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Dragged to Safety

Hebrews 9:12 “Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”

John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

On January 13, 1982, Air Florida Flight 90 crashed into the 14thStreet Bridge shortly after takeoff from Washington National Airport.  The pilots on that day failed to activate the engine anti-ice systems and neglected to use proper procedures in the icy conditions they faced.  All passengers and crew members were killed as a result, except for five fortunate ones.  In part, those who survived had a fellow passenger to thank – Arland D. Williams Jr.  

After the crash, six survivors clung to the floating tail section of the wreckage.  They had miraculously survived the force of the crash, and were now facing a frigid death prompted by the ice-cold water engulfing them.  The race was on to save them, and hope came in the form of a U.S. Park Police helicopter that scrambled to the scene to lower ropes and drag these survivors to safety. Repeatedly, Williams was the first one to reach the rope, and each time he passed it on to the others to be dragged to safety.  About the time when the fifth survivor reached the safety of the river bank, the tail sunk beneath the icy water and Williams perished.  His identity was only known a year later when each of the bodies was recovered from the river and all the autopsies were performed.  He was the only victim whose cause of death was drowning, not blunt force trauma.  Arland Williams had sacrificed himself to save others.  He passed the lifeline at his own expense.

As we move on from the miracle celebrated at Christmastime to begin our New Year, may we never forget that our Lord sacrificed himself to save us all.  He passed us a lifeline at His own expense.  Though he had all the prerogatives of heavenly regality, He came to this earth to drag us to safety.  PLEASE PRAY THAT AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WOULD SHARE THE SAVING NEWS OF CHRIST WITH THE PERISHING WORLD AROUND US.  Our testimonies and our witness can pass the rope of salvation on to others so they too can be dragged to safety.

Grace and Truth

John 1:14-17 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace of truth. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me. And his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”

II John 3 “Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.”

Our Savior perfectly balanced a set of characteristics that are typically at odds with one another – grace and truth. He did so by demonstrating a level of supernatural love that gave unmerited favor while boldly proclaiming truth that was difficult for some to hear.

As those who follow Him, we must strive to balance these same characteristics in our lives. We are to love and care for those around us while boldly proclaiming hard truths. We are to embody a mix of seemingly contradictory characteristics – grace, mercy, peace, truth and love. The ability to do so can only come from Him.

PLEASE PRAY FOR A MIX OF CHRISTLIKE CHARACTERISTICS. The ability to live in grace and truth comes by Jesus Christ.

A Magnificent Movement

Luke 1:46-47 “And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.”

Philippians 2:10-11 “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, or things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

A few weeks ago, we celebrated the 246thanniversary of the Boston Tea Party.  On December 16th, 1773, a large group of American colonists boarded three British boats and dumped 342 boxes of tea into Boston Harbor.  It was a tangible sign of revolutionary change by a few that impacted many.

On the day after the Boston Tea Party, John Adams wrote the following:

“This is the most magnificent Movement of all.  There is a Dignity, a Majesty, a Sublimity, in this last Effort of the Patriots, that I greatly admire.  The People should never rise, without doing something to be remembered – something notable and striking.  This Destruction of Tea is so bold, so daring, so firm, intrepid and inflexible, and it must have so important Consequences, and so lasting, that I can’t but consider it as an Epocha in History.”

Christ’s arrival on this earth was a sterling example of such revolutionary change – a tangible sign by God that impacted all.  It was bold and daring.  It was notable and striking.  It was characterized by dignity, majesty, and sublimity.  Its resulted in the most important and lasting of consequences. It was the most notable Epocha of History, and it started a magnificent movement.

What are you and I doing now to live up to this most magnificent movement?  What do we plan to do for Christ in 2020 that is revolutionary? PLEASE PRAY THAT WE WOULD FULLY INVEST OURSELVES IN THE DIGNIFIED, MAJESTIC, AND SUBLIME MOVEMENT OF CHRIST IN 2020.  It is the most magnificent movement of all!

Celebrate

II Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:  and the government shall be upon his shoulder:  and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

Galatians 4:4-5 “But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.”

Christmastime fell during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, when the outcome of World War II in the European Theater was still uncertain.  In the midst of that challenge, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a Christmas Eve address to the nation.  His thoughts from 75 years ago included the following:

“Here, at home, we will celebrate this Christmas Day in our traditional American way – because of its deep spiritual meaning to us; because the teachings of Christ are fundamental in our lives; and because we want our youngest generation to grow up knowing the significance of this tradition and the story of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and Good Will.”

What a great reminder, from our wartime President, of the importance of Christmas.  In the midst of a busy holiday season, may we keep Christmas preeminent because of its deep spiritual meaning, because of the teachings of Christ that are fundamental to our lives, and because of the significance of the coming of the immortal Prince of Peace and Good Will.  

PLEASE PRAY FOR CHRISTIAN AMERICANS TO FOCUS ON CHRIST DURING CHRISTMASTIME.  That is why we celebrate Christmas!

See these previous posts about the Battle of the Bulge:

Outside the Realm of the Possible

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 4:15 “For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”

II Corinthians 9:15 “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.”

John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

George Müller was a Nineteenth Century Christian evangelist well known for his prolific care of orphans in Britain.  He once stated the following:  “Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible.  There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible.  Faith begins where man’s power ends.”

This Christmastime, it is vital to remember that the miraculous birth of Christ is outside the realm of the possible – the humanly possible.  The coming of a Savior extends well beyond where man’s power ends.  Our high priest is an unspeakable gift.  The dwelling of the Word among us brought glory to God and redemption to man.  May we give thanks to God for His glory, His grace, and His truth – during the Christmas season and throughout the calendar year.

PLEASE PRAY WITH ETERNAL APPRECIATION FOR A GOD WHO OPERATES WELL BEYOND WHERE MAN’S POWER ENDS. Christ’s birth is God demonstrating His power and His love well outside the realm of the possible.

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