Tag Archive: Christmas

  1. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing…’Tis the Season to be Jolly!

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    “Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!” 2 Corinthians 9:15.

    On the day Christ was born, the angels sang.  They understood how glorious it was to see their King in the flesh, to see the Savior of the fallen world arrive.  They were excited to witness what was happening and what was going to happen.  Great things were going to occur, for us!

    There are so many experiences we have in life that come close to this type of joy but still none can compare.  I remember how excited I was on my wedding day.  Having designed my own wedding gown and my soon-to-be husband not having see me in it yet left me with anticipation for his reaction.  His smile in that moment was priceless to me.

    When I discovered I was pregnant with each of my children, joyful emotions flooded my heart.  Having had a few years of infertility and nine miscarriages caused a lot of worry but each positive test somehow made things better.  And when each one of my children were born, I couldn’t get enough of them.  I was meant to be a mom and every moment is worth singing over.  I imagine Mary felt the same, even though she didn’t fully understand the magnitude of God in flesh.

    Joy is always there.

    There have been many moments in my life where the joy of it was worth singing about.  Joy is always with us because God is always with us.  Joy, unlike happiness, is not circumstantial.  There is never a short of it and it is present even in horrible, dreadful times.  Happiness is fleeting and is activated by your circumstances.  Such as, I am happy when my daughter has good grades, but I am joy-filled to have my daughter.  She could have issues that make her appear less shiny but my joy never leaves.

    Your joy comes from the Lord and He was born over 2000 years ago to save the world.  He took on human form to be the sacrifice for our sins so that we had a chance to get out of our misery and oppression.  Christ wants every person to have the chance and He sacrificed Himself for that provided opportunity.  He will not force Himself into your life, so you will need to take the risk and ask for Him to enter your life.

    There is no greater gift to receive!

    Some have chosen not to believe and accept the gift because they see it as they are being asked to give up stuff.  Yes, you will need to give up stuff.  That same stuff is what has been holding you back, though.  Once you rid yourself of the dead weight that you have been carrying, you will feel better than ever.

    Trust me when I say, I have experienced this first hand.  I was a smoker, drinker, promiscuous, disrespectful, listened to horrible music, watched filthy movies, controlling, angry and bitter, depressed and anxious, and cursed like a sailor.  Giving those things up felt, at the time, like someone was caging me.  The opposite is true now that I am completely free of them.  Some of those things were pleasurable things that I just wanted to keep, causing me to place a roadblock between me and God.  Other things were lies from Satan that were holding me captive.

    None of what I had before truly brought me happiness, let alone joy.  At best, they were temporary fixes of euphoria.  They did feel nice, for brief moments, but nothing compares to how I feel now and who I am because of Him.

    His birth made the way for a second chance.

    Even though Christ was born 2000 plus years ago, in a time when the world needed the ultimate “lamb” for slaughter.  In Bible times, people sacrificed spotless lambs (or doves if they were poor) to cleanse themselves from sin.  The world got too sinful and needed something that would cleanse it from all sin until the end of time.

    Jesus was the perfect Spotless Lamb.  He never committed any sin. As God on earth, He lived a blameless life.  When he went to the cross for us, He took on all of our past, present, and future sins.  There is reason to be singing for joy because what punishment we completely deserved, He accepted on our behalf.

    If you know anything about the crucifixion story, then you know it was the worst punishment imaginable.  You would also know that those who were punishing Christ took it on further than any normal person would have.  You can read about it in Matthew 27:1-54, Mark 15:1-40, Luke 23:1-48, and John 19:1-30.  (I will go into more details about this story around Easter because many people misinterpret the Bible about the facts of His crucifixion.  Ironically, this is one of the times when people bring their personal views and bias into reading the text but they should be looking at it from a Scientific-factual-gathering-of-information perspective.)

    His death was not a time to mourn but a time to rejoice because “it is finished!” No more excuses to get right.

    Hail the Son of Righteousness! 

    Joyful all ye nations rise. 

    Join the triumph of the skies. 

    Glory to the new born King!

    No matter which lyrics you sing from your favorite Christmas Carol, remember His birth is the reason for the season and should be enough to sing out with great joy!  Merry Christmas.

