Grace Baptist Church

 Dansville, NY

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Contributors

Stacie Gibson is Matt's wife, a mother of 4, a busy homemaker and home-educator in addition to being a certified ACBC counselor.  She is a guest blogger at Biblical Counseling for Women.

Barb Leaman is a children's Sunday School teacher and a teacher's aide for the Hornell Jr and Sr. High Schools.  She is wife to Glenn and mother to an adult daughter.

Dave Theobald
is the preaching and teaching elder at Grace Baptist Church.  He is married to Jamie and has two sons, Job and Jonathan.

Rob Wilson is a deacon of Grace Baptist Church, a veterinarian specializing in large animals, a farmer, a husband to Kim, and father to 3 energetic kids.  

Ustad ("teacher," in local dialect) is a global partner of GBC, who shares stories and perspectives from the field, for our encouragement and to help orient us on things eternal. 

I called home from work recently to see how my wife and our kids were doing. My wife’s reply was “I think I have the plague!” I guess I should not have been surprised, because the weekend before, after my son’s band concert, our family along with a bunch of relatives had met for a late night dinner a Denny’s restaurant. While the waitress was taking our order, our three year old daughter, without prior warning, turned to my wife, said her belly did not feel good, and then immediately proceeded to vomit all over my wife (profuse and seemingly unending)! Sick kids want to be close to their mommy, and so when our oldest son a few days later started vomiting, he didn’t want to sleep alone. So my wife graciously (I would call it sacrificially) spent a couple nights on the couch with him. 

Now when my wife and I got married, just the sight and smell of vomit would make her wretch, so it was not because she doesn’t mind that stuff that she chose to draw near to the kids and expose herself. Rather it was because of her great love and compassion for our children that she chose to serve them and be with them while they were sick. My wife’s decision to be with and love our sick kids despite the cost reminded me of what Jesus did when He came to earth that first Christmas.

You see, God chose to put on human flesh and come down to earth that first Christmas to experience with us all the aches, pains, illnesses (including that nasty stomach bug!), and outright suffering that is present in each of our lives. Why? Because He loves us! More than that, God came to earth that first Christmas because we all have a grave spiritual sickness called sin. Actually, our spiritual condition is beyond sick, the Bible says that we are all born spiritually dead! (Ephesians 2:1-5) We live our lives suffering the consequences of our sin and the sin of others. Even more, upon death we would all face eternal punishment had not God stepped into our world in the form of the man Jesus to save us from our sin sickness.

Now sin is not just some minor annoyance to God. Sin is much more appalling to God than the sight, smell, or feel of vomit is to my wife. Sin is deplorable to God and each of us are completely covered in sin! Habakkuk 1:13 says of the Lord that “Your eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrong…” God is so Holy, so set apart from sin, that the prophet Isaiah (a very good man by our standards) upon seeing the Lord cried “Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5)

Yet, God the Holy One choose to expose himself to our sin, to willingly suffer the effects of our sin and to literally take the punishment for all of our sins! (Romans 5:8) Being God, Jesus knew exactly how painful that would be. He knew exactly how much he would suffer on the cross. No one has ever suffered like Jesus. For we suffer for our own sins and from the sins of a few people around us, but Jesus took the punishment for the sins of the world and suffered the full wrath of God alone! (Matthew 27:46)

If you are sick this Christmas; if you are alone this Christmas; if you have lost a loved one recently; if you have been betrayed; if you suffer because of a broken relationship; if you suffer extreme physical pain; if you agonize over the weight of sin you have committed; know that Jesus understands you perfectly! He sympathizes with you and has a heart full of compassion for you. For he has lived your pain! He willingly came to earth that first Christmas to bear the punishment for every sin you will ever commit so that you can find relief in him; so that you can find in him joy, hope, and peace and an eternal home in paradise with him some day!

Please call on Jesus today. Admit your need for Him. Pray to him to come into your heart and to become real to you, to relieve your suffering. Start reading your Bible, call a Christian you know, or contact us here at Grace Baptist Church. God has the greatest Christmas present ever waiting for you, and it is Himself!

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