• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • December 2011
    M T W T F S S
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John Jay On The Best Of Books


John Jay

John Jay wrote the following letter to Peter Augustus Jay on April 9, 1784:

The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.

Samuel Adams On Liberty And Happiness


Samuel Adams



Samuel Adams wrote the following in a letter to John Trumbull on October 16, 1778:

Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.

A Christmas Tale Of Two Kings

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. (Luke 2:1-7 ESV)

As Luke’s second chapter begins, he seeks to confirm that the birth of Jesus was a real historical event that occurred at a specific time and place. This is the real, true, and factual first episode of the life of the historic Jesus. It was in the time period of the reign of Caesar Augustus. It is interesting to note that one of the titles that Augustus claimed was “savior of the world”. Seen in this light, the Christmas story may also be seen as a contrast between two saviors and two kings.

Caesar Augustus desired to be the symbol of the glory of the Roman Empire. He considered himself to be a son of the Roman gods. Therefore, he saw no problem in claiming the title of “savior of the world”? He believed the key to saving the world was through politics and absolute government control of the empire.

There are many people today who still believe in the government as savior and that an enlightened rule of the few (usually themselves) is the way to salvation or utopia. But, how does the true savior save? He willingly dies upon the cross to bring us reconciliation with God. The plan of the Trinity results in redemption. Caesar gives honor to the humanist ideal of the hero who knows what is best for the unenlightened crowd. Jesus gives all glory to God.

The Christmas story is also about two kings. One king is Caesar Augustus which means the “Exalted One”. He commanded millions and his empire stretched across continents. The other king is a tiny child born in Bethlehem. He shall be called “Christ the Lord”. He was born in a stable. The first to acknowledge Him are humble shepherds. His kingdom is invisible. His armies are angels and yet, He is declared to be the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

As we come to the 21st century, we may rightly ask what has become of these two saviors and kings. Caesar is dead and his empire gone with the wind. Jesus, on the other hand, is alive and well; sitting at the right hand of God. We now see a day on which millions of people celebrate the birth of Christ. The birthday of Caesar Augustus is largely forgotten. However, the Bethlehem Baby still rules and His kingdom continues to grow until it shall fill all the earth.

In whom do you place your trust? Is it Christ or Caesar; God or man? Men still continue to love to play God, but it is Jesus Christ who reigns. A man may claim to be the master of his fate and the captain of his soul, but secular humanism is a failed philosophy which may bring temporary happiness, but no true sense of lasting joy.

As we join in this upcoming celebration of Christmas, it is also time to ask ourselves again, “Who is sitting on the throne of my life?” Do I find myself or my will, selfishness, or arrogance there? It is Christ who must sit on the throne of our lives and all false gods must be swept away.

Who will be your savior; Christ or Caesar? Who will be your king; Caesar or King Jesus? Do not let another Christmas pass you by without knowing Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord! Then you will certainly understand the true joy of Christmas in the gift of your salvation. You will then hold on mightily to the grace of the manger and the cross. Never fear! If your strength fails you, God’s strength never does and He will hold you by His power. This is a Christmas gift indeed!

“No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13, ESV)

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