12/20/13

Joy of Christmas: Day Twenty

Christmas is so much more than presents, trees, lights, and childhood.

We would all agree that Christmas is about Christ. Yet, we only focus our study on a small part of who Christ is during this Christmas season. We only talk about mangers, starts, angels, and a baby. He is so much more than that! We sing about and talk about the joy that comes with the Christmas story. But why is it so joyful that Christ was born?

Inspired by the
Jesse Tree Advent book**, I am going to do a 25-Day series focusing on
finding joy in Christ! Click here for more info.

Joy of Christmas: Day Twenty
 

The Exile

God was still in the business of keeping His promises.  The children of Israel had rebelled against God.  They had taken up idol worship and forsaken their One True God.  Sin must be punished.  God must do as He said He would.  So, the children of Israel were taken into captivity by the Babylonians.  Yet, God was still keeping His ultimate promise of a Messiah.  There was always a remnant of the family of Israel.  Not only did God preserve the race of Jews, but also the faithful and believing Jews. 
In Daniel we read a story about three young men who stood up against idolatry - the very sin what caused their people's captivity. It shows us that God was stilling drawing men to Himself, even during a time of great sin and rebellion. They were the only three that obeyed God. God protected them. God loved them.

 Daniel 3:19-23
Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated.  And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace.  Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.  Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

God is still in the buisness of keeping His promises today.  We look around this Christmas season, and see so much sin and rebellion!  So many do not even celebrate the TRUE meaning of Christmas.  Our hope and joy comes in that God will ALWAYS have for Himself a remnant of His people.  Never in a time of past history did God not have people that followed Him. 

Take joy this Christmas, even if you are the ONLY one you know celebrating Christ's birth - that God knows you, takes care of you, and loves you.