Luke 2:40 tells us that when Jesus was a child, Mary and Joseph brought Him to the Temple in Jerusalem to present Him to God and honor the laws of the Lord. We then read that Jesus grew, became strong, was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on Him. Jesus set the example for how we should live, but it can seem impossible if we focus solely on the fact that He was God. Jesus was also fully man, and according to Scripture, even He had the opportunity to develop and grow. But what prompted the growth of our Savior?
In modern culture, we’re bombarded with self-help marketing that tells us how we can make our bodies stronger, become more successful in business, help ourselves overcome depression… For just a few dollars, we can learn more and do more and make ourselves better.
It’s important to note that the Word talks about Jesus’ growth taking place as He and his family honored God. Certainly, there are steps we can take in our own strength to grow, but no amount of self-help could have prepared Jesus for the calling on His life. And no amount of self-help will take the place of God’s grace in our lives either. We see Christians on their deathbeds with greater wisdom and strength than the most successful self-made leaders or athletes. We don’t gain wisdom and strength by trying to help ourselves. They’re a byproduct of pursuing and honoring God and experiencing His life-changing grace.
During this Christmas season, focus on what’s possible when you draw near to Jesus. You don’t have to struggle to measure up to some unattainable worldly standard. Rest in knowing that true wisdom and strength will come from your proximity to Him. When you pursue Him daily, you’re guaranteed to grow and be equipped for your purpose.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being my source of wisdom and strength. Your grace gives me hope for my future. I know You are so much greater than I could ever be and I’m so grateful for Your willingness to share Your strength with me. When I struggle, help me lean on You rather than myself.
There the child grew up healthy and strong. He was filled with wisdom, and God’s favor was on him.
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.