Away in a Manger: Eternal Impact

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Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down His sweet head; the stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus, asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing; the Baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus, no crying He makes; I love Thee, Lord Jesus! look down from the sky, and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask Thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray; bless all the dear children in Thy tender care, and fit us for heaven, to live with Thee there.

 – John Thomas McFarland, 1851–1913

Eternal Impact

The virgin-born baby was God in human form. He humbled Himself, He took the form of a servant, He was made in your likeness and mine, He identified Himself with the problems of the human race. And thus it was that the apostle John wrote,

The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld His glory, as of the only begotten of the Father.) – John 1:14

In the early days of the nineteenth century, the world was following, with fear and trembling, the march of Napoleon across Europe. Day after day they waited with impatience for the latest news of the wars. And no one was paying any attention to the babies that were being born. In just one year, lying midway between Trafalgar and Waterloo, there came into the world a host of heroes. During that year of 1809, listen to the people who were born in that year – when everybody was taken up with the problems of Napoleon: Gladstone was born in Liverpool, England; Alfred Tennyson was born in Somersby, England; Oliver Wendell Holmes was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts; Frederic Chopin was born in Warsaw, Poland; Mendelssohn was born in Hamburg, Germany; and Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. But nobody thought of babies. Everybody was thinking of battles.

Yet over two hundred years later, with a truer perspective which the years enable us to command, we can ask ourselves, “Which of the battles of 1809 were more important than the babies of 1809?”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. – John 1:1-5

What a difference the baby born in Bethlehem’s manger two thousand years ago makes to our world today. The educational systems He has inspired, the social reforms that His teachings have instituted, and the transformation of families and lives that have come about as a result of a baby born at Bethlehem!

The whole world was thinking of Caesar. The whole world was thinking of Rome. But in God’s eternal plan, He was thinking of a Baby in a manger in the little tiny town of Bethlehem.

Excerpted with permission from The Cradle, Cross, and the Crown by Billy Graham, copyright Thomas Nelson, 2014.

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Your Turn

How often are we paying attention to the wrong thing? How often are we looking in the wrong direction? How often should our eyes and minds see and be aware of the wars, troubles, political strife, and battles across the globe and yet keep our focus on Jesus who came to save and will come again soon? Today, let’s remember the Baby in a manger! Let us worship Him! Come join the conversation on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

 

Billy Graham

Billy Graham, the world-renowned author, preacher, and evangelist has delivered the gospel message to more people face-to-face than anyone in history and has ministered on every continent of the world; millions have read his inspirational classics.

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