Tag Archives: Jesus’ birth

December 25; The Reason

Hebrews 13; I John 1-2

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

As we celebrate the Baby in the manger today, let’s not overlook why God became a flesh and blood baby 2000 years ago. The Apostle John tells us this:

The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. (I John 1:8b)

We call it a season of love, of hope, and peace. And it is absolutely all of that! God’s love motivated Him, and love is a byproduct of His appearing. Hope is ours because He came, and peace the world cannot understand rests within His children because that Baby born in Bethlehem grew up to die.

We celebrate everything that Christmas represents. But let’s not forget Jesus came because of the ugliness of sin. Your sin. And mine. Jesus came to destroy Satan’s hold on us. This precious Baby was born to save.

I pray you will realize the seriousness of the season as well as the joy of it all. The reason Jesus was born is…

YOU!

December 22; A Christmas Story

Hebrews 2-6

Ah, Christmas! The time of year when the birth of the Messiah Jesus is celebrated all over the world. Oh, you can pretend it’s about Santa, gifts, love, family, whatever. But the reality is we are in the midst of a birthday celebration – the birth that changed the world.

Christmas marks the day when God made Himself a little lower than angels, when our Creator put on flesh and blood and began life as a human so that He could die for His creation.

Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tested, he is able to help those who are being tempted. (2:14-18)

That was God’s plan from the beginning. And the birth of Jesus sets God’s plan in motion. That’s what we are celebrating this time of year.

The writer of Hebrews tells us, then, to fix our thoughts on Jesus. Don’t harden your hearts against the Truth, he says. And the Truth is: Christ the Savior is born! The baby whose birthday we celebrate was born for you. Believing in Jesus, accepting what He did for you ushers you into His rest.

So here’s my 2019 Christmas story: I’ve been in knots the last two days. I’ve ordered gifts for my five great-nephews, and they still haven’t been delivered (almost a week past the promised delivery date). When I finally got hold of the company, I was told the gifts aren’t even out of the facility yet – IN CHINA! Because the only communication I have with them is email, I’m having trouble cancelling that order. Grrrr.

So I went on Amazon, and ordered five similar gifts all with the estimate delivery dates of December 23-24. I know, I’m cutting it close. But then last night I got an email saying two of the gifts won’t be delivered until the 29th. I can feel my blood pressure rising just typing this latest snag.

I share this to confess to you my thoughts have not been on Jesus. I’m obsessing about gifts the boys will probably enjoy for about ten minutes before they move on to something else, because all of them have more toys than they could ever use in a day. They certainly don’t NEED another toy.

Yet my thoughts have been on the toys. I couldn’t sleep last night worrying about it, picturing those sweet children not having anything to open from Aunt Connie. Then this morning I read what the writer of Hebrews had to say and I have to think, so what if they don’t have anything to open from me on Christmas? It’s not like it will force them into therapy when they’re older. It won’t be the end of the world.

Of course gift-giving is part of Christmas fun, and I’m certainly not proposing we stop giving gifts. But in the hustle and bustle of the season, let’s not forget what we are celebrating. Let’s not lose our focus. Let’s not get caught up in the Xmas the world is celebrating, but stop and worship the Christ of Christmas.

The truly wonderful, amazing, life-changing Christmas story is Jesus. Merry Christmas, dear readers.

December 25 – Grow In Grace

2 Peter; Jude

We celebrate the birth of Jesus today. I pray you’ve enjoyed going to church, singing the beautiful Christmas songs, reading Luke 2, and opening gifts with those you love. It’s a magical day. It’s a holy day.

God Himself took on the form of a needy newborn, and perfectly grew to become the Sacrifice for all of us. God, in flesh and blood! It’s beyond wonderful.

Peter reminds us this same Jesus is coming again. Not as another baby, but with power and glory. The heavens and earth that we enjoy today, will melt away, and we who know Him will see a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness dwells.

Meanwhile, the apostle encourages us to “be diligent to be found by Him in peace, spotless and blameless,” to be on guard, and to “grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18a)

My prayer on this Christmas Day is that you will allow this baby whose birth we are celebrating to do what He came to do. May you know the peace that comes from bowing to the Savior. May you love and serve Him who loved you all the way to the cross.

To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (3:18)

December 24 – Treasure The Gift

2 Timothy

Twice in chapter one, Paul says something to Timothy that got my attention this Christmas Eve morning. First, in verse 6 he tells the young preacher to “Kindle afresh the gift of God.”  Then in verse 14 Timothy is told to “Guard… The treasure which has been intrusted to you.”

Are your presents wrapped and under the tree waiting for the family gathering when those things, bought with those special people in mind, will be revealed? I finished wrapping my gifts yesterday and I’m looking forward to going to church tonight, then going to my sister’s house where we will open those treasures and enjoy watching the grandkids’ excitement.

What if you’d spent everything you have on a gift for the one you love? Wouldn’t you hope they’d at least appreciate it? You’d probably want them to love it, cherish it, protect it, show it off. You’d want them to use it correctly and carefully. You wouldn’t buy it expecting them to discard or abuse it, or set it aside and neglect it. Would you? I mean it cost you everything.

