Noel!

Merry Christmas! A week late. But,…

Please read anyway.  This is the lead-in to next week’s post.   And, if you are a seeker, I believe you might just find what you are looking for. (Larry)

…for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” [Luke 2:10, NKJV]i

For Christians, these are familiar words. These words are part of the message God sent to one of the lowest castes of people in Hebrew society – shepherds. Angels delivered the message; but, it went to poor, down trodden shepherds. Maybe the angels made a mistake. The greatest news ever delivered on earth. Surely, it should have gone first to royalty, or at least to the priests.

That might be the case if God thought the way we think. But He doesn’t! The news went exactly where He intended it to go. To the people who needed it most.

Note who God chose to bear His Son in human form. Mary. Mary, who? What had Mary done to merit her selection to become the virgin mother of Jesus? Nothing that I know of—except she had apparently found God’s favor. Same for Joseph. Pretty much “nobodies” in their society.

But, this post is not about Mary or Joseph, or even the shepherds. It’s about the message; and, the fact that the message is, first, “… of great joy”: and, second, that it is “…to all people”.

Have you ever felt like you have no future? No friends? No way out of the mess you’ve made of your life? Or, maybe you just feel like an invisible nobody? I can tell you there are people in every society, and every strata of every society, that feel the same way. But, does my saying that really help? Of course not.

But, here is the message that can make all the difference in the world to you. Whether you have nothing, or everything you’ve ever wanted; the angels’ message is intended for you! God said this message is to ALL people!

He also said the message was of great joy. But, somehow you just don’t feel very joyful? Well, I can tell you why, You’re trying to do everything on your own. And, you have not, made friends with the only One who has promised to never leave your side. And will actually keep His promise. This person literally cannot lie. He can be trusted. He also has an unending supply of whatever it is that you need. And, He will share it with you, if you ask. And, if that is true, then I think you would agree it is truly good news.

It is true! Here is the history and future of this plan the angels carried to earth—as briefly as I can tell it.

The God of the Hebrew people created the Heavens and the earth, in fact the universe. He made the earth “very good” with ideal gravity, ideal temperatures, an Ideal atmosphere, plants, animals and two human beings—Adam and Eve. He placed Adam and Eve in a garden with the instruction that they would live forever on earth, and populate it. God gave them only one rule. They were free to eat of everything in the garden except they were not to eat the fruit of a particular tree in the center of the garden. Man had everything he needed and the best part was God’s Presence. Earth was a paradise.

(Shortening a long story): Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate some of the fruit. Their sinful actii, caused God to curse the earth. One result for us is that every child born on earth is born with a sinful nature. (Meaning we do wrong things, no matter how hard we try not to). Another bad result is that God retreated to Heaven.

Over time man became very evil, and God eventually gave man a system of rules, and commandments, to live by. Collectively, they were called the Law. The problem is no-one can live by the Law alone. Our sinful nature assures that. And, God has actually told us that, no one is righteous by their own efforts. Actually, God was setting the stage for something else. Almost 700 years before it happened, God promised to send us a Redeemer. He just didn’t give us an exact time-table.

But that, my friends, is exactly what happened in Bethlehem about 2,000 years ago. God’s promise came to fulfillment.

John 3:16 tells us, “…God loved this world so much that he gave his one and only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” [John 3:16, NLT]iii Jesus is the promised Redeemer. And He died to set everyone (anyone) who believes in Him free from their sin debt and give them eternal life. Like the angel said, “…great joy which will be to all people….”

And, this is where I will end this post. I intended for it to be posted on Christmas day, but events transpired to prevent that from happening. But if you saw yourself in the above, …trying to live a good life by following the teachings of your church/religion and having no idea of your actual status with your god, I encourage you to check in next week. I think you will find what you are looking for.

God, you have provided a way for man to be reconciled to you; and it is not through any priest, monk, iman, saint, preacher or other third party.

Thank you Lord for sending your Son Jesus to earth so that He would become the redeeming sacrifice for all men, for all time. And thank you for His resurrection—thus proving that He truly was the Son of the one true God, and the long awaited Christ; who sacrificed Himself that we might have eternal life with You in Heaven. A plan that only the one true God, the great I AM, could conceive and carry out. Lord, I stand in awe…

Larry

i  Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

ii  Sin is defined as willfully doing something you know to be against God’s will.

iii   Scripture quotations marked [NLT] are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.

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