Matthew 1:22-23 Now all this took place that what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet might b
Of all the names given to Jesus, this name, foretold through Isaiah the prophet hundreds of years before the birth of Christ, captures the essence of the incarnation, Gods coming to earth as a human, in the flesh, through the birth of His Son. So, what is the significance of Immanuel for you and for me this Christmas?
Simply and profoundly that the transcendent God who created the universe can be known and experienced personally, right now, and forever! Paul tells us in his letter to the Philippine Christians, that Jesus chose to leave His place in heaven and, and although remaining fully God, be born in the flesh as a little baby, one who cooed and cried, and walked as a toddler, and ate real food, and drank real water and breathed real air just like we do, and who died on a Cross for the forgiveness of Sin.
This Christmas you may feel that you are all alone, misunderstood, unforgiven, or rejected by someone you never thought would betray you. The Good News is that Jesus Christ, our Immanuel, identifies not only with your disappointment and pain, but the feelings that accompany the hurt! Hebrews 4:14-16, encourages the Christian to boldly and confidently enter God’s presence through Jesus who, as our Great High Priest, understands you and cares for you! Immanuel, God with Us, felt the pain and rejection from His own people, and yet He willingly and joyfully went to the Cross so we could be forgiven our Sin and made right with God now and forever! Jesus is Christmas come to earth!
Have you unwrapped and received the Jesus gift of love, full pardon, and forgiveness this Christmas Season? He was born for you!
The Savior of Israel and My Savior, Too!
Light and Shadow
Isaiah 9:2, 6 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land
Art historian Seymour Slive described the great Dutch artist Rembrandt as the master of light and shadow, a compelling story teller on canvas. Rembrandts painting The Adoration of the Shepherds portrays the darkened stable in Bethlehem where two shepherds kneel beside the manger while other people stand farther away. One man holds a lantern, but the brightest light shines not from the lantern but from the Christ child, illuminating those who have gathered close to Him.
Seven centuries before Jesus birth, Isaiah used an image of light and shadow to foretell the coming of the Savior for Israel. Each person may see a different story in Rembrants painting, but perhaps each of us is represented somewhere in that stable. Are we kneeling in worship, standing back in hesitation, or hiding from the light that has penetrated our darkness?
Christmas invites us to step out of the shadows of darkness and to allow the light of Christ to shine into our hearts. Faith in Christ is not a leap into the dark, it is step into the Light. Read Isaiah 9:1-7. (Copied)
In the Name of the Light of the World and of Heaven,
Restoring the Joy of Christmas
Luke 2:15-18, The Message - As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over
My mom once told me that when I was a little kid, she would take toys she had purchased for me that I had grown tired of, and no longer played with, and put them out of sight for a period of time in her bedroom closet. Later, she would bring the toys out and offer them to me as brand new gifts, taking great delight in my excitement over my new gift that I immediately began to play with, once again!
Perhaps you have lost the joy and the meaning of Christmas this year for some reason. Perhaps the birth of Christ has gotten lost in all the hustle and bustle of the season, tucked away in the closet. Take heart, God has Good News for you! Christian, the Christ who loved you still loves you! Jesus who saved you, continues to save you by His blood and the power of His Resurrection! May you rediscover the joy of the birth of Christ with the same eagerness and intensity as the original shepherds who, having heard the message of the angel, could not wait to find Jesus and then, tell others where they could find Him! The answer to restoring the joy of Christmas is, Go tell it on the mountain, that Jesus Christ is born! Open your present!
Jesus and the New Year
Philippians 3:13-14 Forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things wh
I recently read a devotional by Pastor David Jeremiah, the highlights to which I eagerly desire to share with you this day. The new year is right around the corner, and although it is most often the time we make resolutions, how about inviting the Holy Spirit to enable you to make a revolution in your mind and in your living for 2016 utilizing this truth taken from the Scriptures and the devotional I have referenced.
As we pack up or haul off our Christmas trees, and box up the decorations, may we know afresh, how the incarnation of Christ, the truth of His entering the world for us, is a reality we never leave behind. His abiding presence is a constant reality. We never say goodbye to Him and we are never separated from Him, not today, nor ever! I encourage you to read Romans 8:31-39.
So, take a parting glance at Christmas and then press onward into a new year with Jesus Christ!
Looking forward to the blessings of Jesus and the New Year,