The "Story" of Jesus -- Inspiration and Warning
by Bobby Bruno

"As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. Joseph, son of David, the angel said, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this occurred to fulfill the Lord's message through the prophet: Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means, God with us."
Matthew 1:20-23 (NLT)

I thank God every day for the life, death, and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Without him I would be very dead now. If He had not reached down from Heaven and saved my life, I wouldn't now know this great life that He has given me. When I look back on my past without Jesus, I am overwhelmed by the sure fact that I made it out alive. I am thankful that He came looking for me at a time when I wasn't looking for Him. Because of His great love for me, and for the new fun, joyous, happy, peaceful and content life He has given me, I want everyone in the world to know this Jesus we proclaim as Lord and Savior.

In the second paragraph of this week's devotional, it calls Christ's "birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension" the story of which is "the center-piece of Christianity." I don't like the word story in the context of Jesus' life. I would use the word testimony instead, because the word story to me means fiction. To me, a story is something we tell our children before bedtime each night; but a testimony is the true account of someone's life, told to inspire or to educate, whether for positive or negative reasons, depending on the life being discussed. But, whereas all testimonies of men can either bring inspiration or warning, the testimony of Jesus Christ not only inspires, but also gives life to the recipient of a kind that it leaves all who live hungering to have it. The testimony of Jesus and His witnesses are the only ones who can truly bring that inspiration and warning to those who want to live a life of truth and freedom.

I don't believe that Mary and Joseph truly knew who their "Son" was until they entered their rest in Heaven with that son they raised. They may have had glimpses, like we all do, but I believe that none of us will get to see the true Jesus until we are in Heaven with Him. I say this because of the culture and time we live in. We are two thousand years removed from the time Jesus walked the soil of this planet. Everything we know of Jesus, other than the Bible, is filtered through our experiences, sometimes through someone else's opinion, and most times through or sinful, evil natures. Even after we are saved, however, we can still let others influence our thinking. This is why all Christians must know their Bibles inside and out, so that the culture around us can't sway us away from the truth. Unfortunately, this happens more, and will happen more, as we get closer to the end of the age. As Mary and Joseph did, we, too, must listen to that still, small voice inside of us, and obey every word it says. If we do this, we, as they did, will know an extraordinary life. As I have found out, as I'm sure most of us Christians have that, if you allow the Holy Spirit to reign in your daily Bible studies, you will not only gain a greater relationship with Christ, but you will also succeed in your studies in ways you would have never thought possible. As Chuck Swindoll once said, "If God's in it, it flows.if God is not in it, its chaos." Jesus is the living waterlet it flow!

Bobby Bruno was saved 15 years ago in a way that left him no doubt that Jesus wanted him to reach others with His great and abounding love.  He started writing at the age of 12 and hasn't stopped since. He achieved Associates Degree in Biblical Studies from Ohio Christian University in early 2014.

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