The silent, dark night was suddenly interrupted by brilliant light and a loud angelic proclamation. The frightened shepherds were assured by the angel that his message was one of “good news that will cause great joy.” (Luke 2:10)
My friend, even if you’re going through a dark night right now, when God has seemed silent, everything can change in a moment of time..The breakthrough may not be as dramatic as the shepherds experienced, but the message will be the same: good news and great joy!
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. Matthew 2:10
How do you respond to Christmas? For some, Christmas brings back fond memories, and for others it’s shopping. Unfortunately Christmas has lost its meaning in our modern culture. More are mindful of a tree than the manger. The heart of Christmas is that God gave us the best gift ever in His Son, Jesus. We see several responses to the birth of our Saviour. The angels responded with worship, Magi were overjoyed to see the star, the Shepherds repsonded by rushing to see Jesus, then telling everyone about what they saw . The wonder and beauty of Christmas is that Jesus took His place in a manger so that we might have a home in Heaven. The Star rested over an ordinary manger, which held the greatest gift in the simplest of wrapping (Luke 2:7).
When I ponder the life of this courageous woman, I am astounded by the strength of character that she exhibited at such a young age. She didn’t fully understand what the angel was telling her, but she obeyed just the same. This is the attitude God looks for: faith and obedience. Mary accepted God’s call with one simple and yet powerful statement, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38
Many times we wonder what the will of God is for our lives. All we have to do is simply say, “Lord, I am willing to obey, even though I don’t understand. “
In the first chapter of Luke, we find a song that Mary sang after the angel Gabriel announced that she would give birth to the Son of God. In the song, Mary declares, “My soul magnifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Saviour” (Luke 1: 46-47). I think it’s very interesting that Mary referred to God as “my” Saviour. She didn’t just call Him “the” Saviour or even “our” Saviour; to Mary, He was “my” Saviour. I believe that little word reveals, firstly, that Mary’s relationship with God was very personal for her. Secondly, she knew that she like any other human being needed the Saviour to save her soul, even though, physically she bore Him. She was like any one of us in need of a Saviour. Is Jesus your Saviour?
After the Angel left Mary declares in her song, “He who is mighty has done great things for me” (Luke 1:49). Notice how she uses the words “for me.” She could have said, “He has done great things,” but instead she proclaimed that God “has done great things for me.” Mary could speak from personal experiences that God had been good to her. She didn’t have to rely solely on the stories of friends and relatives; she had seen for herself that God was great. That’s the kind of close relationship God desires to have with us. He wants us to know Him, not just know about Him. He wants us to be able to refer to Him as “my God.” He wants us to be able to speak about what God has done “for me.”
By WHITSON GORDON
You can help a friend or loved one turn their special day into something remarkable, if you’re willing — but getting ordained is the easy part.
Published: December 12, 2018 at 04:30PM
from NYT https://ift.tt/2zYLRMl
No one could have predicted that the first people to hear of Jesus’ birth outside of His parents would be a group of shepherds. Angels appeared to these men, saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace, good will towards men.” (Luke 2:14).
This was the announcement of the birth of the Saviour. When the angels left, they hastily travelled to Bethlehem to see the wonderful gift the Father had given to His people.
The shepherds were eager to see the Savior of the world, and we should be eager to see Him as well. This involves not only coming to Him in our conversions but also seeking His face each and every day of our lives.
…on those living in the land of the shadow of death, a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
For those of us who have encountered the risen Jesus, a light has dawned. We have crossed over from the dominion of darkness into the kingdom of light. Darkness is no longer where we dwell, we dwell in the light. This present world is full of sin and suffering, but they cannot diminish the light that dawned at Christ’s incarnation. He has already come, and with Him came light, hope, and redemption. We have an incredible hope and with this hope, an opportunity to help people to also encounter the light this Christmas season.
“God is love.” 1 John 4:9-11, “.This is how God showed His love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through Him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
At Christmas, we understand that God loved us so much that He came to live with us in the person of Jesus. That love now inspires us to live as Jesus did in this world, loving God by loving each other. Love is the greatest gift of all! Let’s give it away freely.
“His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” One name wasn’t sufficient to describe this special Child. This baby is different. “Wonderful Counselor” indicates that Jesus will be a source of extraordinary wisdom —great news for those who need guidance. “Mighty God” indicates that Jesus will be divinely strong and powerful — amazing news for those who are weak. “Everlasting Father” indicates that Jesus will care for His people forever, as a father cares for his children — comforting news for those who are lonely and unappreciated. “Prince of Peace” indicates that Jesus will bring lasting peace — good news for all of us who lack peace with each other and with God. Jesus, how amazing You are!