The Robe with Richard Burton, Jean Simmons & Victor Mature
Published on Dec 7, 2016
The Robe with Richard Burton, Jean Simmons & Victor Mature
Published on Dec 7, 2016
We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him. Matthew 2:2
A young married couple had more love than money. As Christmas neared, both struggled to find a gift that would show how much they cared for the other. Finally, on Christmas Eve, Della sold her long, knee-length hair to buy Jim a platinum chain for the watch he’d inherited from his father and grandfather. Jim, however, had just sold the watch to buy a set of expensive combs for Della’s hair.
Author O. Henry called the couple’s story The Gift of the Magi. His creation suggests that even though their gifts became useless and may have caused them to look foolish on Christmas morning, their love made them among the wisest of those who give gifts.
The wise men of the first Christmas story also could have looked foolish to some as they arrived in Bethlehem with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh (Matthew 2:11). They weren’t Jewish. They were outsiders, Gentiles, who didn’t realize how much they would disturb the peace of Jerusalem by asking about a newly born king of the Jews (v. 2).
As with Jim and Della’s experience, the magi’s plans didn’t turn out the way they expected. But they gave what money cannot buy. They came with gifts, but then bowed to worship One who would ultimately make the greatest of all loving sacrifices for them—and for us.
Father in heaven, please help us to learn what it means to give what money cannot buy.
God’s gift of grace is priceless.
The gifts the magi brought were precious. But the worship they offered the King of Kings from bended knee and bowed head was of greater value than the material gifts.
How can you worship God today?
Most likely, we have all cried out to God in desperation. Whether it was something as simple as fearing a school test or something as grave as sitting in the waiting room during a friend’s surgery, we know how it feels to have no option left but to call upon almighty God.
It is important to note that there is a difference between our cries to God and our prayers. In prayer, we bring many things to the Father at once, emptying our hearts before His throne, listening to what He has to say to us. When we cry out, though, something else happens. We are then so overcome by emotion—be it fear, dread, sorrow, or even anxious hope—that we can’t help spontaneously throwing ourselves on God’s mercy for our immediate need. The Bible records many different instances of crying out. There are cries of desperation (Matt. 14:29-30), helplessness (2 Chronicles 20:9-12), and even faith (Psalm 34:15-17).
The most dynamic truth we can learn about our cries, however, is that the heavenly Father hears every single one. In the desert, the Lord heard Moses’ cry of anguish and responded immediately (Ex. 17:3-7). Likewise, in Judges 3:9-11, God heard the people’s cry for deliverance and answered with perfect timing.
Our Father wants His children to call to Him with the burdens of their heart. Have you cried out to God in faith? Be assured that He is listening, and that even when we can’t think of what to say, His Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf (Rom. 8:26).
With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26
It is amazing what God has accomplished through the lives of those who follow Him. Could Joshua have dreamed the walls of Jericho would fall after a march, a trumpet blast, and a cry from the people? Could Simon Peter have imagined walking on water? Would Moses have expected to hold back the Red Sea? We serve a powerful God whose abilities and strength surpass our limited imaginations, and the exciting thing is that He often uses us in the process of getting the job done.
The same power that destroyed the mighty walls of Jericho, enabled Peter to walk on water, and divided the sea so the Israelites could cross on dry ground is still available to us. Our own power is limited to our mortal minds and bodies, but Matthew 19:26 tells us that “with God all things are possible.”
If you are facing a task that seems impossible, you may become discouraged if you try to accomplish it on your own. So ask God how He wants you to get the job done. You may be surprised at the creativity and resourcefulness God provides as He enables you to fulfill His calling.
All Christ power springs from communion with God and from the indwelling of divine grace. James Aughey
“Thou rulest the raging of the sea: when the waves thereof arise, thou stillest them.” (Psalm 89:9)
There are few things in nature more fearsome or more uncontrollable by man than a mighty storm at sea. Only the One who created the waters of the sea can really control them. But He can! “For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof . . . . He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Psalm 107:25, 29).
One of the most striking demonstrations of the deity of Christ was in a storm on the Sea of Galilee when “he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm” (Luke 8:24). Note also the experience of the mariners sailing to Tarshish when they realized that the storm that was about to destroy them had been sent by the God of heaven because of Jonah. “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging” (Jonah 1:15).
