“TO REMOVE THIS DARK SHADOW”

BRONZINO2

Satan shook his ugly finger at God and perverted the hearts of God’s people. They began to see their creator as severe and unforgiving. They were sure He was constantly watching them, looking to find fault, pass judgment, and delegate harsh punishment. But, as E.G. White puts it, “It was to remove this dark shadow, by revealing to the world the infinite love of God, that Jesus came to live among men.” Jesus said of himself: “He [God] hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised” (Luke 4:18).

 

Love, mercy, and compassion were evidenced in every aspect of Jesus’ life. He took on mankind’s nature that He might reach what every person wants and desires. The poorest and weakest were not afraid to approach Him. Even small children were attracted to him. He didn’t hold back on speaking God’s truth, but He always spoke it in love. Jesus exercised tact, kindness, and thoughtful attention when He interacted with people. He was not afraid to denounce hypocrisy, unbelief, and sin, but tears were in his voice as He uttered His scathing rebukes.

 

Every soul was precious in His eyes. His mission was to bring all men back together with their Creator, to be in His family forever. He saw people as fallen souls whom He came to save.

 

In everyday circumstances, we’re not smart enough to figure out what’s the right thing to do every time. What we think is good, may not be. What we think is bad, may not be. We are only guessing and hoping we’re doing it right.

 

Only God has perfect foresight and hindsight. The bravest thing we can do is abandon our self-constructed ideologies of what it takes to be a good person. Whether we are born-again Christians or not, we need to drop the idea that we alone can devise the standard of what it means to be good. The Lord of Heaven, our Creator, has already given the parameters.

 

We need to jump off the cliff of ME, into the arms of HIM. Knowing what the Bible says, and then having Jesus as our personal Lord, gives us a rock-solid standard, not even as much as for the present, as for eternity.

 

When God got a bad reputation in the Old Testament times, He sent His son Jesus to be a man like us, to relate to us, to understand us, and be among us forever. “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matt. 1:23). He is the only Prince of Peace (Is. 9:6), the only Lord of Lords. “These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings” (Rev. 17:14). Jesus is the presence of love and the conduit of all God’s grace.

 

Isaiah 9:6 says: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” That’s the government of your soul! What a relief! Whenever I get stressed about work, I recall that I made Jesus the head of my work. He takes the stress and gives me His peace and quiet, wise instruction. Jesus is pure and genuine.

 

Let Jesus set the rules for our lives from this day forward. It’s more exciting, versatile, loving and forgiving than anything our finite minds can come with.

 

We celebrate the birth of Jesus with the lyrics of this beautiful Christmas hymn written in 1739: Take a minute to read the words. They will bless you.

 

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King,
peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!”
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
join the triumph of the skies;
with th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem!”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Christ, by highest heaven adored;
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
late in time behold him come,
offspring of a virgin’s womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
hail th’ incarnate Deity,
pleased as man with man to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Hail the heaven-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
risen with healing in his wings.
Mild he lays his glory by,
born that man no more may die,
born to raise the sons of earth,
born to give us second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Come, Desire of nations, come,
fix in us thy humble home;
rise, the woman’s conquering Seed,
bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface;
stamp thine image in its place.
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in thy love.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new born King!”

Adam’s likeness, Lord, efface,
Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam from above,
Reinstate us in Thy love.
Let us Thee, though lost, regain,
Thee, the Life, the inner man:
O, to all Thyself impart,
Formed in each believing heart.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”

 

Love, Carolyn

(Some of the phrases in this article came from a pamphlet I mysteriously received in my mail with quotes from E.G. White. It was addressed to “Resident.”)

 

Painting by Bronzino, Adoration of the Shepherds (1535–1540)

 

GREAT BOOK FOR 2018:   WINGS: JOURNEY WITH JESUS

 

https://www.amazon.com/WINGS-JOURNEY-JESUS-Carolyn-Molica-ebook/dp/B01HLPCQPS/ref=as_sl_pc_as_ss_li_til?tag=jmbcsds-20&linkCode=w00&linkId=d08295a3ec7a27754dcc6e33e188ac05&creativeASIN=B01HLPCQPS

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