Cling to Jesus
And lay your foundations with sapphires. - Isaiah 54:11
Not only what is seen in the Church of God but also what is unseen is fair and precious. Foundations are out of sight, and as long as they are firm, it is not expected that they should be valuable. But in God's work everything is of the same value—nothing devalued, nothing irrelevant. The deep foundations of the work of grace are as precious as sapphires; no human mind is able to measure their glory. We build upon the covenant of grace, which is stronger than steel and as enduring as diamonds and upon which age makes no impact. Sapphire foundations are eternal, and the covenant remains throughout the lifetime of the Almighty.
Another foundation is the person of the Lord Jesus, clear and spotless, as everlasting and beautiful as the sapphire, combining the deep blue of earth's ever-rolling ocean and the azure of its all-embracing sky. At one time our Lord might have been compared to the ruby as He stood covered with His own blood, but now we see Him radiant with the soft blue of love—love abounding, deep, eternal.
Our eternal hopes are built upon the justice and the faithfulness of God, which are as clear and cloudless as the sapphire. We are not saved by a compromise, by mercy defeating justice or law suspending its operations; no, we defy the eagle's eye to detect a flaw in the groundwork of our confidence: Our foundation is of sapphire and will endure the fire.
The Lord Himself has laid the foundation of His people's hopes. It is a subject for serious inquiry whether our hopes are built upon such a basis. Good works and ceremonies are not a foundation of sapphires, but of wood, hay, and stubble; neither are they laid by God but by our own conceit. Foundations will all be tested before long: Woe to him whose lofty tower will come down with a crash because it was built on sand. The one who is built on sapphires may face storm or fire with confidence, for he will pass the test.
Family Bible reading plan
verse 1 Zechariah 2
verse 2 John 5
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.