Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Let it be filled with all things beautiful.
Love and Blessings…
She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”[(which means “God with us”).
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he did not consummate their marriage until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus. Matt 1:21-25
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:4-21
For to us a child is born, to us, a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders, And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
The conception and birth of Jesus is a miraculous event that provided the gift of salvation for all people.
From the time of Christ’s birth, Jesus was sought after to be destroyed by authorities and rulers of nations. King Herod, the ruler of Jerusalem commanded the wise men to find Jesus and tell him where he was born so he could come and worship him. However, King Herod was full of deceit.
The wise men were guided by a star in the east. After the wise men arrived in Bethlehem, where they brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, they were told by an angel in a dream not to go back to Herod. Perhaps the wise men were called wise because they heard and obeyed the divine voice of God through a dream. The wise men never returned to Bethlehem but went in a different direction so authorities would not follow them.
Once King Herod found out about Jesus’ birth by the city officials, the king ordered to slaughter all male children under the age of two years. Mary and Joseph had to flee Bethlehem. It must have been a horrific sight to experience and witness the slaughter of innocent children.
Jesus’ birth was full of uncertainty from where to stay prior to his birth to where to go after his birth. Through the chaos and discord, Mary and Joseph were divinely protected and led to the city called Nazareth. This is where Jesus resided until his ministry began. Throughout his ministry, there were many interruptions of persecution, rejection, rivalry, opposition, and strife.
In a dark world, then and now, Jesus is the everlasting light. Jesus is known as, Jehovah Shalom, the Lord of peace. In a world of lost hope and despair, Jesus provides all that we need as we walk in obedience to his word. The Son of God was given as a free gift to deliver us from a life of sin and death.
One-touch from God transforms a life. From sickness to healing, chaos to peace, fear to faith, failure to victory, weakness to strength, unbelief to trust and many other opposing afflictions changes course or direction through faith and prayer.
His love is unconditional, despite our faults and failures. Through our trials and tribulations, the Lord is working to manifest His nature within us. We are made in his image and we’re a reflection of his light. Where there is light, no darkness can reside. We are many members and one body. I Corinth 12:12-26
Let us hold onto hope, joy, peace, and strength. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. Act 17:28 Emmanuel, God is with us. Matt 1:23
Beginning with his birth and infinite, life never-ending Resurrection: It’s an eternal lovethat is the greatest giftof them all.
The Lord gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16
During this season, we are busy preparing for the biggest day of the year: Baking cookies, stringing lights on the tree, attending Christmas parties, going shopping, and wrapping presents.
Christmas can also be a very depressing and lonely time of the year for many. While family and friends gather together, many are left alone. Others are left without gifts, food, or shelter. Others may have lost a loved one and Christmas is just not the same anymore. It can crush someone’s spirit when they don’t feel joy and cannot celebrate as others do.
Jesus cares. It’s through Him that we share His same spirit to help and assist one another in life. A kind word, a hug, a listening ear, a warm touch, or simply a smile can heal unspoken wounds or silent tears.
Jesus is with you in the most desperate of times. His name, “Emmanuel” means God with us. Yes, we may ignore his presence when everything is going great in our lives, but He never leaves us regardless if we acknowledge him or not. He patiently waits for us to come to Him. He is patient and kind and loves us more than we will ever know.
Through all the exciting festivities, I challenge you to take time out during the holiday season to focus on the reason for the season which is the birth of Christ. The Lord sent His Son for our salvation which is the greatest gift in the world. His presence is forever with us. We are part of His heavenly family once we acknowledge Him and accept Him into our hearts as our Lord and Savior.
I-pads, tablets, iPhones, the latest video games, or flat-screen TVs will never compare. Jesus is the greatest Christmas presence ever known.
“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Emmanuel.”Isaiah 7:14
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.”Luke 2:14
Christmas is a time for gathering with family and friends. It’s a time of great activities and celebration. During this time of year, we are busy putting the decorations on the tree, cooking extravagant meals, baking Christmas cookies and shopping for that special gift.
Sometimes we are so wrapped up in the holiday activities that we forget about our priorities and responsibilities until the upcoming year which brings on additional stress.
For others, it’s a time of sadness because of a lack or loss. We may have lost a loved one and may still be mourning the loss. Others may not have the means to buy gifts and food which are highlights of the Christmas season. Just having the basic necessities is a struggle.
