Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry CHRISTmas: A different look at Christmas

"When they heard the king [Herod], they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh."
~ Matthew 2.9-11

I want to look at a different view of Christmas, and that has to do with a godly legacy that lasts much longer than us. The Magi from the East prepared and journeyed to find the Messiah for close to two years. Some believe that the reason that the Magi went to search for the Messiah was because of the prophet Daniel.

While we do not know this for a fact there is a good possibility. Now Daniel lived a good 500 years before Christ came to earth, but he himself became a Magi in the land of Babylon. As you remember Daniel was to be killed in Daniel 2 when no one was able to tell King Nebuchadnezzar the dream and then the interpretation. He continued to serve God into his later years where he was thrown into the den of lions after the Medo-Persians took over Babylon. After Daniel was in the den of lions he was honored by Darius. As Daniel 6.28 states, "So this Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian."

The legacy of Daniel appears to have made an impact through the centuries down to the Magi that saw the star in the East and came to find the new King. Daniel had access to at least some of the scrolls of the Torah and the Prophets. Some believe the Magi had read Numbers 24.17 where it says that, "I see him, but not now; I behold him, but not near; A star shall come out of Jacob; A scepter shall rise out of Israel, And batter the brow of Moab, And destroy all the sons of tumult."

Daniel made an impact on the wise men in the land of Babylon that they recognized the signs of the Messiah more so than the people Jesus came to minister to (John 1.11). His legacy and dedication to God made an impact for centuries.

This Christmas I want to thank those who from Davis made an impact on me. There are four Alumni of College that stand out in my mind that lead me to Practical Bible College in 2003 and many, many more that I met since going to Davis.

The first Alumnus I met of PBTS I met was Pastor Keith Knauss (class 1950) who is now in glory. Pastor Knauss was the pastor of Second Baptist Church in Auburn, NY. He and his wife Nellie (class 1949) were so great to my family. My grandparents, now both in glory also, would have them over several times.

The second Alumnus was the pastor that came in after Pastor Knauss and Nellie went to serve with JAM (Jewish Awareness Ministries), that was Pastor Ron Park (Class 1984). Pastor Park baptized me on Sunday, February 26, 1995.

After my family moved farther from Auburn, NY we attended Scipio Baptist in Union Springs, NY. The third Alumnus was the pastor of Scipio Baptist Church, Pastor John Terry (class 1986). Pastor Terry was the first to introduce me to Practical Bible College. In February of 2001 he, and another prospective student, and I headed to down Practical. It was a great experience and I knew at that time that God wanted me to go to Practical.

About a year later I met an Alumna of PBTS while at the missions conference at Scipio, Grace (Jones) Fabian (Class 1959). Grace's testimony really challenged me about Papua New Guinea and the need of Bible Translation. In the summer of 2005 I went to the island nation to work with Bible Translators.

So I want to say thank you to all Alumni both in the past, in the present, and in future that have, are, and will challenge me to be what God wants me to be.

Let me challenge you this Christmas: What legacy are you leaving to the younger generations? I am very grateful to how Davis has helped me through the years (both knowingly and unknowingly). If you are an Alumni of the college I would encourage you to challenge the young people in your life. As Daniel left a legacy that brought the Magi to Bethlehem, maybe your legacy will challenge young people to enter ministry. I am thankful for the legacy of my family and the Alumni of Practical that encouraged me in ministry.


Merry CHRISTmas

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