A young man, who grew up in a housing project, having little hope and few goods, heard an evangelist preaching “love” on a street corner. After listening for a few moments he shouted to the preacher, “I’m sick and tired of you people talking about love. I want to see love. I want to feel love. I want to see love with some skin on it!”
That’s Christmas: “God’s love with skin on it.”
Paul wrote, “For in Christ the fullness of God lives in a human body!”
In Jesus, we see Someone bringing love to life – but a very special type of love. It is God’s love. We see this love coming to life when Jesus fed the hungry, gave sight to the blind, cleansed the lepers, healed the sick, offering water to a thirsty soul, calming the waves to relieve the fears of experienced fishermen, washing dirty feet, spending time with little children, teaching people the truth that brought meaning and purpose to their lives and finally hanging lifeless from a cross – abandoned and alone.
Jesus is God loving through a human heart, healing with a human hand, walking on errands of mercy with human feet, showing love, grace and mercy to those who would do Him harm.
Jesus is God loving the least, the last and the lost. In Jesus, God showed His love with “skin on it.”
Prayer: Help us, Father, to put Your “love in our skin” and take Your love to those in need. May we be as faithful in caring for others as You are in caring for us. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;
Leonardo da Vinci had just completed his masterpiece, The Last Supper. Pleased with his work, he invited another artist to come to his studio and view his painting.
Gazing with great admiration, the guest artist was overwhelmed and speechless. Finally he exclaimed to da Vinci, “You have painted the chalice with exquisite beauty. It is the most beautiful thing in the whole picture.”
When he heard the comments of the other artist, he immediately took his brush and painted over the chalice. As his friend watched in shock, da Vinci said, “I don’t want anything to take away from the beauty of my Lord which is the reason for the painting.”
Christ is present in the life of every Christian. But His presence is no assurance of His preeminence. Writing to the church at Colossae Paul said, “Christ...is first in everything.”
Because of His death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, God exalted Him and elevated Him to His rightful place in creation. And if God so honored Him as being supreme over all things, how ought we to honor Him in and through and with and by our lives?
Simply accepting Him as our Savor is not enough. We must exalt Him as Lord and elevate Him in every aspect of our lives.
Prayer: We thank You Father, for what You have done for us and what You can do through us. May we make You the centerpiece of our lives. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 1:18 And he is the head of the body, the church, he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy
A salesman was calling on one of his favorite customers – an elderly gentleman who owned a country store. He found “Old Sam” sitting on the porch of his store gently rocking back and forth with an old Labrador retriever laying quietly beside him. As he walked up the steps he said, “Does your dog bite?”
“Nope,” said “Old Sam,” as he continued to rock.
The salesman reached down to pet the dog. Just as he touched the dog’s head, it growled and snapped viciously at him. He jumped back and shouted, “I thought you said that your dog didn’t bite!”
“My dog doesn’t. But that’s not my dog,” responded “Old Sam.”
All of us collect information. It is an ongoing process in all of our lives. But the value of the information we collect depends on the questions we ask.
Thomas once asked, “Lord, we don’t know where You are going, so how can we know the way?” Jesus replied, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
The most important question everyone must answer is implied in the response of Jesus: “Do you know the way to God?” Jesus left no doubt about the route: We can only get to God through Him.
Prayer: Lord, we thank You that Your Son clearly and consistently explained the only way to come to You is through Him. May we in faith accept Your “way.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
A visitor recently said to me, “There's something different about you. You have something I don't have. I lack something in my life that you have in your life. It's very obvious to me. What is it?”
“Oh,” I replied, “it's not something. It's Someone. It's the Lord!”
John, the Apostle, put it this way: “Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone. This light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”
This magnificent truth declares that the Light we need in and for our lives. The darkness of sin can never extinguish the Light that comes from God through Jesus Christ. In this Light we can see ourselves as we really are: sinners in need of a Savior and the salvation that only He can provide. When we come to Jesus, the true Light, and follow Him, we can walk confidently in His strength and power, seeing things as they really are. We will be able to avoid falling into temptation and sin since His Light will shine on our paths. We will then walk in ways that are pleasing to Him.
When we follow this Light we can be assured of knowing that our lives are pleasing to Him and we can count on His presence and power.
With God's Son Jesus, as our Savior, we will become “someone” who is different. Our lives will reveal His wonder and glory and we will shine as His “lights.”
Prayer: Lord, You truly are the Light of the world and will, if we allow You, give us “the” light that will guide us and guard us and bring us safely into Your presence. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: …In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1
A tourist became lost on the back roads of Alabama. There were no signs to point him in any direction and the dirt roads seemed endless.
His heart leaped for joy when he saw an old farmer sitting on a fence nibbling on a piece of straw. After explaining his dilemma, the farmer paused, shook his head knowingly, and then gave him a set of explicit directions. After thanking the farmer for being gracious and helpful, he drove down the road filled with confidence.
Thirty minutes later the tourist, after following the directions with great care, found himself back where he began with the farmer still sitting on the fence with the straw between his lips.
Angrily the tourist said, “What’s the big idea? I did what you told me to do and look where I ended up!”
“Well,” said the farmer, “I didn’t want to waste my time telling you how to get to Montgomery until I knew whether or not you were able to follow directions.”
When a disciple asked Jesus for directions to His Father’s house, Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me!” Jesus was very clear when He described the path for salvation and to eternal life. There can never be any misunderstanding about such an important question if we follow the teachings of Jesus.
Prayer: We thank You, Lord, that You have made the answer to life’s most important question so clear and with it the promise of eternal life with You. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 14:1-6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me.
Four-year-old Will came running to his Dad, shouting, “Look, Daddy, I pulled up this corn stalk all by myself!”
“Wow,” said his Dad, “you’re pretty strong.”
“Yep,” grinned the little guy, “and don’t forget that the whole planet was pulling against me.”
Many are like little Will. They believe that they can take on the entire planet, seen and unseen, by themselves – and win. But eternal life is something we cannot see. It is something we can only receive by faith.
Thomas, the Doubter, spoke for many of us. He once said to Jesus, “We haven’t any idea where You are going, so how can we know the way?”
One of the most basic passages in Scripture tells us that only through Christ can we know and find the way to God. If we trust in Jesus, we have His Word that we will become His child and that He will take us to be with Him and His Father.
The world will do everything that it can to keep us earth bound. Jesus said, “I am the way” – He is our path; “I am the truth” – He is the only answer for eternal life; “and the life” – through His death, burial, and resurrection – we become one with Him for all eternity!
Prayer: We thank You, Father, for the clarity of Your Word, the simplicity of Your message, and the invitation to eternal life. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 14:1-6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

