Christmas 2018 – Day 24

birth-of-jesus-1150128-900x640As part of my 25 for 25 (25 devotionals leading up to 25 December), here is Day # 24: It’s Christmas Eve! As we consider what tomorrow brings let’s briefly review some of the highlights we’ve learned these last 23 days. We covered that the Messiah:

  • Would be a male born of a virgin: Day 1
  • Linked to Ruth, Boaz, Obed and David: Day 2
  • Would rule forever: Day 7
  • Persecution at birth: Day 8 & Day 9
  • Would include salvation to the Gentiles: Day 10
  • Would have prophesies written of Him and He would be the Word: Day 12
  • Again, a boy born of a virgin: Day 16
  • -Called “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”: Day 17
  • Become a Branch and Rod from a stump: Day 18
  • Heralded by John the Baptist about making paths straight: Day 19
  • Mother, Mary’s biblical knowledge: Day 20
  • Father, Joseph’s trust in the Lord: Day 21
  • Elder, Simeon’s devotion rewarded: Day 22

 

The Lord has given us much to be thankful for. But this holiday season, we should celebrate the knowledge, understanding and wisdom God has given us by saving us from hell. On Day 10 I mentioned Ephesians 3:4-6 where Paul says, “you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ.” The focus there was on the Gentiles, but I want to look at the ability for all of us to “understand” “knowledge.” In my book called, Biblical Knowledge, Understanding & Wisdom, I look at chapter 3 of Ephesians. Here is an excerpt from my book:

According to Ephesians 3:8-13, the “wisdom of God” is given to the Church so that we can make it known to the heavenly realm (v. 10). It makes sense that a wisdom only gained spiritually would minister to the spiritual. And that “eternal purpose” was accomplished by Jesus (v. 11) coming to earth, dying on the cross and raising from the dead.

And that “mystery” made known to us through God’s knowledge, understanding and wisdom centers around that coming to earth, or as we often sing this time of year, “night divine when Christ was born.” I encourage you to read from Luke 1-2 with your family tonight as you are reminded of the mystery of Jesus coming from heaven to save us from our sins!

Christmas 2018 – Day 10

psalm18-49As part of my 25 for 25 (25 devotionals leading up to 25 December), here is Day # 10: This is our second of seven Christmas devotionals focused on Psalms. Although not initially obvious as a Messianic prophecy, Psalm 18:49 can only truly be fulfilled by Jesus. In this psalm David is recognizing and worshipping God for His salvation from enemies, especially Saul. So, in the end, when he says,

Therefore I will give thanks to You, O Lord, among the Gentiles,
And sing praises to Your name
.”

…David is clearly looking towards a future where the Messiah provides salvation to Gentiles (non-Hebrews). I had a friend ask the other day about Jesus’ earthly ministry only being to the Jews. True, they were His first priority (Matthew 10:5-6) but He did minister to the Gentiles also. We have the knowledge here, now we must see God’s wisdom on how this applies to the lives around us. Jesus’ long-term mission was to save everyone regardless of their bloodline or where they came from. The fulfilment of this psalm is seen in Ephesians 3:4-6:

“…by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ), which in other ages was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed by the Spirit to His holy apostles and prophets: that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel…”

As we read through the Bible this Christmas keep an eye out for prophesies and promises that may not be overtly “Christmasy” but are overtly about Jesus’ love!