December 2, 2016
The Right Time
By Skip Heitzig
Do you know what the best-selling song of all time is? "White Christmas" by Bing Crosby. The Guinness Book of World Records puts it at over fifty million sales. It was written in December 1940 by Irving Berlin and was, of course, popularized by Bing Crosby. It's a beautiful song.
It would sound weird, then, to sing, "I'm dreaming of a red Christmas," but that's God's perspective on Christmas: to become white spiritually, it takes a blood-red detergent. As 1 John 1:7 says, "The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."
In the next couple of weeks, I'm not going to be talking about mangers and shepherds and wise men; I want to talk about the theological underpinnings of Christmas as described in Galatians 4. Today, let's read verses 4-5: "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons."
I want to focus in on the phrase "the fullness of the time." It speaks of the end of a period of preparation, as if to say God was readying the whole world for this perfect moment in time. Why did God send the most important person ever to do the most important work ever at the time that He did? Because it was "the fullness of the time."And there are two main thoughts I want to highlight from this: God always keeps His appointments, and God's time is always the right time.
One of the things I notice as I read through Scripture is that God speaks a lot about the right time. He's on a timetable, which is interesting because He's the God of eternity. He's outside the realm of the space-time continuum, but He speaks to us, condescends to our level, so that we can get it.And He is perfectly on time.
I had an earthly father who was quite the opposite. He meant well, but he was a busy dad. When he said he was going to pick me up at a certain time, I just automatically added about thirty minutes to it. But not our heavenly Father.God always keeps His appointments.
The second truth is that God's time is always the right time. When the Father sent the Son into the world, it was at the fullness of the time. Now, there were several factors that were going on in the world that made this the fullness of the time.
Number one: it was the right time spiritually. Historians tell us that there was at that time a pervasive hunger in the general population of the Roman Empire for spiritual things, and the Jewish people's expectation of their Messiah was reaching fever pitch. Number two: it was the right time culturally. You could speak the Greek language—one of the most precise languages on earth—from Britain to India and still be understood. Number three: it was the right time politically, as the Pax Romana brought stability and cultural growth. Basically, the gospel was coming in the most precise language, under the most ideal circumstances, to people who were hungrier than ever, going to places more freely than ever before. It was the fullness of the time, and God's timing was perfect.
God's timing in your life is also perfect. I know you probably don't always feel that way—but we don't always understand God's timing, either. This day, this season could be God's perfect timing in your life; this could be the fullness of the time for you. He might be bringing you to a place of confidence and trust in Him. I pray He'd stir up those things in you today.
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