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Measuring My Days

Christmas 2007
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As I write this, a cold front with snow approaches from the West.  In their wisdom, the birds must sense the imminent drop in temperature for they flock to my front feeder this morning.  Wrens, chickadees, blue jays, titmice, finches and woodpeckers have been frequent visitors.  A neighborhood yellow tomcat comes to sit beneath the feeder, high enough off the ground and protected with a baffle that neutralizes the menace.  So the birds happily ignore him while they gather around the breakfast table. Eventually the tomcat gives up and mopes away through the woods.  A squirrel comes to harvest crumbs.  All creatures, great and small, the dear Lord watches o’er us all. 

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“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth… Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.  On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you….He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him….Peace I leave with you;  my peace I give you…Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid,”  John:14:15,19-21,27.

         Here is a text straight from the lips of Jesus that should be writ large into the heart and mind of every Christian believer, a gift of Christmas more meaningful than all others.  For most of the month of November I have been savoring these words with a new appreciation.  Are they not the gospel condensed to its simplest “good news”?  Emphasis:  Because I live, you also will live.   Ravi Zacharias says that those seven words meant the difference between life and death for him after his attempt to commit suicide as a teenager. Think of how the disciples must have embraced them with zeal to spread the gospel to their known world!  Think of how vitally alive they were knowing that Christ Himself chose to be at home in the temple of their souls!  Think of how vitally alive we can be knowing that Christ likewise chooses to dwell with and within us now and for eternity. No wonder that Dr J. Vernon McGee said this text is the most profound statement in the Bible and in all of literature or philosophy because it means “salvation” with its assurance of eternal life.    

That was always the occupation of Jesus, always seeking the lost”, wrote F. W. Boreham in his book A Casket of Cameos.  “You will find the world’s heroes where the banquets are the gayest, where the flowers are fairest, where the plaudits ring the loudest, where the songs rise the sweetest, where music swells the most voluptuously.  You will find Jesus by the well with the guilty woman; you will find Him… with a widow doubly crushed; you will find Him at the tomb with two weeping sisters; you will find Him alone with a maiden wrapped in the icy slumber of death; you will find Him where passion sweeps the fiercest, where anguish is the keenest, where heartbreak is the saddest, where the loss is the heaviest, where the tears are the bitterest, for the Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost.”

          

"Every day they pass me by
I can see it in their eyes
Empty people filled with care
Headed who knows where…
On they go through private pain
Living fear to fear  …Laughter hides their silent cries   Only Jesus hears…
At the end of broken dreams He’s the open door. People Need the Lord. "
(Words & Music by Greg Nelson and Phil McHugh)