Digging in Deeper: Jeremiah 1:5

“I chose you before I formed you in the womb; I set you apart before you were born. I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Mary was called to a big task. I mean, in an entirely practical sense, she wasn’t called to anything she wasn’t already going to experience herself in a few years—Jesus had other siblings—but the timing, the nature, and the birth circumstances of this particular child were going to be a big task. And because God Himself was so invested in this task, we can rest assured that He wouldn’t have chosen Mary for it unless He was certain she could handle it. The same goes for us. Let’s talk about why.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Isaiah 53:4-5

“Yet he himself bore our sicknesses, and he carried our pains; but we in turn regarded him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced because of our rebellion, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on him, and we are healed by his wounds.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever set out down a path you knew wasn’t going to end well? Or, let me change that just a bit. Have you ever set out down a path that you knew was going to eventually have a good ending, but the journey to get there was going to be exceedingly difficult? When God the Son left His throne in heaven and came to earth as a baby, He knew just what He was getting into. How do we know? Because He told us long before He got here. Isaiah tells us about it in this passage.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Isaiah 9:6

“For a child will be born for us, a son will be given to us, and the government will be on his shoulders. He will be named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

There has been a bit of a rash of babies being born where I live lately. Babies are born all the time, but I can quickly think of four that have arrived in the last couple of weeks in our little community. (In case you’re curious, girls are winning three-to-one.) The birth of a child is always a moment primed with hope and expectation. The possibilities before that little one are literally endless. At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of a child whose expectations were even higher than usual.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He made the one who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

When you get into the meat of the theology behind the Gospel, you eventually find yourself having to slog through some big words whose definitions are not at all clear to most people. The reason is simply that we don’t use words like that very often anymore; at least, not in the way they were understood in previous generations or by the various New Testament authors. At the same time, they’re really important words whose ideas are central to grasping the nature of the salvation made available in Christ. One of the most important of these is the word “righteousness.” Let’s talk for a minute about what it means and why it makes Christmas so important.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Micah 5:2

“Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are small among the clans of Judah; one will come from you to be ruler over Israel for me. His origin is from antiquity, from ancient times.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

People don’t expect much from small towns. The pace of life there is slow. There aren’t many job opportunities. Retail offerings are limited. Medical capabilities are limited. Culture isn’t being created. Frankly, most of them are dying. Nothing of real significance happens there. Except this one time, the King of Heaven entered earth in a small town and the world has never been the same.

Read the rest…