AWAY IN A MANGER
Away in a manger, no crib for a bed,
The little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head;
The stars in the sky looked down where He lay,
The little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay. (cont. at the end).
What a Wow God we serve! So Awesome and Magnificent, Indiscernible Messiah, Wonderful Redeemer, Glorious God, The Alpha and The Omega, The Beginning and The End. Thank You for the Joy of the Season; thank You for Christ Incarnate. Blessed Be Thy Name forever and ever. Amen!
Dearly Beloved, hope you had a swell time all through the week, from one Christmas carol to another Christmas concert, what a beautiful time to talk about our Saviour- Immaunel!!!
The song above though regarded as children song yet its beauty and power is loved equally by people of all ages. The beauty of this carol is the beauty of Christmas. It is simple. Christmas is not the gold or glitter, the wrappings or trappings. It is the story of God humbling Himself to become a baby, born in crude circumstances to a young woman in ancient Palestine. Sing this carol softly. It is what Christmas is all about.
We all went to Bethlehem yesterday to see “the baby Jesus”, am back to base, I think you are too? Today, is generally regarded as a boxing day (when I was much younger, I thought it was a fighting day and I couldn’t reconcile the two, just coming out the celebration of the birth of our Saviour Jesus and the next day is fighting, what’s that? Am sure am not alone here, you once thought that way, I guess?).
Boxing Day is not a fighting day but rather a day meant for exchanging of gifts with one another or unwrapping your gifts under the Christmas tree (for those that observe it traditionally).
Now come the big question, have you sent a gift to someone? To a family? Visit a home or orphanages? If your answer is “No”, try and do that before the end of the day. Let this joy flow round, you have enough to eat and waste please look around you and put a smile on someone face, let it be said of you, thank you for bringing Jesus to my home at this crucial season.
Visit where you can or send it across, in all, it will bless the receiver and they will glorify the Name of the Lord at the end for your singular act of love. Praise the Lord!
We will be rounding off the week with a look at some ethical decisions we are sometime faced with as children of God. Are we going to do it just because everybody is doing it? If everybody is doing it, is it in line with the biblical principle?
Our life ought to be light, are you exhibiting one? You are the salt of the earth, are you still tasteful? Can you still be used for seasoning? Come along with me as we consider some important questions you must ask yourself each time you are face with one:
Eight Questions To Ask When Facing Ethical Decisions
- IS IT PERMISSIBLE? (If there is a clear Biblical command against it, then it is not permissible.)
“The man who says, ‘I know him,‘ but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him .… You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love… ” (1 John 2:4; Gal 5:13)
- WILL IT LEAD TO PEACE AND MUTUAL EDIFICATION?
- WILL IT BUILD UP OTHER PEOPLE?
- IS IT PROFITABLE (BENEFICIAL)?
“All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify.” (1 Corinthians 10:23 – nasb)
- IS IT CONSTRUCTIVE?
- DOES IT HAVE THE GOOD OF OTHERS AT HEART?
“Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others… Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:3, 4)
- WILL IT CAUSE OTHERS TO STUMBLE?
“Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved… ” (1 Corinthians 10:32, 33) (See 1 Corinthians 8:9; Romans 14:13)
- DOES IT GLORIFY GOD?
“Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God… ” (1 Corinthians 10:31) (Adapted from FOTM)
A thorough look at these questions have so much to do with others, less of self but in all, to glorify God. Can you and I live such a life where we consider the outcome of our actions to others, other than self? But that is not usually the case. The next message hold what most of us do when we want to deviate from the acceptable standards either to please ourselves or massage our ego:
Rationalizations We Often Make When Compromising Our Ethics
- We persuade ourselves that others are doing it.
That may be true, but we will still give an account to God: “Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment… For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.” (Ecclesiastes 11:9; 12:14; 2 Corinthians 5:9, 10) (See Psalm 50:4; Romans 2:5-11; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Revelation 20:12-15)
- We tell ourselves that no one will know.
Really? “For a man‘s ways are in full view of the Lord, and he examines all his paths… The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good… My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?… Do not I fill heaven and earth?… Nothing in all creation is hidden from God‘s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” (Proverbs 5:21; 15:3; Jeremiah 16:17; 23:24; Hebrews 4:13) (See Job 31:3; Psalm 11:4; Jeremiah 17:10)
- We convince ourselves that no one cares.
God does: “The Lord saw how great man‘s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time… The Lord was grieved… ” (Genesis 6:5, 6a) (See Ephesians 4:30)
- We rationalize our compromise, treating it as a lesser offense than it really is: “Hey, cutting a few corners here and there is not that serious.“
Guess again: “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free… No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence.” (Proverbs. 19:5; Psalm 101:7) (See Psalm 52:3; 101:7; Proverbs 19:5; Revelation 21:8, 27; 22:15)
- We talk ourselves into believing we deserve favored treatment that allows us to bend the rules:
“Hey, I was shafted…” “They didn‘t uphold their end of the bargain.” “Because I did all the work on the project, I am the one who should get compensated – not them!“
Jesus sees it differently: “Don‘t hit back at all.‘ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it. And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff. Live generously… ” (Matthew 5:39b-42 – Message) (See Luke 6:27-36; 9:23, 24)
QUESTION: Are you committed to uncompromising Biblically-based ethics, whatever the cost? (Adapted from FOTM)
Beloved, let’s consider the case of Cain and Abel; David and Uriah; Moses and the Egyptian, these culprits thought that nobody knew, nobody saw them but they were found out at the end of the day by the All Knowing and All Seeing God. Therefore, consider your paths and ensure that you are living right and there is no hidden sins in you. Stand firm and avoid compromise. This is our calling as children of God; as children of light.
Determine today and going forward that you must uphold the ethical standards in line with the biblical standards and God will help you. (If you stumble, they’ll catch you; their job is to keep you from falling) (Ps 91:12) (The Message Bible).
Enjoy yourself in the Lord, till we meet again next week, the last week of the year 2014. Don’t forget, take a “Box” to someone today.
The cattle are lowing, the Baby awakes,
But little Lord Jesus no crying He makes,
I love Thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky,
And stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay
Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.
Bless all the dear children in Thy tender care,
And fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.
Remain blessed in the Lord.