Young Mary was from an obscure place and from a common family, yet God had a plan for her life that would be filled with greatness and personal pain. Many people are looking for significance in life and often try to find it in the wrong place and in the wrong way.
Show Me Your Scars
The current population of the world (2-2019) is reported to be 7.7 billion with 2.3 billion Christians. About 2/3 of the world’s Christians live in difficult or unfriendly places. Those of us in the Western World are almost oblivious to the difficulties in other lands. It varies from extreme persecution of death to the difficulties of getting a good job or apartment because non-Christians will not hire Christians or rent to Christians.
When I look back at the younger me, I am horrified at my lack of diligence. I am not the poster boy for it now, but I have improved some over the years. My wife has been a great example for me, when she sets her mind to accomplish something, she gets it done.
This time of the year, some folks make New Year’s resolutions that often fall flat by February. (Oh well, I’ll finish this post later… Second thought, I better just do it!) I am not one to set New Year’s resolutions. I just need to do the simple, spiritual things with diligence.
The world lay in the sway of darkness, sin, and death. Man’s journey from the Garden was marked by a trail of death and tears with each tomb a reminder of every man’s fate. Death reigned in the world by a cruel master, Satan, whose very name meant “Adversary”. The Hebrew prophets of old had prophesied approximately seven centuries before of a coming Messiah who would save and deliver.
During this season we celebrate the birth of Jesus. I seriously doubt Jesus was actually born in the time we call December but that’s a rabbit trail I am not interested in going down. The big question is, “What’s the big deal about Jesus’ birth?
A creed is a capsule of truth somewhat like a capsule of medicine; one is filled with a chemical formula that will make one physically healthy and the other is filled with truth that will make one spiritually healthy. Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines creed as “a brief authoritative formula of religious belief”. What do you believe?
One of the greatest stories in the Bible is the turnaround of Saul of Tarsus who we now know as the Apostle Paul. He was a Jewish Pharisee who had a blood-boiling rage against the early Christian Church that was known at the time as the Way.
Christians are sometimes criticized for claiming our religion is exclusive when we are adamant that Jesus Christ is the only avenue to eternal life. That is why I am evangelistic about my faith in Christ; it is not that I take pleasure in someone being excluded but rather I have strongly held beliefs about Jesus Christ. The invitation to follow Jesus is inclusive, “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13 NKJV).
I had a neighbor who once said she only argued when she was right. Don’t we all? A Christian friend of mine asked a co-worker who was of a different Christian denomination, what they believed. He replied with great affirmation, “We believe the Bible!” My friend laughingly replied, “So do we!”
Today is Good Friday. It is the day we commemorate the death of Jesus Christ on the cross. I read somewhere that the “Good” may have begun as Holy; we are really not sure. It is good for us but it was a terrible day for Jesus. The night before, He had been betrayed and arrested. Then the humiliating trials began, before the Jewish High Priest and Council, Pilate, Herod, and back to Pilate again. He was mocked, spit upon, and scourged. Would this mockery and torture ever end? Hardly, now he had to endure the death march to Calvary and then the horror of crucifixion.