Thursday, December 4, 2014

At Christmas, God made good on His "threat" ...

A little boy wrote a letter to his aunt, stating, "I'm very sorry I forgot your birthday. It wasn't very thoughtful and I wouldn't blame you if you forgot my birthday on this coming Friday."

Did you catch the not-so-subtle hint in the letter?

Like that child, we're good at looking out for ourselves, and not so good about being as thoughtful about others. That attitude can get kids into trouble!

When you misbehaved as a child, what was that specific "threat" your parents would issue that would make you straighten up your behavior immediately? For me, when I wasn't behaving well, and my mother had finally had enough, all she had to do was reach down and take off her shoe. The idea in our minds was she would spank us with it. She never did, she never had to, because we changed our behavior! Her reach for the shoe motivated an immediate behavioral correction on our part.

There's a well-known "threat" a lot of parents use when, after listening to the kids argue and fight long enough, one of the parents will call out, "Don't make me come down there!" The idea is that, if mom or dad came down, things would get fixed.

That's what happened long ago at the first Christmas.

The prophet Isaiah spoke for God in issuing a similar kind of "Don't make me come down there!" statement from God ...

"Then Isaiah said, 'Listen well, you royal family of David! Isn't it enough to exhaust human patience? Must you exhaust the patience of my God as well? All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means "God with us")'," Isaiah 7"13-14.

God's kids had been arguing and fighting and making such a mess of things down here for so long that God had had enough.

He didn't reach for a shoe, He just came down. He did this that first Christmas, and God was with us in the form of Jesus. He didn't come to spank us, but to save us. Through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, He straightened out the mess of all our misbehavior.

Because God came down, we can be free from a desire for sin and living an unruly life. Instead, we can know the peace of Christ, which is so rich that it surpasses all understanding.

Have you allowed God to straighten you out? To redeem you from your sins? Or are you still misbehaving? Be forewarned that God has already told us He's coming down again, but the next time He'll fix things for all eternity, and you won't want to be found still misbehaving!

Scotty


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