From the Word
Journey to Bethlehem
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
“He became what we are so that he might make us what he is.” (Athanasius)
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God.” (C. S. Lewis)
“The babyhood of the Son of God was a reality. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets.” (J. I. Packer)
“Christians believe in the virgin birth of Jesus. Materialists believe in the virgin birth of the cosmos. Choose your miracle.” (G. Scrivener)
“The message of Christmas: God runs toward sinners; He doesn’t run away from them.” (Tullian Tchividjian)
“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.” (George Whitefield)
Around the Net
Into the Darkness He Came (Jon Bloom)
“Into the world, on a nondescript night, in a small town grown weary with oppression and centuries of unfulfilled prophetic expectation, in an obscure shelter no one would have thought to look for him, in the care of poor, nonresident parents, came God the Son. It was his incarnation, but not his origin. He had preexisted his conception. He preexisted the entire world (John 17:5). Everything in existence, visible and invisible, had been made through him and for him (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16), including his own human DNA.”
Still Human (Darryl Dash)
“I was a young seminary student. My theology professor threw me and the others in my class a curveball. He asked a simple question: Is Jesus still human? I’d never considered that exact question before, and it seemed like the kind of answer one doesn’t want to get wrong. I thought for a moment before offering the answer: Yes. To my relief, I was right. I hadn’t spoken heresy. The one mediator between God and men is the man Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). He lives in his resurrected human body, fully God and fully man.”
A Christmas Lament (David Roark)
“Advent reminds us that the Christian life doesn’t come with a big bow on it—not yet, at least—but that there is space to be honest about the brokenness of our hearts and our world. Yet, even though we are distraught and disoriented by such fallenness, we are not without hope. We know that our King has come and He will come again. We know that He will, finally and forever, bring perfect peace and endless light. He will wipe away all our tears, and death will be no more.”
Those We’ve Lost in 2017 (The Gospel Coalition)
“Over the past year the church has lost several faithful theologians and authors who have helped shape evangelicals both in America and throughout the world. Here are six men who died this year who were particularly influential on those of us here at TGC.” One is grateful for the biblical truth behind that great line in Charles Wesley’s famous Christmas carol, “Born to raise the sons of earth; born to give them second birth.” Even so, Lord, come quickly.
This New Life: Top Posts of 2017 (Tim & Sonya Valentino)
Listed here are the top posts published at This New Life in 2017. Thanks for reading! Thanks, also, for your interest in Tim’s academic article recently published in the Evangelical Journal: “Artistry and Architecture in the Fourth Commandment.” As the Lord allows, we’re going to try to find a larger audience for the important and encouraging conclusions set forth in that piece. Finally, thanks to Sara Elizabeth for her guest post this year about a dearly departed friend. We look forward to more posts from her in 2018.
Something to Ponder
Linger Near the Manger
“Christianity was born in one big heavenly interruption. Just ask the Bethlehem shepherds! They had no expectations of excitement. These are sheep they’re watching. We count sheep to go to sleep!
“Shepherds, however, treasured the predictable. This was the night shift. Any excitement was bad excitement—wolves, lions, poachers. Just because they wanted a calm night, didn’t mean they would get it. Luke says, “Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord shining around them, and they became very frightened.” We always assume the worst before we look for the best. Good thing the shepherds lingered. Otherwise they might have missed the second verse. “Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:9-11).
“I hope you’ll do what the shepherds did—linger near the manger!”
– Max Lucado
The Glory of Creation
A Cardinal Waiting for Christmas
Image Credit: Steven Russell Smith
The Friday Funny
Robbing the Cradle at a Preschool Nativity Play
Into All the World
“Always remember, many babies became kings, but only one king became a baby.” (Anonymous)