Verse of the Day

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Christmas Begins with Christ

During this season, my prayer is that all of us will realize that Jesus is so much more than the reason for this season - He is the reason for every season! Over the last couple of weeks I have read several devotions as well as our Sunday school lesson and message at church all about the birth of Jesus.  Through those there have been several things that have really stood out to me that I would like to share with you:
  • I want my life to be so in-sync with God that when He asks me to do something completely unbelievable and unimaginable that I will say “YES LORD” just like Mary & Joseph did.  They both could have said no, but they were willing and ready (well Joseph had to be convinced a little bit by an angel).
Luke 2: 1 - 7 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.
  • I think about how there had been a time of silence from God for about 400 years — God had been very present and active in the Old Testament - through speaking audibly to Moses, sending angels with messages, giving dreams, speaking messages through prophets — God’s presence was very evident.  He had promised a Savior in the book of Isaiah and for hundreds of years, His people were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah.  Then all of a sudden God became silent for 400 years - then when He shows up again, He shows up in a big way with the promise of a son to Zechariah & Elizabeth (John the Baptist) and then the promise of His son - the Messiah - the Savior - Immanuel — to Mary, a virgin and her fiancĂ©, Joseph  - a righteous young man. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be Mary or Joseph — all of a sudden after 400 years of silence, God choses you to speak to and bring about a miracle through your life!!!!! WOW!
  • Oh Lord, may I be so ready & willing to listen and obey!!!!
Matthew 1: 18- 25  Now the birth of Jesus Christ[e] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
  • Jesus came to be our Savior & in His incarnation, He revealed Himself to us, He identified Himself with us and He gave Himself for us! 
  • I love thinking about how He revealed Himself to us - Jesus - King of Kings & Lord of Lords, the Eternal Son & Heir of God our Creator, Wonderful Counselor - the long awaited & promised Messiah!!!
  • He identified Himself with us — He became man - flesh & blood - although He was completely God! But He knew He would need to be able to relate to us so He became one of us. He was tempted just like we are tempted - but in His temptations He did not sin! He knew what He was facing — to the point of sweating drops of blood, and He even prayed for God to remove the cup of death from Him - yet even in that He was still willing to be obedient to His Father! 
Hebrews 4: 14-16 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need
  • We have a High Priest, who can sympathize and understand our weaknesses - one that we can draw near to with great confidence - with boldness in our time of need - whatever that need is!!!! 
  • He gave Himself for us — we cannot think about Jesus as a baby in the manger without thinking about Jesus on the cross and the empty tomb! He came as a babe so that He could be our sacrifice and become our High Priest! He took our place and His blood is the perfect and complete blood that washes all of our sins away! 
This is what Christmas is all about — I pray that you will see not just a nativity scene with a baby laying in a manger but that you will see the Son of God, our Wonderful Counselor, our Mighty God, our Everlasting Father, our Prince of Peace. 

Do you know the real meaning of Christmas — do you know Jesus as your personal Lord & Savior? If not, give Him the greatest gift of all - you! If you have questions, I would love to talk with you about what it means to follow Jesus!!!!

Merry CHRISTmas!!!!


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