Saturday, December 23, 2017

December 24, 2017

"In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. The Shepherds and the Angels And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told." Luke 2:1-20

Here is your Christmas Eve eve assignment. I want you to take a couple of minutes and come up with a plan to save the world from its moral degradation. Your plan must provide a way to satisfy the penalty for all the sins of the world. Your plan must have a universal means of restoring fellowship with God. When this plan is appropriated by an sinful individual, it must be about to instantly bring life to their spirit and transform the way they think about God, their self and others. This salvation scheme of yours must assure people of eternal life and remove the guilt and shame of their sinful past. Finally, this plan must provide an inner moral strength that will allow those who claim it to resist the power of sin.

Okay, time is up! What is your plan?

That's what I thought. I don't have one either.

Thankfully, the "good news of great joy" that is Christmas unfolded God's remarkable plan!

I would have never thought of it. Neither would you!

In fact, amazing as it it, God's plan is a strange way to save the world.

Who would give the best they have to save the worst they have - at their worst?

Who would allow a holy and innocent person to assume the penalty, guilt, sin, shame and sickness of every other degenerate person is the world?

Who would put the only hope of redemption for the world in the hands of two teen-aged peasants?

Who would reduce the most powerful Child in the universe to a helpless infant? What all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise sovereign would dare to make himself that vulnerable?

Who would trust the proclamation of this incredible message into the hands of eleven weak, timid, uneducated, and unproven men?

Who, having absolute power, would choose to save the world through weakness rather than by wielding his power?

What a strange way to save the world! Who would come up with a plan like this?

I wouldn't!

Neither would you!

God did! Only He could! Only He is holy enough, wise enough, powerful enough, committed enough, and loving enough to conceive and execute such a strange AND wonderful plan!

I am SO thankful He did! This strange plan has transformed my life!