[CF Devotionals] 2013-12-26 - O Holy Night

Verse 3 ~ Conclusion

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The Apostle John exhorted his congregation to love one another. He was following the lead of His Savior and beloved friend, Jesus. I have heard about travelers that have gone to other countries to visit. They meet other believers and even with language barriers there is fellowship and unity. There is the other side of the coin where churches split over secondary issues or less. We as mirrors of the love of Christ still have work to do for His sake and the sakes of those around us.

The law Jesus boiled down to two statements. Love God with everything you have in you, and love your neighbor as yourself (Matt 22:36-40). If we follow out of love and gratitude for all He has done for us, the world around us will take notice. If we squabble and split over trivia and fail to work out our differences, the world around us will also take notice.

Chains. There are still places in the world today where slavery exists in its most blatant form with people sold and traded as property. There is what may be considered worse than that where children and adults are put horrific existences for the profit of others. The greatest chain, and root of all these other ills, is sin. None of us is exempt.

The only cure is to be redeemed by the blood of Christ. His death and resurrection is the hammer than shatters the chains of sin and death. This hammer sets the captives free. In coming as a child and living with us, sharing the heart of the Father, and dying in our place pouring out His sacrificial blood like the lambs that gone before him for centuries Jesus the Son obeyed the Father. The difference was this sacrifice paid once for all time for all of humanity. Jesus had to come as a child at the appointed time, walk the path of this mortal life in order to free us crushing death in rising from the grave on the third day. For all who answer the Father's call to come this is available.

One day all oppression will cease. One day God's children will finally live as one putting everything else aside. We sing and praise His name looking forward to that day. And we sing in thanks for the night the Son came to save us all from the slavery of sin and death on the night the shepherds heard the angels sing announcing the birth of the Messiah.

Selah.

O Holy Night
by Placide Cappeau & Adolphe Adam in 1847

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wisemen from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains he shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
With all our hearts we praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!

Father God - We thank You for the gift of Your Son. He showed us Your love and brought Your salvation opening the doors to Heaven so that all who will accept this gift will live forever with You. Amen.

Grace & Peace,
Mike

[email mike] mike.hoskins@cfdevotionals.org
http://www.cfdevotionals.org
http://www.redcross.org

All verses are from the New American Standard Bible (NASB) unless otherwise noted.


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