Philippians 4:6–7 tells us, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Saturday, December 17, 2016
It's About His Presence
Therefore I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; My God will hear me.—Micah 7:7
She was frantically trying to get everything done.
She had her small child with her, but for a moment, she lost sight of him. In sheer panic, she started retracing her steps and found him with his nose pressed against the glass of a store display, looking at a manger scene.
The boy said, "Mommy, Mommy! Look! It is Jesus in the hay!"
"Let's go," she said, as she took him by the hand and led him away. "We don't have time for that."
Exactly. That is the whole problem with this time of year that we call Christmas. We can be so busy celebrating Christmas that we forget all about Christ. In a sense, we can actually lose God in the midst of it all. We can very easily lose God in the so-called celebration of Jesus.
For many, the Christmas story is the one about Scrooge being visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past, or maybe Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, or Frosty the Snowman or Santa Claus.
But technically, can we lose God? No, we really can't. You can't lose someone if you know where they are. If you know where they are, then they are not lost. But you can lose sight of someone. And some have lost sight of the Lord in their lives, especially at this time of the year.
Maybe you've had the experience of talking with someone who was checking their texts or updating their social media as you're trying to tell them something important.
God never does that. God is never disinterested. God is never distracted. And even if we forget about Him, He never forgets about us. Christmas is not about buying presents; it is about His presence in our lives.
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
A Messed-Up Family Tree
I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.—Revelation 22:16
In the first century, Jesus was not a unique name. Many boys were named Jesus, which means "Jehovah is salvation." But there was only one person who has embodied that name in every way, and that is the Lord Jesus.
The angel Gabriel told Mary, "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (Luke 1:32). That word great is from the Greek word megas, the same word from which we get our English term mega, conveying the idea of bigness and magnitude. Jesus would be the very definition of the word great—mega, if you will.
Gabriel said, "the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David" (verse 32). David is a unique figure in Scripture, described on one hand as the sweet psalmist of Israel and a man after God's own heart. But we also know of David's foibles and shortcomings. Two names connected with David sum up his life: Goliath and Bathsheba. Goliath represents David's greatest victory, while Bathsheba represents his greatest defeat. David was a flawed man, yet Jesus was called "the Root and the Offspring of David" (Revelation 22:16). And as Jesus was engaged in His ministry, He was referred to as the Son of David. Clearly, Jesus was connected to this man.
So if you think you have a dysfunctional family, take a look at Jesus' family tree. Some of the most unsavory characters who made it into the most exclusive genealogy in human history include prostitutes, liars, cheats, adulterers, and even a murderer.
What does this say to us? Even before Jesus was born into that family tree, His ancestry pointed to one thing: Christ came into the world to save sinners.