Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


When God Got Specific

When God Got Specific

DECEMBER 22, 2021

/ Articles / When God Got Specific

During his long trek to faith, the eighteenth-century founder of Methodism, John Wesley, asked his counselor, Zinzendorf, a lot of questions. One time Zinzendorf asked Wesley a question: “Mr. Wesley, do you believe that Christ died for your sins?”

Wesley answered, “I believe that Christ died for the sins of the world.”

“But, Mr. Wesley,” Zinzendorf said, “I didn’t ask you that. Did Christ die for your sins?”

A good question.

In Matthew 16, Jesus went to his disciples and asked them, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” “Well,” the disciples answered, “some say you are this and some say you are that.”

After they told him what others had said, Jesus asked, “But what about you?…Who do you say I am?”

A good question.

At Christmas, God doesn’t allow us to be general about who he is or what he’s done for us. He gets specific. That’s what Christmas is all about—when the God of the universe, the God no one knew for sure, loved and cared for us so much that he entered time and space in his Son: “The angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10-11).

A pastor friend told me once that when he looked out over his congregation, “Sometimes I get the feeling as they sit there staring at me that someone is about ready to stand up and make a motion, ‘I move that we receive the information and be dismissed.’”

One of the dangers of being a Christian, especially for a long time, is that of simply receiving the information, then being dismissed.

“This will be a sign to you…”

“I move we receive the information and be dismissed.”

“The Word became flesh…”

“I move we receive the information and be dismissed.”

The baby in a manger, born to die on a cross for his people…

“I move we receive the information and be dismissed.”

God is specific with his people at Christmas, and that should change our lives.

God got specific about his love.

A Parisian painter in 1875 named Marcel de le Clure wrote a love letter to his beloved. Though that doesn’t seem so strange, it is. In this love letter, he repeated three words 1,800,000 times: “I Love You.” No one knows how she responded, but I have a guess.

What would you do differently if you knew God loved you? Most of us think of God as someone to be feared. There’s some good in that: God is big and scary. But what would you do if you knew, really knew, that he loved you—no ifs, ands, or buts?

God got specific about his choice.

If you’re a believer, from the foundation of the earth, God knew your name. How would you act if you knew that before you were ever born, he planned everything you’re going through right now? Would it give you a sense of comfort or relief? How would you act if you knew that before he hung the stars, before he hollowed out the valleys and created the mountains, that he called you to himself, knew your name, planned your life, and fixed it so that you would know him? I don’t know about you, but that makes a big difference to me.

God came for his own. He entered time and space. And if you were the only person on the face of the earth, believer, he would have come for you.

God came for his own. He entered time and space. And if you were the only person on the face of the earth, believer, he would have come for you.

God got specific about his promise.

Cyprian, Bishop of the church at Carthage in the third century, wrote to his young friend, Donatus:

This is a cheerful world as I see it from my garden under the shadows of my vines. But if I were to ascend some high mountain and look out over the wide lands, you know very well what I should see: brigands on the highways, pirates on the sea, armies fighting, cities burning. In the amphitheaters men murdered to please applauding crowds; selfishness and cruelty and misery and despair under all roofs. It is a bad world, Donatus….It is an incredibly bad world.

It really is a bad world. We need some light. We need some promise. That’s what Christmas is all about.

It’s hard to have faith in this kind of world. It’s hard, but he’s come and he’s promised.

If you knew all of this was going to work out, every bit of it; if you knew you were going to get Home safely; if you knew that nothing would happen to you that hasn’t first passed through a nail-scarred hand; how would you act?

God got specific about our response.

Clovis Chappell tells the story about one of the shepherds who heard the proclamation of the angels about the birth of Jesus but did not go to Bethlehem to see for himself. Decades later, as he held his grandson on his knee, he told the child the stirring story about Jesus and the angels.

“Is that all?” asked the boy. “What did you do when you heard the good news? Was it true? Was the Christ child really born?”

The old man replied, with some sadness, “I never knew. Some say it was true. Some say it was only a dream. I didn’t take the trouble to go and see.”

Christmas didn’t just happen two thousand years ago. It happened in us if we have seen him and believed.

If you haven’t seen him and believed, don’t wait any longer. Go and see. Go and see him for yourself. Don’t pass up the opportunity.

If you have seen Jesus and believed, let Christmas be celebrated through you, not just one time a year, but all year long, every year, every day. It’s not just about a baby. It’s about Christ the Lord, the living God, coming to see you and me, coming to live and die for us.

That should make all the difference, all the difference in the world.

Find more from Steve Here.

Steve Brown

Steve Brown

Steve is the Founder of Key Life Network, Inc. and Bible teacher on the national radio program Key Life.

Steve Brown's Full Bio
Back to Top