Bible Ballistics: Vol. 14 No. 16 The Unattended Baby???
As we begin this month of December, there are a lot of things that are significant about this month: it’s the last month of the calendar year; later this month will officially bring in winter; and most importantly for those who love Jesus, it is the time that we celebrate His birth, the incarnation that brought the God-Man, Savior-Redeemer, The One who would make the substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for our salvation! This One who came that we might have life and be freed from the penalty of our sin.
“Then Joseph her husband,
being a just man,
and not willing to make her a publick example,
was minded to put her away privily.
20 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
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,
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 1:19-23
Did you get that? Joseph was told to “call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins”! HE would save “from” sin, transforming lost sinners into The Redeemed, those to whom the Holy Spirit imparts new life and the righteousness of Jesus.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ,
he is a new creature:
are passed away;
behold, all things
are become new.
18 And all things are of God,
who hath reconciled us to himself
by Jesus Christ,
and hath given to us
the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit,
that God was in Christ,
reconciling the world
not imputing their trespasses
and hath committed unto us
the word of reconciliation.
20 Now then we are ambassadors
as though God did beseech you
we pray you
in Christ’s stead,
be ye reconciled to God.
21 For he hath made him
to be sin for us,
who knew no sin;
that we might be made
the righteousness of God
in him.” 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
God sent Jesus to take our sin upon Himself, that He might impart to us life by faith in His substitutionary, atoning sacrifice for those who will come to Him in repentance and faith.
“For by grace are ye saved
and that not of yourselves:
it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works,
lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus
unto good works,
which God hath before ordained
that we should walk
in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
Our God gave the greatest gift to a world who not only rejected His Gift of Jesus, but who would rebuff Him, persecute Him, and have Him put to death! But none of this caught God by surprise, it was part of His plan from the beginning—to bring us back to Himself! I pray that we will celebrate this season of Christmas, the birth of The Savior and Redeemer of man, with Jesus foremost in our thoughts and actions. God is ever at work to draw us closer to Himself; first for salvation, and then to ever be conforming us into the image of His Son.
“Be it known unto you all,
and to all the people of Israel,
that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,
whom ye crucified,
whom God raised from the dead,
even by him
doth this man stand here
before you whole.
11 This is the stone
which was set at nought of you builders,
which is become
the head of the corner.
12 Neither is there salvation in any other:
for there is none other name under heaven
given among men,
whereby we must be saved…
… 24 And when they (the disciples not the leaders)
they lifted up their voice to God with one accord,
Lord, thou art God,
which hast made heaven,
and the sea,
and all that in them is:
25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David
Why did the heathen rage,
and the people imagine vain things?
26 The kings of the earth stood up,
and the rulers were gathered together
against the Lord,
and against his Christ.
27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus,
whom thou hast anointed,
and Pontius Pilate,
with the Gentiles,
and the people of Israel,
were gathered together,
28 For to do whatsoever thy hand
and thy counsel
to be done.” Portions of Acts 4:10-28
God is ever at work to accomplish His purpose, and we can stand against Him, or we can commit ourselves to be attentive to His Word, His will, and His ways.
“Which of you by taking thought
can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field,
how they grow;
they toil not,
neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon
in all his glory
was not arrayed
like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
which to day is,
and to morrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you,
O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying,
What shall we eat?
or, What shall we drink?
or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things
do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth
that ye have need
of all these things.
33 But seek ye first
the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things
shall be added unto you.
34 Take therefore no thought
for the morrow:
for the morrow shall take thought
for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day
is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:27-34
And I can’t help but think of an experience that I had this weekend. I had a friend come over to help me with some yard work, and we also put out my outdoor nativity sets (I have several that I set outside for a testimony to those who see them, that JESUS IS the reason for the season!). We were busy with several tasks and we had set up the big display out front and went back to get ‘Joseph,’ but we got distracted by some other tasks and did them and forgot about ‘Joseph’. Well, when we got those other things done, and my friend left, I was resting for a bit, and happened to glance out the window onto the back patio and saw “Joseph” standing there, and of course thought, “OH NO, we left baby Jesus and Mary ‘unattended’ by Joseph”! I had no more gotten those words out of my mouth (and yes I talk to myself!) when God seemed to speak to my heart saying, “That’s the problem with many today, you/I have often left the spiritual things of life “Unattended”! Ouch! Well, I almost immediately went and put Joseph in his place ‘attending’ to Mary and The Babe; and as I did, I also prayed, asking God to help me do a better job of “attending” to those ‘things of God’! Choices do have consequences!
“Then Peter took him,
and began to rebuke him, saying,
Be it far from thee, Lord:
this shall not be unto thee.
23 But he turned, and said unto Peter,
Get thee behind me,
thou art an offence unto me:
for thou savourest not
the things that be of God,
but those that be of men.
24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples,
If any man will come after me,
let him deny himself,
and take up his cross,
and follow me.
25 For whosoever will save his life
shall lose it:
and whosoever will lose his life
for my sake
shall find it.
26 For what is a man profited,
if he shall gain the whole world,
and lose his own soul?
or what shall a man give
for his soul?” Matthew 16:22-26
So, my question for each of us during this Christmas season is, ‘Will you join me in seeking to pursue and “attend” to “the things that be of God”, rather than “those that be of men”?’ May we truly keep The Lord Jesus in HIS rightful place—HE truly is The Reason for The Season we are celebrating? May we all enjoy a most joyous time of celebrating the birth of our soon-coming King! He is worthy of our praise and devotion—and I long to hear His “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”!
“His lord said unto him,
Well done, thou good and faithful servant:
thou hast been faithful over a few things,
I will make thee ruler over many things:
enter thou into the joy of thy lord.” Matthew 25:21
I pray that God will help each of us to pursue HIS approval and attend to HIS business.
“…..wist ye not that I must be about
my Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
Amen and Amen!