Truth for Life - December 12, 2016
God’s Ways are Everlasting
They have dealt faithlessly with the Lord. - Hosea 5:7
Believer, here is a sad truth! You are the beloved of the Lord, redeemed by blood, called by grace, preserved in Christ Jesus, accepted in the Beloved, on your way to heaven, and yet you "have dealt faithlessly" with God, your best friend; faithlessly with Jesus, to whom you belong; faithlessly with the Holy Spirit, by whom you have been born again to life eternal! How faithless you have been in the matter of vows and promises. Do you remember your love in the early days, that happy time, the springtime of your spiritual life? How closely you held to your Master then, saying, "He will never charge me with indifference; my feet will never grow slow in the way of His service; I will not allow my heart to wander after other loves; in Him is blessing I could ever enjoy. I give up everything for my Lord Jesus' sake." Has it been so? Sadly if conscience speaks, it will say, "He who promised so much has performed so little. Prayer has frequently been slurred—it has been short but not sweet, brief but not fervent.
Communion with Christ has been forgotten. Instead of a heavenly mind, there have been earthly preoccupations, foolish vanities, and evil thoughts. Instead of service, there has been disobedience, instead of fervency lukewarmness, instead of patience petulance, instead of faith self-reliance; and as a soldier of the cross there has been cowardice, disobedience, and desertion, to a very shameful degree."
"They have dealt faithlessly." Faithless to Jesus! What words shall be used in denouncing this? Words are cheap: Let our penitent thoughts condemn the sin that is so surely in us. Faithless to Your sacrifice, O Jesus! Forgive us, and let us not sin again! How shameful to be faithless to Him who never forgets us, but who to this day stands with our names engraven on His breastplate before the eternal throne.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Haggai 1
verse 2 John 2
Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas
What is Christmas? For many it is a time for holidays, parties, family gatherings, gifts, meals together, music, and special events. For others it can mean unwanted pressure, an increased sense of loneliness, family squabbles, and crowded shops. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas takes place at the onset of winter with its cold weather and short days. There are more incidents of depression at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is the best of times for some, but the worst of times for others, to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.
The birth of Jesus divided history into two major epochs. Until the dawn of our hyper-sensitive age, even the way we dated events underscored this. From time immemorial, every day, week, month, and year has been described as either “B.C.” (“Before Christ”) or “A.D.” (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”). Even the modern, pluralistic style abbreviations, B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) and C.E. (“Common Era”) cannot obliterate the indelible impress of Jesus birth. For what makes the “Common Era” so “common”? And what explains the dividing line date? The answer is the same: the birth of Jesus. At the very center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And He does so because He is at the center of God’s story.
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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.