Truth for Life - November 21, 2016

November 21

Sit at the Table

Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at the table. - John 12:2

He is to be envied. It was fine to be Martha and serve, but better to be Lazarus and enjoy. There are times for each purpose, and each is fitting in its season, but none of the trees of the garden yield such clusters as the vine of fellowship. To sit with Jesus, to hear His words, to mark His acts and receive His smiles was such a favor as must have made Lazarus as happy as the angels. When it has been our happy privilege to feast with our Beloved in His banqueting hall, we would not have given half a sigh for all the kingdoms of the world, if so much breath could have bought them.

He is to be imitated. It would have been a strange thing if Lazarus had not been at the table where Jesus was, for he had been dead, and Jesus had raised him. For the risen one to be absent when the Lord who gave him life was at his house would have been dreadfully ungrateful. We too were once dead, yes, and like Lazarus bound in the grave of sin. Jesus raised us, and by His life we live. Can we be content to live at a distance from Him? Do we fail to remember Him at His table, where He deigns to feast with His brethren?

This is cruel! It behooves us to repent and do as He has bidden us, for His least wish should be law to us. To have lived without constant fellowship with Jesus, who loved him so dearly, would have been disgraceful to Lazarus. Is it then excusable in us whom Jesus has loved with an everlasting love? To have been cold to Him who wept over his lifeless corpse would have shown a lack of feeling in Lazarus. What does it say of us over whom the Savior has not only wept but bled? Come, brethren, who read this portion; let us return to our heavenly Bridegroom and ask for His Spirit, that we may be on terms of closer intimacy with Him and never miss the opportunity to sit at the table with Him.

Family Bible reading plan

verse 1 Obadiah 1

verse 2 Luke 5

Child in the Manger: The True Meaning of Christmas

What is Christmas? For many it is a time for holidays, parties, family gatherings, gifts, meals together, music, and special events. For others it can mean unwanted pressure, an increased sense of loneliness, family squabbles, and crowded shops. For those living in the Northern Hemisphere, Christmas takes place at the onset of winter with its cold weather and short days. There are more incidents of depression at Christmas time than at any other time of the year. It is the best of times for some, but the worst of times for others, to borrow a phrase from Charles Dickens.

The birth of Jesus divided history into two major epochs. Until the dawn of our hyper-sensitive age, even the way we dated events underscored this. From time immemorial, every day, week, month, and year has been described as either “B.C.” (“Before Christ”) or “A.D.” (Anno Domini, “in the year of our Lord”). Even the modern, pluralistic style abbreviations, B.C.E. (“Before the Common Era”) and C.E. (“Common Era”) cannot obliterate the indelible impress of Jesus birth. For what makes the “Common Era” so “common”? And what explains the dividing line date? The answer is the same: the birth of Jesus. At the very center of history stands the person of Jesus Christ. And He does so because He is at the center of God’s story.

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From Morning & Evening revised and edited by Alistair Begg copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.org.

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