Nov 18, 2010
Do YOU have room for Jesus?
SHEET MUSIC and RECORDINGS at http://ShawnaEdwards.com.
Nov 18, 2010
Do YOU have room for Jesus?
SHEET MUSIC and RECORDINGS at http://ShawnaEdwards.com.
Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn’t a scrooge. He was a kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men. But he didn’t believe all that stuff about incarnation which churches proclaim at Christmas. And he was too honest to declare that he did.
“I am truly sorrry to distress you,” he told his wife, who was a faithful churchgoer. “But I simply cannot understand this claim that God became man. It doesn’t make any sense to me.” On Christmas Eve, his wife and children went to church for the midnight service. He declined to accompany them. “I’d feel like a hypcrite,” he explained. “I’d must rather stay at home. But I’ll wait up for you.”
Shortly after his family drove away in the car, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. “If we must have Christmas,” he thought, “It’s nice to have a white one.” He went back to his chair by the fireside and began to read his newspaper. A few minutes later, he was startled by a thudding sound. It was quickly followed by another, then another. He thought that someone must be throwing snowballs at his livingroom window.
When he went to the front door to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through his window.
“I can’t let these poor creatures lie there and freeze,” he thought. “But how can I help them?” Then he remembered the barn where the children’s pony was stabled. It would provide a warm shelter. He put on his coat and galoshes and tramped through the deepending snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on a light. But the birds didn’t come in. “Food will bring them in,” he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.
To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shoeing them in the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction–except into the warm, lighted barn. “They find me a strange and terrifying creature,” he said to himself. “And I can’t seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me. If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety…”
Just at that moment, the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for a while, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas. Then he sank to his knees in the snow. “Now I do understand,” he whispered. “Now I know why you had to do it.”
By Louis Cassells
Throughout history, no one has made a greater impact on this world than Jesus Christ, yet many people simply don’t understand who He is. Some believe His life began in a manger in the ancient town of Bethlehem, but in reality, He existed long before that (John 8:58). As a member of the Trinity, Jesus is the eternal Son of God, which means He has no beginning or end (John 1:1). His birth in Bethlehem was merely His physical entrance into the world He created.
Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah, who came to earth to carry out the mission given to Him by His Father. At one point, He asked His disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” (Matt. 16:15). This is the question each of us must answer. There is no middle ground when it comes to deciding who Jesus is, because He claimed that He was the only way to the Father (John 14:6). Either He is the Son of God, or He’s a fraud.
In Matthew 16:16, when Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” Jesus told Him that the Father had revealed this truth to him (Matt. 16:17). We, too, need the Lord’s help to comprehend who Jesus is. The best way to understand Him is to examine His birth, life, and ministry as recorded in Scripture.
Simply learning what the Bible says about Jesus is not enough. Once you’ve heard who He is and what He came to do, you must respond. What will you do with Jesus? To hear the truth and reject it leads to spiritual death, but those who believe and accept Christ receive eternal life.
“I hate vain thoughts: but thy law do I love. Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.” (Psalm 119:113-114)
The Bible is replete with military imagery. We are told to “wrestle” against the “spiritual wickedness in high places” and to be sure that we put on “the whole armour of God” (Ephesians 6:12-13). As the good soldiers of the King, we are told to “endure hardness” (2 Timothy 2:3) and expected, as His army, to be about the “pulling down of strong holds” (2 Corinthians 10:4).
David was a warrior king, and many of his psalms contain battle terms used both literally and figuratively to show the way God protects and provides for us in spiritual warfare. The “hiding place” David often mentioned was a secret retreat that provided shelter from the enemy (Psalm 32:7). The “shield” can refer to the same sort of retreat but is most often used to describe a soldier’s defensive buckler. Faith is our shield in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:16).
Thus, in this stanza (Psalm 119:113-120), the psalmist visualized God in the role of Protector and Captain. He looked to God for his life while being upheld “according unto thy word” (v. 116). Safety was no doubt prominent in his thoughts while affirming that he had continual respect for God’s statutes (v. 117).
The psalmist was also fearfully aware of God’s take-no-prisioners attitude toward those who are against Him (vv. 118‑119). While our gracious Lord and King is patient toward all sinners, His ultimate plan is to “put down all rule and all authority and power” (1 Corinthians 15:24). Knowing this, the psalmist concluded: “My flesh trembleth for fear of thee; and I am afraid of thy judgments” (Psalm 119:120). Only a fool refuses to fear the Creator’s wrath. HMM III
See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. —Ephesians 5:15-16
That we are born to be happy is scarcely questioned by anyone. No one bothers to prove that fallen men have any moral right to happiness, or that they are in the long run any better off happy. The only question before the house is how to get the most happiness out of life. Almost all popular books and plays assume that personal happiness is the legitimate end of the dramatic human struggle.
Now I submit that the whole hectic scramble after happiness is an evil as certainly as is the scramble after money or fame or success….
This… will be discovered easily by the simple act of reading the New Testament through once with meditation. There the emphasis is not upon happiness but upon holiness. God is more concerned with the state of people’s hearts than with the state of their feelings. Undoubtedly the will of God brings final happiness to those who obey, but the most important matter is not how happy we are but how holy. The soldier does not seek to be happy in the field; he seeks rather to get the fighting over with, to win the war and get back home to his loved ones.
Oh, Lord, redirect my focus. Help me today to be a “good soldier of Jesus Christ.” Amen.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Matthew 5:8
A spiritual kingdom lies all about us, enclosing us, embracing us, altogether within reach of our inner selves, waiting for us to recognize it. God Himself is here waiting for our response to His Presence. This eternal world will come alive to us the moment we begin to reckon upon its reality.
As we begin to focus upon God the things of the spirit will take shape before our inner eyes. Obedience to the word of Christ will bring an inward revelation of the Godhead (John 14:21-23).
This is not by any trick of the imagination. May we not safely conclude that, as the realities of Mount Sinai were apprehended by the senses, so the realities of Mount Zion are to be grasped by the soul? The soul has eyes with which to see and ears with which to hear!
Such an inward revelation of the Godhead will give acute perception enabling us to see God even as is promised to the pure in heart. A new God-consciousness will seize upon us and we shall begin to taste and hear and inwardly feel the God who is our life and our all.
There will be seen the constant shining of the light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. More and more, as our faculties grow sharper and more sure, God will become to us the great All, and His Presence the glory and wonder of our lives! This is what will make heaven more real to us than any earthly thing has ever been.
Great is the mystery… God was manifest in the flesh. 1 TIMOTHY 3:16
The birth of Christ was a divine declaration, an eternal statement to a race of fallen men and women.
The advent of Christ clearly established:
First, that God is real. The heavens were opened, and another world than this came into view.
Second, that human life is essentially spiritual. With the emergence into human flesh of the Eternal Word of the Father, the fact of man’s divine origin is confirmed.
Third, that God indeed had spoken by the prophets. The coming of the Messiah Savior into the world confirmed the veracity of the Old Testament Scripture.
Fourth, that man is lost but not abandoned. Had men not been lost, no Savior would have been required. Had they been abandoned, no Savior would have come.
Finally, that this world is not the end. We are made for two worlds and as surely as we now inhabit the one, we shall also inhabit the other!
Heavenly Father, the historical fact of Your divine visitation gives the world reason for hope and joy. I pray that the significance of Your birth will impact the lives of many people who are searching for the meaning of life.