Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Daily Christmas Encouragement
Don't Dismiss Jesus

"Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows:  After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.  Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly" (Matthew 1:18, 19).

Wilbur and Orville Wright made their historic flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.  For several years, they had tried to fly a heavier-than-air craft and had failed, but on December 17, 1903, they actually flew!  Filled with elation, they wired their sister Katherine, "We have flown 120 feet!  By the way, we plan to be home for Christmas.  Love, Orville and Wilber."

When Katherine received the telegram she was ecstatic and immediately ran down to the Dayton Gazette newspaper editor with the scoop of the century.  The editor carefully read the telegram, smiled, and said, "Well, well, how nice the boys will be home for Christmas."

By not even acknowledging the Wright brothers' incredible flight, that newspaper editor missed the significance and impact of one of the greatest events in history.

That's exactly what happens with many people as we celebrate the Christmas season.  They are missing out on the real significance and impact of what Christmas is all about.  Joseph also almost missed out on Jesus' coming when he planned to dismiss Mary.

The angel Gabriel had appeared to Mary, but evidently Joseph didn't believe her when she tried to explain it to him.  Perhaps Mary's version of her pregnancy was too miraculous and farfetched even for Joseph to believe.  Instead, he was willing to put Mary away by divorcing her quietly, without anyone knowing, because he was a righteous man.  This may seem very admirable of Joseph, but there was no reason for Mary to be put away because she hadn't committed adultery.  She was with child by the Holy Spirit, and God convinced Joseph of that later. 
Often it's hard to convince righteous people about spiritual things.  They don't think they need salvation because they are good, ethical, and moral.  In many cases, these people dismiss Jesus quietly.  They like what Jesus stands for—His love and Christian ethic—but they put Him off as a personal Savior.

You will quietly dismiss Jesus if you misunderstand who He is.  Jesus was and is God incarnate, the perfect and sinless God-man who came to reconcile sinful, unholy man to a sinless, holy God.  We honor Jesus only when we fully realize who He is, and how much we are in need of Him.

"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich"  (2 Corinthians 8:9)

"Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12).

From Wayne Taylor, Pastor of Mountlake Terrace, WA Calvary Fellowship

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