Life-Changing News

The Incarnation is the supreme miracle of the Christian faith. It’s the cornerstone of Christianity. If you cannot accept the miracle of the virgin-birth everything else in Christ’s life is pointless and meaningless. In fact, the power of the resurrection hinges on His incarnation. If Jesus is who the angel said he is, then you have to center your whole life on him. It should bring about absolute life change for those who believe. See Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.

If you want Jesus in your life, it’s going be inconvenient. The birth of Christ changed everything for Mary and Joseph. His life coming into their lives was completely life-changing. When Jesus enters your life it will not only be completely life-changing, it will also mess up your life of convenience.
 

We, like Mary and Joseph, need to be willing to submit to the inconvenience of the incarnation. Courage is required to move from convenience to obedience.

Courage to give up your right to live for yourself.

Convenience is living with only you in mind. Obedience is living with God in mind.
 
God’s will and plan would not simply fit into a neat little compartment in Mary and Joseph’s lives. God’s plan required that they accommodate their life around his plan. Too often, we try to accommodate God’s plan around our lives. See 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; Colossians 3:3.
 

Christian faith is not a negotiation but a surrender. It means taking your hands off your life and wrapping them around Jesus’ life. But here is the hope of living this way: if we commit to Christ in that way, we can trust that he is even more committed to us.

Courage to take the world’s contempt.

Convenience is maintaining the culture status quo. Obedience is going against the cultural norm in pursuit of God.
In many cases your reputation will suffer as you hold on by faith to the truth of Christ and his teaching in Scripture. See John 15:18-19.
 
As Christians, we will be socially persecuted. We will be slandered for our belief in Christ and counter-cultural way of living. This persecution will separate those who are only following Christian principles from those who are authentically following Christ.

Courage to live with tensions and unresolved questions.

Convenience is taking action only when all our tensions are resolved and questions are answered. Obedience being willing to act even in the midst of tension and unresolved questions.
 

We believe that we want to know all the facts before we act. That’s convenience, not obedience. As I look throughout Scripture, I see people willingly obey God before the tensions are resolved and the questions are answered. If you are waiting for all the tensions to be resolved and the questions to be answered before you obey God, you miss most of the critical faith growing moments that occur in those difficult moments.

Courage to admit you are a sinner.

Convenience excuses away your behavior. Obedience admits your true spiritual need.
 

What was Jesus’ entire mission? “He will save his people from their sins.” See 1 Timothy 1:15; Romans 5:6,8. This isn’t about a courage to try harder, to behave better in hopes that you can earn God’s favor or forgiveness. We are powerless to change without Christ. You are either saved or a sinner. There is no other option. See 1 John 1:8-10. Is your faith born of convenience or conviction? Don’t compromise your conviction for your convenience. What has it cost you to follow Christ? In what ways has your Christian life inconvenienced you? Have you unintentionally settled for convenient Christianity?

Living for Christ is not about convenience; it’s about obedience.