For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace, There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice, From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. (Isaiah 9:6-7.)
Do you know what the true meaning of Christmas is? As a small child, I thought Christmas was ALL about, the beautifully wrapped presents, that surrounded a brightly decorated tree, that held an angel, or a star on top of it.
Friends, that is NOT the true message of Christmas. It is NOT about the presents, we give to one another. It also isn’t decorating a tree, with shiny blinking lights, garland, and tinsel. Nothing is necessarily wrong with doing these things. However, the true meaning of Christmas is the gift that God gave to ALL of us…His Son Jesus Christ.
You or I did nothing whatsoever, to merit or deserve, God’s precious, perfect gift to us. This is the amazing truth of Christmas. Despite who and what we are, God sent His one and only sinless, perfect Son, even while we were yet sinners, to save us from eternal damnation. For 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).
The nativity story
God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”
But Mary was very startled by what the angel said and wondered what this greeting might mean.
The angel said to her, “Don’t be afraid, Mary; God has shown you his grace. Listen! You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of King David, his ancestor. He will rule over the people of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.”
Mary said to the angel, “How will this happen since I am a virgin?” The angel said to Mary, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will cover you. For this reason, the baby will be HOLY and will be called the Son of God. Now Elizabeth, your relative, is also pregnant with a son though she is very old. Everyone thought she could not have a baby, but she has been pregnant for six months. God can do anything!”
Mary said, “I am the servant of the Lord. Let this happen to me as you say!” Then the angel went away.
Now, put yourself in Mary’s shoes. I don’t know about you, but if I were to have an angel, make himself known to me in this way, I’m gonna be honest, I’d be more than a little frightened. In our humanness, it would be hard, to wrap our minds of the possibility, of conceiving a child, while being a virgin. In our time that’s just impossible. But with God ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE. I stand on the fact, that God’s word is the truth.
Mary got up and went quickly to a town in the hills of Judea. She came to Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the unborn baby inside her jumped, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She cried out in a loud voice, “God has blessed you more than any other woman, and he has blessed the baby to which you will give birth. Why has this good thing happened to me, that the mother of my Lord comes to me? When I heard your voice, the baby inside me jumped with joy. You are blessed because you believed that what the Lord said to you would really happen.”
Mary discovered she had conceived and went to tell Joseph her betrothed. He did NOT believe her, so Joseph being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
Now put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. He knew he had NOT been with Mary intimately, so I can see why he doubted.
So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, every one to his own city.
Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.
So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn.
God’s gift came to us, in a dirty manger, within a cold stable, in a little-known town called Bethlehem. Jesus left his throne and majesty in Heaven and took HIS place in a manger so that YOU and I might have a home in Heaven. The Savior was not wrapped, in some high dollar, fancy, frilly cloth. Yet lying in a manger, rested the greatest gift, YOU and I can or will EVER receive.
Now there were in the same country, shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”
So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.
Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men (who were gentiles just like YOU and I, which is significant) from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet: “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, Are not the least among the rulers of Judah; For out of you shall come a Ruler, Who will shepherd My people Israel.”
Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”
When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.
Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Herod was King in those days and seen Jesus being a threat to take his king status away.
Reality of Christmas
You or I did nothing whatsoever, to merit or deserve, God’s perfect gift to us. This is the amazing truth of Christmas. Despite who and what we are, or where we stand spiritually, God sent His one and only sinless, perfect Son, to save us from eternal damnation. For 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).
The longing I have in my heart and soul this Christmas is the song I heard singing at my Church. Come let us ADORE him. I want to adore Jesus Christ, NOT just at Christmas, but every day of my life.
Help me, Jesus, to ADORE YOU
A– Accept You in the areas of my life that I do NOT put you first. I ask you to reveal where I fail in doing so.
D– Decide to realize the fact, that I am NOT the one in charge of my life. Jesus is in charge. So use me in ANY way you choose to do so, for my good and for your glory.
O– Order my steps toward forgiveness, and away from anger, resentment, bitterness, and unforgiveness.
R– Renew the love and joy in my heart, in being made new in you. Jesus, remind me of your grace, gentleness, and the assurance, of Your never-ending love for me.
E– Even if my circumstances, beg me to NOT believe, in your faithfulness, Lord, help me keep moving forward in faith, and NOT let those situations, change the fact that YOU are still good in the midst of them. Let it be that people are forced to see, how real YOU truly are. As they walk away may they say, “Angie really lives her life for God, no matter what comes her way.”
It’s been a year full of ups and downs for me, both physically and spiritually. My Faith has been stretched to limits, and I thought I would NEVER get past, some of the issues that came against me. The reality my dear Friends, is these things have grown me closer to God, and that’s what trials are used for…to grow, mold, shape, and conform us, to be more like the perfect gift, given to us at Christmastime. May we all forget the business of this time of year, slow down and focus, on the true message of Christmas…Jesus Christ, the savior of the world.
May we ALL ADORE Jesus Christ, NOT just at Christmas, but every day throughout the year. My Prayer is that you will experience, the love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ, more than ever this season, and throughout the years to come.
Your Sister in Christ
Hey Friends. Thank you for taking time out of your day, to spend a few moments in mine. As a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s important to me to share the gospel with you. I write about my ups and downs, my struggles and insecurities, but above all else, I share how God brings me through it all. Let’s continue our walk with Christ together.