The doctrine of the virgin birth, or perhaps more accurately the virgin conception, is important for many reasons. On it hang the doctrines of original sin, the inspiration of Scripture, who Jesus was, and what Jesus did in salvation.
Occasionally, I will hear an old song that resurrects memories in the tender spots of my soul. People and places step out of the shadows and visit with me for a brief moment or two. Does that happen to you, too? If so, you understand what's hard to put into words. Suddenly, without announcement, nostalgia sweeps over me, and I am trapped in its sticky web for an exhilarating experience that's always too brief to satisfy…too vivid to ignore…too deep to describe…too personal to share.
Words are powerful. They can wound or heal, tear down or build up, crush or inspire. We appreciate and value people with words of affirmation. We devalue and depreciate a person with words of criticism or fault-finding. Words impact our souls and the kind of people we become.
Our sentimental approach to Christ’s birth sanitizes the event to the point where we re-cast the story for palatability, nostalgia, and commercial manipulation.
If I’ve described your situation, I have great news. I’m so glad that I memorized it years ago and call it to mind often. Here it is: We are all faced with a series of great opportunities, brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.
The teaching of Jesus and the apostles is unmistakable. Heaven is for those who have been saved from their sin by trusting in Jesus. Heaven is not a mythical place for all people regardless of their background.
Christmas represents the most magnificent message that’s ever been told, which so far exceeds the details we have memorized. Unfortunately, most people don’t pause to think about the significance of the message.
Jesus, at a point in His life where the religious trivia champs of His time were plotting to kill Him, answered them with a fierce and pointed statement.
A tour of the Holy Land is not just about what you see, it’s also about experiencing God and His Word in a whole new way. As I reflect on my own experience in Israel I note three things that occurred for me.