Revelation 16

“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.’” 
—Luke 2:9-10

In every Gospel account of the Christmas story, when the angel appeared before Zechariah (Luke 1:13), Mary 
(Luke 1:30), Joseph (Matthew 1:20) and the shepherds (Luke 2:10), the first words were, “Do not be afraid.” For some of us who grew up in a rigid and legalistic church and came to know God as a God of fury, it is comforting to learn that the first words from heaven as Jesus entered into the created order was “You do not need to be afraid.” We can exchange the fear that we have allowed to build up in our mind and replace it with the good news of great joy.

The angels told the shepherds, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). Heaven’s message for us at Christmas is: “Do not be afraid. Today, a Saviour has been born for you. This is good news of great joy for all people.” The reason we celebrate the arrival of the Saviour at Christmas is because we have sinned and are in need of a Saviour. Jesus came for all people. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” God was motivated by love, not impending doom and fear, when He gave us His One and only Son. Later, in Jesus’s ministry, He said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but those who are ill. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

The good news is that Jesus’s message is for every one of us if we would call on Him and place our faith in what He has done for us on the cross on our behalf to take away all of our sins, our guilt and our shame. Righteousness is not something that God is asking us to somehow produce; righteousness is His gift to us in the person of Jesus Christ. When Jesus died on the cross, His once and for all sacrifice satisfied G

The greatest gift we can open at Christmastime is our heart to Jesus. A gift is no good if it is given and just left there unopened. Today, if we have not opened our heart to receive the gift of eternal life in Jesus Christ, what are we afraid of? As the angels who brought the good news of Christ said, “Do not be afraid.”

Dear Jesus Christ, thank You for being the Saviour of the world. I open my heart to receive You into my life. Praise You!

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