Tag: peace on earth

Good Tidings of Great Joy!

Scripture reading for December 25th:  Luke 2:8-14

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified!  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid.  I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you;  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”  Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.””  (Luke 2:8-14)

To the humble shepherds, an angel of the Lord appeared in radiant and blinding glory.  They were tending their flocks, protecting them from the predators of the night and the sight was terrifying!  The angel reassured them with one of the 365 “fear not’s” of the Scriptures.  His message was “good news of great joy” for all people of the earth, Jew and Gentile!  (Luke 2:29-32)  This “Good News” was that a Savior, Christ the Lord,  had been born in the town of David–Bethlehem!  This fulfilled what was spoken by Micah the prophet! (Micah 5:2)  These shepherds were told they would find this child wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.

A great company of heavenly hosts (angelic beings) appeared with the angel of the Lord to these shepherds.  They were praising God and giving glory to God in the highest heaven and proclaiming peace on earth to all men who would believe and receive the “Good News”!  Today is still a time of God’s favor and His peace is available to all who will repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord!  This Good News is for you and all men today!

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Shallow repentance!

Scripture reading for September 23rd: Nahum 1-3

A century earlier, Jonah had come to Nineveh to warn of coming judgment.  A great wave of conviction fell on leaders, men and even the animals.  All repented and called on the Lord and He had mercy and saved them from destruction. (Jonah 3:6-10)  About a hundred years later, God sent Nahum back to Nineveh with a decree of divine displeasure and coming destruction.  (Nahum 2:13)  The revival of a century earlier had caused them to humble themselves and seek the Lord, but they soon returned to their wicked ways.

God always warns the wicked of the coming disaster.  Nahum’s word was unmistakable. “. . all because of the wanton lust of a harlot, alluring, the mistress of sorceries, who enslaved nations by her prostitution and peoples by her witchcraft.” “I am against you,” declares the Lord Almighty. All who see you will flee from you and say, ‘Nineveh is in ruins–who will mourn for her?’ Where can I find anyone to comfort her? ” (Nahum 3:4-5, 7)

In the midst of the warning to Nineveh, Nahum spoke a word of hope and encouragement to Judah.  The wicked would no longer invade them  and they would be restored to their land. (Nahum 1:15)  This good news speaks to us today as well.  We know that God has defeated evil through the cross of Jesus Christ.  The triumph of Jesus Christ is sure and He will defeat all wickedness and evil and set up His reign of peace on the earth.

When we read God’s warnings concerning the defeat of wickedness and the final judgment, it is easy to think that He is speaking of something far away or that they are meant for someone else.  It is easy to give lip service to God, but still have a heart far from Him.  This is a day of mercy and a day of  “good news”!  Respond with true repentance that brings everlasting peace and blessing!

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off–for all the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:38-39

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