Today I returned to Morning Star Assisted Living for two chapel services. We sang Christmas songs and I shared a devotional, along with communion. I will return on next Saturday for a Christmas Eve service.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.” 2 Timothy 1:9,10 NIV
“Are you ready for Christmas? Have you made all of your plans?” As Paul begins his second letter to Timothy he reminds him of the work of the gospel and its purpose in our life. “He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace…” (2 Timothy 1:9 NIV)
Paul then shares how from before the “beginning of time” this plan of salvation by grace through Christ had in the mind and plan of God. Throughout the centuries it had been the “mystery” that had been hidden for generations, but now was revealed through the person and work of Christ.
Paul alludes to the birth of Christ, in saying this grace, “has now been revealed through the appearing of…Jesus Christ…” The prophet Isaiah declared, “Unto you a child is born, unto you a Son is given…” (Isaiah 9:6) To both Mary and Joseph the angel Gabriel instructed them to “name the baby Jesus, for he shall save his people from their sin.” (Matthew 1:21) To the shepherds the angels declared, “for unto you this day a savior has been born….” (Luke 2:11) When Jesus appeared on the banks of the Jordan, John the Baptist declared, “behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.” (John 1:29)
During His ministry Jesus revealed Himself as Savior in speaking forgiveness of sin to numerous individuals that He encountered. In the natural it would look like the wait for the promised and anticipated salvation from the Messiah was 33 years. But Paul says, it was even before time began and when Jesus was born it marked the “beginning of the end” of that wait.
As Jesus hung on the cross and breathed His last breathe, the centurion standing guard declared, “surely this man was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54) As a result, in His death, He defeated death for all who place their faith and hope in Him and gives them eternal life. “…..Christ Jesus…has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.”
Christmas celebrations require a lot of planning. But no plan has been longer in its preparation and fulfillment than God’s plan for the “first Christmas.” This week before Christmas Day, the most asked question will be, “are you ready for Christmas.” The more important questions is “have you received the gift of Christmas?”
Prayer for today… Lord, it is hard to comprehend Your grand plan of bringing salvation to the world. It was not an afterthought, but was all part of Your plan “A.” Allow us to embrace fully the grace of Christmas that reminds us through the cross You have destroyed death and brought life and light through the gospel.