by Lee Mielke
Seems like I just finished writing last year’s Christmas meditation and here we are again. Time flies when you’re having fun and even if you’re not!
I chose the December 1 topic, “The Gospel is good news, not good advice.”
It reminded me of one of my favorite radio/TV preacher’s statements. Adrian Rogers said
“The Ten Commandments are God’s commandments, not His suggestions.”
But, that’s how the world sees them as well as the good news of the Gospel. I dare say some Christians believe that as well.
In my year thru the Bible reading program the week before Thanksgiving, I read Luke 2’s account of the angel of the Lord “suddenly” standing before the shepherds who were “keeping watch over their flocks by night” and it says that they were “terribly frightened.”
But, the angel’s words to the shepherds start with “Do not be afraid.” Let’s not skip over that too quickly because WE need to hear those words today, even though they’re not coming from an angel suddenly standing in front of us.
Don’t be afraid because “I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people;” he said, “For today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, Who is Christ, the Lord.”
So there’s good news……….great joy………and it’s for all people.
Contrast that with what most people today would regard as good news of a great joy for all the people.
It might be Kim Jong-un meeting with Donald Trump, a new high for the stock market, or a cure for cancer. You might have some of your own, I’m sure.
But THIS good news which was given to the shepherds far far exceeds ANY other good news because this good news is from the Almighty, Everlasting, Perfect, Sinless, One True God, and the good news is that HE has paid the price, my price, your price, in full, the cost of RECONCILIATION with His rebellious, disobedient, perverse, treacherous children.
AND, it’s “for ALL people!”
Unfortunately, the vast majority of ALL people don’t care.
And to tell them that a Savior has been born for them “Who is Christ the Lord,” means NOTHING to them because they don’t even have the eyes to see their NEED of this Savior…..and it surely doesn’t rank with LG’s new H-102 Ultra Billion-Meg Smart Phone that even makes cappuccino in the morning which was on sale on “Black Friday” for half price!!!
The angel goes on to tell the shepherds the specifics. There’s a baby, wrapped in cloths (how cute) lying in a manger…..a WHAT? A manger!
And, after that news bulletin; “Suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host SAYING (because it can be argued that angels do not sing) “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
So the bottom line is “The good news is not good advice…..it’s the only advice!”
I hope you take it this year, in fact, wrap it up and then give it to someone else as well!
For Advent devotions this year, we are using Pastor Tim Keller’s themes in his new book Hidden Christmas