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A Thought for the Week—Rejoice! The Savior is Coming!
Thursday, December 6, 2007
"Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’" (Luke 2:10-12 NKJ)
We can rejoice in this Christmas season. The message of the coming of Christ still rings clear and has purpose for us. When the angels brought the message to the shepherds, their spokesman said this would be a message of joy intended for all people. There is a Savior who has been born. Jesus, the Son of God, became a man so that He could save us from our sins.
Our sins have separated us from God; we are no longer able to live in fellowship with God because of our sins. Our spirits are deadened to hearing God’s voice and communing with Him throughout the day. Jesus came to save us from our deadness of spirit. He came to bring us life. He came to show us how to live in fellowship with His Father as He did, doing what He saw His Father doing and speaking what He heard His Father telling Him to speak. He came to take the punishment of our sins upon Himself so that we could be empowered to live in God’s will in this life. He came to take away our sins so that we could live before God’s throne in heaven as Jesus did even while He walked on the earth.
He came to free us from the right Satan has to hold us in bondage to our sinful practices and desires. He took our sins upon Himself and let Satan have his way with Him, using the people to crucify Him and letting Satan try to hold Him in death and hell. Jesus received grace (empowerment) from His Father, enabling Him to accomplish what He must do even in going to the cross. He overcame our sinful desires and overcame Satan’s power over us by taking our sins upon Himself and continuing in the will of God while on the cross. Now we too can receive grace to overcome our sinful ways, and to overcome the power of Satan to keep us separated from God’s presence. We can rejoice that a Savior is come for us, Who now lives in us!
Hallelujah! But there is more! The Babe of Bethlehem became not only our Savior, but also Christ the Lord. He not only saves us, but He is now LORD over all. He reigns over all sinful people because they have wanted Him to be put to death. He reigns over Satan and the evil spirit beings who follow him, because they crucified an innocent man and tried to hold Him in death. The god of this world--given the right to reign because of the sinful acts of Adam and Eve and all other humans--is willfully living in rebellion against God. However, Jesus did not give in to the ways of sinful flesh, nor did He give in to the ways of sinful men, nor did He give in to the desires of Satan. Hallelujah! Jesus is now Lord and Christ--in us, for us, and through us!
Father, we rejoice in You and in Your Son, who came to be our Savior, our Lord, and our Heavenly Christ. We bless and worship You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.
A Thought for the Week—Rejoice! The Savior Has Come!
Friday, December 7, 2007
"And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’" (Luke 2:12-14)
The angel has announced to the shepherds that there is good news for all mankind: the Savior, Christ the Lord, has been born. Now he is giving them instructions for how to find the Baby Jesus. The "sign" would be that there would be a Babe lying in a manger.
God has angels watching over us, able to keep us and strengthen us when appropriate. The angel of the Lord would warn Joseph in a dream about Herod’s desire to kill Jesus. At an earlier time Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a large army of their enemies. Elisha’s servant saw the great size of the enemy’s army. He was concerned. Elisha told him not to worry, and then prayed that God would show him the many angels that were with them. The young man saw the mountains filled with chariots of fire. Then Elisha prayed and God used His angels to blind his enemies. God’s promises to give His angels charge to keep us are real. Jesus Himself knew this as He prayed and God sent an angel to minister to Him in Gethsemane.
In the passage quoted above, the angel is announcing to the shepherds what God had done in sending His Son to be the Savior and Lord for all mankind. Then there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" (Luke 2:14) The angels were not only announcing to the shepherds the birth of Jesus, but they were also declaring it into the heavens. All the heavenly beings were being given notice that the Savior was born and that He was to be the Lord of all. God announces what He is doing to those meek and lowly, like shepherds. He announces it amidst the heavenlies, where there are His angels and fallen angels, followers of Satan. The Bible says, "Let all be put to shame who serve carved images, who boast of idols. Worship Him, all you gods" (Psalm 97:7 NKJ).
Jesus went into one of the darkest places of Israel, where the pagans were throwing their children off a cliff to sacrifice them to their gods. Here He told His disciples that He would build His church. God still speaks of His plans and purposes for us and for all His people, Jews and Gentiles. The prophecies concerning the Babe of Bethlehem are being fulfilled. The Bible says of Jesus, "…who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him" (1 Peter 3:22 NKJ). O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!
Father, we rejoice that You have made Your Son, who came as a Babe in Bethlehem, Lord and Christ. All Glory be to You! Amen.
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