By Becky Ahlberg
Read 1 Timothy 4.
In this well-known passage, the apostle Paul shares his wisdom with young Timothy and reminds him his behavior is critical to his credibility as a leader. It’s always good for leaders to remind themselves of these important truths. And right in the middle of it is this nugget, “That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God” (v. 10). Ours is not hope built on quaint stories or wishful thinking.
The incarnation wasn’t magic. It was the purposeful, powerful behavior of the almighty God sending his Son to cement his credibility. He didn’t just talk about love; he embodied it. He didn’t just talk about relationship; he moved first.
For hope to be credible today in a world awash in hopelessness, we must make the incarnation believable. Do people see Christ in you? Do they see you labor and strive because you have put your hope in the living God? As messengers of the Christmas story, we must bring the credibility that stirs hope in those who hear that message.