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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

No Room

December 11

(Luke 2:7 NIV) "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."

(Matthew 8:20 NIV) "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."

(John 1:10 NIV) "He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him."

That first Christmas, God came to earth, but there was no room in the inn. Think about that. No room for God. The King of Kings had no bed! The Lord of Lords had no clothes! He was wrapped in rags to keep him warm. God in rags! He was cradled in a feed trough where animals slobbered as they ate. God came into this world and only a few noticed. Christ’s birth, the turning point in history, went by unnoticed by the vast majority. For most, it was business as usual. No room for God. Things never really got a whole lot better for Jesus. Thirty years later, He still had no place to lay His head. The world had no room in their heart for God. Today, “no room at the inn” has been replaced by “no room at the mall”, “no room on public property”, “no room in our schools”, “no room in our schedules”, “no room in our budgets”. Christ is still in the world, but the world will not recognize Him. Will you? -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, December 10, 2018

Governments and God

December 10

(Luke 2:1-7 NIV) “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. {2} (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) {3} And everyone went to his own town to register. {4} So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. {5} He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. {6} While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, {7} and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son.”

(Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. {7} Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

Governments, kings, and rulers have always tried to use God to accomplish their agendas. God is trotted out when convenient, but kept under wraps until His blessing is needed. What a surprise for governors, presidents, and premiers to learn that they can’t really use God. Instead, God uses them. God used government to get Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem, so prophecy concerning the Messiah’s birth could be fulfilled. Caesar, Quirinius, and Herod thought they were in charge, but God was working out His plan to introduce the real King. God placed the government of man on Christ’s shoulders. He is Lord over the Caesar’s and the Herod’s of this world, and He is Lord over us. Our times are in His hands. Will you recognize Jesus as Lord and Ruler or are you still under the illusion that politicians run the planet? Christ is born. The zeal of God has accomplished this. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Light of the World

December 9

(Isaiah 9:2 NIV) “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

(John 1:4 NIV)  "In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

(John 9:5 NIV) “I am the light of the world.”

(1 John 1:5 NIV) “God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.”

As Creator of all things, the first thing Christ spoke into existence was light. Light is God’s signature, His stamp, on all things. It is no wonder then, that when God chose to come to Earth as a man, His birth would be accompanied by a light so bright it could be followed by the Magi right to the place where Christ was born. God is light and Jesus is the light of the world. But even as the Magi followed the light, others ignored it, or were blind to it. So it is today. Some “see the light”, while many others remain in darkness, stumbling around, feeling their way through life with no sense of direction. Many even get a glimpse of the light, but flee because they love their darkness. Don’t be foolish. When the light of Christ dawns on you, don’t return to the darkness. Jesus came to be the “light of men”. Move toward the Light. Walk in His light. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day  

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Creator and Sustainer

December 8

(John 1:3-4 NIV)  "Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. {4} In him was life, and that life was the light of men."

(Hebrews 1:1-2 NIV) “In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, {2} but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. {3} The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.”

When Jesus came to Earth, the Creator of the universe stepped down into His creation. Christ spoke everything we see into existence. All things were made through Him and by Him. Our Lord said, “Let there be light.”, and there was light. He spoke a word, and the cosmos came into being. But Christ is not just the Creator -- He is the Sustainer of all things. The Son sustains all things by his powerful word and one day He will speak a word and the cosmos as we know it will come to an end. Without His sustaining word, chaos ensues. What is true of the cosmos is true of our lives. God creates us. He speaks a word and we are born again. He sustains us. His word holds our life together. When we, as individuals and a culture, forsake His word, chaos ensues. If you want proof, just watch the latest newscast. Hold on to Jesus! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Friday, December 7, 2018

Eternal Lord

December 7

(John 1:1-2 NIV)  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. {2} He was with God in the beginning."

(John 8:58 NIV) “I tell you the truth,” Jesus answered, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

(1 John 5:11NIV) “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.”

John wanted to make sure we grasped the theological significance of the first Christmas. Jesus was born into our timeline and lived for a while among us, but he is also the eternal God of Adam, Abraham, and Moses. Christ was with God in the beginning because He is God. He and the great “I Am” are one and the same. Jesus is not a created being like the angels. He is the Creator. His life supersedes the confines of time because He created time. You can kill a man like this, but He won’t stay dead. Jesus had a human birthday and a time of death, but because He is eternal, He rose again. On that first Christmas night, eternity stepped into the confines of time and Jesus made Himself subject to aging and even to death. Those who follow Him receive this same eternal life. Merry Christmas! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day 

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Jesus: God Incarnate

December 6

(John 1:1 NIV)  "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

(John 5:18 NIV) “For this reason the Jews tried all the harder to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

(John 10:30 NIV) “I and the Father are one.”

(John 14:9 NIV) ““Jesus answered: “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father.””

As we warm ourselves in nostalgia, family, and friends this Christmas, let’s take some time to meditate on the significance of the event. John’s Nativity story is unique. Rather than simple narrative, it is wrapped in the poetic and saturated with theological truth. First truth: Jesus is God. Along with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Jesus is God the Son. Christ, who is “the Word” in the first verse of John’s gospel, was God incarnate. God became man and was born a baby. Jesus is God in the flesh. Jesus and God are one and the same. This is the doctrine of the Trinity. God is one, but is also three. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit comprise one God. This is a crucial concept to our salvation. Only God could pay the price for the sin of the world. If Jesus is not God, his birth, death, and resurrection are merely symbolic, and Christmas really is just about nostalgia, family and friends. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Getting Ready for Christmas

December 5

(Luke 2:1-7 NIV) “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. {2} (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) {3} And everyone went to his own town to register. {4} So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. {5} He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. {6} While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, {7} and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”

(Revelation 18:1-5 NIV) “After this I saw another angel coming down from heaven. He had great authority, and the earth was illuminated by his splendor. {2} With a mighty voice he shouted: "Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great! She has become a home for demons and a haunt for every evil spirit, a haunt for every unclean and detestable bird. {3} For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries." {4} Then I heard another voice from heaven say: "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not share in her sins, so that you will not receive any of her plagues; {5} for her sins are piled up to heaven, and God has remembered her crimes.”

“Are you ready for Christmas?” is no longer a spiritual query. It is now a warning from the gods of X-mas. It is an interrogation as to whether or not we have completed our sacrifices to the sacred cash cows of Commerce. The season should be about Christ coming to Earth, but like the majority of those in Bethlehem when Jesus came, we are easily distracted by the business of the day. We are like a people in the desert, crying out for water, even as we gorge ourselves on the sand of “door busters” and “blue light specials”. Merchants covet the money of Christians, yet substitute Christ’s name with “Happy Holidays”. They are rewarded because believers look the other way for the sake of a bargain. “Getting ready for Christmas” should be about more than buying and selling. It should be saturated with Christ, the unmentionable syllable in the old name of this “Happy Holiday”. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Prophetic Voices

December 4

(Matthew 3:1-3 NIV) ““In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the Desert of Judea {2} and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near." {3} This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: "A voice of one calling in the desert, 'Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’”

God sent many prophets ahead of Jesus to “prepare the way for the Lord.” God’s one and only Son was coming and the Father didn’t want anyone to miss Him. The voice closest to Christ’s coming was John the Baptist. John lived at the same time as Christ and saw the Messiah with his own eyes. He preached repentance and being prepared for God’s coming. John was the “voice in the desert” spoken of by the great prophet Isaiah. Just like Isaiah, John’s job was to get people ready for the coming of Jesus. His job was to get people ready for Christmas. This prophetic duty now belongs to those who call themselves Christians. We are now the “voice of one calling in the desert”. Jesus is coming again. Our task is to “prepare the way for the Lord”. Each Christmas we have an opportunity to tell the story. Speak out, you prophets of the Lord! -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Monday, December 3, 2018

Christmas Future

December 3

(Isaiah 9:6-7 NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. {7} Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David's throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.”

(Isaiah 40:5 NIV) “And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

Isaiah looked into Christmas Future and saw the arrival of the Messiah. He would not ride in on a white horse with sword in hand to kill all sinners. He would be born a baby, and His birth would go virtually unnoticed. But He would grow to be a great Comforter and Wonderful Counselor for the confused. The Most High and Mighty God would touch down on our planet. The Prince of Peace would come to this war zone called Earth. Isaiah saw the glory of the Everlasting Father revealed. He would not be born to royalty in a king’s palace, but to working class parents in a small village called Bethlehem. He would not be wrapped in expensive purple cloth, but in rags. He would grow up to live as a transient and die penniless with thieves, but He would change the world forever. O holy night, the Light of the God comes, “and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.” -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Recompense Accompanies Him

December 2

(Isaiah 62:10-12 NIV) “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations. {11} The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Savior comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.'" {12} They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted.”

Isaiah declared a Savior would come to prepare the roadway for people to come to God. Jesus was born with a purpose: to remove all barriers on the highway to God. Christ has raised a banner, calling all nations to come to Him. His proclamation extends to the ends of the Earth. Our Lord has come. He has made full repayment for our wrongs and injuries to God. Christ has covered all of our damages and liabilities. This is the meaning of recompense: the recompense that accompanied Him. It is an indication of how much God loves you. You are “Sought After”. You need no longer be a “City Deserted”. He came to give His life, that you may be called the “Redeemed of the Lord”. He longs for you to become His “Holy People”. Will you believe this? Open your heart. Open your eyes. Head to Bethlehem and see what God has done. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Preparing the Way

December 1

(Isaiah 40:1-4 NIV) “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. {2} Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins. {3} A voice of one calling: "In the desert prepare the way for the Lord; make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God. {4} Every valley shall be raised up, every mountain and hill made low; the rough ground shall become level, the rugged places a plain.

The highway through this wilderness known as “The Christmas Season” is strewn with debris, making it hazardous to our spiritual health. The crass commercialism and frantic stampedes for holiday bargains make the road treacherous. Millions get lost in the wilderness looking for this or that “must have” item at X-Mart. Parties serve up the “holiday spirit” and “x-mas cheer”. They cause many to swerve to the left and the right, both literally and spiritually. Don’t you think you’ve spent enough time in the ditch? We all need that straight highway spoken about by the prophet Isaiah. We need someone who will make the rugged places smooth. The swerving and the ups and downs are wearing us out. We need someone to fill our valleys and level our mountains. In this world of rough roads and crooked highways, we need the Lord that Isaiah saw coming. We need Jesus. -- Friar Tuck’s Word of the Day