Monday, December 3, 2012

25 Days of Christmas Presence—Day 3

During this 25 Days of Christmas Presence my husband, Steve, will be a guest writer many times. He is an incredible man: full of light, intelligence, patience and wisdom. Enjoy!

When glass is manufactured the common components of sand and various chemicals are heated to thousands of degrees and melted. The molten glass flows like water and is fed into molds that form the glassware being made. I’ve watched bottles, plates, light bulbs and various other articles being formed from glass. They come out of the molds seemingly complete, but still very hot. (I once watched a machine operator light a cigarette from a newly made wine bottle!) The problem is that you can’t just let the glass cool off and start using it. It has to be annealed. The process is basically a slow, controlled cooling in an oven. If glass is not annealed the glass does not cool evenly and that puts stress on the glass. I walked by a bottle once in a factory that had not been annealed and it burst into a thousand pieces as I passed it. I think of this example when I think of how fragile human promises are, how a little bit of stress causes them to burst and remain forever broken.

How many promises are broken in our lifetime?

I promise I won’t hit my brother, again.

I promise I will always take care of the puppy.

I promise I’ll work harder at school.

I promise I’ll pay you back the money I owe you.

I promise I’ll remain faithful to you.

I promise I’ll stay married to you ‘til death do we part.

That’s not even a complete list of broken promises for most of us. Our promises don’t seem to be properly annealed; they live under constant stress, and are easily broken. And, like the bottle, they usually end up in a thousand pieces with no possibility of repair.

God has always been faithful and true to keep His promises. David said in Psalm 145:

13 The LORD is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.

The Bible shows us how faithful over and over; Noah was promised the flood, Abram was promised his son Isaac. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were promised the Land of Promise. Hannah was promised her son, the prophet Samuel. Israel was promised the Redeemer, the Messiah, the Son of God. Christmas, the coming of the Messiah, was a promise made over and over for four thousand years. God began with the promise to the serpent in the Garden:

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

He fulfilled that promise with another promise in Luke chapter 1:

30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God. 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

The promised Messiah seemingly came and went, but the promise made to Israel and to Mary continues on today. The promise is still being made to you. Peter renewed the promise on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:

39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

For those of us “who are far off” we can still claim the promise of a redeeming Messiah this Christmas. He wants us to join Him in His presence and accept the greatest present mankind could ever imagine- eternal life. His promise has been ‘annealing’ for six thousand years and even eternity. His promise is not going to break because of stress. It will hold up on its own. Trust it.

If you have already accepted the present of salvation, then consider this Christmas what a precious gift it is and enter into the presence of God and praise Him when you see the baby Jesus.

If you have not already accepted the present of salvation, consider the promises made by God. Promises that have never been broken and will never be broken. These are not the shattered promises made by your mother, father, brother, sister, friend, spouse, or child. When you see the baby Jesus this season, remember God’s promise to redeem mankind and accept you right where you are right now. Enter into His presence and accept His present.

Elizabeth recognized the promises of God when she prophesied in Luke 1 upon Mary’s arrival:

45 Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Will you believe the promise of God?

Father, first of all, forgive us because we are promise breakers. Forgive us for breaking promises to each other and to You. We praise You because Your promises are never broken. We are so thankful that we can depend on Your Word to protect us, sustain us and most of all save us. We enter into Your presence with praise as we give thanks this Christmas for the promised Messiah. We give You praise for the hope of life, and life everlasting. Amen

Daily Activity: Meditate today on God’s promises to you. Consider how He has been faithful. Think about a broken promise you’ve made to God or to someone else and consider how you might revive that promise from the broken pieces and fulfill it. Make a definite plan to keep that promise.

Christ Church of Winchester

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