Archive for December, 2012
And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17)
Here is a resolution for all Christians: whatever I do or say will be done in the name of the Lord. I will be thankful and God will get the glory he deserves in my life.
In Cordoba, Argentina, where I used to live, there’s a food court in the lowest level of the Nuevocentro mall. There you can find a small cake shop, with slices of cake ready to be sold to shoppers. On some days, they have a cake with a great name: “Empiezo El Lunes,” which means, “I start on Monday.”
There’s something about Monday that makes it special for beginning a diet. It’s the start of the work week, a chance to try and do all the things we didn’t get done the week before.
Yet Mondays can’t hold a candle to New Year’s Day. That’s the time that we really feel like we have a clean slate. Turning the calendar page to a new week feels like it has meaning; beginning afresh with a whole new calendar seems even more significant.
We like that idea of starting over, of being able to face life unencumbered by past mistakes and old bad habits. The possibilities for change seem endless.
Of course, tossing the calendar doesn’t really achieve that. The person we are in January is pretty much the same person we were in December.
Only God can make us new. Only God can wipe out the past. Only God can let us start over.
The apostle Paul wrote: “We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.” (Romans 6:4) It’s what Jesus called being “born again,” (John 3:3) where our old self gets left behind and we start a new life.
Whereas Mondays and Januarys don’t really change things, the new beginning that God gives cleans off all of our past mistakes and allows us to begin a new life. We aren’t the same people that we used to be. We’ve been reborn, born into God’s Kingdom, born into God’s family.
I’m so glad that God gave me a new start. What about you? If you are living God’s new life, I hope that you are living it the way God wants. If you haven’t started over yet, this new year is a perfect time to begin a new life.
“And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.” (Mark 1:11)
Wouldn’t it be great to hear God say that he’s pleased with you? You can, someday. Like Jesus, submit to God’s will and he will one day acknowledge you as his son.
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. (Daniel 3:17)
What an example of faith. And God did save his followers from a fiery death. The believed he had the power and that we would. And he did. We follow that same God today.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
God came to man and lived among us. The Creator joined his creation. The Word became flesh.
Worship the holy God. He was here yesterday, he is here today, and he will be here tomorrow. You can count on it. Let’s live that way.
The Word became flesh. God took on human form. The Savior was born, in Bethlehem. He is Christ the Lord.
Be happy when you think of the great things God has done. Be thankful that the greatest of these is that he sent his only son into our world. And let him die for us. And raised him from the dead. Our God is great.
I have heard this question often in various forms over the years. Sometimes children ask it because they do not understand how a father could do something like that. There are those who want to understand Christianity, but have a difficult time reconciling love and death. And, of course, those who do not believe in God see this as a contradiction that would disprove the concept of a loving God. I think this is a legitimate question to answer: how could a loving God let his only son die a horrible death on a cross? God loves his son Jesus. That is why it must have been so painful for him to let his son leave heaven and live on this earth. It had to break God’s heart to watch his son suffer and die. This was a conscious decision on the part of God to send his son to earth, fully knowing what was going to happen. But God did not force Jesus to do this. Jesus made a conscious decision to obey God. But why did Jesus have to die? Because God also loves each of us. He loves us so much that he wants us to spend forever in his presence. There is only one problem with that desire: none of us are good enough to live in the presence of the holy God. Our sin, our poor choices, and our selfishness prevent us from having a forever relationship with God. So God sent his perfect, sinless son to earth to live among us and to die on a cross for our sins. He paid the price for our failures because it was the only way for us to be with him forever. So the son he loved paid for the sins of the people he loved. And then God raised his son from the dead. Yes, it hurt to see him suffer. And he did – and does – love Jesus. But he sent him to earth as an act of love. Then he raised him from the dead as an act of love. And all of us who believe in Jesus will be raised from the dead someday to live with God forever. God loves. And he acted on that love.
“She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21)
Jesus means Savior. He is our Savior, if we let him wash away our sins.