Home in heaven!

 Christmas  Comments Off on Home in heaven!
Dec 262017
 

christmas-greeting-card-nativity-scene-by-dona-gelsinger“You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12).

Some people will go to great lengths to wrap a Christmas gift.
They will create beautiful, ornate packages.

I have no wrapping ability whatsoever.
My wrapped packages look horrible.

Wrapping paper is merely an obstacle to keep us from what we really want.
We don’t care about wrapping paper.
We just want to know what’s inside the package.

God’s gift did not come to us in elaborate wrapping.
It came in simple wrapping.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in a very humble environment.

Think how difficult the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem was for Mary and Joseph.
Then when they arrived, they had to stay in a little stable or cave where the animals were kept.

The manger was just a feeding trough for the animals.

I think that place was very cold that night.
And I think it smelled like any other stable.
It was a very unsanitary environment in which to bring a child into the world.

I don’t say that to detract from the beauty of Christmas.
Rather, I say it to add to the beauty of what God did for us.

The Creator of the universe, the Almighty God who spoke creation into existence-
– came and humbled himself to become a little baby, born in a stable in Bethlehem.

He was not laid in the manger in satin sheets, but in rags.
He was not laid in a bed of gold, befitting a king, but in a feeding trough for animals.

There He was, the greatest gift of all, in simple wrapping.
Jesus took His place in a manger so that we might have a home in heaven!

(PA)

Noel

 Christmas  Comments Off on Noel
Dec 252017
 

This story comes from a Christian school teacher.
Having rehearsed, she felt brave enough to take the students for caroling.

They went to a number of places where the people were homebound.
After each place, the children talked about how the older folks had smiled as they sang.

The children had never seen such smiles.

The wandering concert ended up in the community’s only nursing home.
There, the teacher, with her charges in tow, wandered the hallways giving a song at the doorway of each resident.

Only then did she notice that one of her more enthusiastic singers had rewritten the words to one of the songs.

Where he was supposed to be singing-
“Noel, Noel” (Noel, meaning Christmas or Christmastide),
– he was belting out, for all to hear:

“No hell, no hell, born is the King of Israel.”

I like the boy’s interpretation.
“No hell” certainly explains the purpose of Christ’s coming, doesn’t it?

Because God’s Son came into this world-
– all who believe on Him no longer have to fear sin, death, the devil, or hell.

Because of Jesus-
– all who believe in Him as Saviour know they need not fear hell.

The job is done; our redemption is complete.
Believers have God’s Good News of great joy that the angels first announced to the Bethlehem shepherds.

Christians have a Saviour-
Christ the Lord!

It is regretful that so many people seem to question-
– the reality, the completeness, and the truth of Jesus atonement.

If you are among those who are looking-
– let me assure you that Jesus’ work is real, total, and effective.

Like the little boy-
– you can believe that because of Jesus’ birth, life, death, and resurrection, there is, for you, no hell.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. He who believes in Him is not condemned…” (John 3:16-18).

(PA)

Dec 242017
 

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. (Luke 2:11)

Christmas is the time of the year where we honor the fact that God sent His Son to be born into this world to become our Savior.

Although the world has missed the meaning of Christmas through commercialization and traditions, we should not let these distract us from appreciating the real meaning of Christmas. As Christians, we should celebrate Christmas in a way that honors Him.

Firstly, we celebrate Christmas by worshipping He who was born on the very first Christmas.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh (Matt 2:10-11).

When the wise men met Herod, there is no indication that they worshipped him.  But when they met the child Jesus, they fell on their faces to worship Him.  What Herod craved, the child received.

Secondly, we should witness about Him.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child (Luke 2:16-17).

We are to make Him known to our relatives, friends, colleagues, and all those around us.  We can witness through the gifts we give, greetings, or inviting people to church.

Let’s focus on Christ this Christmas.  Worship Him, and witness for Him.

Have a Blessed Christmas!

(MT)

 

Dec 232017
 

Years ago in a European country, a christening took place for a baby who had been born to royalty.

As the guests arrived, a servant met them at the door and took their wraps. Eventually someone asked, “Where’s the baby?” The nurse was sent to fetch him, but she couldn’t find him.

Finally, a guest recalled having seen the baby in the bed where the coats had been placed.

The parents were horrified to find there the lifeless form of their son who had been smothered under the pile of coats.

The real purpose of the gathering had been forgotten and the one to be honored was killed.

That’s what people do during Christmas.  They are so engrossed with their celebration that they do not know what or who they are celebrating Christmas for.  Christ is obscured and man is elevated.

Christmas may be over but don’t “kill” Him.

Jesus is our celebration. He is our Honored One. He is our King forever.

(MT)

Mysterious moment

 Christmas  Comments Off on Mysterious moment
Dec 222017
 

“Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23).

It really is an amazing thing to think about the mystery of the Incarnation-
– that mysterious moment when God became a man.

Jesus Christ, God the Son, was born in a manger.
He went from the throne of heaven to a feeding trough.
He went from the presence of angels to a place filled with animals.

He who is larger than the universe became an embryo.
He who sustains the world with a word chose to be dependent upon the nourishment of a young virgin.

Some people have a hard time believing in the Virgin Birth.
If you believe the Bible, you need to believe in the Virgin Birth.
The Bible teaches that God Almighty was supernaturally conceived in the womb of a virgin (Matthew 1:23).

This makes sense if you think about it.
If God had chosen to, He could have sent Jesus to this earth as a fully grown, yet sinless human being.
A shaft of light could have come out from heaven with Jesus descending to the ground as an adult man.

But if Jesus came to us in that way, who could have related to Him as a person, as a part of the human race?

God also could have had Jesus come into the world through two ordinary human beings—but still with a divine nature.
But then most of us would have doubted His divinity.
That’s why the Incarnation makes sense!

The event of the Incarnation is the reason for the Christmas season.
Christmas is the opportunity to worship God, to bow down and pay homage to Him for humbling Himself and appearing in human form (Philippians 2:6–9).

That stands as-
– the true mystery of the Incarnation,
– and the reason we celebrate Christmas.

(PA)