Monday, December 28, 2009

Why Mark Time?

I have been thinking about goals for the next year. Why do we do this? Why do we make new years resolutions? Why do we look back at the past year or the past decade? We are creatures who desire to see progress and be productive. Why is that? it is because God made us to be productive. The question is: what are we producing?

Here are some verse that I want to be thinking about in this process:

Psalm 90:10-12 10 As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, Or if due to strength, eighty years, Yet their pride is but labor and sorrow; For soon it is gone and we fly away. 11 Who understands the power of Your anger And Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? 12 So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom.

Philippians 1:20-21 20 according to my earnest expectation and hope, that I will not be put to shame in anything, but that with all boldness, Christ will even now, as always, be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. 21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.

Philippians 1:9-11 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ; 11 having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.

Colossians 3:1-4 1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.

1 Cor. 9:23-27 23 I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it. 24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.

1 Tim 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

May Christ's goals for us be our goals for ourselves!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

The Profound Simplicity of Christmas

In the midst of all the ridiculous commercialization of Christmas, may the true message of Christmas not be missed!

Behind the simple decree from Caesar Augustus that sent Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem was the profound sovereign decree of God that moved him to do this so that Jesus Christ the Son of God, the eternal King would be born in the city of David as prophesied in Micah 5:2!

The simple couple took a simple Journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem, but their were profound kingdom implication because these two were descendants of David and the virgin born Savior would be the biological child of Mary and the child of God through the Holy Spirit, but would also have the legal right to the throne of David through Joseph who would adopt him! He fulfilled the prophecy of the King who would reign forever! (Lk. 1:32-33; 2 Sam. 7:12-13; 16)

The simple birth of Christ in Bethlehem in a shelter for animals near a simple inn was the humblest birth imaginable. He was laid in a manger: a feeding trough for animals. But this was nor ordinary baby! This was a profound babe! He was the son of God, the Savior of the world, the King of the ages, God Himself come in human flesh to rescue us! (Lk. 1:30-32; Is. 9:6)

The simple shepherds out in the field were the first to hear of the good news! The lowliest of all of the people of the Jews and yet they heard the most profound birth announcement. Suddenly their simple sheep pasture was filled with profound glory as an angel of the Lord appeared in brilliant light. The angels says, …, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. “This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:10-12 NASB95
A multitude of angels appear and sing praise to God for His wonderful work of bringing salvation to helpless mankind.

The shepherds exercise simple faith and go to see the babe in a manger: Christ the Lord! As they see Him they give a profound testimony about Him as they relate the pronouncement of what they had seen and heard. The simple people around the simple inn reel in profound wonder as the consider that this baby may be the Savior of the world! Mary treasures these things in her heart believing that her Son will be her Savior and the Savior of all of those who would believe on Him.

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Have you considered the profound simplicity of Christmas?