Sharing the Word: God’s Doing
By HARRY MARTINEZ
As we read of the miracles recorded in Scripture, we are always amazed at how God intervenes in the lives of individual and nations. Such was the case in the spiritual revival during the days of the Maccabees. This family, devoutly fervent to the Scriptures, had called the nation of Israel to repentance. Idolatry had corroded the spiritual fiber of the land. The people had turned from the true God and the consequences would be Divine discipline and eventual captivity. Only with a spiritual awakening could the nation be restored to a semblance of its past religious glory. The symbol of that future “light” was the Menorah to be lit, one candle at a time. However, there was not sufficient oil to keep the lights burning. God miraculously supplied, and the light shown amidst the darkness of sin and evil. Centuries later, the Light of the world would again shine in and among humanity. What a night that must have been, with angelic proclamations and humble shepherds rejoicing over the birth of the long awaited Messiah. How could God become man and still be God. It would be God’s doing. Yet the Apostle John tells us that is exactly what occurred … “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and Truth” (John 1:14). But God was not through with the miracle of the Savior’s birth, for He continues to perform the miracle of the new birth in the life of every individual who places his or her faith in Christ. The Apostle John in speaking of John the Baptizer says … “There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world” (Jn 1:6-9). Who was this true light? The same apostle identifies this “light” as the Creator and the One rejected by Israel. “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (Jn 1:10-11). Lest there be any doubt of whom John was speaking, Jesus Himself asserted His own identity … “I am the light of the world” (Jn 8:12b). God had taken on the form of man in order to dispel the darkness that engulfed the human race, to liberate it and place mankind into the Light of His Glory. “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all” (I John 1:5). Thus this Jesus, God incarnate, would offer to every person as a free gift, the opportunity to be released from the darkness and bondage of sin. He would bear the cost of salvation … “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Co 8:9). The Apostle Paul writes of the God-Man … “who,[Christ Jesus] being in the form [essence] of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philp 2:6-9). Therefore, God’s greatest act of love and grace, that of providing redemption for mankind in the Person of Jesus Christ, became a reality and He offers eternal life freely to all who place their faith in the finished work of the Savior. He guarantees that faith transaction with these words: “but as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).
The Scriptures challenge us to be lights in a world of darkness, reflecting His glory, reflecting and revealing His grace.