TITLE: Wait As Long As You Want. He Isn’t Coming.
DATE: December 20, 2018
TEXT John 14:19 - ( ESV) - 19 Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.
His full name was Diya ad-Dunya wa ad-Din Adud ad-Dawlah Abu Shuja Muhammad Alp Arslan ibn Dawud.
For the purposes of this devotion, we shall call him by the name given to him by his armies: Alp Arslan or Heroic Lion. Alb Arslan was Sultan over Iran and ruled the territory between the Tigris and Oxus river. During his rule, which has been called “Iran’s Golden Age”, he forcefully expanded the frontiers of his country to the south and the northwest. He defeated Byzantium on the field of battle and managed to enrich his nation’s coffers.
Understandably, Alp Arslan was immensely popular and when he died a great many stories and legends about him began to be told. Not long after his official burial, certain “prophets” promised that the day would come when the dead Sultan would rise from his grave, mount his horse and lead his nation to new conquests and even greater glory.
So strong was this belief, that beginning in the year 1072, a thoroughbred horse, complete with saddle and groom, was placed at the front of Alp Arslan’s tomb at the Mosque of Kuchan. Over the years horses and grooms kept a steady wait. They had been on duty 420 years when Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492. They had been waiting for 700 years when the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Centuries came and centuries went as people waited for Alp Arslan to take up the reins of both horse and government. Today the dream of Alp Arslan’s return has become a fairytale for children rather than the centerpiece of hope for those wait with longing.
You know, Daily Devotioners, it is a sad thing for people to place their hope for the future in a dead deliverer. It is a dangerous thing for folks to put their faith for eternity in temporal things, fleeting things like power, position, possessions, property or other people.
Far better to put your faith in a real Savior, a living Redeemer.
Real that is Who Jesus is. He is so real I challenge you to find anyone, in all of history who is like Him. His life, from His Birth in Bethlehem to His crucifixion on a Roman cross to His resurrection from a borrowed tomb are all proof positive that His predicted sin-atoning, soul-saving, hell-destroying work has successfully taken place.
Because of what Christ did on those special occasions and the perfect life He lived between those great events say He has fulfilled the cause for which He was sent.
Because of Jesus our transgressions are removed, our sins are erased and believers have a new home in heaven.
That explains why, for Christians, Christmas becomes a rejoicing that God, our heavenly Father is in control. We have in Jesus, not a dead demigod, but a living Lord, a redeeming Savior that can be approached in trials and sorrows.
When we come to the Babe of Bethlehem, the Christ of the cross, we are not speaking to a dead superstition, we are not reaching out to a made-up fairytale. No, we are approaching God’s good News of Great joy Who remains in control, continuously hearing, loving and saving.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, let our lives be filled with joy because Jesus has actually, physically, confronted sin, the devil and death AND, HAS WON forgiveness and eternal salvation for us. Grant us the grace to bring the story of the Savior to others who do not yet know God’s good News of great Joy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
The music which introduces and concludes our devotions was written by Guy Baumann, one of my long-ago confirmands. He is singing with three brothers. This song comes from the album: The Baumann Brothers which may be ordered here: http://thebaumannbrothers.com/index.html