“Good will toward men.” – Luke 2:14
Yes! that is the meaning of it all. It tells of the good will of God toward all men. There is a strange mediaeval legend which illustrates this truth. An infidel knight, in the wildness of his mad, Heaven-defying infidelity, determined to test, by the method to which as a knight he was accustomed, the reality and power of the God whose existence he denied. So, going out into the field, armed as if for combat, he cast his glove down upon the ground, after the manner of the ancient challengers, and cried out to the heavens: “God! — if there be a God — I defy thee here and now to mortal combat! If thou indeed art, put forth thy might, of which thy pretended priests make such boasts.” As he spoke, his eye was caught by a piece of parchment fluttering in the air just above his head. It fell at his feet. He stooped and picked it up, and found inscribed upon it these words, “God is love!” Overcome by this unexpected response, he broke his sword in token of his surrender, and kneeling upon the fragments, consecrated his life henceforth to the service of that God whom he had just before defied. Thus to all men’s defiance, to the rebellion of a world, to the godlessness of nations, to the blasphemy of individuals, the answer that heaven has always let fall has been, “God is love!” This was the message that came wafted down that night on the silent air in this sweet note of the angels’ song. This was the meaning of the coming of Christ. Cold was the world; shut were men’s hearts against God; defiant was the attitude of nations. Yet to this coldness, this defiance, this revolt, the answer was not swift judgment, but the gift of the Son of God as the Savior — “On earth peace, good will toward men.” Wherever the gospel goes today, it breathes the same loving message. God does not hate us; he loves us with a love tender and everlasting.
The Bible In A Year
Why standest thou afar off, O Lord? (Psalms 10:1)
God is “a very present help in trouble.” But He permits trouble to pursue us, as though He were indifferent to its overwhelming pressure, that we may be brought to the end of ourselves, and led to discover the treasure of darkness, the unmeasurable gains of tribulation.
We may be sure that He who permits the suffering is with us in it. It may be that we shall see Him only when the trial is passing; but we must dare to believe that He never leaves the crucible. Our eyes are holden; and we cannot behold Him whom our soul loveth. It is dark–the bandages blind us so that we cannot see the form of our High Priest; but He is there, deeply touched. Let us not rely on feeling, but on faithin His unswerving fidelity; and though we see Him not, let us talk to Him. Directly we begin to speak to Jesus, as being literally present, though His presence is veiled, there comes an answering voice which shows that He is in the shadow, keeping watch upon His own. Your Father is as near when you journey through the dark tunnel as when under the open heaven!
–Daily Devotional Commentary
What though the path be all unknown?
What though the way be drear?
Its shades I traverse not alone
When steps of Thine are near
“The tender mercy of our God.” – Luke 1:78
What would we ever have done if God had not been merciful? There could never have been a soul saved in this world. There is a story of a man who dreams that he is out in an open field in a fierce driving storm. He is wildly seeking a refuge. He sees one gate, over which “Holiness” is written. There seems to be shelter inside, and he knocks. The door is opened by one in white garments; but none save the holy can be admitted, and he is not holy. So he hurries on to seek shelter elsewhere. He sees another gate, and tries that; but “Truth” is inscribed above it, and he is not fit to enter. He hastens to a third, which is the palace of Justice; but armed sentinels keep the door, and only the righteous can be received. At last, when he is almost in despair, he sees a light shining some distance away, and hastens toward it. The door stands wide open, and beautiful angels meet him with welcomes of joy. It is the house of Mercy, and he is taken in and finds refuge from the storm, and is hospitably entertained.
Not one of us can ever find a refuge at any door save the door of Mercy. But here the vilest sinner can find eternal shelter; and not mere cold shelter only, for God’s mercy is “tender.” We flee for refuge, and find it. Strong walls shut out all pursuing enemies, and cover us from all storms. Then, as we begin to rejoice in our security, we learn that we are inside a sweet home, and not merely a secure shelter. Our refuge is in the very heart of God; and no mother’s bosom was ever so warm a nest for her own child as is the divine mercy for all who find refuge in it.
“He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty…
He shall cover thee with his pinions,
And under his wings shalt thou take refuge.” – Psalm 91:1, 4
“My spirit hath rejoiced in God.” – Luke 1:47
This is another strain of Mary’s song, and it has for us the secret of all deep Christian joy. We have no real and lasting joy till we are in God’s family, and in God as the refuge of our souls. One of the old prophets says, “Let the inhabitants of the rocks sing!” None can sing with lasting gladness but the inhabitants of the Rock — those who are in the shelter of the Rock of Ages. The world’s songs soon change to cries of terror. During the Battle of Gettysburg there was a little bird on a tree that would sing a few notes every time there was a lull in the awful roar of battle; but when the crash began again, its song would cease. That is the way with this world’s joy. It sings a few strains now and then in the pauses of life’s struggle and discontent. When the waves of sorrow break, its voice is drowned; it cannot sing in loss, in bereavement, in the hour of dying. But one who rejoices in God has a joy that sings on through all the roar of battle, through all the darkness of night. Troubles come to the Christian, but they do not rob him of his joy. He may be in deep sorrow, but all the while there is a fountain of joy welling up in his heart. Sometimes there is a fresh-water spring by the sea-shore. Twice every day the salt tides roll over it, but the spring never ceases to flow; and when the brackish waves have rolled back, the waters of the spring are still sweet as ever. That is the way with the Christian’s joy. It is a living well in his heart. Even in his sorrow he has a deep peace in his soul. Then when the sorrow is past, the joy springs fresh as ever. The permanence of all joy depends upon the source from which it comes. If it be in God that we rejoice, then earth has no power to take from us the gladness.
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What’s that smell?! “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the […] http://mobile.dot-k.com/whats-that-smell/#noredirect Powered by Como: http://www.como.com