Sunday, December 25, 2011

December 25 (Luke 2:11)

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  (KJV)

There is no gift we will open on Christmas day as great as the one wrapped in swaddling clothes and laid in a manger.  There is no meal we will eat so sumptuous as the body and blood of which we partake in holy communion.  May we all live as grateful recipients of such costly blessing.

In the words of the heavenly host, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”  Amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, December 18, 2011

December 18 (Matthew 2:13)

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.  (KJV)

Herod is the quintessential bad guy.  After all, who wants to kill a child?  The answer is you and I.  We may see Herod as the embodiment of evil, but we have all wanted to kill the baby Jesus.

God became flesh for the reason of our salvation.  By His death on a cross, we have been brought to life.  Yet He would never have needed to suffer that death had we not sinned.  The simple, unpleasant fact is this.  Every lie we tell, every act of greed we indulge, every lust we fulfill is grounds for the crucifixion of Christ.  When we sin, we are saying that we would rather the baby in the manger have suffered and died than that we should do what is right.

We rightly revile Herod and all who seek the death of innocents.  We do well to remember Herod each time we are tempted so that we do not do again what he did.

Father, I thank You so much this Christmas for sending Your Son to be my savior.  Strengthen me with Your grace that I may not sin against You.  In the name of my blessed Lord Jesus, Who with You and the Holy Spirit reigns as one God, now and forever, amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, December 11, 2011

December 11 (Matthew 2:11)

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.  (KJV)

What do you get a baby who has everything?  Shopping can be so difficult when you are trying to find the perfect gift for the King of kings!  The gifts of the magi were symbolic, and God continues to want this kind of gift.  He wants us to give in ways that symbolize and show our love for Him.

So what can you give Him for His birthday that fits this bill?  He has already given you whatever it is.  You see, He has given each of us certain gifts that He wants us to use in His service.  Are you an encourager or someone who can explain things clearly?  Do you have great gifts of patience or the ability to see needs?  Look past your resume and grade transcript for a moment.  What has God gifted you to do?

Pull back from the daily grind and consider where you could use the special gifts that God has given you to serve His people.  As you put those gifts to good use, you will be giving Him what He really wants, not just for Christmas, but for every day of your life.

Lord, what gifts have You given me?  Help me to see them clearly so that I may use them to Your glory.  In the name of Jesus, my Savior, Whose birth we all celebrate, amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, December 4, 2011

December 4 (Luke 1:13, 30)

But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias….  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary….  (KJV)

There is not much to fear when we wish someone a merry Christmas.  More often than not, Christians are the ones who are afraid to utter the C-word in December lest someone be offended.  Yet when the angels appeared to announce the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus, they had to tell Zechariah and Mary not to be afraid.  What is going on here?

The word “angel” simply means “messenger.”  Messengers from God were fearsome beings, yet when they approached humans, they did not water down their message or do anything to disguise it or themselves.  They simply said, “Do not fear,” and proceeded to deliver the message.  They spoke with the authority they had been given by God.

We, too, are angels in the sense that we are messengers of God.  He has entrusted to us the Good News of Jesus and has given us the authority to take it to others.  We must never water it down or approach our task with embarrassed hesitation.  We must be bold and confident, for ours is a message that must get through.

O Lord, our God, You have given to weak creatures the awesome task of being angels.  Strengthen us for our calling.  May we boldly share Your love and grace and light and truth with a dark and hurting world, just as the angels did in the time of Zechariah and Mary.  In the name of our most holy Lord Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins