Over 2,000 years ago God sent His Son into the world that we might be saved and not condemned. On the profession of our FAITH we are accepted into His Family and become children of God. The Child in the manger has been recognized as TheTraditional Christmas scene down through the ages. It is much more than a tradition it is a True story! As you Celebrate CHRISTMAS with your family, friends and loved ones with your plethora of family Traditions; I would like to take a few minutes to share “The Chronicle of Our Lord and Savior!”
“FOR unto us a CHILD is born, unto us a SON is given: and the government shall be upon HIS shoulder: and HIS name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9
“Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice highly favored one, the Lord is with you; BLESSED are you among women!” But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her. “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His Father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob FOREVER. And of His kingdom there will be no end…….
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David. Which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to registered with Mary his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Now there was in the same country shepherds out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, and angel of the Lord said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of GREAT JOY which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is CHRIST the LORD. And this will be the sign to you : You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths in a manger. And suddenly there was an angel a multitude of the heavenly host PRAISING GOD and saying; GLORY to God in the highest, And on earth PEACE , GOODWILL toward men!
So it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when then they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning the child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and PRAISING GOD for ALL the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told to them.
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called JESUS, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb…
This is the greatest event that ever happened in the history of the world! So much so that a choir of Angels sang and the sky was lit with a brilliant STAR! “JESUS is the Bright and Morning Star” He wants to Light your heart and give you purpose and meaning in your life! CHRISTMAS IS WHEN WE CELEBRATE “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” TO JESUS! Jesus lived an amazing sinless life to conquer sin in the flesh for us! So we would not be condemned but saved. He was crucified a shameful death on the CROSS, died for us and then after three days in the grave HE arose victoriously with ALL POWER! When you accept Him into your heart you become God’s child and The COMFORTER His precious HOLY SPIRIT comes to live within your heart and your body becomes a Temple! You are then given the gift of ETERNAL LIFE!!! Jesus then becomes your Messiah, Savior and Lord! Jesus is the GREATEST GIFT that was ever given! JESUS IS THE REASON FOR THE SEASON! JESUS is the reason for every season. He is your reason for living in Him you will find the true meaning of life! Have a wonderfully, MARVELOUSLY Blessed MERRY CHRISTMAS and a JOYFULLY Blessed NEW YEAR!!! “GLORY TO GOD in the HIGHEST and on earth PEACE to men on whom HIS FAVOR rests….” (St. Luke }
Whenever you or a love one experiences a significant loss, serious illness or death it is normal to experience grief. There are many other types of losses that occur in life that can result in grief as well. Recovery issues, divorce, financial, relocation, career change, natural disasters as well as a miscarriage or abortion can all trigger one to experience a degree of grief. The initial reaction to any of the above is usually shock accompanied by a feeling of numbness. Grief can often result in one feeling a deep sense of hopelessness and or abandonment. It is also possible to ask “why me?” Anger and resentment may result in feelings of ambivalence. Initially the above symptoms are natural. The passing of time is a partial salve that can and will eventually anesthetize your deep pain.
If you are a Christian, finding solace in God’s Word during grief is a great resource to help you maneuver through a plethora of emotions. It is during grief you can actually learn to embrace God’s spiritual comfort. The deep void that one experiences during grief is often unexplainable. So if you don’t feel like talking try spending some time with God. As you truly and earnestly seek God who is the ultimate “Comforter” you can experience His abiding presence. If you are a believer you should know that God’s Word is true. Not some of it but all of it. His promise to “never leave us nor forsake us” must be faithfully embraced in your hour of need.
Grieving is an emotionally painful process. Allowing the one that is grieving to talk freely about how they are feeling is healthy and consoling. Many become depressed and can have a deep sense of guilt. There are two types of guilt; normal and neurotic guilt. Neurotic guilt is based on unrealistic expectations or situations. Helping the one that is grieving to face the reality of loss is helpful. It is healthy to allow them the freedom to talk about their love one. Enabling is never healthy. Allowing them to work through their emotions by being active is a good thing. Taking a walk, run or jogging may even be relaxing and release some inner tension. During an opportune moment try telling them a humorous story or a funny joke can help lift their spirit momentarily. Encourage them in their walk with the Lord. Helping them to freely express their feelings and concerns are healthy. Remember everyone is different. Just because you do not see them crying does not mean they are not grieving. Some people elect to privately grieve. Some time just doing nothing is good. A good friend will be patient, sensitive, caring and compassionate and understanding at this time. Just knowing you are there for them can be a great sense of comfort.
During the holidays when there are many festive celebrations this can also be a reminder to many of their time of loss. After the holidays pass and all the seasonal excitement has dissipated there may be a resurgence of grief. This too is a natural response. Again try to allow yourself to think of some of the happier times you shared together. Depression and sickness can be spawned in the midst of grief. Emotional pain when not dealt with properly can trigger physical illness. Where, what and whom you focus on will make a world of difference. In spite of all the painful things that can happen or has happened in life, there is always something good to think about. God still has you here for a purpose. Some days you might have to take it a moment at a time. Again, please allow yourself to think about some of the cheerful experiences you shared with your love ones. God tells us in Ecclesiastes that there is a time for everything.Suffering is a part of life. Just think if we did not know sorrow how would we know joy?
Your love one is really in a much better place. They have actually transcended suffering. When you focus on God you can have joy in the midst of your grieving. This is why it is so important to develop an intimate personal relationship with Him. God does not take pleasure in seeing us suffer. Grief and sorrow are a result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. When they disobeyed they chose sin and grief as a way of life for mankind. This is why it is important to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. Because of His death and resurrection we now have direct access to the Father. God’s joy is not contingent on the approval of others or on our situation. Joy runs deep when you know that God is your source of strength. Joy is a by product of focusing on God which will give you a peaceful sense of well-being. When you spend time daily in prayer, praising and studying God’s Word I guarantee you, you will experience great joy! It will give you a different perspective in your time of need.
The Apostle Paul endured many adversities. Yet he chose to use those adversities to develop a deeper relationship with the Lord. God’s grace was fully sufficient for Paul. Paul grasped something that few people ever really understand or attain. Paul delighted and found joy in the Lord regardless of what was going on about him. From an outward appearance this was not always apparent to his onlookers. Paul and Silas together sang and prayed so fervently that even the doors to prison were opened for them. This is one of the many examples of the difference God makes in our life. God’s presence and comfort is available. Believing, knowing and applying God’s Word will transform your mind to think spiritually when faced with grief or any trial or situation that comes into your life. Now this does not mean being in denial, quite the contrary. Knowing the Truth is so very powerful. Man looks on the outside. God looks at the heart. According to God’s Word spiritual things can not be understood by the natural or carnal man. Seeking the Truth brings Light into our lives. Allow God’s Light to shine in your heart, mind and soul in the midst of grief. Let Him direct and comfort you. God’s Word will be a Light unto your path.
God’s Word says; “Now this I say, brethren that Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has out on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory…” Revelation 15: 50-55. When a believer dies he/she goes to heaven. As a believer death is not to be feared. Romans tell us there is absolutely nothing that can separate you from the love of God, not even death. God is awesome!
We will never fully understand many things. There are many world wide tragedies about us. God said that before the end of time many will be deceived and believe a lie. That many would take pleasure in unrighteousness. The Scriptures are being fulfilled. Many are grieving the loss of love ones daily due to death, suicide, violence, crime, war, hurricanes, floods and the latest furious Tsunami. Thousands have died. Just imagine what the original flood was like. God is speaking. Keep in mind we know through God’s Word that the end of time as we know it will not be via water. God sets the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His promise. We also know that God is fully aware of everything that happens. God has promised that He would always be with us. Knowing and focusing on God during your grief or any other difficult situation you may be going through will result favorably. This does not mean you will not be hurt, saddened or feel abandoned. It is how you feel that let’s you know you are alive. God already knows our hearts. Begin to partake in His spiritual fruit. The fruit of God’s Spirit are accessible. Self control will help you not to be controlled by your thinking, despair or feelings. God’s Word tells us we can even be angry yet not sin. We must yearn to yield to God’s way of reacting and responding. Every Word of God is true. One must only learn how to use and properly apply it wisely. Wisdom comes from God. We have the victory even in death. How is that? Jesus has overcome. Begin thinking and looking from a spiritual perspective. God’s children are the “apple of His eye.” God loved us so much that He allowed His only begotten Son to die for us. God is so much more than our little finite minds can imagine. God wants to walk with you through this valley of the shadow of death.
Nothing happens in any of our lives and in the world that gets by God. God our Father and Creator always has everything under His control! Carefully read the story of Job. This is why it is so very important to accept “Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior!” Jesus is the only door to heaven. God’s Word tells us that there is no other name by which you can be saved. You must accept Jesus into your heart if you plan to spend eternity with God. Living out His Word daily will give you the strength to go through this valley of the shadow of death. It is the duty of man to “fear God and keep His commandments.” Life here on earth is just a mere passage way to our soul’s eternal resting place. When your heart is heavy try singing, praying, praising and or giving thanks to God. This will also help you to focus on Him instead of your grief or situation at hand. Your security and significance must rely in God. We never know what each day may bring. Living for God is not just a Sunday thing. It is a lifestyle. Salvation is truly God’s wonderful plan for us. It secures our heavenly residence and can give us hope in the midst of grief, persecution and longsuffering. “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, but beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you to salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ…” Thessalonians 2: 13-14. This is why His Word says in everything give thanks!
Good News! Good News! Did you know that before you were knitted together in your Mother’s womb that God knew who you were? Did you know that there is absolutely nothing that God does not know? When you know who you are in Christ you will experience much joy! When your faith and trust are in the Lord He will give you an inexpressible inner peace. The joy and peace God provides is not contingent on your circumstance. God does not want you to live your life as a yoyo experience. You cannot change anything that has already happened in your life. But you can start by reaching out to Him right now, anywhere and anytime! God is, can be, and wants to be your constant companion. Don’t wait until something unpleasant happens. Begin today to really get to know God. God wants you to walk with Him. He has left us His Comforter, His precious Holy Spirit to teach, lead, guide and direct us. Begin if you don’t already to take time each day to thank and praise God for who He is. He is worthy of our praise! We really do have a reason to be thankful!
When ever life presents a test or a trial, it is an excellent opportunity for you to strengthen your relationship with the Lord. To be still and know! God wants to be a part of all of your life. God is able to keep you from falling! I Peter says the trials that we experience in life are to test our faith? God wants to refine you. Your faith will be tested in the fire. Fire purifies gold. Gold is refined under fire. A prospector who discovers a rock that bears gold will send it to an assayer for evaluation. The fire will melt the impurities away and eventually yield pure gold. Our faith in God is far more precious than gold. I Peter even tells us that our faith will bring us honor on the day of Jesus Christ return. Trusting in God will bring Salvation to your soul. The power of Jesus’ Christ resurrection is Good News! It has been preached to us by the power of His heaven sent Holy Spirit. We can even look forward soberly and patiently to more of God’s kindness when Jesus returns.
Good News! Good News! Many people all over the world are still waiting for the Messiah to come. We as Christians know that He has already come. We know through faith that Jesus comes in and sets up residence in our hearts when you truly accept Him as your personal Savior. Matthew traces Jesus roots all the way back to Abraham. Abraham was the first to receive the promise. Matthew goes on to record the story of Jesus life on earth. He tells how His Mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph. Many unexplainable things took place surrounding Jesus’ birth. There was a lot of spiritual warfare on the horizon. Before they were even able to come together as husband and wife Mary was found to be with child through the power of the Holy Spirit. God allowed an angel to appear to Joseph who assured Him that he was not to be afraid. He was told that she would give birth to a Son and to name Him Jesus and that this child Jesus would save the world from their sins. Imagine the faith and trust this took. Please take time to read this entire historical event again. Mary and Joseph were obedient to God. We now all benefit from their obedience.
As a child of God He wants us to obey Him as well. He does not want you to slip back and forth into your old ways. God has called us to Holiness. Jesus paved the way back to Him! Holiness is not wearing no makeup, dresses to your ankles, running all over the place and falling out, wearing white or……… Now do not go there. There is nothing wrong with wearing white. I happen to really like white. Yes, and certainly there is nothing wrong with shouting and praising God. We certainly have many reasons to praise Him! The point is spiritual purity goes much deeper than the surface. Yes, white is symbolic of purity. But remember the KKK wore white too. They also ran around and shouted. (A bit of humor is always good) They just wore white to cover up who they really were. God knows who His children really are. He knows everything. The story of Jesus birth is an excellent example that displays just that! God’s Word is so powerful!
Did you know that your body is the temple of God? It was designed as a place for His Holy Spirit to reside. It is as my granddaughter says; an earth suit. Jesus actually lived in His Mother Mary’s body. He came from heaven and humbled Himself to our existence and bore a body of flesh. He lived a sinless life. He conquered sin in the flesh for us! The scriptures tells us that His earthly body did not decay. Jesus restored to us what Adam and Eve relinquished because of their disobedience. God has created a marvelous wonderful thing when He created mankind. We are His workmanship. But we are responsible for what we do with our lives and our bodies. This is why we need a Savior. God wants us to walk in the light of His Word. His Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. The Apostle John wrote to people who were already Christians. He wanted to remind them of how one’s faith affects a person’s life. God wants us to walk in the Light not in darkness. Notice how he says if we claim to be……. Well, there should be a difference in your life when you claim to walk with the Lord. Have you ever thought about some of the things you say and do? Have you ever heard the song “Walk in the Light? God knows when and if you are walking with Him!
Although John was thought to be somewhere between 80 and 90 when He wrote the epistles bearing His name, he was still vigorously urging the Church to walk in the light of God’s Word. To have true fellowship with Him. You can have banquets and shake hands all day long. But in order to have true fellowship with Him you must walk in the light! I enjoy taking a relaxing bubble bath each day. But, looking at a tub of bubbles will not clean you. God’s true Church is supposed to be a pillar of Truth. Guess what? When everything but the Truth is allowed to prevail God knows. Living for God is serious business. You must really get into God’s Word. So His Word can really get in you. Getting into His Word will cleanse you from all unrighteousness. Guess what your faith will also be strengthened. The Word of God can and will convict you of any wrongdoing. It will bring any impurities to the surface and allow you to truly repent. Let’s not get repeating confused with repentance. Remember that purifying process I talked about?
The Good News is God is the reason for not only the season. But for life! Jesus Christ is the only atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only our sins but the sins of the world. Jesus is the Light of the world. God has given us so much. “Our lives are a gift from Him. What we do with our lives is our gift to Him.” Are you happy with your life? Do you need to give more of your life to Him? Let’s make it personal. Are you really obedient to Him? True fellowship is having a relationship with God. God is the ultimate Father. He gave His only Begotten Son to redeem us! The Good News is there is power in the name Jesus. He has given us the precious gift of eternal life. God is not only there for you; He is everywhere! There is freedom in Christ. Please, remember as I said earlier that your trials come to purify you and make you strong. God is not a surface God. God is really and truly deep. He wants to take us to deeper depths and higher heights. Jesus paid a ransom to save us from the broad road that leads to destruction. This narrow road leads to heaven. The Good News is He paid for our lives and sins with the precious life and blood of His sinless life. It is because of this our trust can be in God who raised Christ from the dead! Now our faith, trust and hope can rest in Him alone.
The Word of God tells us that, “All honor belongs to God, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ: for it is His boundless mercy that has given us the privilege of being born again, so that we are now members of God’s own family. The good News is we live in eternal hope because we know without a doubt that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead. And God Himself has reserved for His children the priceless gift of eternal life. Hallelujah! It is kept in heaven for us, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. Now do you see how very important it is to know who Jesus is! How very important to know what God has done for us! God is powerful. He will and can make sure that whenever that time comes that we will safely get to heaven to receive and continue on in His precious gift of eternal life.
It is very important that you get to know God for who He is and not for just who people say He is. Get to know Him for yourself! Then you will not be tossed to and fro by every different kind of doctrine. Remember that inexpressible joy and peace I talked about? Always remember even when the going gets tuff down here for a while or season; God is always there. All you need to do is keep your focus on the Lord! After all He is the author and finisher of your faith. When you make it a goal in your life to please God you will not have to have a yoyo experience. God can keep you in perfect peace if your mind is stayed on Him! Delight yourself in God’s Word! He will not only give you the desires of your heart but, He will also give you a sound mind! You can be like that tree in Psalms that is planted by the rivers of water. This type of tree roots goes deep! Far beyond what the human eye can see. When your faith is in God He will see to it that any fruit is brought forth in His time. All the Glory belongs to Him. Remember God. is always just a prayer away. Remember that without faith it is impossible to please God.
Good News! Good News! This is the time of the year we set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Joy to the world the Lord has come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing! We give gifts to our love ones, friends and neighbors. Let’s remember that every good and perfect Gift comes from God! Let’s remember each and everyday that God gave us the Greatest Gift of all! Let’s remember now and throughout the year to praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above thee heavenly hosts. Praise, Father Son and Holy Ghost!
We’ve Come To Bow Down And Worship HIM!