Correggio, Nativity (Holy Night), 1528-30

Galations 4:4-5

“4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”

Aren’t you glad that “the fullness of time” had come over 2,000 years ago and that you are on this side of that mark in time?

Our God allowed being born into our world like us in order to be born under the law, live the perfect life we could not, take our sins, die on the cross and be raised to new life. 

Martin Luther once said that, “”Nearly the entire Scripture and the understanding of all theology hangs on the right understanding of law and gospel.” He also wrote: “Whoever knows well how to distinguish the gospel from the law should give thanks to God and know that he is a real theologian.”

Are you able to do that…distinguish the gospel from the law?  If so…we can praise God that He has given us good teaching from His Word and from the people He has called to disciple us. 

Most of all…we can praise Him today for sending His Son in order to make a difference between the gospel and the law.  For taking us as slaves to the law and making us adopted children of God.  Now free to live as one of God’s own…out of gratefulness instead of striving to be accepted.

There is no shortage of things we think we can do to get God’s acceptance and blessing in the household of Christ: be good people, go to church, pray, serve, go to Sunday school, and on and on and on. 

Praise God that we have full acceptance already through Christ’s perfection. There is no need to add up our merits or demerits of the day…we have all of Christ’s merits…this is our inheritance.  A gift to us from the gift Himself.

To do right now: Meditate on the above verse.  Listen to the song:  In Christ Alone by clicking on this link (it will take you to a video on youtube). Write a prayer or journal your thoughts.  Read the quote by Spugeon below:

“Remember, therefore, it is not your hold on Christ that saves you — it is Christ; it is not your joy in Christ that saves you — it is Christ; it is not even faith in Christ, though that be the instrument — it is Christ’s blood and merits; therefore, look not so much to your hand with which you are grasping Christ, as to Christ; look not to your hope, but Jesus, the source of your hope — look not to your faith, but to Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith. We will never find happiness by looking at our prayers, our doings, or our feelings; it is what Jesus is, not what we are, that gives rest to the soul.”

If you click on the link below, you can download a pdf of the entire first week of this devotional and print it out. There is room on the print out to record thoughts, journaling and prayers. The lyrics to the music are included in the pdf as well.

Beyond the Nativity Devotional week 1 PDF

*If you tried to get this yesterday and it didn’t work…my apologies!  Thanks to a good friend…I have corrected the problem and the document is public for all to retrieve!

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