This time of year can be very sad and depressing in the hearts of the elderly who are left alone or the sick waiting for their pain to go away.
Unfortunately, life brings on difficult situations that may be very difficult to handle. Whether you’re on the top of a mountain or in the valley, God is with us. He does not discriminate. Jesus is the greatest gift that was ever given to us. His Love surpasses all that we could ever achieve or want. Every moment we breathe is a gift from God.
We will continue to search for things and strive for more to fill the void in our lives. In the end, things get broken, lost, forgotten, worn out or you just get plain tired of it. Those things that made us so happy at one time; leaves us feeling empty.
The void in our lives can only be filled with the love of Jesus. There is healing in the name of Jesus: Deliverance in the name of Jesus; Protection in the name of Jesus; Provision in the name of Jesus; Power in the name of Jesus.
We must remember his presence as we go about celebrating the festivities and know that He remains forever with us as believers. We should take solitude time during the holiday to commune with him. You are His treasured joy and He welcomes relationship with you. “He will keep you in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee.”
If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior or you would like to rededicate your life to him, simply open your heart to him and pray the following prayer in faith to receive Jesus as your Lord.
“Heavenly Father, I come to you in the Name of Jesus, Your word says, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved” and “If thou shalt confess with your mouth that the Lord, Jesus died for our sins and shall believe in his heart that God raised Jesus from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”Acts 2:21; Romans 10:9 I pray that you will forgive me of my sins, renew my mind, cleanse me and make me whole by the power of the Holy Spirit. I make you my Lord and Savior of my life to guide me, protect me and teach me all things. In Jesus Name. Amen.
“And, she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins. And all this was done; that it might be fulfilled which was spoke of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child; and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son; and he called his name Jesus.”S. Matthew1:21-25
As we enter the Christmas season, it’s important for us to shine the light of Christ into a dark and hurting world. This is the most meaningful time of the year besides Resurrection Day or Easter which is rooted in the Christian tradition.
“God so loved the world that he gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3-16.
God gave out of love for us. Unfortunately, the whole idea of the meaning of Christmas is being lost in commercialism. It’s now called a “holiday” rooted in expectation of “How much can I get?” “This is not what I wanted!” “Why didn’t I get that?” “I wish I could get that!” It’s the joyous events of running people over in the parking lot to get the latest tech toy, stressing out over bills that you have to pay in the New Year along with a host of other pressures that come along with the Christmas season.
Unfortunately this is an “I” generation which has caused a society full of demands, selfishness and greed. When was the last time you thought about Jesus? Do you know who He is? What He did when He came to this earth? The message is very simple. Love. That’s it. He provided love, demonstrated love and gave hope. Everything He represented was about love in a world that could not and still not understand or comprehend the capacity of His love.
It’s very hard to walk in love in you don’t know Him or have a relationship with Him. The natural man does not understand spiritual things because it’s foolishness to him.
Those of us who do have a relationship with Jesus have a responsibility to demonstrate God’s love to others. “The spirit of the Lord has anointed us to preach the gospel.” Isaiah 61:1. We were anointed and called for His purpose as a chosen vessel. This is not only to share His love in this season but it should be carried out 365 days out of the year. Emmanuel which means, “God is with us” and who also lives in us, so we should reflect His character at all times.
Let’s not get wrapped up in commercialism or depression because we over consume or can’t purchase or get what we desire. This is a time to reflect on the love that Jesus provided and sacrificed for us and in return we should share the same love of Christ with family, friends, co-workers, classmates and strangers.
The best gift you can give is your time to someone who is lonely, sick or in need. Let’s spend more time listening rather than shopping. Also, take some time out for solitude. Turn off the TV, computers, cell phones, Xbox, tablets, kindles, ipads, iphones, ipods, etc…You can not hear from God with so much noise and distraction around you. Spend some time reading the Bible to learn and understand the character of God and find a church that you are comfortable with that is spirit-filled.
If this is new to you, ask the Lord to open your heart and come into your life, forgive your past sins and make you new. Receive Him as your Lord and Savior. The Holy Spirit will begin to teach you all things so ask Him to lead you to the truth and to find a church where you can grow in Christ. Transformation is a process so don’t expect a change instantly. The caterpillar eventually becomes a butterfly.
As we reflect on the real celebration of Christmas, let us remember Christ in a desperately unsatisfied, lost world.
Jesus stated, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follow me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8:12