Witness Him Now
Today is Christmas Day, the day when we celebrate the birth of our Savior. This year our pastor worked very hard to make sure that we understood the awe and wonder of that miracle that was born in a manger over 2000 years ago. God had been silent for four hundred years, and that silence was broken by the sound of a child's cry. God, Himself, stepped out of heaven and wrapped Himself in humanity. God sent His Son to redeem mankind. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and the earth rejoiced. And heaven and nature sings!
This morning I woke up at 3:00, and it is my custom when I wake up in the night to sit at the feet of Jesus, open the Word and let Him speak to me. This morning the message was sweet. He has been singing this same song over me for some time now, but this morning, the Word was pure and clear. It was honey to my lips and music to my ears. Like Habakkuk, I want to write the message plainly on tablets so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. I believe this is a message for all of us. He said through the prophet Isaiah:
God, the LORD, created the heavens and stretched them out. He created the earth and everything in it. He gives breath to everyone, life to everyone who walks the earth. And it is He who says, "I, the LORD, have called you to demonstrate My righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to My people, Israel, as a symbol of My covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. You will open the eyes of the blind. You will free the captives from prison, releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. I am the LORD; that is My name! I will not give My glory to anyone else, nor share My praise with carved idols. Everything I prophesied has cone true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens." (42:5-9)
The LORD has called us to demonstrate His righteousness. We are called to believe and trust in His holy name. When we trust Him, peace and joy are our inheritance, and the world can see. Our light shines brightly, and people come. We then are called to lead them to this same place of freedom - the blind see, the deaf hear, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the dead are raised to new life, and the God of the universe gets all the glory! He is calling us to be symbols of His covenant. This is our portion in 2018. Isaiah then went on to say:
God says, "Rebuild the road!" Clear away the rocks and stones so My people can return from captivity." The high and lofty One who lives in eternity, the Holy One, says this: "I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts. For I will not fight against you forever; I will not always be angry. If I were, all people would pass away - all the souls I have made. I was angry, so I punished these greedy people. I withdrew from them, but they kept on going on their own stubborn way. I have seen what they do, but I will heal them anyway! I will lead them. I will comfort those who mourn, bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far," says the LORD, who heals them." "But those who still reject Me are like the restless sea, which is never still but continually churns up mud and dirt. There is no peace for the wicked," says my God. (57:14-21)
This is good news! God will not fight against us forever. He sees what we are doing; he sees our stubbornness and greed, but He is going to heal us anyway. He is going to comfort us and bring words of praise to our lips. This year He is going to lead us all to a place of abundant peace. This is the place where His glory dwells, and we will all live there. To get there, we have to come before our Father with humble, contrite hearts. If we don't, if we continue to reject our God, we will be like the restless sea. There is no peace for the wicked.
Malachi says it like this: "They will be My people," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies. "On the day when I act in judgment, they will be My own special treasure. I will spare them as a father spares an obedient child. Then you will again see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not." (3:16-17)
In 2018, we are going to see the difference. The righteous shine forth as lights in a dark placed while all the rest of the world is crippled with terror and fear, worry and pain. As the dark gets darker, the light will get brighter, and all the world will see that there is a God in heaven who loves and fights for His people. May the LORD bless you all richly this coming year. May He open up the windows of heaven over you and pour out righteousness. May your heart open wide to receive it, and may righteousness and salvation spring up together. Let there be peace on earth and good will toward men. Let all the earth rejoice and heaven and nature sing! In the mighty name of Jesus! AMEN
The scripture says, "May you prosper and be in health, even as your soul prospers."