Saturday, December 17


“Abraham—your ‘father’—with jubilant faith looked down the corridors of history and saw my day coming. He saw it and cheered.” The Jews said, “You’re not even fifty years old—and Abraham saw you?” “Believe me,” said Jesus, “I am who I am long before Abraham was anything.” That did it—pushed them over the edge. They picked up rocks to throw at Him. But Jesus slipped away, getting out of the Temple. – Jn 8:56–59 MSG


Most of the religious leaders in Jesus’ day did not respond to His message with faith and acceptance, but rather with resentment and refusal. They repeatedly tried to trap Him into giving an answer that would either discredit Him with the people, or give them something to take to the Roman authorities and bring the weight of the legal system to bear to stop Jesus. On more than one occasion, they actually tried to kill Jesus.


What a contrast there is between their actions and responses and the actions and responses of Abraham. We do not know how fully the great hero of faith understood the details of God’s plan of redemption, but Jesus said that Abraham knew that Jesus was coming—and that he rejoiced in it even before it happened. Christmas is a great source of joy and hope to those who understand what the celebration is about, and often a source of frustration and aggravation for those who do not.


But even those of us who know the truth can find the pressures of the season stealing our joy. We need to keep our focus on what truly matters so that we do not miss the joy of Christmas.


Today’s Growth Principle: 

Do not allow anything to steal the joy from your heart and mind that Jesus came to bring.

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