I’ve been reading a great new book by Paul David Tripp titled Come Let Us Adore Him (Amazon, Christianbook). I spent a lot of time writing about Jesus for my latest book Face to Face with Jesus, and Paul’s book is really speaking to me. There’s no greater subject in the universe than Jesus.
Though by the time you read this it will be too late to get Come Let Us Adore Him for Christmas, I suggest you buy it and read it and just pay no attention to the dates December 1-31 on the pages! I read the December 2 entry below on December 18 and it meant just as much to me then as it would have on the 2nd. :) We are to adore Jesus every day of the year, and this book would be a great way to enter into 2019 by focusing on our Savior and Lord’s coming into this world. —Randy Alcorn
Jesus knew he had come not just to preach the gospel of sacrifice, but also to be that sacrifice, yet he was perfectly willing.
One of the dark character qualities of sin that we don’t recognize as much as we should is unwillingness. We’re often unwilling to do what God says if it doesn’t make sense to us. We’re often unwilling to inconvenience ourselves for the needs of someone else. We’re regularly unwilling to wait. We’re often unwilling to be open and honest. We’re too often unwilling to consider the loving rebuke of another. We struggle to be willing to say no to our wrong thoughts and desires. We often struggle to be willing to answer God’s ministry call. Often we are unwilling to admit that we were wrong. Too often we struggle to serve willingly and to give generously. Unwillingness is one of sin’s powerful damaging results.
So here’s what the Christmas story is all about: a willing Savior is born to rescue unwilling people from themselves because there is no other way. Jesus was willing to leave the splendor of eternity to come to this broken and groaning world. He was willing to take on human flesh with all its frailty. He was willing to endure an ignominious birth in a stable. He was willing to go through the dependency of childhood. He was willing to expose himself to all the hardships of life in this fallen world. He was willing to submit to his own law. He was willing to do his Father’s will at every point. He was willing to serve, when he deserved to be served. He was willing to be misunderstood and mistreated. He was willing to endure rejection and gross injustice. He was willing to preach a message that would cause him personal harm. He was willing to suffer public mockery. He was willing to endure physical torture. He was willing to go through the pains of his Father’s rejection. He was willing to die. He was willing to rise and ascend to be our constant advocate. Jesus was willing.
You see, it’s not just the Christmas story; rather, the entire redemptive story hinges on one thing—the eternal willingness of Jesus. Without his willingness, you and I would be without hope and without God. Without his willingness, we would be left with the power and curse of sin. Without his willingness we would be eternally damned. During this season of celebrating don’t forget to stop and celebrate your Savior’s willingness. His willingness is your hope in life, death, and eternity.
But there is even more to be said. The Advent willingness of Jesus is your guarantee that he continues to be willing today. Right here, right now, he is willing to love you on your very worst day. Right now he is willing to forgive you again and again. Here and now he is willing to be patient as you continue to grow and mature. Right now he is willing to battle on your behalf against evil within and without. Here and now he is willing to teach you through his Word. Now he is willing to supply every one of your spiritual needs. Now he is willing to be faithful even when you’re not. He, right now, is willing to empower you when you’re weak and to restore you when you’ve fallen. He is willing to comfort you when you are discouraged and protect you when you’ve stepped into danger. And he remains willing to do everything necessary to feed, guide, sustain, and protect you until eternity is your final home.
You see, the Advent story reminds us that our past, present, and future hope rest not on our willingness, but on the willingness of the One for whom the angels sang, the shepherds worshiped, and the magi searched. Willing Jesus is the only hope for unwilling sinners!