Standing Firm Mens Devotional

Are you standing for the restoration of your marriage? A daily devotional that will offer encouragement from God’s Word as you stand for the restoration of your marriage.

Christmas in the Rear-View Mirror

The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.

Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?

In each Christmas season, we hear both religious and secular music. One I heard sung recently by my church family was “Silent Night, Holy Night.” This is a song to be sung softly, quietly, reflecting on the spirit of the moment, on new life, on the birth of God’s One and Only Son, Jesus Christ. Once again, I listened and sang those familiar words. As it is when one reads repeatedly the same passage from the Holy Bible, new meanings previously unnoticed come to the forefront. Such it was with the line “the dawn of redeeming grace.”

The composition of Fr. Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber, it was first sung in 1818 at the midnight mass on Christmas Eve at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. As their organ was broken, only a guitar was used. There was nothing loud, but the soft guitar sounds to reflect the holiness of this moment, when God entered the world as a human being. Today, we often sing it at Christmas Eve candlelight services.

Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Savior is born!
Christ the Savior is born

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

Redeeming Grace! Jesus Christ became incarnate some 2000 years ago, so that mankind could have a pathway home to our creator. God in the person of Jesus Christ became one of us. He was fully God and fully man, yet He never sinned, becoming our sinless Savior. For all who accept Jesus as God’s One and Only Son, and by believing in Him, God pours out His grace (favor, mercy) upon us for the redemption of our sins. Our lives have been redeemed, saved from the consequences of spiritual death. God’s grace becomes a restorative act of His love for us. No longer does spiritual death have a claim on us. Once again, I say… we are redeemed!

Redeeming grace adds meaning to our lives as we reflect God’s light to a fallen world. This is truly the ‘Dawn of Redeeming Grace’, a new beginning. God loves each of us so much that He gave you and I the mission of reflecting Christ’s light into the darkness of this world.

It is truly amazing how certain phrases jump out at me, and I suspect they do the same for you. With the coming of Jesus Christ into the world, fully God and fully man, His sinless life spelled out God’s redeeming love and grace for us all. In His eyes, we are all sinners in need of a Savior, embodied in the person of Jesus Christ. God sent his One and Only Son into this sinful world to be our Savior. He offered redeeming grace for all who believed in His Son. In the song above, the phrase ‘With the dawn of redeeming grace…’ says that God recognized that His Son’s work to a fallen world was just beginning, ‘with the dawn…’.

Yet, with Jesus Christ’s birth, His human story was also just beginning. At age 30, He began His earthly ministry. He preached salvation and eternal life for all who believed in Him. He willingly went to the cross, taking our individual sins upon His body, as He bled and died on Calvary’s Cross. But the story only pauses here. Three days later, Jesus Christ rose from the dead, resurrected to new life. Death had been defeated by Christ’s sacrifice at Calvary. The dawn of redeeming grace was beginning, and in His redeeming love, He gives you and I a gift of grace, eternal life with Him.

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.  Romans 5:8 (NLT) 

The Word became a man and lived among us. We saw his divine greatness—the greatness that belongs to the only Son of the Father. The Word was full of grace and truth…Yes, the Word was full of grace and truth, and from him we all received one blessing after another. That is, the law was given to us through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  John 1:14,16-17 (ERV) 

In Western Christian theology, grace has been defined, not as a created substance of any kind, but as “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not because of anything we have done to earn it, the condescension or benevolence shown by God toward the human race.” Wikipedia: Grace in Christianity.

Christmas, Christ’s ministry, the Crucifixion, Easter, the Ascension (40 days after Easter) and Pentecost (10 days later) is the story of God’s grace to a fallen world. Christ’s earthly life and ministry tells each of us how to live and respect each other, how to love one another, and most important, how to love Him.

From Christ’s earthly life, we can learn much for dealing with the ups and downs in our marriages. In the darkness of a dysfunctional marriage, Jesus Christ came to shine light. God’s grace, a true gift of love that you and I cannot earn, transforms and ushers into us a new relationship with Jesus Christ and with our spouse. Christ’s love calls us to be salt and light in our dysfunctional marriages. So, I repeat: Redeeming Love, Redeeming Grace!

Redeemed by God’s grace, standing firm on the covenant marriage vows my wife and I exchanged at our wedding, until we are parted by death.

Ben in Texas

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