I am reminded of watching my niece and nephew at Christmas time. They hurriedly open gifts, look at them, then toss them aside. They do not appreciate the gifts of clothes and other practical stuff. They want the toys and the high tech stuff that broke your bank account to buy. Sadly they do not appreciate the practical gifts at all.
Most of the world is like that too. We can send stuff to help others around the world, and often enough I am told by our local missionary, that a lot of that stuff gets thrown away.
God gave the most precious gift roughly 2,000 years ago. He gave a little baby who was born to be the Savior of the world. But, sadly most of the world does not appreciate this most precious gift. They throw Him away or tuck Him into a closet or in the attic, and maybe pull Him out once in a while, glance at His written Words in Scripture briefly and then toss the Words back under a shelf to collect dust for a few more years. They do not appreciate this, the most practical gift ever given.
This gift is instead replaced by high tech gadgets, power boats, fast cars, running around to and fro and just plain business. No one seems to have time to spend with this the most precious gift ever given. In fact this gift is now thrown out of the schools and away from the court house and told it is politically incorrect.
What will you do this Christmas with this, the most precious gift ever given. Will you look at Him for a moment and discard Him along with all the other paper wrappings? Or will you open Him up and accept all that is within Him? There is very little time left to accept this gift, because one day, it will be gone forever for those who do not want Him. There will be no more opportunity to take Him out of the closet and dust Him off, because He will be gone forever for those who will not accept the most precious gift ever given by God.
What will you do with this gift?
Christmas, the Crucifixion and Resurrection
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends.
This scripture verse tells of a love that is rarely ever seen. How few would ever die to save the life of another. One may for a family member, or perhaps a very close friend, but rarely if ever for a stranger. That is what Jesus did for us when He went to the cross. He died for every soul ever born from Adam to the last person ever to be born. To many He is a stranger, yet He died for them too.
When He hung on the cross His arms were stretched out to His sides. On one side of Him was a condemned thief, worthy of his punishment. To His other side hung another thief also guilty. One blasphemed Jesus, the other rebuked him saying; 40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong. 42 Then he said to Jesus, Lord,[a] remember me when You come into Your kingdom. 43 And Jesus said to him, Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise. (Luke 23:40-43. NKJV)
a. Luke 23:42 NU-Text reads And he said, "Jesus, remember me.
Christmas is the time when Christians around the world remember when God humbled Himself and left His domain in heaven, and took the form of a baby born in a stinky manger where animals lay and fed.
Christmas however would not be Christmas if that was all. Without His death on the cross, and His resurrection we would not have Christmas. It would be meaningless without the rest of the story.
Though He died a cruel death, and though He was innocent, He came having set His eyes upon the cross in eternity past willingly to die for you and I, for strangers who would reject His love.
Many read the Christmas story in Luke Chapter 2 on Christmas eve or on Christmas day.
1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 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.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;
23 (As it is written in the law of the LORD, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)
24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.
34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;
35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.
36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;
37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.
38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.
(Luke 2:1-39 KJV)
But the end of the story is left out. The story of His Crucifixion and Resurrection is left out. Would you read to your children the story of the Three Bears, or of Little Red Riding Hood and not read the ending, leaving the kids in suspense, not knowing what happened? Should we also not read to others the full story at Christmas.
Again, what good would the Christmas story be without the ending, of what this little baby did when He was older and what His works accomplished.
Perhaps it is time to re-read the Christmas story again, for the first time, and this time read the whole story. Then the full meaning of the Christmas story would not be left incomplete, and the full love of the Lord would be fully understood.
John 15:13 (New King James Version (NKJV)):
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down ones life for his friends.
Yes, it is a marvel, a miracle that the creator of all came, humbling Himself in a manger. But it is more a marvel, a miracle when the full story is told.
Please read this story below, and understand more fully, the love that our God has placed in our hearts because of and through His Son.
May your Christmases from here on be full of joy knowing the truth of what this little baby did. And see the comparison below of the love we should have, one for another.
From the depth of my heart, I wish you all a Very merry, Christ filled Christmas.
by Bill Bright
On a cold Christmas Eve in 1952, when Korea was in the throes of civil war, one young woman struggled along a village street, obviously soon to deliver a child. She pleaded with passersby,
"Help me! Please. My baby."
No one paid any attention to her.
A middle-aged couple walked by. The wife pushed away the young mother and sneered,
"Where's the father? Where's your American man now?"