The Scriptures also compare opponents of the gospel to a raging sea. “The wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt” (Isaiah 57:20). Similarly, Jude says that apostate teachers are like “raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame” (Jude 1:13).
Christ used this same figure to prophesy the turmoil of the ungodly nations of the world in the last days. “There shall be . . . upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring” (Luke 21:25). But just as God the Creator can calm the raging waves of the ocean, so God our Savior can speak peace to the nations and calm each troubled soul. As our text assures us, He rules the ragings of every sea and stills them when the waves arise. HMM
2 Chronicles 28:18
AT that time did king Ahaz send unto the kings of Assyria to help him.
and had taken many towns and villages and they dwelt there.
2 Chronicles 28:18
The kingdom had flourished greatly under Jotham, but the Lord who raised it up could just as easily bring it down. Those who will not be humble must be humbled. Remark the expression,—”he made Judah naked.” Sin strips man of all his beauty, exposes him to contempt, and robs him of protection. The smallest powers were able to oppress Judah; insignificant nations, which had been tributaries to it before, did with it as they pleased.
2 Kings 16:8, 9
Trust in man is an expensive business, for those we look to will be pretty sure to look to their own interests, and will not serve us unless they can serve themselves at the same time. Carnal confidences lead men to rob God: Ahaz thought nothing of stripping the temple in order to purchase the aid of his great patron, who cared nothing for him, but only for the plunder he could obtain by the war.
2 Kings 16:11
Foolish indeed was this to borrow the altar of a vanquished monarch. If his gods had been of any service to Benhadad, he would not have been crushed by the Assyrian. Idolaters are mad.
2 Chronicles 28:20
He quartered his troops upon him, and impoverished his people. Ahaz now felt the curse of trusting in man.
2 Chronicles 28:22, 23
And in the time of his distress did he trespass yet more against the Lord: this is that king Ahaz.
This brand is set upon him, for it is a special sin when a man grows worse under affliction.
2 Chronicles 28:24
Those who will not worship at God’s altar will set up a hundred shrines of their own; men who will not believe the gospel will yield credence to a thousand lying superstitions.
2 Chronicles 28:27
He died impenitent and inglorious, and by a sort of holy censorship which appears to have been exercised over Judah’s dead kings, he was denied burial in the royal tombs.
We love him, because he first loved us. (1 John 4:19)
If we are to have any satisfying and lasting understanding of life, it must be divinely given. It begins with the confession that it is indeed the God who has revealed Himself to us who is the central pillar bearing up the universe. Believing that, we then go on to acknowledge that we have discovered His great eternal purpose for men and women made in His own image.
I heard a brilliant Canadian author being interviewed on the radio concerning world conditions, and he said: “I confess that our biggest mistake is the fond belief that we humans are special pets of Almighty God and that God has a special fondness for us as people.”
We have a good answer: man as he was originally created is God’s beloved. Man in that sense is the beloved of the universe. God said, “I have made man in My image and man is to be above all other creatures. Redeemed man is to be even above the angels in the heavens. He is to enter into My presence pardoned and unashamed, to worship me and to look on My face while the ages roll on!” No wonder we believe that God is the only certain foundation!
“Yea, I will help thee.” Isa. 41:10
Yesterday’s promise secured us strength for what we have to do, but this guarantees us aid in cases where we cannot act alone. The Lord says, “I will help thee.” Strength within is supplemented by help without. God can raise us up allies in our warfare if so it seems good in His sight; and even if He does not send us human assistance, He himself will be at our side, and this is better still. “Our August Ally” is better than legions of mortal helpers.
His help is timely: He is a very present help in time of trouble. His help is very wise: He knows how to give each man help meet and fit for him. His help is most effectual, though vain is the help of man. His help is more than help, for He bears all the burden, and supplies all the need. “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear what man can do unto me.
Because He has already been our help, we feel confidence in Him for the present and the future. Our prayer is, “Lord, be thou my helper”; our experience is, “The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; our expectation is, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, whence cometh my help”; and our song soon will be, “Thou, Lord, hast holpen me.”