How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?
God owns and controls all things. And there is nothing that he could give you for Christmas this year that would suit your needs and your longings better than the consolation of Israel and the redemption of Jerusalem, restoration for past losses and liberation from future enemies, forgiveness and freedom, pardon and power, healing the past and sealing the future.
If there is a longing in your heart this Christmas for something that the world has not been able to satisfy, might not this longing be God’s Christmas gift preparing you to see Christ as consolation and redemption and to receive him for who he really is?
How is the heart prepared to receive Christ for who he really is? It is very simple.
First, the heart must become disenchanted with the praise of men. “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from God?” (John 5:44; 7:17–18).
Second, the heart must become disenchanted with the sufficiency of money and things to satisfy the soul. “The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him” (Luke 16:14).
Then, third, alongside this disenchantment with the praise of men and the power of money, there must come into the heart a longing for consolation and a redemption beyond what the world can give.
Fourth and finally, there must be a revelation from God the Father, opening the eyes of the heart so that it cries out, like a man who stumbles onto an incredible treasure, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God, the consolation of my past, the redemption of my future. Now I see you. Now I receive you—for who you really are.”
May God do this for you this Christmas. May this be your gift, and your witness, and the testimony of many this Christmas.