The Best Present!
Tuesday, December 21, 1999

   And again, Isaiah says, "The Root of Jesse will spring up, one who will arise to rule over the nations; the Gentiles will hope in him."
    -- Romans 15:12, New International Version

   When Jesus came, he did come to only the nation of Israel, He came for all.  He was a proper descendant of King David, the son of Jesse.  His birth was prophesied by Jewish prophets and recorded in the Bible of the Israelite people.  So often we can hear something and not fully realize the all of the implications. It seems the Messiah was understood to be a "physical" ruler, when in reality the Messiah was to be so much more.  While David brought Israel great power and notoriety as an awesome warrior and King, Jesus brought the reign of grace to the hearts of millions of Jews and non-Jews by conquering death and bringing true life.  Hope is from within, this is where Jesus meets us. This Advent Season, allow yourself to be ruled by His presence within your heart and your soul.  Know His Hope, know His Peace.

   Father, as this year draws to a give us a deep sense of your love and presence.  Shepherd us in your grace. At the same time, rekindle in our hearts your desire to bring all people together in peace through salvation in Jesus.  Please bless your children throughout the world who are lovingly sharing your gospel to a culture other than their own. Bless them as they are apart from their families. Most of all, bless them with the joy of their desire -- using them to lead someone to salvation during this holiday season.  In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.