Monday, December 17, 2012

Jerusalem

 1I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.
 2Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem. 
(Psalm 122:1-2, King James Version)

Jerusalem

As we continue our series, "First Love," from the Psalms we find ourselves at Psalm 122, extolling the praises of Jerusalem. You have to realize that it is pretty amazing that this city, important to the Israelites  thousands of years ago is still an important city for, not only the Jewish people and the Arabs who live there, but for all Christians as well.

God's chosen people, the Jewish nation, established Jerusalem as their capital city during the reign of King David. It was also the site of the temple built by Solomon, and then later restored and enlarged during the time of Herod. We know that when Christ comes to rule on this earth, He will rule from the city of Jerusalem.

The Psalmist wrote during a time of peace--a time when the nation faithfully served their God. Unfortunately, we know from history that that peace did not last long. Just two kings later, under the rule of Solomon's son the kingdom was divided.

Our eyes are again turned to Israel, focusing on the city of Bethlehem, for in just one week the Christmas holiday will be upon us. As we celebrate the holiday festivities, do we have our feet planted within the gates of Jerusalem, or are we diverted by the lights, tinsel, and presents, rushing to get our holiday shopping done, the treats prepared, and the house ready for guests?

Even among Christians, I fear we have lost the true meaning of Christmas. We have filled our lives with meaningless activities, ignoring the more important reason for Christ's birth. Oh, it is a lovely story, and it is necessary for us to understand that Jesus was not a mere man. He was, indeed, born of the virgin Mary, fathered by God Himself through the power of the Holy Spirit. He was and is the God Man.

The Bible does not focus on Jesus' childhood. We only have one example given when He was 12, and even then, He was busily preparing for His adult ministry on this earth. The Bible, instead, focuses on His ministry: His life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension.

Do we, as believers, focus on these same things? Are we busy reading and studying our Bibles, praying for opportunities to share our hope and joy with others? Do we seek to turn the eyes of non-Christians to Christ especially during this holiday season?

Let us plant our feet within the gates of Jerusalem, looking unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. We have what the world cannot fathom: true hope, true peace, and true joy in the Lord Jesus Christ.

God Bless You,
Linda

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