We are still in the section of verses from the Bible depicting the prophecy of Jesus’ coming, His arrival, and His early life before ministry. With two more days after today to go, then we shift into looking at Jesus Himself, His earthly ministry, and the different aspects of Himself that He displayed.
There are not many verses recounting the childhood and pre-ministry life of Jesus, but there are a few. Here is one:
I wasn’t saved until I was 42. Before that, I’d been married. I remember what it was like to complain about my spouse. It was the norm. It was a usual thing to gripe about him, to nitpick every fault and failure and deficit to my friends when we got together. We didn’t have the internet then, but we did complain about our spouses in public, even TO our spouses in public. All in good fun, we said. Just joshing.
Sure. Sure it was. What it actually was, was marital wars. It was putting salt on the jabs and pokes and little bitter wounds that pile up. It was a normal thing. Doing that meant we were trying to get an advantage in our constant undercurrent of passive-aggressive battle that unsaved marriages often are.
The unsaved’s marriage is a war, as Genesis 3:16 says the woman will constantly try to usurp her husband. In turn, the husband has to constantly suppress his wife. There is no common ground, as there is in a Christian marriage, the common ground being Jesus.
The Christian marriage is in fact a societal foundation block of intertwined flesh of two made one. It is a pair, united in purpose and walking together. Big difference from the ego-maniacal wars of the unsaved marriage.
When we are saved, we realize our utter depravity, our utter lostness before God, and our helpless estate. We need Jesus every moment to do what is right, and that includes loving our spouses well.
After salvation, I was not married any more but I watched Christian married couples closely. They loved each other. Their devotion seemed real and deep. They praised each other, lifted each other up, and spoke well of him or her.
This kind of behavior and their kind words about each other was startling in how much it contrasted with the darkness of non-Christian talk about spouses. It was like a warm glow of a candlelit table, comfortable and inviting, rather than the hot pricks and barbs of usual conversations about our spouse.
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no unwholesome word come out of your mouth, but if there is any good word for edification according to the need of the moment, say that, so that it will give grace to those who hear.“
I would like to reiterate what Dr. Strachan said in the tweet screen shot above. It IS radical to speak well of one’s spouse (or of anyone!) I don’t know if long-time Christians know HOW radical it is. Wholesome and uplifting speech about your wife or husband is countercultural and stands out like a lighthouse beacon on a stormy night.
The good news is that if you have fallen into the trap of downgrading your spouse in public in speech or gestures, you can repent to Jesus and He will forgive. The Holy Spirit is our very present help to aid us in resisting that kind of speech.
If you have been uplifting your spouse in conversation to others, then please know how such talk stands out in the swirl of talk by the unsaved that usually consists of complaints, gossip, and pettiness. Such speech stands out like warm rain on a sunny day.
Many people worshiped Jesus during His earthly ministry. They bowed before Him and called Him the Messiah, Son of God, or other titles indicating they knew they were worshiping the one True God. Some people worshiped extravagantly. We think of Mary with her bottle of expensive nard, or David worshiping God with all his might before the ark processional.
No one came farther or brought more expensive tokens of worship than the Magi, known as the Wise Men from the East. Their journey of about 900 miles was difficult, fraught with danger, and took months. Their gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh were expensive. But that was nothing to them. They journeyed, they found the child, they knelt before Him in humble worship. Though they themselves were considered rulers of sorts, when they saw His place they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. (Matthew 2:9). They knelt before a little child and presented their gifts of adoration.
During this Advent, let us do the same. We do not have the blessing of an incarnated Messiah to bow to, that will happen later, but we can rejoice today with exceeding joy and present to him our precious gift: our bodies as a living and holy sacrifice. (Romans 12:1).
As a kid you must have played king or queen. You know, you look for something to wear as a crown, use a stick as a scepter, a fancy chair as throne, with a blanket pinned to your shoulders as the train. Many of us play-pretended being a sovereign and ordered the teddy bears around.
As a young adult I was fascinated with Medieval and Renaissance eras of history. I visited castles, saw majestic paintings of famous sovereigns such as Queen Elizabeth I on her throne, and mused about the queenly life.
Whenever you see a throne the chair itself in the scene is always sitting on something raised- a dais, a stage, or steps- like the throne of Charlemagne below.
We’re in the section of the 30-day Advent flow of the prophecies of Jesus’ coming, his arrival, and his early life. Yesterday’s scripture picture was “The Babe has arrived” and the scripture was from Luke 2.
How can we go any further without pondering that He, the King of Glory, the Infinite, left glory to be wrapped in human flesh and dwell among sinners? To seek and save the lost, humbling himself not only as a God-Man, but departing His heavenly home of glory where He constantly received His due worship… To be rejected, despised among men, and killed. All for us, rotten sinners.
At least the worst one I ever heard… The Gospel presentation I transcribed is from a thirty-plus year Bible teacher, a famous celebrity that makes her living authoring Bible studies and speaking at events where she teaches the Bible. OK, OK, it’s Beth Moore.
Asked on a recent podcast to give the gospel, Beth Moore said she would be glad to:
Beth Moore and her husband Keith have become members of a local Anglican Church.
False teachers exist. They damage the faithful and they blemish the spotless name of Jesus. They are a scourge.
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. (1 John 4:1).
Beth Moore: False Teacher
One of these false teachers is Beth Moore. The Lord for His own reasons, has allowed her to operate publicly as a teacher for a very long time, since at least 1985. Her charm, her good looks, her expressive dynamism, and her talent for telling a story propelled her over the years to the top of the heap in ‘Bible Study’ authors and itinerant teachers.