“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. They are brought down and fallen: but we are risen, and stand upright.” Psalms 20:7-8 KJV. These words remind us of the outcome of where we place our trust. Horses and chariots represent the things of this world that most people place their trust in. Things like intellect, physical health and strength, money and material resources. Even human relationships become a source of trust. But the problem is none of these things are permanent. None will be sufficient for the spiritual battles that we all will face. And so, depending on them, people are brought low. They soon fall from that place that seemed so secure. But thank God, when we trust in His Name, we can rise up and stand! The Name of the Lord is a strong tower and a safe Refuge. Let us remember His great and holy Name! Let us keep the Name of Jesus often upon our minds and our lips! In His Name we can trust and never be disappointed.
“Concerning the works of men, by the Word of Thy lips I have kept me from the paths of the destroyer.” Psalms 17:4 KJV. We know that the ‘ways of the destroyer’ are the devil’s ways. It is the the path of sin, selfishness and pride. It is the broad way that leads to death. But the good news is, God has given us His Word to keep us from that path. He has given us great and precious promises that we can depend on. He has given us warning about how to avoid the wrong path and instruction about how to stay on the right path. His promises also remind us of the power and authority of God’s Word. If it was only the word of a man, we couldn’t be sure about it. We wouldn’t know if it carried authority with it. But when we know God has spoken it, then we can rest our souls upon it! This is another reason why it is so important for us to hide God’s Word in our heart. It is the power of God’s Word in us that enables us to keep away from the paths of the destroyer. “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” So everyday, let us put God’s Word in our hearts and minds.
“When His candle shined upon my head, and when by His light I walked through darkness;”
Job 29:3 KJV. There are times in our earthly lives that the way before us seems very dark. We go through times of suffering and sorrow, and the path we are on seems to have no light. We face social, political and economic uncertainty and it appears as if the future will bring more darkness. But what a blessing it is to know “By the Light of Christ we are able to walk through the darkness”! This is one of the great joys of God’s children. Though this world lies in darkness, yet we have the True Light living in our hearts! Though we pass through some long, dark valleys, yet, if Christ is abiding in us and we are abiding in Him, we have the promise that He will always shine His light upon our pathway. We may not know about the next mile, but He will always illuminate the next step we need to take. By God’s grace let us walk in His light.
“And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Luke 2:38 KJV. These are the words of Ana, the prophetess, when she saw the baby Jesus. She knew that only in Him was there any hope for redemption. There was no hope in their Jewish religion, no hope in trying to obey the Law, no hope in ever becoming good enough. They needed a Redeemer! Today, may we echo that same message. As we encounter precious souls that need redemption, let’s speak much of Jesus as the Redeemer they need. Nothing else will ever be enough! Not religion, not good works, not emotional experiences, nothing or no one except Jesus can redeem us from our sins! As we live in a world that desperately needs to be redeemed, let this be our message, that the Redeemer has come and is waiting to do what only He can do. God help us to put Him first in our hearts and minds, first in our thoughts and desires, first in everything! Let our souls be so filled with thoughts of Jesus, that when we open our mouths, we will speak of our Redeemer!
“And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel…” Luke 2:34 KJV. When Simeon spoke these words about Jesus to Mary, he did not realize the spiritual breadth of what he said. He was thinking as a Jew in a narrow sense, of national Israel. But the truth is, in every life when we come to Jesus, there must first be a fall before there can be a rising again. We must fall from that high place of our pride and ego. We must fall down from creature worship to bow at His feet. We must fall from our foolish independence, thinking that we don’t need anyone telling us what to do or how to live our lives. There are many religious people who never rise up to the new life Christ has for them, because they were never willing to humbly fall down before Jesus. But let us, by God’s grace, fall down humbly before Jesus Christ, and confess our desperate need of Him. Let us humble ourselves under His mighty hand and He will lift us up.
“Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: For mine eyes have seen Thy Salvation,”
Luke 2:29-30 KJV. These words were spoken by old Simeon, when the baby Jesus was first brought to the temple. He was a Godly man and had waited so long for God to bring the promised Messiah. And now as he holds Jesus in his hands and praises God, the Lord reveals to Him, here is the Salvation God has promised! The One Who is the Saviour of man, the Salvation of the world, he is holding in his hands! This should remind all of us, that true salvation is not in a set of beliefs or doctrines. It’s not in a church nor any religion. Salvation is not in good works nor religious activities. Thank God, Salvation is in the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ! He is our only Salvation! With Him and in Him we are saved! But without Jesus there is no hope. This is why Jesus should always be our heart’s dearest Treasure. This is why our entire lives should be devoted to Him alone. No one else can save us or deliver us. But praise God, Jesus can and will. May our souls rise up in praise, as the song says, ‘O what a Saviour! O hallelujah!’.
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
Luke 2:11 KJV. On the night that Jesus was born this was the good news this lost and dying world needed to hear. For so long humanity had struggled on in their sins, bound to an existence that was so far beneath what they were created for. More than they could ever imagine, they needed a Saviour! And today, with all that is going on in this broken world, surely we should know how desperately our world needs that same Saviour. And the good news is, Jesus Christ has come! He came and did everything that was necessary to save us from our sins. He came to rescue souls from the awful, destructive powers of evil. He came to reconcile us to the Father. He came to restore us, so we could become the people God created us to be. So on this Christmas day that we set aside to remember His birth, let us praise God that the Saviour we needed has come! And let us be faithful to spread the good news to others, the Saviour they need has come. I hope each one has a very blessed and Merry Christmas.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10 KJV. What a wonderful message this was to the shepherds on that first Christmas night, “Good tidings of GREAT JOY!” How it must have thrilled their hearts to receive this message from God. And no doubt they never forgot it! Everywhere they went they told of this amazing message from the angel. But for us today, has it become so familiar that we don’t get excited about it? Has it become so routine that we’ve lost the joy? If we are not careful, it is easy for us to become so wrapped up in this world and living life, that we lose the joy of our salvation. But may God help us that we might regain that first joy of when we heard and believed this good news! May we be reminded that Jesus has come and broken the chains that once bound us in our sins. What a blessing is ours that we have received this good news of great joy. And let’s remember, this joy is not about everything going smoothly in our outward life. Rather, it is because the One Who is the Joy Giver has come to dwell in our hearts.
“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” Luke 2:10 KJV. When the angel of God appeared to those shepherds on the night of Jesus’ birth, we can only imagine the fear they must have felt. They lived in a world of spiritual darkness. It had been over 400 years since their nation had heard from God. No doubt they and many wondered if there was any hope. In many ways, our world today is similar. Fear has strangled the life out of many societies. Multitudes of people actually believe there is no hope for this country, and no hope for this world. A sense of despair hangs over many. But the message of Jesus still comes to fearful souls and reminds us, because of Jesus we don’t have to fear! Because of Jesus there is good news. There is hope in the midst of hopelessness. There is light in the midst of darkness. Because of Jesus things don’t have to go on in this fearful and hopeless condition. So as we approach another Christmas, let us receive afresh the angel’s message, FEAR NOT! There is good news! The Saviour has come!
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 KJV. Think of these words ‘No room for Jesus’. This is the One Who they had waited so long for, the One they so desperately needed, but they had no room for Him. But how many times in our busy lives do we the same? Our days become so full that there is no room for Jesus. We get so preoccupied with this world that there is no room for Jesus in our thoughts and activities. And even in this season which should be all about Him, we get so involved with family, friends, food and festivities that we seldom have room for Jesus. But may God help us to understand, that we need to give first place in our hearts, lives, thoughts and priorities, to Jesus! That even if it means other things have to be neglected, Jesus is going to have the best place, the first place in our lives. Will we give Him room today? Today He is not a Babe, but the Saviour Who seeks for us. He says “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him…” Rev. 3:20. Will we open the door of our heart and say,“Lord Jesus come and take the first place in my heart?”