December 11, 2019
Dear Praying Friends,
Rachel and I would like to express our thanks for your willingness to share the burden of praying for our prodigals and for revival among us. David prayed, “Summon your might, O God. Display your power, O God, as you have in the past” (Ps 68:28). We continue to pray in the same spirit of longing!
The first advent of Jesus has inspired the hearts of millions! Have you ever wondered what it is about this story that tugs so deeply at our hearts? I believe we are drawn by the vulnerability exhibited by our Lord, who, although He was God, humbled Himself and became a man.
The power of God takes our breath away, and rightly so! He created the universe and everything in it. He sustains it all by the word of His mouth. We are humbled by the greatness of our God and so we should be! He is high and lofty. He fills the throne of heaven with His presence and we bow in worship like the prophet Isaiah (Isa.6). We respect His authority over His creatures and creation. Even the demons tremble at the sound of His name, and so they should! Our hearts are motivated to love when we consider the great love of God towards us. He looked upon us, He moved toward us, and He willingly sacrificed everything in order to purchase us back to Himself. We have an amazing God!
As I read the story of the birth of God’s Son, taking in the lowly, unobtrusive, poverty-stricken scene, my heart melts at the willingness of our great, all-powerful God to come to us in such a vulnerable way. The language of Luke is touching, “And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn” (Luk 2:7). Remember, this is God’s Son! What could be more vulnerable than a little newborn baby? So helpless, so weak, so dependent, and yet this was our God coming to meet our needs. Who would not be drawn to the One who humbled Himself in such a way? We know He is the great I Am and yes, the hand of God was upon Him for divine protection, but in that wondrous, mysterious scene of His first coming, we see a God who made Himself vulnerable because of His infinite love for us. It should fill our hearts with worship!
We can be vulnerable because God was! And the power of our vulnerability starts with a willingness to be exposed before God. He will not strike us down and hurt us for sharing our less than acceptable parts with Him. We began our relationship with Him on our knees, hearts surrendered, empty, and honest in His presence. And that is how we must continue our relationship with Him. That is what the life of faith requires, but we cannot live vulnerably with God unless we are also willing to be honest and truthful with ourselves. Vulnerability is something that we all need to face. We must take that difficult, inward look on a continual basis and willingly bring everything to God, who already knows us through and through.
When we are vulnerable with ourselves before God, then and only then can we be vulnerable with each other. We are quite good at building walls around our weaknesses and fortresses around our failures. We don’t want anyone to see us as less than we want to be. Firstly, we know that if we show our weakness it can result in personal hurt. (I won’t deny that.) Secondly, people may choose to think less of us. (That too may be true.) But living openly and honestly is the path to wholesome, solid, connected relationships that will lead to the glory of God.
For Jesus, the path to glory meant becoming human, and for us, the path to glory will mean becoming like Him!
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel