Beautifully wrapped boxes with ribbons and bows sat under Christmas trees just a few days ago. Kids anticipated opening those presents to play with the toys inside. Ironically, sometimes they ended up playing with the boxes.
The colorful Christmas decorations are now being stored in boxes. Retailers put storage containers on sale to accommodate the need for space to store all these things.
Artificial trees, wreaths, Santa, Frosty, and all the rest will sit quietly in storage until next season. Manger scenes with angels, shepherds, and wise men all crowded around the Christ child with Mary and Joseph will also be stored away. These visual representations of a wonderful event that changed the world will again be displayed next Christmas.
Boxed up and stowed away is not the case for Jesus Christ. He is not in a cradle, on the cross, or in a tomb. He conquered death and the grave and wears a crown as King of Kings. His power can continue to answer prayer, provide miracles, healing, and blessing just like during his ministry on earth.
As he began his ministry, attempts to put Jesus in a "box" were applied. He grew up in Nazareth where he worked as a carpenter. As was his custom, he went to the synagogue. While there he took up the scroll of the prophet Isaiah.
He read from Scripture about his work "to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." Those who heard "wondered at the gracious words" he spoke.
But they also questioned, "Is not this Joseph's son?" They couldn't believe that he was the fulfillment of that prophecy as he declared. Their unbelief resulted in few mighty works being done by the Lord in Nazareth.
The only time the word "limited" is found in the Bible is in Psalm 78:41 where people "limited the Holy One of Israel." Perhaps because of our human limitations we tend to put limits on God's divine power.
How much more blessed we can be if we don't limit the Lord with our unbelief and disobedience.
Let me share the way a preacher paraphrased Ephesians 3:20. "He is able to do what we ask. He is able to do what we ask or think. He is able to do above what we ask or think. He is able to do abundantly above what we ask or think.
He is able to do exceeding abundantly above what we ask or think!" Moreover, God wants his power to work in us. Determine to let that happen in 2012, and don't get boxed in by unbelief.
Mitch Glover is pastor of the Sterling United Pentecostal Church.
Services on Sunday include Bible classes for all ages at 10:00 a.m. and worship at 11:00 a.m. Thursday Bible study and children's church are at 7:00 p.m.