A Christmas Devotion #10

Matthew 2:1-2;“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him”.

When is something that looks same, not the same? if you have ever been to New York City you probably have come across ‘street vendors’ selling their ‘Louis Vuitton’ bags. Bags that look the same but are a cheap imitation at best. Here, in our text today i think we have a good example that falls into this very category. Look at the difference in the text we have read from the gospel of Matthew: ‘Herod the king’ and ‘He who has been born King of the Jews’. Now, even though the Greek word of king (βασιλεύς – basileus) is the same word that is used in both instances, i like what most English translations have done by capitalizing the word ‘King’ for Jesus. For there is a galaxy-sized chasm between their kingship. You see, Herod may have been ‘king’ of Judea put he doesn’t come close to Jesus, King of the Jews. When we read through the Gospels we see many facets of Jesus and His character. We see a Friend, a Healer, a Teacher, the Son of Man, the Son of God, the list could go on. This started me on a train of thought about how many times we look at Christ and only see an aspect of Him that we want to see? The side that embodies Love, the side that Delights in us, the side that sees Him as our Best Friend. Don’t get me wrong these are all great things that we see in Christ, but it is just a part of who He is. HE IS KING! We must never forget that He is the King of Kings and the Lord or Lords, the One in Revelation Chapter 1 with the snow white hair, eyes of like fire, feet like bronze, a voice like the sound of many waters, and a face like the sun shining in it’s strength. Couple that with Revelation 19 where we see a Christ coming on a white horse, clothed in a robe dipped in blood. This is a part of Christ also. The word awesome is often misused in our conversations today, but it is definitely the appropriate word to use when describing our King, He truly is Awesome in every sense of the word. To understand Christ, is to know Him and everything that He is, from Friend to Coming King. Let us not forget that this is the Man that will Judge all of mankind. The Only One who is qualified to do so.

He is King! Whether Pilate did it from a place of truthful sincerity or if he was adding insult to injury, what he had written on Christ’s Cross; “This is Jesus, The King of the Jews”, was incredibly accurate.

As the world looks to ‘their kings’ today, let’s remember our King. The Christ-Child.

Glory to the King.

A Christmas Devotion #9

Micah 5:2; “But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity”.
I have found that there is a common perception that ‘small’ often equals ‘worthless’. I disagree. I have learned both through text and experience that God is at work in the small things. Many of us can tell stories of when God has worked mightily in our lives. Not only in what we perceived to be the ‘big things’, but also in those ‘little things’ that we did not put much stock in at the time. Then, when we looked back, we realized that it was God’s Hand that started the whole thing.
The bible is full of scripture that points out that God is in the details, and that something big usually has small humble beginnings. We are told not to despise the day of small things, we hear the parable of the mustard seed, that although regarded as meaningless amongst the seeds, when it is planted and grown it becomes greater than all the other herbs and grows branches to lodge the fowl of the air. Again we read, that if you are faithful in little, you will be faithful in much. This list could be endless. As you know Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophesies in His first coming and this one found in Micah 5:2 is one of my favourites. I come from a small town in England that if I were to mention the name, the majority of people (In England) would have no idea where it was or that it even existed, a town that housed no more than 30,000 people is a small place indeed. (Perhaps you come from a town not too dissimilar to mine) So, I relate to the mention of Bethlehem Ephrathah being too little to be even classed among the clans of Judah. Many people may have seen this as a ‘nothing’ city. Only when Christ was born in Bethlehem do we really see this small town come to the forefront of history. I doubt very much that we would be able to find a person in our circles that has never heard of a small town in Israel called Bethlehem. Such was the magnitude of the event that took place there, that the name Bethlehem will be forever remember at this time of year. I even find the name Bethlehem Ephrathah interesting. Bethlehem means “House of Bread” and Ephrathah means “Place of Fruitfulness”. Wow! To come from a city that means that, now that is a place worthy of birthing the King of Kings.
So when you look at the workings of God in your own life, know that He is in the small things, know that you are in the Hands of One who comes from a ‘Place of Fruitfulness’. Ask the Lord for the spiritual discernment to see when God is working in the details of your life so that you may know Hos ways better.
I will finish on something that my dad taught us as children, he said, “Big Doors open on Little Hinges”. How true. If we simply scoff at what looks to be a ‘little hinge’ we might be overlooking the magnitude of the ‘door’ that God wants to open for us.

Never overlook those Small Hinges.

A Christmas Devotion #8

Gal 4:4-5: “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law, so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons”.

Have you ever known anyone that has been adopted? I have had the privilege of knowing a few people who were adopted over the years. One friend of mine when I was at school stands out in particular. I will spare the details but when it boils down to it, my friend was given the chance of living a life full of everything that his childhood mind could imagine. Every birthday, every Christmas, the feeling of love he must have felt must have been overwhelming. He knew he had been given something that was a blessing to him. When we look at Christ being born for us so that we might be adopted as sons of the living God, it makes the true greatness of an earthly adoption pale in its comparison. To think that we were born into sin and lived in the darkness of that sin for a time; did we really deserve to have that feeling – and more importantly, position; of being adopted into a love that we can not comprehend? The answer of course is, No! But that is the beauty of being saved by grace and through this act, being adopted into the Kingdom of God as sons and furthermore, heirs of God through Christ. Heirs! Wow! As an Englishman the word heir carries a very special meaning. For instance, Prince Charles will not become the King of England because we voted him in, he will become the King of England because it is his birth right. He is the heir to the throne and no democratic process in the world can stop the theocratic ruling. Praise the Lord that in a much grander way it is the same with us. We are heirs also due to our birth, our new birth in the Spirit. A true theocratic position that no vote can alter. Now we get to experience a love that far surpasses the great love that an earthly adopted child receives.

So be thankful to the Christ-Child this Christmas, that he was born for you, so that you might have a life that you don’t deserve at all.

Isn’t it great to know that we have all been adopted into the same family! We are all brothers and sisters!

What kind of love is this? It is Christ’s Love.

A Christmas Devotion #7

Luke 1:35; The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God”.

When I think about Christmas time and the Incarnation of Jesus Christ I am always filled with wonder at just who Jesus Christ actually is; He is the Son of God. In the practice of apologetics we defend our faith from all types of attacks upon the scriptures and most specifically upon our Lord, Christ Jesus. To know what we believe and why we believe it is important in an age when so many other religions infiltrate our cultures. The dividing line between Christianity and cults can be found in the answer to one simple question, “Who do you say that Jesus Christ is?”. If the answer is anything other than Jesus Christ is God and the only Son of God, you can quickly surmise that you are dealing with a cult. This is why it is so important to know the scriptures which point to Jesus Christ’s deity and human nature. The GodMan, ‘In whom dwells the fullness of the Godhead bodily’. And because of what the Son of God did at the Cross and in that Judean Tomb, we who are found in Him are now are called the sons of God. Mind Blown!!!

To know that it wasn’t just any baby born in Bethlehem that night, but the Son of God, fills my soul with delight. Every Christmas time I marvel at the love that God has for us, that He would send His only begotten Son to die for me. Let us not forget just what an awe inspiring event this was. The whole of history came to a crossroads the day the Son of God took on the form of human flesh and dwelt with us.

“Our Good Shepherd,
With His Staff and Rod,
Incarnated for us,
The Son of God”