December 18, 2019
Dear Praying Friends,
Thank you for devoting this day to prayer for our prodigals and for revival. As we allow the magnitude of this season to impact our hearts, may we be drawn into a deeper level of commitment to the One we love.
Consider the commitment of our God and His ensuing sacrifice in giving His only Son to the human family. It meant separation, limitation, discomfort, poverty, pain, rejection, and ultimately death. While the Father watched it all from His heavenly home, the Son entered into the experience of our frail existence. It was a total sacrifice. May we never lose the wonder of that great stoop!
In worship this past Sunday, Michael Da Silva gave us a touching message on Daniel’s prophecy of the coming King, and he quoted the Casting Crowns’ song, “While You Were Sleeping.”
Oh little town of Bethlehem
Looks like another silent night
Above your deep and dreamless sleep
A giant star lights up the sky
And while you're lying in the dark
There shines an everlasting light
For the King has left His throne
And is sleeping in a manger tonight
It is difficult to grasp, but it is the reality of Scripture that the little baby boy who was laid in a manger, is the King who left His throne and came into obscure, humble circumstances on our behalf. No wonder the Magi bowed before Him and presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, gifts fitting for a king. Think of the sacrifice they made by taking the long trip from the East, and how they risked their lives by coming into hostile Roman territory to greet a king that who be a great threat to the reigning Caesar Augustus. And the cost of those expensive presents given to Jesus would have been outstanding. All for their King!
You might wonder why would I sacrifice of myself for this same King? Why would I be willing to give all to this baby born in Bethlehem? History records multitudes who did the same, and their example is stirring, but my sacrifice originates with His sacrifice. He left all for me. He gave all for me. And in return, though faltering and failing — I give back to Him what He rightfully deserves. I gladly bow and offer Him my heart, my life, my all.
I read a quote today which says, “You and I have gone as far with Jesus as we can go at our present level of sacrifice.” We need to continually assess our willingness to sacrifice and submit to His Lordship in our lives. This comes out in the daily decisions of life, like where we put our money, how we treat our partners in marriage, what we put into our local churches, and what we do with our spare time. Maybe we need to go to the next level of commitment? Listen to the words of Paul to the Roman believers, “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship” (Rom.12:1).
There will be no devotional next week since it is Christmas. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends.
Love in Christ,
Bryan and Rachel