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.
“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!
“For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…” —Isaiah 9:6
Before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophesied of His birth. Isaiah lived 700 years before Christ. This prophecy was fulfilled in the most amazing way. This glorious King, the Messiah, came as a little child: to us a child is born. He who was for eternity the Son of God, was given to us as a little Baby in Bethlehem. As we worship Him this Christmas, may our celebrations be filled with joy and wonder at the fullness of what it means – our heavenly Father has given us His only begotten Son, and whoever believes in Him will have eternal life.
Father, thank You for not just sending, but giving Your Son to us. He is the most wonderful gift of all!
The Christmas story is not primarily about the birth of a baby who would grow up to become a great moral teacher. Rather, it is the profound story of the birth of the Saviour. After explaining that Mary was with child by the Holy Spirit, the angel told Joseph, “And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins” (Matthew. 1:21). In our own righteousness we can never reach heaven. But Jesus came into the world to save us and lead us to heaven. As we draw near to the celebration of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ let’s reflect on our wonderful Saviour who has saved us from our sin. Jesus means Saviour. Is He your Saviour?
At some time in life all of us feel the loneliness of sorrow. Mary and Martha were saddened by the death of their brother, Lazarus, and Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died.” They were sorrowful because of a loss. Jesus wept with them. Jesus is with us in our sorrows. When we come to Jesus Christ, He does not promise to exempt us from trouble or sorrow. Tears will come, but we have a hope that our sorrows will turn into joy. In the midst of trials and agony and tears which come to us all, we do not grieve as one who is hopeless. Jesus turns our ash heaps into beauty, our mourning into dancing, clothes us with garments of praise and oh the joy we can experience by the power of the Holy Spirit!
In the ancient Olympic Games, a winning athlete was crowned with an olive wreath. To wear such a crown was a great honour. But this crown would wither. Paul wrote about a crown which would never fade- the crown of righteousness, God’s reward to those who would run the Christian race and finish well. (2 Timothy 4:8) As his life nears its end, Paul looks ahead with confidence and certainty. He had fought the good fight, finished the race and kept the faith. He reminds each one of us, that, this crown awaits not only him, but all those who trust, serve and live for Christ. As you and I run the race set before us, let’s take time to reflect on our running, realizing that only with the Lord will we be able to run the race to the very best of our ability, and only with the Lord will we be able to finish strong.
‘I give thanks to my God for every remembrance of you!’
The Lord brings different people into our lives and we should appreciate them. As you look back over your life can you recall people who have been a blessing? Let us be thankful to the Lord for those He brings into our lives. Let our lives also be a blessing, so that others will remember us with thankfulness.
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for the people I have in my life and those who You have brought across my path. I pray for those people in my sphere of influence and pray that I will be a source of blessing in their lives because You are alive in me. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Lack of hope is the ultimate agony in suffering. We all suffer, go through disappointments, distress and challenges that are seemingly insurmountable. Our Lord, however, seeks our joy, and gives us hope. Jesus said, ‘truly, truly, I say to you, you will weep and lament, but the world will rejoice; you will grieve, but your grief will be turned into joy.’ In other words He is saying, You are going through a brief time of sorrow and pain, and you’re going to come out the other side, and your grief will be turned into joy like how during child-birth we go through pain and anguish but in the end produces abundant joy.
No matter what this life looks like, may we find our joy in God, in Christ and in the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and in His word.
“The LORD will guide you always; He will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:11
God promises to guide us, meet our needs, and strengthen us. He treats us with special care. Are you trying to make decisions and need guidance? Turn to God’s Word and seek Him in prayer. Do you need strength-spiritually, emotionally or physically? Turn to Him.
Being in a sun-scorched land can be intense and draining. But I am reminded that it is my Father who guides me. There are days when I don’t feel up to it, but it is He who sustains me.
He promises that we will be like a well-watered garden and have a spring of life within us that will never run dry.
Hebrews 12:6 For the Lord disciplines the one He loves.
God is gracious and merciful, but He is also holy and just. This requires Him to confront sin, which destroys the people He loves. Unless He can turn the hearts of His people from their wicked ways, they will not only harm themselves but also miss out on an intimate relationship with Him.
If you are being disciplined for sin, remember that it is because God loves you and wants to turn your heart back toward Him. Be grateful that God cares enough about you to want the very best for you, even if it means temporary pain, but it can bring permanent blessing.