An amazing gift to be shared!

December 27, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived.

When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord” ), and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”

Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
(Luke 2:21-32 (NIV))

Did you breathe a big sigh of relief yesterday? Or maybe yours came this morning because you went out to the after Christmas sales yesterday and you didn’t have time to do anything else. Whatever may have happened, many people look upon the day after Christmas as being the end of the season.

It is only the beginning! Just as Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of our promised hope and salvation, Christmas marks the beginning of our celebration of this gift from God. Simeon knew that Jesus’ birth marked the beginning of salvation, and not the salvation itself. Many things needed to happen before the promise would be fulfilled.

Jesus did not come into the world in a miraculous manner and then spend the next thirty years in quiet solitude preparing for His ministry and crucifixion. We know that He amazed the scholars and priests before His baptism and the temptation in the wilderness.

We do not need to celebrate His birth and the promise that He fulfilled only on the days that we have set aside to remember His birth and His resurrection. We need to look at Christmas as the start of our opportunity to present His light to others as it was presented to us. We have several months until we celebrate His resurrection at Easter. What can we do to show the world the amazing gift that God gave us through Jesus Christ, His only Son? What can we do that will make those around us amazed at the resurrection and the promise fulfilled by it?

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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God is constant

December 21, 2012

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son. But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
(Revelation 21:6-8 (NIV))

God makes it very clear what He detests, yet people still twist God’s Word to support whatever they wish to do.

God is constant. He has been and always will be. Before anything else existed, He existed. He is the Creator of all things.

How arrogant people are to believe that they can stand in the face of God and “thumb their noses” as if they had created all things. God created order and righteousness, yet man, through sin, corrupted all things. Man, in his limited wisdom, seeks after wicked thoughts and actions that are detestable in the sight of God.

Will humanity, as a whole, ever realize that they are fighting a losing battle? How can the creation overcome the Creator? For those who do not belong to The Lord, we must pray that they see the Truth before God’s Judgement comes.

No one knows the day or the hour, but we can identify the season of this judgement. The season is drawing closer every day. Pray for those whom you love that are not experiencing God’s grace and mercy through the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. The fiery lake of burning sulfur is a terrible mental picture. Just imagine what it would really be like!

I pray that our lives may reflect Jesus to those who do not know Him so that they too can experience grace and mercy.

Copyright 1998 – 2012 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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