spiritualsnippets.com

Seeing life's events in the light of God's Word.

From the Manger to the Cross

Matthew 1:21- “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.”

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Have you ever wondered why newborn babies cry when they take their first breath? I think it is because they have just left the nice warm environment of their mother’s womb only to be hung upside down by the heels, face a blast of cold air, and confront the bright lights of the delivery room.

Jesus departed from Heaven where he had been surrounded by adoring angels, experienced love and fellowship with God the Father, and had everything he could ever want. He left a perfect environment, his position as part of the Holy Trinity, and the worship of all the Heavenly beings surrounding the throne.

I think, though he took on earthly form, he still had memory of being in Heaven with God and the Holy Spirit. He knew he was the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, but he left that position behind to become one of us in order that he might one day become our Savior.

Now, I’m not a doctor, so there may be a physical reason as to why newborns cry at birth. I’m not a pastor, so theologically I may have taken some license with my description, above. But, I am a Christian. And, by faith this much I know: Jesus came to earth as a babe, lived a sinless life, died on the cross for our sins, rose on the third day, and ascended back into Heaven where he now makes intercession for each believer.

For Christians, this Christmas season isn’t just a celebration of the babe in the manger. We look, as he did, toward the cross—because it was there that he did the will of God the Father so we could experience a new birth in Christ. 

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Meeting Your Zacchaeus

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Luke 19: 1-4 “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him …”

 

Each time the lady in front of Billie leaned over to make a comment to her husband, Billie had to reposition herself so that she could see the speaker.

Dan was shorter than the other guys around him, so he wasn’t able to see all of the members in the band as they performed.

Billie and Dan had a similar experience to that of Zacchaeus. They couldn’t see who they wanted to see. 

In the Bible story, Zacchaeus and Jesus (whom he climbed a tree to see) end up spending time together. Zacchaeus repents of his sins and experiences forgiveness.

I don’t know what Zacchaeus expected to happen that day (scripture only says that he wanted to see who Jesus was), but our Lord knew he’d be up in that tree. He had a message for him and Zacchaeus responded.

Sometimes, the days just don’t unfold according to our plans. Sometimes God has something different in mind for us. Perhaps he wants us to listen to someone’s troubles, deliver a meal we hadn’t planned on making, give a blanket to a needy person. 

Whatever the case … whatever the circumstance … wherever He leads …

There just may be a Zacchaeus in our lives waiting for us to share the message of forgiveness and grace.

 

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Does Your Marriage Need a Renovation?

 

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Ephesians 5: 24-28; 33b “Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies…and the wife must respect her husband.”

 

A morning newscast this week gave the results of a recent survey: “The key to a happy marriage is having two separate bathrooms.”

Mutual respect, honesty, and open lines of communication— things I would have thought would top the list—were not even mentioned.

What did God have to say on the subject? I turned to Ephesians. The words submit, love, and respect stood out.

When had those biblical virtues become obsolete and been replaced by things valued by “the world”?

As Christians we must not let love of worldly things keep our eyes off the things of God. We must hold fast to the truths written in the Bible. 

If we don’t, we may fall prey to falsely believing that things like a big bank account, expensive clothes, and fancy vacations are keys to not only personal satisfaction, but also happy marriages. 

And, like the survey, we might someday find ourselves in the midst of a bathroom renovation, when what we really need to do is to seek the answers in God’s Word.

 

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