The couple laughed and went on.
The young woman almost doubled up from a contraction as she watched them go.
"Please . . ." she begged.
She had heard of a missionary living nearby who might help her. Hurriedly, she began walking to that village. If only he would help her baby. Shivering and in pain, she struggled over the frozen countryside. But the night was so cold. Snow began to fall. Realizing that the time was near to deliver her baby, she took shelter under a bridge. There, alone, her baby was born on Christmas Eve.
Worried about her newborn son, she took off her own clothes, wrapped them around the baby and held him close in the warm circle of her arms.
The next day, the missionary braved the new snow to deliver Christmas packages. As he walked along, he heard the cry of a baby. He followed the sound to a bridge. Under it, he found a young mother frozen to death, still clutching her crying new born son. The missionary tenderly lifted the baby out of her arms.
When the baby was 10 years old, his now adoptive father told him the story of his mother's death on Christmas Eve.
The young boy cried, realizing the sacrifice his mother had made for him.
The next morning, the missionary rose early to find the boy's bed empty. Seeing a fresh set of small footprints in the snow outside, he bundled up warmly in a winter coat and followed the trail. It led back to the bridge where the young mother had died.
As the missionary approached the bridge, he stopped, stunned. Kneeling in the snow was his son, naked and shivering uncontrollably. His clothes lay beside him in a small pile. Moving closer, he heard the boy say through chattering teeth:
"Mother, were you this cold for me?"
That story reminds me of another mother and Son who sacrificed so much. One winter night, Jesus left his home, His glory and the warmth of heaven to be born in a stable to an unwelcome world. Just before He was born, Mary, His mother, was not welcome in any of the cozy inns in Bethlehem. Instead, she delivered her baby in the darkness of a cold stable. The Creator of the Universe, the Perfect Judge who could destroy the world with a single word, was willing to endure this inauspicious beginning for you and me. That is unconditional love!
We who have experienced God's unconditional love are commanded to share that love with others. John writes in 1 John 4:11,
"Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other" (New Living Translation).
God wants us to express His supernatural love to others. We become examples of God's love to the world as we love our neighbors through the enabling of His Holy Spirit.
My prayer for you is the same as Paul's prayer for the believers in Ephesians 3:17,18:
"May your roots go down deep in to the soil of God's marvelous love. And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love really is" (NLT ) .
You may confess, "I don't have that kind of love to share with anyone." To experience God's supernatural love, claim it by faith. We have the potential to love anyone God puts in our path. One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my Christian life is "how to love by faith."
When we by faith invite God's unconditional love to flow through us, we will discover a rekindled love that is alive and well. That is true for an "unlovable" spouse, boss, employee, or anyone.
Nothing breaks the hardened ground of unforgiveness and bitterness like sincere acts and words of love. Sometimes you and I, by faith, must take the first step of restoration. A positive response may not be immediate, but keep on loving and reaching out. There is no power on earth stronger than God's supernatural love.
Remember this Christmas and beyond to share the love of God to others less fortunate than yourselves.
(Some Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.)
This is the first part of my message this week. There are two other articles I am adding on which ties together what I have just written.
One of my favourite songs at this time of year is sung by a well known famous musician, now deceased. John Lennon's; "And So This Is Christmas," touches me in a way that brings tears to my heart.
I suppose it does so, not so much because of the words, nor even by the music itself. It does so because John Lennon was a man of peace. After all, is this not the idea of Christmas? Is Christ mass not about joy and peace?
And yet John Lennon was shot dead for no good reason. He was shot by a deranged angry young man. He shot and killed a man of peace.
Does this not remind us of our own lives, of the human race as a whole? Since the time of Adam, man has been on a destructive path out to destroy the joy and peace brought to us by the author and maker of joy and peace. Jesus. God in the flesh.
Jesus is God. We read a clear testimony of this in John 20:28 where doubting Thomas confesses after seeing the resurrected Christ in the flesh when he says; "My LORD and my God." (KJV)
Yet sadly, much of the world celebrates Christmas by its pagan traditions, borrowing from the Christian Christmas, the idea of exchanging of gifts. However they leave out the "reason for the Season." They give because they feel compelled to give and expect gifts in return and are upset if nothing is given back in return.
And sadly, there is an attitude amongst both child and adult that claims "ME" rather than the servant attitude of Christ to "give" for "it is more blessed to give than to receive."
