Saturday, January 2, 2016

Daily Bible Reading | Enemy? Or Friend?

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. 
... Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men.   
- Matthew 2:1-3,16, NKJV
Contrast the response of the wise men with the response of Herod to news of Christ's birth: The wise men traveled untold miles to where the Child was born in order to worship Him; Herod on the other hand, became exceedingly angry and jealous of the Child born King of the Jews--indeed, he was so angry and so jealous that he sought to destroy the Child and did not care who he hurt in the process.

Here we see polar opposite responses to Jesus: The wise worship Him as the One true King; the foolish despise Him for threatening their autonomy.

The first is the response of those who love Him; the other the response of those who hate Him, and according to the Bible you are either one or the other, there is no middle ground (see Luke 19:27; Colossians 1:21; James 4:4). Some might consider this a false dichotomy but we are either God's enemies or our will has been overthrown by His great love and we have been made His friends.

Where are you in this story? Are you an enemy of God? Do you feel threatened by the promise that Jesus will return to reign in glory and to wreak vengeance upon His enemies? (see Revelation 19)

Repent today! Turn from your sins and turn towards God in faith and trust in Christ's life, death and resurrection on your behalf. Be reconciled to God! Do not remain His enemy, for none who stand against Him shall prosper!
Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 
- 2 Corinthians 5:20,21, NKJV

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