Life in the Manger

Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™  I AM Ministries

“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”

Normal I AM

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Life in the Manger

The shepherds guarding their flocks in the pastures around Bethlehem were accustomed to seeing new life. Each spring, their ewes gave birth to precious little lambs. Witnessing the new life in their flocks must have been one of the few rewards for their lonely and thankless jobs. The annual viewing of life surely gave them a special perspective and ability to judge new life. This may be one more reason God chose shepherds to be the first to witness the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.

When the shepherds looked into the manger in Bethlehem and gazed upon the Baby Jesus, they saw life. Whereas all babies have life, Jesus had Life and the shepherds recognized this special attribute of our LORD. For, “In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.” (John 1:4). Jesus wasn’t just life, the life of the party, or any ordinary type of life, He was the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6), the One who would lead us to an abundant life.

The Bible refers to two kinds of life. The term “bios” refers to biological life, the basic life possessed by all plants and animals. Life is a miracle from God, the type the shepherds had grown accustomed to seeing and assessing. The other term is “zoe”, which refers to life in its fullest. This is the kind of life God Himself possesses, and Jesus, because He is God, possesses the “zoe” life also. The shepherds could not have missed this attribute of our LORD.

The difference between “bios” life and “zoe” life may be illustrated by example. If you came across a terrible car accident and found someone lying beside the car in a pool of blood, you might check for a pulse, and upon finding a faint pulse, you may say, “Well at least he is alive.” That would be biological life. In contrast, when you describe a person who is always happy, effervescent and energetic, you might say, “That person is full of life!” This is zoe life in its fullest character.

Scripture repeatedly declares Jesus is the Life, zoe life, life in its fullest. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the fullest.” (John 10:10). Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25). “Jesus answered, ‘I am the Way and the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’” (John 14:6).

You can have biological life without Jesus Christ, but you cannot have spiritual life, absolute life, fulfilling life, complete life, or real life apart from Jesus Christ. Living without Christ is like being an empty, hollow shell. There may be biological and psychological function, but there is no real life. Jesus is our foundation for life. Take hold of Him and you will take hold of life! “In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:19).

The Bible declares Jesus as the only true source of real life. When you come to Christ, His life becomes yours. That is what it means to be a Christian. It means exchanging your empty life for His fullness of life, your short life for His eternal life, your sinful life for His pure life, your self-ruled life for His Spirit-filled life, and your broken life for His perfect life, your abnormal life for His normal life.

Becoming a Christian does not simply involve a changed life, but an exchanged life. Being a Christian means experiencing, enjoying, and expressing the very life of Christ Himself. Note that Christ does not simply give us life as a separate, distinct commodity, He is the Life! “Christ is your life.” (Colossians 3:3).

It is normal to see Life in Jesus Christ. The shepherds saw it that first night in Bethlehem. When they stared into the manger, they recognized it immediately. As you look into the manger this Christmas season, remember that you are seeing Life, real Life, Life that is truly Life. Jesus is a hope we can believe in. When He died, He did so to give use eternal life (John 3:16). There is truly life in the manger.

In His love and service,

Jeff Myers
A servant of Jesus Christ

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