A Personal Devotional Journal

I invite you to journey with me. Sometimes we will look at short passages of Scripture and I will give my first thoughts and impressions. Other times, I will just share my thinking about spiritual issues. Always, you are welcome to comment and add your thoughts. Together, we could learn something.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Luke 2:7, John 1:14 "No Room" (part two)

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  (Luke 2:7)

 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. (John 1:14)

This was clearly the most significant event in all of world history –God had become man. God’s plan for redemption and salvation had been put into action. Angels were amazed, but the humans were oblivious.

Christ, the Messiah, had come to Bethlehem, but Bethlehem didn’t even know it. These people who thronged the streets and hawked their wares and filled the inns –these people who had longed for and prayed for God to send the Messiah –these people missed the birth of God

They didn’t miss the advent of the Messiah because they were terrible people. Not at all –they were mostly good, devout Jewish people. These other people living in the village of Bethlehem didn’t miss the most important event in all of human history because they were hopelessly evil or wicked or cruel. They missed the birth of Jesus simply because they were too busy to notice.

That brings me to today. I wonder –do I really have to make the application? We sure are busy people aren’t we? We have much to do –don’t we? Here it is already the Christmas season. On top of our jobs we have chores to do, errands to run, places to go and people to see. And somehow we still have to find the time to trim the tree and hang up some decorations, and do some Christmas shopping –and, of course, we have parties to go to, and get-togethers, and pageants, and caroling. And then guests are going to be arriving for the holidays –or else we’ve got to get packed to go home ourselves. We are always busy people, but at Christmastime we are even busier than usual.

And just mentioning these things has gotten some of your minds racing, thinking of all the things that still need to be done around your house. But I want to encourage you to take a moment right now in the middle of this busy season to stop and think of how much love God has shown us through this baby that was born.

#by-his-stripes.com #ByHisStripes

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Luke 2:7 "No Room"

And she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in strips of cloth, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.  Luke 2:7

We like to picture the manger scene as a nice sterile place with clean, fresh hay, and clean stalls with pretty little sheep and maybe a friendly cow or two. And that’s alright for our nativity sets we put out to symbolize this scene and remind us of the circumstance of Jesus’ birth –I mean, who wants a dirty, smelly barn sitting out on the coffee table? 

But let’s be realistic. Jesus was born in a real barn with real sheep and real cows and real goats and maybe chickens. Real animals living in real barns don’t stay pretty and clean for very long. 

Jesus was born in the midst of musty hay and sweaty animals and manure and mice and cobwebs, and his mother wrapped him carefully in some rags and laid him carefully in the feeding trough so that the cows wouldn’t accidentally trample him while she rested. 

This is how God entered the world –the King of all Creation, Almighty God became a tiny baby, born to a teenage girl in a barn behind the local inn.

I want to invite you to pause for a moment -in a sense, to pause before the manger and look at that baby and think about God’s extraordinary love. 

God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son that whoever believes on Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. This is love –not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins. 
This is love –God sent His Son.