Today is December 19, 2018

Verse of the Day — Luke 2:7

And she gave birth to her first-born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger . . .


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

Jesus: The Reason for the season!


MINI BIBLE STUDY FOR THE DAY

(The following was submitted to Compass from a missionary in the Philippines who receives GML.)

A Precious Treasure Discovered Among the Poor

“Every Monday afternoon we have a ladies’ Bible study in the squatter village next to our home. On this particular Monday, Davina, one of the ladies who faithfully attends, was absent. I was informed that she stayed home because she was in labor and would soon give birth.

As I walked down the dirt path to her tiny one-room shanty, she cried out for help. The baby’s head was crowning! Before I could even wipe my hands with alcohol, the baby slid out onto the bamboo slat floor. There she was, a beautiful and healthy baby girl!

We knelt in that tiny shack, dripping with sweat from the steamy tropical heat, cleaning the baby and monitoring the mother’s condition. I could smell the cattle a few yards away and could hear a baby goat crying for its mother. I was acutely aware of my surroundings.

Flies were swarming around the room, and I found myself consumed with keeping them off the baby. I asked Davina if she had a blanket in which to wrap her baby. She pointed to a plastic bag in the corner, which contained a clean and freshly ironed piece of white material. Upon closer inspection, I realized it had been cut from a flour sack.

As I wrapped the beautiful baby girl in her humble covering, the Lord reminded me of another baby born in similar conditions.

This may sound shallow, but I guess I had always pictured the Nativity scene as a ‘warm and cozy’ setting. You know . . . sweet smelling hay, a few clean animals gathering around the baby in wonder . . . the smell of apple cider simmering in the next room.

As I held the baby wrapped in a flour sack, I realized that Jesus was wrapped in simple pieces of cloth. The pungent smell of cattle and the stirring of animals were present at His birth. I wondered if Mary had to fan away the flies from His face as she nursed Him for the first time.

On a hot and steamy July afternoon, in the midst of poverty, we rejoiced over a new life. It was as if the Lord drew open a curtain that had been hanging in front of my eyes and for the first time, I ‘saw’ the humility of Christ.

Oh the grace of God! The King of Kings who left everything to dwell among us.”

For you all know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes, He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. —2 Corinthians 8:9

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Bill


QUESTION FOR THE DAY

Dear Compass,

Regarding no biblical examples of women pursuing men, what about Ruth and Boaz? And, although prostitution comes into the picture, what about Tamar and Judah?


ANSWER:

Ruth and Tamar’s situations were dealing with special circumstances—the death of a spouse and how to handle it within the Jewish law. We were dealing with unmarried females.

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QUESTION

Dear Compass,

Thank you so much for your write-up on the choice of homeschooling! We have been homeschooling for 3 years now—not something I ever wanted to do but something the Lord wanted us to do. UGH, it is not easy. As a mom I am with my kids 24/7 and sometimes think I’ll go crazy from not being alone—BUT—it is the biggest blessing of our lives! We get constant confirmation as people say how well behaved and respectful our girls are. Homeschooling is NOT the easy way out, but you were right when you said IF it is what the Lord wants you to do you will be blessed! Every once in a while I want to put my girls in public school so I can have a break—then someone reminds me, homeschooling is NOT about book learning—it is about LIFE learning! Until you do it, you won’t realize what it means to be taught all day long. It’s about teaching respect, not only of family and friends, but home, property, the Lord. It’s about teaching responsibility and gratefulness, privileges and consequences, and spending the whole day with Jesus by your side as your friend . . . it goes on and on and on!!!! Oh, and before someone asks, you may want to address the concern about “socializing”!! I bet you get about 50 emails tomorrow saying, “What about the socialization of homeschool kids?” I’ll just tell you this—my kids do socialize, but I get to choose who with—I mean, because I homeschool, they won’t be socializing with the blue-haired kid with 15 body piercings and drugs in his pocket! But they do socialize with the neighborhood kids, the church kids, and other homeschool kids, the soccer kids and best of all with each other. Homeschool kids are in a lot of cases best friends with each other—that is another blessing!

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QUESTION

Dear Compass,

I really enjoyed your response to the homeschooling question. I myself was a reluctant homeschool mother. I had left a successful career to be at home with my children and had definite plans of returning to it. I felt I had to homeschool because of a bad school situation and initially resented it. It wasn’t until I realized that God was leading me down this path that I started to see and appreciate what homeschooling had to offer our whole family.

Now, six years later, I homeschool all three of my children, not just the one. The oldest, who God used to start us on this path, now excels far beyond what he was able to achieve in a public school setting. He is now a junior in high school at home, earning excellent grades, does sports with the public school and is receiving letters from colleges. I receive compliments from his coaches and the parents of friends about what a fine young man he is, which I know is due to following God’s plan and not my own. I can see a clear and definite difference in his confidence and the comfortable nature in which he makes the right choices. I can see God’s hand at work in his life, and I don’t think this special relationship with God would have been allowed to flourish as it has had he remained in the public school system.

Although there are many good and Godly teachers doing their best in the school system, the secular curriculum they must follow and some of the teachers’ attitudes towards parents and religion really weakened my walk with Jesus as a youth. I am so grateful that my children aren’t going to have to experience that at a tender age when everything is new and they are full of questions. Instead, they will be entering a wider world of skeptics but with a solid Christian and moral foundation on which to stand, and I think that is a true blessing.

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Scripture taken from the New American Standard Bible, copyright The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Used by permission.

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