Monday, December 17, 2012

Why Jesus Really Came

Today’s Scripture: John 3: 16-17

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”    
Words of Devotion

I want you to try and picture those moments in heaven just before God the Son left His throne of majesty and came to earth as a baby. Think about it: The angels in heaven understood the life that lay before Him. The Father was putting Him on a path that would lead to humiliation and death. And Christ Himself knew the pain He would endure on the cross. It must have been so hard.

So what made Him go? It was love. God loved the people of this planet, and knew Jesus was the only way we could be saved from the consequences of our sin. And our planet – a little speck in the great universe – was loved so much that God became a man. We didn't deserve Him, but we got Him.

It’s been well said, “God doesn't love us because we’re valuable; we’re valuable because He loves us.” No truer words have been spoken. Jesus didn't come into the world because He found us attractive. No, He came into the world so that we might become holy and blameless in the eyes of God.

Our Lord experienced so much hardship by coming into the world. But He knew it was worth it, to rescue us from the dominion of darkness and bring us into His Kingdom!


Monday, December 10, 2012


Today’s Scripture: Luke 2:11

“Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

Words of Devotion

Some people think that “Christ” is Jesus’ last name. Jesus Christ, like Joe Johnson or Audrey Smith. If you have thought that, don’t feel bad. It is just evidence that over the centuries our understanding of Jesus as the Christ has become so solid in our thinking that we don’t think of “Jesus” without “Christ.”

Jesus is His name, Christ is His title. Among all the titles He bears, Son of God, Son of Man, Good Shepherd, Alpha and Omega, it all begins in the gospel story with this one incredible announcement: “He is Christ the Lord.” “Christos” in Greek, and thus, “Christ” in English; “Messiah” in Hebrew, which means “Anointed One.”

But what is the meaning of “Anointed One”?

In the Old Testament, three kinds of people were anointed: kings, priests, and prophets. So when we hear “Christ,” we should think of Jesus in each of those three roles.

He is a king, ruling in people’s lives not just because they are in His realm but also because He is in their hearts.

He is a priest, one who stands between God and humanity—One who sacrifices; One who intercedes, the mediator, the bridge.

 He is a Prophet, Prophets had brought the words of God to the people, but the Messiah is the Word of God to the people.

In those days, when the heavy hand of Caesar Augustus dominated the Holy Land, people were looking for the Anointed One to come. 

They were hoping for a large army, not a multitude of the heavenly host. They anticipated a bigger and better David, not the obscure rabbi who always seemed like an outsider when He visited Jerusalem. They probably expected an orator, but did not expect the speeches of this Messiah to leave people speechless.

The very best things God does in our lives usually come as a surprise to us. So wouldn't it be surprising if we, who think we know so much about Jesus, would be startled to see Him in a whole new way.

Today, we picture Him in a nativity set or as the subject of Praise in hymns. We picture Him in art, in stories. We experience Him while reading the Bible, or while listening to a Sunday sermon. But we often fail to picture Him as the living, breathing manifestation of God on earth. This, the angel said, was “good news of great joy.” What could be better than God existing in the midst of our lives?

Prayer for Today: Christ, you are the King above all other kings, the High Priest who has made the ultimate sacrifice, the Prophet who has had the last word. Let me be astonished this Christmas by knowing more fully than ever before, that you really have come and have changed this world, and are here still. Amen

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Answer Is Jesus

Today’s Passage: Romans 7:24-25

 “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Words of Devotion

We might think of Paul as being perfect. A man of unimaginable spiritual maturity who had conquered every temptation and always walked in the Spirit. Yet, even Paul admitted that he struggled.

Calling himself "miserable," Paul concluded that he was "rotten through and through so far as my old sinful nature is concerned." He confessed that, "No matter which way I turn, I can't make myself do right...When I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway."

Even though he loved God's law, he still felt the influence of sin. He felt that he was a slave to sin and that "there is another power within me that is at war with my mind" (v. 23).

Paul shared these details because he wanted his readers to understand that these problems were universal. Sin could cause Believers to become discouraged and feel condemned, unworthy, and hopeless.

Paul learned that he could not achieve victory by trusting in his own ability. Rather, he needed to trust in Jesus, who gave him the power and ability he needed, enabling him to overcome the grip of sin.

All of us can feel trapped by our actions or words, by sin, habits, or circumstances. We may be tempted by carnal thoughts, preoccupied by our jobs, or anxious about the future. In spite of our efforts, we may be plagued by burdens or guilt.

In all of these situations, Paul found help: "The answer is in Jesus Christ." We cannot overcome on our own, but with His strength and power we can achieve victory.

Today: In whatever situations you face, talk with Jesus about your problems. Surrender your life to Him, and allow Him to give you victory. Jesus is the answer!

Today's Prayer:  Dear Lord Jesus, these are areas in which I need help:_________. I depend on You for the answer. Thank You for giving me victory! In Your name Amen