Devotional for Jaunuary 13,2021

Greetings in Christ,

  By now we have heard the Christmas story told many ways, and it may be getting to the point it has become redundant to hear the same thing being said for many weeks.  How many times can you hear about the birth of Jesus?  While we have heard the story many times, it should not get to the point we get tired of hearing it being said, more importantly the reason for Jesus coming to earth.

  If we look at the history of the people in the Bible, we can see a pattern to their spiritual life on earth.  They enjoy a relationship with God, they become complacent, they suffer the wrath of God, they lament, and they repent.  This cycle of actions repeat over and over many times in the lives of the people throughout the writings in the Bible.  They struggled with maintaining the law and the regimen it took to comply with it.  They did not have anyone who could provide real influence in how to comply or actually fulfill the law requirements.  They all struggled with the law.

  The solution for this mess was to send one of the authors of the law and let Him be the example in its simplest form.  The only way this plan of salvation could be enacted was to remember the power of love in the intent of the law so love could counter the way the law had been obeyed.  The real problem with the law was it became a ritual and not an act of love.  It was through this act of love Jesus was able to set the bar for all to follow. 

  It took Jesus coming to earth to show and live out this act of love for the Father and mankind.  It was this act of love which was displayed in every moment how Jesus embraced mankind with every word and action.  He acted on his love to the point it was worth writing about and telling others just how much Jesus loved mankind.  Jesus’ love became so powerful it could not be contained, and it spread like wildfire among the people of the earth.

  Jesus was able to display the real intent of the law was to remind the people it was love behind the purpose of the law not the act of fulfilling the law.  It was this display of love the law became fulfilled on earth by Jesus, and then He surpassed the law by showing what a love filled heart could accomplish.  Jesus proved a heart filled with love was able to conquer the world with all its ugliness. 

  John puts in this way, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things came into being by Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.  In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”  The life in the last verse was the love Jesus brought to share with mankind, and without this love being displayed by Jesus we would be lost.

  We may be tired of hearing the Christmas story over and over, but have we forgotten the real reason Jesus came to earth?  Without Jesus’ example of love lived out for God and mankind we would still be struggling to overcome the sin of the world.  God’s plan of salvation was always to be an act of genuine love.  Love from God, love for God, and love for mankind.  It took Jesus to come to earth to show us just how powerful this genuine love can be, and how to let it empower us so we can share it with others.  

  “Praise the Lord!  I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly.  Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.  Splendid and majestic is His work; and His righteousness endures forever.   He has made His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.  He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.  He has made known to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.”  Psalm 111:1-6

  “Praise the Lord!  How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who greatly delights in His commandments.  His descendants will be mighty on earth; the generation of the upright will be blessed.  Wealth and riches are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever.  Light arises in the darkness for the upright; He is gracious and compassionate and righteous.  It is well with the man who is gracious and lends; He will maintain his cause in judgment.  For he will never be shaken; the righteous will be remembered forever.”  Psalm 112:1-6

  “Who is like the Lord our God, Who is enthroned on high, Who humbles Himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth?  He raises the poor from the dust, and lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes, with the princes of His people.  He makes the barren woman abide in the house as a joyful mother of children.  Praise the Lord!”  Psalm 113:5-9

  Lord may we embrace the power of Your love, and may we live it out in our lives and share its power with others.  Amen


  Mark Johnson  
  Psalm 111,112,113,146,147; Isaiah 40:1-11; Hebrews 1:1-12; John 1:1-7, 19-20, 29-34

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