Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Child In The Manger"1 (Lyrics)
1 Corinthians 2:16a – For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? (NIV)
Perhaps, like me, you periodically wonder why God Almighty takes actions like He does. At this time of the year, when we celebrate the birth of Jesus, why did God decide that the best way to show His love for us was to send His Son as a baby?
That is a big question! We know that Jesus had to be human to give His life on the cross as payment for our sins, but He could have materialized as a grown man, or instead, God could have simply decided to forgive us. Instead of guessing "the mind of the Lord" on this, we should instead think about what babies remind us about our human spiritual condition.
First, a baby is essentially helpless and totally dependent on others. Some babies are stronger than others. My oldest grandson arrived at more than ten pounds, and we sometimes joked that Michael was almost ready to play hockey from the time that he was born! In reality, however, he was like other infants, totally dependent on his parents and others to survive.
Reading this devotional, you may feel that compared to others, you are relatively strong or weak. But in the all-important spiritual realm, however, you and I are both totally helpless to save ourselves. Like a helpless baby, we need a Saviour!
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (NIV)
Secondly, babies need to be fed and to grow. Some of us grow faster than others. Certainly, we develop differently, but grow, we do. The baby Jesus spent thirty years growing before His final three years of ministering here on earth. We also need to be spiritually fed to grow in Christlikeness. The apostle Paul complained about this to his friends in Corinth:
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 – I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly — mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. (NIV)
Thirdly, one of the earliest acts performed by a baby (after crying) is to give us a smile. Just a smile, but possibly with a little "coo", expresses so many positive things. Likewise, all through life, a smile on our part can be such a positive means of showing kindness and helping others.
Even in today's pandemic world, where our smiles are often covered by a mask, we can still show loving, helpful expressions by our eyes.
Perhaps then, God sent our Saviour as a baby to remind us that we are helpless to save ourselves, that we need to be fed and grow spiritually, and that we need to show love and kindness in simple ways!
Prayer: Dear God, we don't understand why You do things as You do, but as we consider how You have provided for us by sending Your Son as a baby to be our Saviour, may we sincerely accept that gift. We know that we are like helpless babes in need of a Redeemer. Thank You! Amen.