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Monthly Archives: December 2012

When the Light of the world came to decorate the greatest Christmas Tree…

Luke 2:1-14 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  2(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)  3And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)  5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.  6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.  10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.  13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

This peace is not ‘world peace’ that everyone including Miss America contestants always say they want, but rather the multitude of angels were declaring that God has now sent His son to accomplish peace between God and His enemy… us. He sent His Son to die while we were yet His enemies so that there might be, for the first time since the garden of Eden, peace and good will toward men who believe. He sent the Light of the World to decorate the greatest Christmas tree ever in order to grant we who believe everlasting life and peace through Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 5:7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.  10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

THINK ON THESE THINGS… (and MERRY CHRISTMAS!!)

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The Wise Still Seek Him

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Matthew 2:1 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,
2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.
3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.
5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,
6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.
7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.
8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.
9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.
10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.
11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.
12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

Matthew sets forth an historical account of the visit of the wise men here in chapter two.  Jesus was born during the reign of Herod the king, or Herod the Great.  Herod was the son of Antipater, an Idumean or Edomite.  In other words, Herod was a descendant of Esau and since he was elected king of Judaea in 40-39 B.C. by the Roman senate most orthodox Jews didn’t consider him Jewish.  In fact, he was a very cruel king who by this time had exiled his first wife Doris and killed his second wife Miriamne I due to his jealousy.  He had also killed Miriamne’s mother Alexandra and his two sons by Miriamne I for suspected treason.  He also ended up five days before his own painful death, killing his firstborn son Antipater II.  He was considered by this time to be very suspicious and paranoid by this time of anything that might be a threat against his rule. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen. (Genesis 22:14)

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It is Christmas again and we are busy trying to buy those gifts and filling our event calendars with family and church fellowship gatherings.  But we as Christians need to remember that Jesus truly is the reason for the season.  Christ came to Bethlehem to die for the sins of whosoever will.  As I was pondering that thought, I began thinking of one of the first references to the coming and sacrifice of Jesus in Genesis 22.  Abraham was told to carry Isaac to the ‘land of Moriah’ to a mountain ‘I will tell thee of’…  Isaac was likely in his thirties as his mother dies soon after in the next chapter at the age of 127 and she bore Isaac at age 90.  So Isaac, like Christ, goes willingly at the behest of his father to the place of sacrifice.  And, like Christ, he carries the wood that he would be bound to to that place of sacrifice.  By the way, this is Abraham’s fifth altar.  Five is the number of Grace in God’s Word.

It is at the point of Abraham being fully surrendered to God’s will with his knife in the air, that Jesus, in His pre-incarnate state (a theophany), appears and stops the sacrifice from occurring. Jesus says to Abraham, “…now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me .” This is a powerful glimpse at the wonderful plan of God. In I Chronicles 21, God sends His angel to judge Israel with pestilence for the sin of David in numbering the people. He stops the angel from destroying Jerusalem when David repents of this sin at a spot called the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite. Gad the seer tells David to build an altar on that spot and offer up a burnt offering. Just a few chapters forward in II Chronicles 3:1 we see “Then Solomon began to build the house of the LORD at Jerusalem in mount Moriah, where the LORD appeared unto David his father, in the place that David had prepared in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.” Did you see that? The threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite is in Mount Moriah. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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