WITH THE HEAVENLY FATHER -
......DEVOTIONS FOR LAMBS. No. 204
TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY!.
The Marshall family moved to America from England because Dad had overseas work to do. He was often away from the USA on trips to Canada and South America. On one trip, when he was far away, Mum got very sick and had to go to hospital. The four children had no relatives to help, so a woman called a social worker came to care for them until Dad got back. She was very stern and grumpy. The children wondered if she was telling them the truth about Mum, and even thought Mum had died! They were miser-able, afraid and very lonely. The woman made then feel like prisoners. They weren’t allowed to do any fun thing, and had to sit up at the table for meals with their backs as stiff as pokers. It was awful. Then - Dad came back! He rushed into the house and gave them a bear-hug. He sent the woman away and everything was all right again. He told them, and they believed it this time, that Mum was doing well and hadn’t died. He had presents for them. But best of all He loved them and they got back that wonderful feeling of home. He brought happiness and love, safety and peace. It was only another two weeks, and Mum was home again too.
That story is a bit like Jesus coming
to our earth, although Jesus Christ ‘s coming was much, much more wonderful.
He brought God’s joy and life to sinners who were lost and caught
by the devil. He was only a baby when He arrived. But the Heavenly Father
had sent Him to do some pretty mar-vel-lous things when He became a man.
Question: why did Jesus come to our earth?
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 61:
of the Lord GOD is upon me [ this is Jesus speaking ];
because the LORD hath an-ointed me [ given Him a special ministry ]
to preach good tidings [ news ] unto the meek
[ those who are not too proud to hear ]
He [ the Heavenly Father ] hath sent me to bind up [ comfort and heal ] the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty [ tell them they were free in Him ] to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to them that are bound [ the devil had us all caught in our sin ];
To proclaim [ tell out aloud ] the acceptable year [ the wonderful times ] of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God [ one day God will get rid of evil altogether] ;
To comfort all that mourn [ those who sad about all sorts of things ]; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heavi-ness; that they might be called trees of righteous-ness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
[ this is picture talk, like lovely poetry, to show us how good it would be when Jesus came to be with us]. ...
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed [ dressed ] me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteous... For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteous-ness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.”
Those are the lovely reasons why Jesus
came to Bethlehem as a baby that beautiful day long ago. He was born to
the Godly lady Mary, he came to be the Saviour of the whole world, and
every-thing in it. The angel who told the news that Jesus Christ was born
“ I bring you good tidings [ news] of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord ....” (Luke 2:10, 11).m