Monday, November 26, 2018

November 27, 2018

"And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." Luke 1:26-35

A teen-age virgin was to become the mother of the Messiah!

What a strange and amazing way to save the world! Who would have thought of such a plan?

Only God! And only God could pull it off! It is ingenious and it is supernatural.

No man could have dreamed this up! Humanism wants us to believe that men are intrinsically good. If they can be provided with the right education and right environment they can grow and develop into god-like beings living in a man-made utopia. The Tower of Babel is the symbol of their vanity. That was their idea of saving the world.

God knows better. He was in the Garden when Adam and Eve disobeyed and lost their true utopia. Their sin activation a sinful will within the human nature. Your battle with sin originates with the original sin. You and I sin because we are sinners. It is our nature. And it is what alienates us from a relationship with a Holy God. One of the most heart-breaking stories in the Bible is when God came looking for Adam and Eve but found them hiding because of their shame. No longer could they walk with Him. No longer could they dwell in a perfect place.

Being created to be in fellowship with Him, He is the Source of spiritual life. He is the Source of all truth. He is the only hope for moral restoration and transformation. God would not stand for His Creatures being separated from Him. But He had a problem. Actually, we had the problem and only He could come up with the solution. How could a Holy God restore fellowship with a sinful and rebellious race? It was impossible for Him to become "unholy" and equally impossible for man to become "unsinful". How could this gap be bridged? Was their an answer for this spiritual and moral dilemma?

Jesus became the Bridge! Christmas became the solution. Young Mary became the vessel. The Angel's announcement revealed the genius of God's plan. God would send His Own Son, born of a human but conceived by the Holy Spirit! He would be born without the sin nature by virtue of His immaculate conception, but He would also human! Because He was born without sin and if He would live a sinless life through the power of the same Holy Spirit that conceived Him, He could become the sacrificial Lamb Who could die for our sins! He was and He did!

What a strangely amazing way to save the world! It was first revealed to a young teen girl named Mary. And strange as it was, she embraced it and executed it.

The miracle of Christmas is the virgin birth of Jesus! The motive of Christmas is the incredible love of a Holy God for a fallen world! The message of Christmas is that salvation is come!

No greater gift has ever been given! No more brilliant plan has ever been formulated! But a gift must be received and a plan must be believed if it is to mean something.

Will you believe it? 

Will you receive it?

November 26, 2018

"But when the set time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship." Galatians 4:4-5

You are probably familiar with Murphy's Law. In case you aren't it goes like this: 

Murphy's Law - If anything can go wrong -- it will.

Maybe you haven't heard some of the additional corollaries to this cynical law:

* Murphy's First Corollary - Left to themselves, things tend to go from bad to worse.
* Murphy's Second Corollary - It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.
* Quantitative Revision of Murphy's Law - Everything goes wrong all at once.
* Murphy's Constant - Matter will be damaged in direct proportion to its value.
* The Murphy Philosophy - Smile... tomorrow will be worse.

  1. If there is a possibility of several things going wrong, the one that will cause the most damage will be the first one to go wrong. 
  2. Corollary - If there is a worse time for something to go wrong, it will happen then.
  3. If several things that could have gone wrong have not gone wrong, it would have been ultimately beneficial for them to have gone wrong.
  4. Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.
  5. If anything can't go wrong, it will anyway.
  6. If you perceive that there are four possible ways in which something can go wrong, and circumvent these, then a fifth way, unprepared for, will promptly develop.
  7. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.
  8. Everything takes longer than you think.
  9. You never find a lost article until you replace it.
  10. If nobody uses it, there's a reason.
  11. You get the most of what you need the least.
If there is ever a time when things can go wrong it is around the Holidays when so many things are planned.and, therefore, many bad things can happen.

As a matter of fact, if you were Mary and Joseph, deeply involved in the events of the first Christmas it must have seemed like everything that could go wrong WAS going wrong! It must have seemed like Murphy's Law was in effect.

Try to put yourself in their place.

What a bad time to get pregnant!

What a terrible time for a census!

What a lousy time to have to take a long trip on a donkey!

What an inconvenient place to have to travel!

What a horrible time for King Herod to get paranoid!

At a time in their lives when they had plans for things to go right, everything seemed to be going wrong!

But, despite all the problems, a miracle was about to happen!

Christmas proves that even when everything seems to be going badly a miracle can still happen! That's Mercy's Law!

Mercy's Law trumps Murphy's Law every time!