A daily, Bible-based perspective of hope, encouragement and exhortation.
Friday, December 10, 2021
This life size nativity sits in the Shadow Mountain Church courtyard near San Diego.
(Click on photo to enlarge)
"Such A Strange Way To Save The World"
Message summary: To so many Christ remains an unrecognized stranger, but for those of us who believe and receive Him He is our loving, eternal Saviour!
Listen to this message on your audio player.
“He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:10-12).
I'm sure He must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him
Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
This morning we visited JK Mechanical to visit the employees, including the service techs, who were preparing for a busy day servicing HVAC equipment. Very early in the morning these techs gather at the shop to receive their assignments for the day and load their trucks with the needed materials and tools. For many years at the exit door before they left there was a large full length mirror with this sign above it, “Would You Want A Stranger Who Looks Like This Coming To Your Door?” It's a good reminder of the importance of one's appearance; attire and grooming, the display of the company logo for ID purposes, and even an employee's countenance.
Today let us consider the Messiah’s visit as a Stranger to our planet 2,000 years ago. What was the people’s first impression of the Messiah? How did they respond to this Stranger’s visit?
We enjoy a song, especially at this season, titled “Strange Way To Save The World” and provide a link to a YouTube video below. It expresses a candid perspective on the nature of the incarnation from Joseph’s perspective as he held the infant Christ.
And Joseph said
Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade
Why Him, with all the rulers of the world
Why here, inside this stable filled with hay
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl
Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But, this is such a strange way to save the world
John was one of the twelve disciples who served with Jesus during His earthly ministry. He was also part of the inner circle of three along with Peter and James who seemed to have an even greater access to the miracles of Christ and unique experiences such as the Mount of Transfiguration and Christ’s prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane.
John’s Gospel is the last of the Four Gospels not only in the order of books but also in regard to the time it was written. Many believe he wrote late in the first century perhaps sixty years after Christ’s mission to earth. The first 18 verses in his gospel serve as a prologue and provide a deep theological perspective regarding Christ’s Mission on earth.
Today let’s consider just three verses from this powerful prologue:
• "He was in the world, and the world was made through Him.” Our Lord was in the physical world for a brief time in history. John established in the beginning of His gospel that the world was made by Jesus (John 1:3). And yet He entered the world in the bodily form of a person, the “true light” (v.9) who came into the world He had made.
• “And the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.” One of the most indicting rejections of Christ was at His trial in Pilate’s Hall when the people shouted: “We don’t want this man to be our king” (Luke 19:14). The rejection of Christ is a stunning, but intriguing truth evident not only at the time that Christ dwelled on earth, but very evident in our own age as well. Bible students interpret the phrase “He came to His own” in two senses: in one narrower sense it surely means the unique people He came to, that is, the descendants of Abraham (the Jewish people), but in a fuller sense it means the entire human race, all descendants of Adam.
• “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” The phrase “as many as” indicates the marvelous extent of this offer. Regardless of one’s religious, ethnic or racial background the offer stands. His part was providing our redemption. Our part is to receive and to believe in His name.
Today I reaffirm the decision I made fifty years ago in 1971 in Kansas City, Missouri to receive Him and to believe in His Name. Brooksyne, who made the same decision as a young teenager in Tulsa Oklahoma joins me. Most of you reading this today have also received Christ and we welcome you to join us in your own reaffirmation. We think you just can't reaffirm too much!
However some of you might never have made a confession of faith. Perhaps you’ve been under the mistaken notion that you’re automatically in. You may be relying on your religious heritage or good works. Some of you may realize you have actually been rejecting Christ. We urge you to receive and trust in Christ today!
To so many Christ remains an unrecognized stranger, but for those of us who believe and receive Him He is our loving, eternal Saviour!
Be encouraged today, (Hebrews 3:13)
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, we are grateful to be Your children. It is not by our own goodness, behavior, or generosity that we purchase or earn this standing. It is because of Jesus who came clothed in human flesh so that He might reach His own people and release them from their sins. Though many reject the Gospel message we choose to believe and gratefully declare that we are the children of God. Nothing can compare with such privilege or power as we make our earthly journey below and anticipate eternity in heaven above. In the name of Jesus we reaffirm and joyfully proclaim our decision to follow You all the days of our lives. Amen.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Strange Way To Save The World" Video 4 Him (Mark Harris)
Yesterday we dropped in to visit the employees of Vallorbs, a company we served for many years as chaplains from 2007-2020. These two men are machinists who have worked these same machines since we started! One is a longtime Lancaster County native, the other a Bosnian immigrant who came to the states about 20 years ago. It's a joy to see these men work together as friends. They represent millions of steadfast workers who keep the economy going.
Resources for Christmas Celebrations
(We will leave these resources posted below our daily messages through Christmas)
Each year we share several online resources that we have used over the years. Perhaps they may be a blessing to you, your family or church during this Christmas season.
"In Remembrance of Me" pdf This is a passion-filled Scripture reading for two adults. Brooksyne and I have used this reading with great receptivity during Christmas Eve services over the years. We suggest, if possible, a musical background as the message is read. It is also a great lead-in to a Communion service. It should be thoroughly practiced and read with great feeling. Here's a great Communion Hymn for Christmas (Video)
"When Christ Was Born" pdf This is an adaptation to the tune of "How Great Thou Art". It's a great song to sing as a congregation since most are familiar with and love the tune.
Responsive Christmas Scripture readings for church or family:
John 1:1-18 pdf
"O Come Let Us Adore Him" pdf
My First Christmas In Heaven This is a blessed reminder for all who lost a loved one this year.
Christmas Knowledge Test
We have also posted two Christmas carol quizzes here (scroll down).
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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