Save Money! Celebrate Jesus! (two different things to think about)

The Simple Dollar shares ideas on 24 Ways to Save Money Today.

I have to include all of the update from Paul Meinsen, who works for the Capitol Commission in Jefferson City, MO:

“Dear Friends of Capitol Commission Missouri,

An except from the December 9 Bible Study in the Capitol.

Think about this:

The almighty Elohim, the majestic God of the universe whose name is Yahweh, created the universe and all that is in it, including the pinnacle of creation: mankind. He created everything knowing that mankind will disobey the one command that He gave them. He created everything knowing that man will get worse and worse in their rebellion towards Him–

· they murder, rape, and pillage each other;

· they boast and brag and live as though they are the center of the universe;

· they lie, cheat and steal for their own selfish reasons;

· they do not care about the Creator;

· they hate Him;

· they credit their own ideas about their origin;

· they worship other images, including themselves;

· they blame Him for the bad things that happen to them;

· and many of them fake some type of allegiance to Him.

And knowing all of this beforehand, Yahweh set a plan in order. He chose a man, Abraham, out of a pagan society. Yahweh set him apart from the others and promised that his family would be the one family that blesses the earth. Abraham’s family finally grew over the generations to be a nation, but it became a nation in slavery. Yahweh gloriously delivered Abraham’s family from Egypt and settled them into a land He promised to Abraham’s family many years earlier.

Instead of being eternally grateful, this nation, Israel, began to live in the way that the people of the land before them lived. They broke the laws and commands that God had given to them. They worshipped the foreign idols, even to the point of sacrificing their own children. In spite of these things, Yahweh God continued to work His plan. He disciplined His children and had them carried away by invading armies. But He always promised and provided a remnant to carry on with His plan.

His plan would eventually come to a point in history where a young unmarried lady would have a baby even though she had not been with any man. This baby would be born in a lowly stable area in a little town called Bethlehem. This baby would be called ‘Immanuel’; which means ‘God with us.’ This baby would be God in the flesh. He came down as a man so that He may save man. His name was Jesus.

How would He save man by being a man? Yahweh saved man by permitting men to kill Jesus. He, who is holy, all-powerful, compassionate, and love gave His Son to be killed by unholy, powerless, selfish, hateful men. And by doing this, He saved them. He then confirmed the whole transaction by raising His dead Son back to life on the third day after His death.

Doesn’t this whole thing sound rather bizarre and absurd? But it is the absurdity that makes it all so glorious and shows us the greatness of God. The absurdity makes the grace amazing.

Please remember: The more you know God, as He has revealed Himself in Scripture, the more absurd and crazy this story sounds. And the more you understand yourself from the standpoint of the Scriptures, the more this story sounds glorious. My prayer is that your Christmas season will be filled with joy, and praise and worship towards God; may it be filled with awe and fear and reverence.

‘God became flesh and dwelt among us’–how absurd, yet how glorious.”

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