Bible Ballistics: BBs #767 Christmas Ponderings!!! #1
As we are entering the month of December, I would like to spend this month considering Jesus, His birth, His impact and just some things that have been on my heart and mind of late. May we spend this time together focusing on The Lord Jesus and what HIS incarnation means to those who are believers as well as to a lost and dying world who needs HIS truly amazing grace, mercy, and love. But are we making a difference and reflecting HIS glory? We need to!
God’s love was expressed in Jesus’ birth, His life and His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for sin which provides eternal life to all who will believe! I’d like to start this series by looking at the shepherds. Why were they chosen to receive the news of The Messiah’s birth; I have a few simple thoughts on the subject, and I believe they call us to consider how great a gift The Father gave as HE “gave His only begotten Son”! God sent The Son, Jesus, using two simple people of faith to be the parents of this precious Son of God, Messiah, Redeemer, and soon coming King. Yet what the messenger told Joseph was not just about His titles, but JESUS’ purpose.
“But while he thought on these things,
behold, the angel of the Lord appeared
unto him in a dream, saying,
Joseph, thou son of David,
fear not to take unto thee Mary
for that which is conceived
in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son,
and thou shalt call his name JESUS:
for he shall save his people
from their sins.
22 Now all this was done,
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken
of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin
shall be with child,
and shall bring forth a son,
and they shall call his name
which being interpreted is,
God with us.” Matthew 1:20-23
A Son, who is, “God with us”—The “ONE” way to The Father (see John 14:6), yet also, as John the Baptizer declared HE was/is and ever shall be “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” To be that “ONE” way, it would cost His life’s blood on a cruel cross as the sacrificial Lamb!!! I can’t help but think that is one of the reasons that God chose humble shepherds—some of the lowliest of people of their day—to receive the news of the “newborn KING”—a king born in a barn and laid in a manger—a feeding trough! Jesus our LORD!
“And there were in the same country shepherds
abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord
came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord
shone round about them:
and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not:
for, behold, I bring you good tidings
of great joy,
which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day
in the city of David
which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you;
Ye shall find the babe
wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel
a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth
15 And it came to pass,
as the angels were gone away
the shepherds said one to another,
Let us now go even unto Bethlehem,
and see this thing
which is come to pass,
which the Lord hath made known
16 And they came with haste,
and found Mary,
and the babe
lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it,
they made known abroad the saying
which was told them
concerning this child.” Luke 2:8-17
Simple men of faith received an amazing, unbelievable message from God, via the angels, and not only believed what they heard, but believed it enough to get up, leave their sheep, and go to see the object of this heavenly message. Then they shared the good news with others and left the convincing up to God! I can’t help but think that God was telling them so much more than that a “baby had been born” but that a “LAMB” had arrived to be the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for all who would believe. As THE Lamb, that John identified clearly.
“The next day John seeth Jesus
coming unto him, and saith,
Behold the Lamb of God,
which taketh away
the sin of the world.
30 This is he of whom I said,
After me cometh a man
which is preferred before me:
for he was before me.
31 And I knew him not:
but that he should be made manifest
therefore am I come
baptizing with water…
…. 36 And looking upon Jesus
as he walked,
he saith, Behold the Lamb of God!
37 And the two disciples heard him speak,
and they followed Jesus.” John 1:29-31
This humble, man of the wilderness came obeying God and preaching a message that appealed to some, offended others, and puzzled most—much like the response to believers who want to share the message of Jesus’ saving grace today. But we must remember in this time of celebrating the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ—the very Lamb of God who “taketh away the sin of the world”– that there is “nothing new under the sun” (see Ecclesiastes 1:9)! We must remember that every person has the choice to receive HIM in repentance and faith or reject HIM and go their own way; in other words, we can accept by faith through grace the payment of sin that Jesus made at Calvary! Or we can reject Jesus’ saving work of salvation, go our own way, and pay for our own sin.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:
for it is the power of God
to every one that believeth;
to the Jew first,
and also to the Greek.
17 For therein is the righteousness of God
as it is written,
The just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17-18
“For all have sinned,
and come short
of the glory of God;” Romans 3:23
“For the wages of sin
but the gift of God
is eternal life
through Jesus Christ
our Lord.” Romans 6:23
It’s your choice, but choose wisely, there is a test. So, please use this time of celebrating Jesus’ birth to “consider your ways” (See Haggai 1:5 & 7) and make sure that you are right with God; what the world thinks won’t matter when you stand before God (See Revelation 20:11-15)! My prayer is that you will find HIM faithful and give your all to HIM! He has never failed me—ever! Blessings on you and yours!
Amen and Amen!!!