I got your life application right here! First off, Happy New Year! It's 2019 and there's a sense of optimism floating about in the air. Now, please allow me to continue that, and bring you more good feelings of gumdrops and cherry licorice. How would you feel if someone you knew suddenly died?
If I were granted three wishes, one of them would not be to know what the future holds. I have enough trouble wrestling with today’s demons. I don’t want to know what crosses I’ll have to lug around tomorrow. As the wise Rabbi said, “Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” And some days are so sufficiently evil that tomorrow looms like the open jaws of hell.
No Christian can boast that his own efforts have made him a member of Christ, with other Christians, in the common faith. Nor can he by any work constitute himself a Christian. He performs good works by virtue of having become a Christian, in the new birth, through faith, regardless of any merit of his own.
I grew up playing baseball – mostly “street” baseball, with a bunch of friends. It was one of my passions in life. I remember one day, I think I was around 11 years old, in Korea. My friends and I, as usual, went out to play baseball, right in our apartment complex in Seoul. I was in the batter’s box, ready to hit, and the pitcher threw the ball.
That's the Christmas message the Church has preached, confessed, and sung for more than two thousand years. Jesus, born in Bethlehem, God's Word in the flesh, true God and true man is Lord and Savior. But who is he born for? Whose Lord and Savior is he?
Oh Come, see Him loving you before He was ever even born. (Ephesians 1:3-6) Oh Come, see Him planning our rescue. (Genesis 3:15) Oh Come, see Him being born into brokenness, poverty, and bloodshed. (Matthew 1:18-25) Oh Come, see Him living in utter obscurity as a boy, teenager, man. (Luke 2:52)
Mary snapped a pic of Jesus in the manger, chose the Clarendon filter, and posted it to her Instagram account. Two hours later, it had 24 likes. Three of her friends had commented, “He’s so adorable!” Two said, “OMG, how cute!” And one gushed, “The most beautiful baby ever!” But they were all lying.