Received the following from Global Pastors Network in my e-mail this afternoon and thought it was worth passing on...
As we approach this Christmas, let's think about a time when Jesus was lost by Joseph and Mary (Luke 2:41-50). There are four question for us to ask ourselves this holiday season:
1. Who Lost Christ?
Joseph and Mary lost the Lord Jesus. Those who were the closest to Him, lost Him. Jesus had been with them for twelve years. No matter how long you have known Jesus you can still lose Him. No one is exempt from backsliding.
Some of the greatest men and women in the Bible have fallen in sin. All Christians are vulnerable to backsliding. Regardless of who you are or what you have done, you can lose Christ. Here is a thought: If Mary and Joseph can lose him, anyone can lose Christ.
2. When Did They Lose Christ?
Joseph and Mary lost Jesus during a religious celebration. The irony of ironies took place because the Passover celebration symbolized Him. Not only was the Passover about Christ, but Christmas concerns itself with Christ. Passover involved the sacrifice of a lamb. Christmas includes the sending of the Lord. The Passover mad man look ahead to redemption. Christmas makes us look back at the incarnation.
During this Christmas Season remember that our joy is because of Jesus; our songs are because of our Savior, our love is because of our Lord and our inheritance is because His incarnation and our blessings are because of His birth!
3. Why Did They Leave Christ?
We can leave Christ when our perception is weak. The Bible says, "And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem and Joseph and his mother knew not of it."
The second reason that Joseph and Mary left Jesus is their perception was wrong. They supposed that Jesus was with them but He was not. I encourage you to evaluate your spiritual condition this holiday season.
The third reason that their progress was wasteful. Can you imagine the scene? Mary and Joseph traveled an entire day before they realized that they had left him behind. A life without Jesus is a wasted life! How did they leave Him? One step at a time. If there has ever been a time when you loved Jesus more than you have backslidden that far.
4. Where Did They Latch Onto Christ?
Jesus' parents found him at the exact place where they had left him. It is the place where people leave Christ is where they find him.
and in the coming New Year!