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Truth for Life - December 23, 2016

December 23

We See Thee Face to Face

Yours is the day, yours also the night. - Psalms 74:16

Lord, You do not abdicate Your throne when the sun goes down, nor do You leave the world during all those long wintry nights to be the prey of evil. Your eyes watch us like the stars, and Your arms surround us as the band of planets belts the sky. The benefit of kindly sleep and all the influences of the moon are in Your hand, and the alarms and solemnities of night are equally with You. This is very sweet to me when walking in the midnight hours or tossing to and fro in anguish.

There are precious fruits supplied by the moon as well as by the sun: May my Lord make me a favored partaker in them. The night of affliction is just as much under the arrangement and control of the Lord of Love as the bright summer days when all is bliss. Jesus is in the tempest. His love wraps the night about itself like a cloak, but to the eye of faith the sable robe is scarcely a disguise. From the first watch of the night even to the break of day the eternal Watcher observes His saints and overrules the shades and shadows of midnight for His people's highest good. We believe in no rival deities of good and evil contending for mastery, but we hear the voice of Jehovah saying, "I form light and create darkness . . . I am the LORD, who does all these things."1

Gloomy seasons of religious indifference and social sin are not exempted from the divine purpose. When the altars of truth are defiled, and the ways of God forsaken, the Lord's servants weep with bitter sorrow, but they need not despair, for even the darkest eras are governed by the Lord and will come to an end at His command. What seems defeat to us may be victory to Him.

Though enwrapt in gloomy night,
We perceive no ray of light;
Since the Lord Himself is here,
'Tis not fitting we should fear.

1 Isaiah 45:7

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Zechariah 10

verse 2 John 13

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,

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