway from death into life. Three major things change within the cocoon. One is the heart of the caterpillar; it will be flying instead of crawling so it will need a faster heartbeat. Similarly God takes our heart of stone to give us a heart of flesh. Another thing that changes inside the chrysalis is the stomach of the caterpillar because he will no longer be eating foliage but nectar. Similar changes in us would be we now eat of the bread of life who is Jesus. Finally, the size of the brain is changed in the caterpillar because of the placement of the antennae and the eyes. The Bible says we have the mind of Christ. We were blind, but now we see. The picture is clear and the understanding is astonishing. Jesus passed through death to give us life.
I love this time of year because it’s a time of giving and a time of thinking of others, which is the heart of who God is. His whole life is the Christmas story, not just when Jesus came as a baby. That’s what I felt God was saying through us and Rhema Word.
One young lady asked to talk to Tammy Strader and I after church to tell us she just got back from answering a charge in another county. God arranged for her to see some cell mates she had been housed with recently. They made a point to tell her there was something different about her. She was quick to tell them Jesus has her life in His hands and she no longer lives, but Christ in her. She kept saying, “It’s amazin, ya’ll” Her prayer now is that others will see Jesus in her life and she is able to make a difference in this world. Amen!!
Written by Tracey