     

  2. For Unto Us A Child Is Born…

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    “The angel replied, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.'” ~Luke 1:35.

    We who complain, whine, cheat, steal, lie, and manipulate were given the best gift of all, despite our behaviors.  Murder, adultery, and envying what others have–we don’t know how good we have it.  Always out for the next best thing causes us to overlook others’ needs and, yet, He fulfilled ours.

    Among all of our past, present, and future mistakes, God made a way for us to be free.  He sent us the Savior of the world.  Jesus is the greatest present and His presence is all we need.

    No other gift will do.

    The book of Isaiah foretells of Christ’s coming and what will happen because of Him.  Hundreds of years before His birth, we have record of His birth and the reasoning for it.  Our world has struggled to overcome sin, since the fall of man.  The old laws from the Old Testament were not getting the job done because the sacrifices had just become ritualistic.

    People get in a rut and just check the boxes, even today.

    At some point, I am sure that the people of God just went through the motions of sacrificing their lamb because they probably assumed they broke a law.  There were 613 of them and that is a lot to keep track of.  No matter how they responded, it just was not enough for God, not because of God, but because of the heart behind the sacrifice.

    There was no heart change.

    Everything we do always boils down to our heart.  If your heart isn’t in it, you won’t do it well or do it at all.  When your heart is in a bad place, you will not make wise decisions.  It is our hearts that God is after, not how many spotless lambs could be sacrificed.  He needed to give away His heart for us to have a true Spotless Lamb, for the ultimate sacrifice that would cover the multitude of sins.

    This Sacrifice is free, if we are willing to receive it.

    The people learned about Jesus’ coming and wanted to see for themselves.  Wise men came.  Shepherds came.  Mary and Joseph were not expecting to be the parents of the Most High God but when they learned they would be, their hearts were in it.  She was blessed and highly favored.  He was humble enough to accept the circumstance.  Those that came were in awe of the experience.  Not one of them took it for granted.

    These two seemingly ordinary people brought the King of Kings into the world…a lost and dying world that did not deserve such a gift received the greatest one.  This couple had the privilege to teach love to their child so that He would grow up and not depart from it.

    Jesus was fully man and fully God.

    He was fed by his mother, changed by both of his parents, taught to speak his first words, and picked up when he fell down from toddler walking.  He was someone’s child, going through the same events in life that all kids do.  Jesus was educated by His parents and the community about the Torah and the trade of carpentry.  He learned skills and grew into someone that sought after the Father.

    His heart was in it so much that, at the age of 12, He was preaching at the synagogue around other rabbis.  He showed what it meant to be all in for God when He questioned His parents about His own whereabouts.  It mattered to Him and He made it a priority.  He was/is the gift and yet, He chose to see us as gifts.  Despite our instinctive ability to do things wrong, get into trouble, or make hazardous mistakes, He still sees us as prized possessions.

    How come our view cannot be that way for Him?

    Oh, how things would be so different if we could understand that unto a Child is born.

    If only we could live as though there was no greater gift.

    To cherish the moments He wants to have with us.

    To love those around us, just as He loves us.

    To care for the needs of others and putting those needs ahead of our own.

    To sacrifice our flesh for His holiness.

    What a different world it would be if we could just understand that this Child is what we should be living for.

    This is the Son of God.  His presence was here, on earth, over 2000 years ago, and His present is that He is here through His Spirit for all of those who accept Him in their hearts.  We can have peace from the Prince of Peace, love from Love itself, and the authority of the King of kings, if we are willing to accept His gift.

    What is holding you back?

    This Christmas season, remember that there is a better Gift than anything that could be placed underneath the tree.  It is life changing and has been given to all people.  Anyone is qualified to have it. Unfortunately, not all will want to accept it.  Pick the right gift this season by asking God to be in your life, allowing His Son to be the Lord over who you are.  And if you are someone who already asked Jesus into your life but have not been behaving as though He is your most precious gift, now is the time to change that.  Ask for forgiveness and begin to live as though you know what it means to have this Child born unto us.

    Merry Christmas!