This weekend we are celebrating the most precious gift you’ve ever been given. And yes, it cost Jesus everything to buy it for you. He bought it wanting you to receive it with joy, to treasure the gift of forgiveness that cost Him His own blood.

Paul tells Timothy in chapter two to “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus”, to be a good soldier, a fit athlete, a hard working farmer. In speaking to Timothy he tells us not to be ashamed, to be diligent, avoid worldly and empty chatter. I hope you read this letter to Timothy. It contains the owners manual for the gift God gave you through His Son.

We’ll celebrate the birth of the Savior this weekend. But we are celebrating not just a birth. We’re celebrating a life, and a death. We are celebrating the free gift of salvation this Baby was born to purchase for us. My prayer is that we will guard this gift, treasure this gift, use it and share it just like God intends for us to do.

Merry Christmas, dear ones.

December 21 – He Had To

Hebrews 1-6

I read another Christmas passage, and never realized it was a Christmas passage before. The author of Hebrews in chapters 1-3, tells us why we celebrate the birth of Jesus.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the argument, “If God were a loving God He wouldn’t send anyone to hell.” And that is a true statement. The reality is, God doesn’t “send” anyone to hell. In fact, there is no reason for anyone to go to hell.

First of all, we have to understand God is holy. He cannot NOT be holy. So when He created us with the ability to choose Him, He knew there was another side to that coin. We could also choose to reject Him. So before He created anything, He came up with a plan to save us. He created us to fellowship with Him. So He had to provide a way for us to fellowship with Him after we sin, because holiness and sin cannot exist together.

Therefore, He (Jesus) had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people ( Heb 2:17)

We are human. Humans sin. So a human had to pay the penalty for sin. (You don’t send a dog to jail to pay for a crime a person commits.)

Every transgression and disobedience receives a just penalty (the wages of sin is death) How will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? (The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus) See Hebrews 2:2&3 and Romans 6:23.

We celebrate the birth of Jesus because there was no other way for God to fellowship with us sinners. Jesus HAD to be born so that He could die and be that substitute for each of us.

I pray none of us will neglect so great a salvation!

Happy Birthday, Jesus. I’m glad you were born.

 

Oh, Those Eyes

I wonder if Mary, as she held her newborn son, realized just who it was she had in her arms. Sure, she knew his conception was miraculous. Yes, she was visited by angels, and shepherds, and later, wise men from the east. But there she was sitting in a barn, listening to the low of cattle, smelling the smells of livestock, feeling the pain from what might have been a painful birth.

And looking into the eyes of her Savior.

That’s who I want to see this Christmas. I want to see God Himself. Not just a baby in a manger, but One who would grow up to pay for my sins. For yours.

This is no ordinary birth. This is the most important birth that ever was or ever will be. This is the birth that changed the word. Changed me. And I pray that He has changed you, too.

May you adore the baby, recognize the Savior, and accept the fact that what he did 2000+ years ago, he did for you. Jesus was born for you. Jesus lived for you. Jesus died for you. And Jesus is waiting with arms stretched wide, just for you.

Merry Christmas, dear one. And may you celebrate the birth of the Savior as one who is a member of his family.

The One who was, who is, and is to come! Happy birthday, Jesus.

December 25

Hebrews 13; I John 1-3

Jesus is born! God became flesh and blood. He didn’t come as an adult, or even to a family with prestige. God humbled himself and started life as an infant, just like we did. He was helpless, totally dependent on others. His mom fed him when he was hungry and changed his diaper when it was wet and messy. Mary and Joseph heard Jesus’ first words. Did he say, “Mama”, or “Dada”? They watched Jesus take his first steps on chubby, wobbly little legs and held his hand when they crossed the street. They kissed his boo-boos and read him bed time stories. God himself became one of us!

John reminds us that this same Jesus, who we know as Christ, who died so we might have life, who rose again and ascended into heaven, is coming again. John wants us to be able to face him on that day confident and unashamed.

Today we celebrate the birth of the Savior. Do you know him? How has Jesus’ birth effected you in 2013? Have you accepted his grace? Have you invited him into your life? And do you represent him well by your actions, your words, your love for one another?

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God. And that is what we are! (I John 3:1)

Provided by the One whose birth we celebrate today.

Dearest Jesus, I am glad we set apart this day to remember your birth into our world. At least for one day a year, the entire world stops and honors you, even if many don’t get it. May we who do get it, who are your children because of your love and your sacrifice, not get caught up in the presents and the parties. May we recognize what it cost you to be born that day. May we not forget that the baby we celebrate grew up and 33 years later suffered and died because of our sin. And may we live our lives in such a way that when you return… and you will return… we will be able to meet you with confidence. I  pray that in this season of remembering, many will come to you and accept you into their lives, repent of sin, and follow you. That’s why you came in the first place. Happy Birthday, Jesus.