Today's Thoughts: Merry Christmas!
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
If you look at today’s verse, you see how it beautifully proclaims the birth of Jesus, our Savior. But if you look at its reference, you see that it comes from the Old Testament book of Isaiah. So often, we tend to focus only on the Gospels to learn about Jesus, His life and His purpose, but the coming of Jesus was foretold from the beginning.
When Adam and Eve sinned and were cast out of the Garden, God already had the plan of restoration. In Genesis 3:15, God proclaims the birth of the One who would bruise the head of Satan. This verse foretells the birth of Jesus being born of a woman and coming into the world to defeat our enemy, Satan. Jesus accomplished this at the cross, as described in each of the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John). God established a nation of people that He called His own, the Israelite or Jewish nation. The Old Testament tells their story from the beginning, while tracing the genealogy of Christ from the tribe of Judah. The Gospel of Matthew opens with this genealogy traced all the way back to the beginning. Throughout the Old Testament stories and prophecies, the coming of Jesus is consistently foretold. He was their only hope and would be the only way of salvation for them. Prophets such as Isaiah describe this Savior long before He would ever be born to a virgin named Mary.
Many people, even Christians, tend to focus on the New Testament writings more than the Old Testament. One year, we studied the book of Exodus in our women’s Bible study and the impact for most women was amazing. They were able to really see how God worked through His people. They learned new insights to His sovereignty, His mercy, His power, and His amazing love for us. And every week, we pointed out the message of Jesus. We found Jesus in every chapter. The study of the tabernacle went from words describing seemingly endless details of clasps and boards to a powerful understanding of how God just wants to dwell with His people. We looked at how that foretold of what Jesus would do when He came to earth. People who never really had an interest in studying the Old Testament left with a desire to study even further. I think many of them went into the books of Leviticus and Numbers. They discovered the awesome power of the Word of God…in the Old Testament.
This devotional is written for a couple of reasons. One is you need to see how the birth of Jesus was not just mentioned in the New Testament Gospels. If we see it only from that perspective, we miss the awesome sovereignty and love of God. God had a plan from the beginning. This plan was not begun in the New Testament, it was completed there. Second reason is because we need to be challenged and encouraged to read and study the whole Bible. As the year end approaches, now is the time to make some new goals for next year. Prayerfully consider beginning a reading program that takes you through the whole Bible in one year. If you have never done that before, you are in for a blessing of unimaginable value. It will change your life. Start praying now for the plan and for the perseverance. The enemy will do everything he can to thwart these goals, but if you are persistent, God will prevail. And when you get to the book of Isaiah sometime next year, maybe you will remember today’s verse. If today’s verse and this reading stir your heart to make this commitment, then give God the glory when you get to it next year. We pray that you make this resolution and that you allow the Lord to truly bless you through His word. There is no greater Christmas gift than Jesus Christ, the living Word.
Our mission is to evangelize the lost and awaken the saved to live empowered lives by the Work of God and His Holy Spirit. Daily Disciples Ministries makes a difference for the kingdom of God by teaching and training believers how to be in God's Word, how to pray and how to walk with Jesus every day, as His daily disciple.
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