When Jesus was Born
When Jesus was born in Bethlehem…there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? Matthew 2:1, 2.
The King of glory stooped low to take humanity; and angels, who had witnessed His splendor in the heavenly courts, as He was worshiped by all the heavenly hosts, were disappointed to find their divine Commander in a position of so great humiliation.
The Jews had separated themselves so far from God by their wicked works, that angels could not communicate to them the tidings of the advent of the infant Redeemer. God chooses the wise men of the East to do His will….
These wise men had seen the heavens illuminated with light, which enshrouded the heavenly host who heralded the advent of Christ to the humble shepherds….
This light was a distant cluster of flaming angels, which appeared like a luminous star. The unusual appearance of the large bright star, which they had never seen before, hanging as a sign in the heavens, attracted their attention….The wise men directed their course where the star seemed to lead them. And as they drew nigh to the city of Jerusalem, the star was enshrouded in darkness, and no longer guided them. They reasoned that the Jews could not be ignorant of the great event of the advent of the Messiah, and they made inquiries in the vicinity of Jerusalem.
The wise men are surprised to see no unusual interest upon the subject of the coming of the Messiah….They marvel that the Jews are not interested and joyful in prospect of this great event of the advent of Christ.
The churches of our time are seeking worldly aggrandizement, and are as unwilling to see the light of the prophecies, and receive the evidences of their fulfillment which show that Christ is soon to come, as were the Jews in reference to His first appearing. They were looking for the temporal and triumphant reign of Messiah in Jerusalem. Professed Christians of our time are expecting the temporal prosperity of the church, in the conversion of the world, and the enjoyment of the temporal millennium.
Maranatha p. 11
—–Please keep the Hallock family in prayer. Their mother died on Sabbath. Rose
—– Please pray for the following evangelism events that are taking place in the near future: Northside, Alaska (Mar 8 – May 17) —O’Malley, Alaska. (Mar 15 – May 30) “Revelation for Today”. Our Conference President Ken Crawford, and Pastor Steve Vicaro will be preaching for the meetings. They need all our prayer. —Norfolk, NE (Mar 21 – May 28)—Burlingame, CA (Mar 27 – Apr 30) Taj Pacleb—Marabella, Trinidad (Mar 28 – Apr 26)—Palmetto, FL (Apr 4 – May 4, 2014) with Scott Moore and LIFE team. We had a full house of over 160 people. Pray that the people will keep coming and make decisions for Christ.—Prineville, OR (Apr 5 – May 12) Brian McMahon, Discover Prophecy—Columbia, KY (Apr 8 – May 26) Creation Health seminar every Monday night. Please pray for outpouring of Holy Spirit on the community that many will attend and be blessed with our health message—East Palo Alto, CA (Apr 11 – 25) David Hudgens—Mtn. View, CA (Apr 11 – May 3)—Cambrian Park, C (Apr 11 – May 3) Dennis Tello—Watsonville, CA (Apr11 – May 3) Samuel Bonilla—Portorville, CA (Apr 14 – 22) Tom Rosenberg—Rossville, GA (Apr 18 – 26) then weekly follow up during Sabbath school time through Aug. 10. Preached by lay leaders Gary Plank & Stanley Dean.— Diane
My grandfather was very restless after he retired. He had worked hard for over fifty years, so not having anything to do weighed heavily upon him. They lived in Florida for only a little over a year, before he decided that he liked Michigan better. Again they moved all of their stuff, including all of those unopened barrels of worthless items. [see yesterday’s “Dear Friends”] Their savings were being used up in moving expenses, but he didn’t care. He missed the state he had lived in for so long.
After only a couple of winters, Florida began to look good to my grandfather again. My grandmother’s arthritis had been better in the warmer climate, so they decided to try a bigger city in that southern state. Again all of their furniture including all of those still-unopened barrels of worthless string, aluminum foil, buttons, etc., were loaded onto a professional moving van and taken to Orlando, Florida. Again they took the long, tiring train ride. Storing their stuff until they could find an affordable place to live was an additional expense. Their savings were nearly gone. They barely had enough to eat and both of them lost a lot of weight. Of course, they told no one about this. My grandmother’s letters were chatty—full of the weather, about not minding having a lizard living with them to catch the many bugs that were everywhere, shining a flashlight in the grass and seeing millions of eyes staring back at her from the all bugs that made their lawn their home, and so forth.
When my grandmother died in 1962, my it was obvious that my grandfather wanted to come back to Michigan. My mother made the long train trip to get him as he was very old and frail and unable to stay by himself. She had only a few days to decide what to do with all of their belongings. She had no money to move them back up to Michigan and no time to sell all of my grandparents’ antique furniture, so she had to give it all away. All of those still-unopened barrels of worthless stuff that my grandmother had insisted on keeping were thrown away.
How often we are like my grandmother, holding on to favorite sins and pleasures that will only cause us trouble in the end. We feel like we cannot let go of them and hold on tightly to them. The Holy Spirit impresses us that we should give up our “darling sins,” but we say, “Not yet. Wait awhile and I will do it.” Years go by and we find ourselves still holding onto those same sins, those forbidden pleasures that troubled us from our youth. We find that those old habits hold us so tightly that we cannot get free even if we wanted to. Solomon tells us, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings. His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.” Prov 5:21-23
With tears in His voice, our Great Redeemer pleads, “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?” Eze 33:11 “Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Mal 3:7 “I gave My life for you. My precious blood I shed, that I might ransom you from those sins that you have been holding onto for years.” “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Jer 31:3 “Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” Ps 50:15
John assures us, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 Our Dear Saviour assures us, “I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.” Isa 44:22 Precious Saviour! He will rid us of all of our “excess baggage” of sin we have been holding onto for so long. We can give it all to Him! We can be free from the cords of sin that bind us!
Let us come to Him now laying all of our sins at the foot of His cross. Let us there find the freedom from the weight of guilt that we have been carrying for so long. Let us in faith receive freely of the grace that our Loving Saviour longs to give us is my prayer.