Week of Monday, December 18 – December 24
Why He Came – Man as Chaplain
After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” 

- Revelation 7:9-12 ESV

In his book Marching Orders: The Final Discipleship Instructions of Jesus, J. Carl Laney writes:

In the Berlin Art Gallery hangs a painting by the great German painter Adolf Menzel (1815-1905). The painting is only partially finished. It was intended to portray Frederick the Great speaking with some of his generals. Menzel carefully painted all the generals and background but he left the king until last. He was able to sketch the outline of Frederick the Great in charcoal, but died before he was able to finish the painting in oil. Like Menzel, many Christians come to the end of their lives without ever having put Christ into His proper place—on center stage, not standing in the wings. [A] 

This time of year, it can be readily apparent when Christ is not at the center of someone’s life. Sadly, the world gets so caught up in the pageantry of Christmas that many people miss the true meaning of the season: Jesus!

The apostle John gives us a breathtaking view of who the baby in a manger truly is. He is the son of God. He is the one who died on a cross and rose from the dead. And He is the one who will bring complete and eternal salvation to all who believe in Him. Here in Revelation, John paints for us the complete picture of all that Jesus came to do for mankind!
The book of Revelation is full of crescendos of truth that are tied directly to the whole of Scripture! It contains the long-awaited conclusion to ancient prophecies and promises that have been lovingly packaged and presented down through the ages. Jesus’ birth was foretold at the beginning of Genesis (3:15), and this promise was reaffirmed many times by the prophets (example: Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7). These verses in Revelation echo the very reason Jesus was born. 
The Christmas story reminds us that all of Scripture is a seamless thread describing the eternal God of heaven’s immeasurable love for humanity, which we remember in this glorious season of the year as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. This celebration is about more than a newborn baby in a manger; it is about the Savior of the world! This is why it is important for us to lead our families to understand and remember the whole of God’s Word. The Christmas season is full of opportunities to share, teach, and model the true meaning of not only Christ’s birth in a manger in Bethlehem but also the truth of who Jesus is today! 
• What are you doing to remind your family and friends of the true meaning of Christmas?
• When the tree is gone and the presents are put away, how are you planning on teaching timeless truth to those you love?
• How are you and your family cutting through the clutter of Christmas commercialization to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this year?
[A] J. Carl Laney, Marching Orders: The Final Discipleship Instructions of Jesus, John 13-17 (Victor Books, 1983), 45.