Posted by jerrywhite on Dec 30, 2010
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head.
Mark 14:3 (ESV)
“ Make every time of need a time of embracing the Lord. Do not leave the mercy seat until you have clasped Him in your arms. In every time of need, He has promised to give grace to help you (Heb. 4:16). What holds you back from obtaining the promised assistance, as well as sweet fellowship? Do not be like the beggar who is content with the charity of another, however grudgingly it may be given to him. Rather, since you are a relative of Christ, seek a smile and a kiss with every blessing He gives you.
Is He Himself not better than His mercies? What are they without Him? Cry aloud to Him, and let your petition reach His ears: ‘O my Lord, it is not enough for me to receive Your bounties, I must have You also. If You do not give me Yourself along with Your favors, they are of little use to me! Oh, smile on me when You bless me, for otherwise I still am not blessed! You put perfume into all the flowers of Your garden, and fragrance into Your spices; if You withdraw Yourself, they are no longer pleasant to me. Come, then my Lord, and give me Your love with Your grace.’
Take heed, Christian, that your own heart is right on key, so that when the fingers of mercy touch the strings they may resound with full notes of communion. How sad it is to receive a favor without rejoicing in it! Yet, such is often the believer’s case. The Lord casts His lavish bounties at our doors, and we, like lowly peasants, scarcely look out to thank Him. Our ungrateful hearts and unthankful tongues mar our fellowship by causing us to miss a thousand opportunities for exercising it.”
Joy In Christ’s Presence, 88-89
Would I be so selfish as to want the Lord’s blessings and not Him just for Himself?
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Posted by jerrywhite on Dec 27, 2010
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
Matthew 1:22-23 (ESV)
“Behold here a sacred riddle or paradox—‘God manifest in the flesh.’
That man should be made in man’s image was a wonder, but that God should be made in man’s image is a greater wonder. That the Ancient of Days should be born, that he who thunders in the heavens should cry in the cradle; that he who rules the stars should suck the breast; that a virgin should conceive; that Christ should be made of a woman, and of that woman which himself made; that the branch should bear the vine; that the mother should be younger than the child she bare, and the child in the womb bigger than the mother; that the human nature should not be God, yet one with God….”
“Conception: God became a fertilized egg! An embryo. A fetus. God kicked Mary from within her womb!
Birth: God entered the world as a baby, amid the stench of manure and cobwebs and prickly hay in a stable. Mary cradled the Creator in her arms. ‘Never imagined God would look like that,’ she says to herself. Envision the newborn Jesus with a misshaped head, wrinkled skin, and a red face. Just think: angels watched as Mary changed God’s diapers! Tiny hands that would touch and heal the sick and yet be ripped by nails. Eyes (what color were they?). Tiny feet (where would they take Him?) that likewise would be pierced by nails. She tickled His side (which would one day be lanced with a spear).”
Pleasures Evermore, 154-155
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Posted by jerrywhite on Dec 24, 2010
When I was a youth pastor in 1963, one of the young men in my group, who attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute (VPI) in Blacksburg, Virginia, wrote the following as a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times newspaper. The editor thought it so timely that he decided it deserved to be a featured article.
“And when they had been led long distances by the brilliance of the light of the Star, they carried their gifts and entered the gaily decorated stable. Some of them were wise men, some not so wise; some of them rich, many of them poor; some of them home from school for their well-earned rest, some who really didn’t know what the excitement was and could care less, yet were there anyway, because everybody was.
And they found in the stable many strangers and friends from many places.
And in the center of the excitement within the stable on a humble throne, wrapped in a swaddling red suit, all trimmed in white, was Santa Claus.
And they fell on their knees and opened their wallets and worshiped him—they and their children and their children’s children.
And the fine gifts brought from miles they gave to each other; and those who were unable to give received those things which were broken or didn’t fit or were unwanted.
And the tiny stable suddenly became alive with the Spirit of Fellowshipping—the white fellowshipping with the white, the black with the black, the rich with the rich and the poor with the poor. Children were laughing; people were passing dressed in holiday style. Tradition prevailed over the stable.
And in one corner of the stable, nearly buried beneath torn wrapping paper and ribbon and presents yet to be opened, a Baby cried—a King—unnoticed.”
Lee Manning, December 1963
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.”
Luke 2:14 (ESV)
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Posted by jerrywhite on Dec 20, 2010
“It all happened in a moment, a most remarkable moment….
The omnipotent, in one instant, made himself breakable. He who had been spirit became pierceable. He who was larger than the universe became an embryo. And he who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young girl.
God as a fetus. Holiness sleeping in a womb. The creator of life being created.
God was given eyebrows, elbows, two kidneys, and a spleen. He stretched against the walls and floated in the amniotic fluids of his mother.
God had come near.
He came, not as a flash of light or as an unapproachable conquerer, but as one whose first cries were heard by a peasant girl, and a sleepy carpenter. The hands that first held him were unmanicured, calloused, and dirty.
No silk. No ivory. No hype. No party. No hoopla.
Were it not for the shepherds, there would have been no reception. And were it not for a group of stargazers, there would nave been no gifts.
God Came Near, 25-26
“O SOURCE OF ALL GOOD,
What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
Thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
To raise me to himself.
The Valley of Vision, 28, Edited by Arthur Bennett
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Posted by jerrywhite on Dec 16, 2010
“Wherein lies the power to turn from iniquity and say No to sin? It lies in the power and irresistible appeal of an uncreated God who would dare to become a man!
The Word became flesh! God became human! The invisible became visible! The untouchable became touchable! Eternal life experienced temporal death! The transcendent one descended and drew near! The unlimited became limited! The infinite became finite! The immutable became mutable! The unbreakable became fragile! Spirit became matter! Eternity entered time! The independent became dependent! The almighty became weak! The loved became the hated! The exalted was humbled! Glory was subjected to shame! Fame turned into obscurity! From inexpressible joy to tears of unimaginable grief! From a throne to a cross! From ruler to being ruled! From power to weakness!”
Pleasures Evermore, 153-154
“She [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger.”
Whoever thinks of God being humble? And yet He reveals His character by what He did in Jesus Christ. From His exalted position in heaven the eternal Son of God humbled Himself to become one of us in our world. How far is it from being sovereign Creator to becoming a helpless babe crying in His mother’s arms, nursing at her breast, and sleeping in an animal feeding trough? What kind of love is this that He would stoop down this low so we could be forgiven, have a righteous standing before Holy God, and become the living temple of the Holy Spirit. Does this not make you want to bow in worship before Him? Does this not stir your heart to want to walk in humility like Him? Lord Jesus, what can we say to You for what You have done for us? Abandonment to You is our only fitting response. Abandonment to You is our reasonable worship.
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