An art teacher asked her students to draw a picture of someone famous. Looking over the shoulder of one of her students she asked, “And whose picture are you drawing?”
“God’s,” he answered confidently.
“God’s?” asked the teacher. “No one knows what He looks like.”
“They will when I get through!” he said.
Who was right: the teacher or the student?
Paul said that “Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God.” The word Paul chose for image was a word his readers knew meant “a description” of a person. In other words, what we see in the life of Jesus is a portrait, or a description, of God. So, if we want to know Who God is and what He is like, it is possible to see, know and understand God through the life and teachings of Jesus.
In Jesus we see a Man filled with unending love that included the least, the last, the loneliest. A Man who healed, helped and hungered to reach and redeem the lost. And this He did on a cross.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for the picture we have of You in Your Son, our Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

An explorer became lost in a dangerous part of an African jungle. His compass was of no use because he did not know where he was or which direction to travel. He became desperate and was filled with fear when a native appeared and offered to take him to his camp.
Hesitatingly, but hopeful, he asked, “Do you know the way?”
Confidently the native replied, “I am the way.”
People all around us are lost and looking for direction for their lives. The world has many maps and GPS systems but they offer no final destination that provides salvation, peace and hope. They are searching, even seeking desperately, and trying anything and everything, to discover a way out of their fear and hopelessness.
They need to hear the words of Jesus, “I am the way, the truth and the life.” In Him we have the direction we need for living here and hereafter.
Prayer: Father, thank You for being our Savior and Guide. Help us to lead others to You, the Way. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
The phone rang and a small child answered it softly. “Hello,” he said barely above a whisper.

“Hello,” came the response. “Is your mother home?”

“Yes,” came the reply, “but she’s busy.”

“Well,” wondered the caller, “is your father home?”

“Yes,” he said, “but he’s busy, too.”

“Are they both busy? What are they doing?” asked the salesman.

“They’re looking for me,” he whispered.

What a picture of our Savior! He said, “I, the Son of Man, have come to seek and save the lost!”

This verse comes at the end of the story of Zacchaeus. Sometimes we focus on the different facts in the story: he was very short, the son of Abraham, he was a very influential man, and he was an unpopular tax collector. None of this actually mattered to Jesus.

What did matter to Jesus, then and now, is that a person is not saved because of his family, his wealth, his influence in the community, his appearance or his previous way of life. It is only through faith in the Son of Man that the lost can be forgiven and made new.

In one verse Jesus summarized His entire mission: to seek and to save the lost. Wherever they are, whatever they have done, Jesus continues to seek the lost.

Prayer: Lord, we may have much, but You ask little except that we, in faith, accept You as our Savior. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Luke 19:10  for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

The Taj Mahal of India is one of the most costly and beautiful tombs in all of the world. It was built by an Indian ruler, using twenty thousand men, in memory of his favorite wife.

It is built of white marble and rests on an eight-sided platform of red sandstone. Each side is one hundred thirty feet long. A beautiful dome covers the center part of the building. It is famous for its remarkable acoustics and visitors entering the building are advised to be cautious of their voices and the sounds they make. It is to be a place of quiet respect.

Years ago Henrietta Mears, founder of Gospel Light Publications and one of the greatest Christian educators in the history of the church, visited the Taj Mahal and asked the guide, “May I say something?” When she was granted permission she walked on the platform and exclaimed in a moving voice, “Jesus, Christ, Son of God is Lord over all!”

Like rolls of thunder echoing in a canyon between majestic mountains her powerful voice reverberated from wall to wall and down the corridors and all inside of the tomb heard the message, “Lord over all, over all, over all, over all...”

There are times when we look at the conditions that surround us and the problems facing us when we doubt that essential fact - “Lord over all!” God had David encode that fact in Psalm 103:19b: “His kingdom rules over all.” It was then; it is now and ever will be. God rules!

Prayer: May we never doubt, Lord, that You are the one who controls all things - and trust in Your sovereignty! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Scripture for Today: Psalm 103:19 The Lord has established his throne in heaven, and his kingdom rules over all.

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