And of course the stores promote this attitude by Blitzkrieg us with the advertisements everywhere. The bombard our minds to buy, buy, buy.
So is it no wonder that people are running about stressed out to the max, running to and fro all over town like ants on an ant hill.people are seen running about like crazy shoving and bumping into one another. Just yesterday I hear of a young woman who was bowled over by a Senior in a shopping mall.
Where is the joy and peace in all of this? Where is Jesus in all of this?
Even many Christians get all wrapped up in all of this. They give lip service to Christmas. To Christ by singing all the traditional Christmas songs in church then go home and drink themselves into oblivion, yelling and fighting with one another.
"And So This Is Christmas" sang John Lennon.
Should we not slow down and give reverence to Christmas by putting Jesus in the center of our celebrations and not centering on ourselves with making ourselves feel good because we blew a wad of cash for Christmas, making fools out of ourselves.
I would like you to read the following 2 articles I was given many years ago. One is a short story the other a poem which demonstrates what i have just said. And it also points to a choice we all have to make. The choice we make determines where will be our destiny when our live dwell to an end on this earth.
My prayer for you all is that you may have a blessed Christ centered Christmas.
Read on !!!!!
Years ago, there was a very wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection. They owned priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Monet and many others adorned the walls and rooms of the family estate. The elderly man had lost his wife earlier in life, so his son was his whole world. They traveled the world attending art shows and auctions together. The widowed elder man looked on with satisfaction, as his only child became an experienced art collector. The sons trained eye and sharp business mind caused his father to beam with pride as they dealt with art collectors from around the world. It was a joint endeavor that brought them very close.
But things soon changed for the young man as our country went to war. War engulfed our nation; the son was drafted, and left to serve his country. The father anxiously waited day after day to hear from his son after he was shipped overseas to the war front, but a letter never came. After a period of some weeks, his father received a telegram. His beloved son was missing in action. The old man anxiously awaited more news, heartbroken and fearful that he would never see his son again.
Within days, after receiving the telegram, there came a knock at his front door. As he opened the door, there stood a soldier at attention. The soldier informed him that his worse fear was now confirmed. While under heavy enemy fire, his beloved son had rescued a fellow soldier that was wounded, pulling him out of harms way trying to get him to safety. He was trying to reach a medic to care for the mans wounds. But in risking his life to save the man, he had exposed himself to heavy enemy fire.
Even though he was able to get the wounded soldier to safety, the wounds he received as a result were to severe for him to survive, and he had died, shot through the heart. The old man stood in silence for a moment, he felt his body go limp, his heart sank in his chest, and then he slowly closed the door.
Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season a season that he and his son had so looked forward to would visit his house no longer.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, he walked by all the masterpieces by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet on the walls in the hallway. They only reminded him that his son was not coming home, and they would never share their love of the arts together again. As he opened the door, he was greeted by another soldier. This soldier had a large package in his hand. He introduced himself to the man by saying, Sir, I was a friend of your son. I was severely wounded in battle, I was trapped. Your son risking his own life, came and rescued me. If not for him I would have perished. I am the one he was rescuing when he died. The old man stood, weak in the knees, tears in his eyes and looked at the young man, and asked him, So you knew my son? Yes indicated the soldier, I knew him well.
The soldier then said to the broken-hearted father, May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you Yes, yes, please come in, said the old man As the two began to talk, the soldier told the old man how his son would always tell stories to all of his friends of he and his fathers love of fine art. Im definitely not a great artist, said the soldier, as he handed the old man the package, but I painted this myself and I want you to have it. As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to show a portrait of the scene of the old mans son, carrying the wounded soldier, pulling him to safety during the heat of the battle. The battle in which he had lost his life.
Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, or that of even a decent artist, the painting featured the young mans face and courage during the battle in striking detail.
Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace.
A few hours later, after the soldier had departed, the old man set about his task. True to his word, the painting went above the fireplace. He pushed aside hundreds of thousands of dollars of paintings, and put the picture of his son in their place. And then the man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.
During the days and weeks that followed, the old man realized that even though his son was no longer with him, his boys life would live on because of the lives he had touched. He would sit and watch the scene where his son gave his life in sacrifice to save another.
As time passed, more and more stories came to his attention, as many other soldiers contacted him and told him that his son had rescued them also and carried them to safety when they were wounded. The stories of dozens of wounded soldiers saved by his courage came to light before that fatal moment when a bullet stilled his caring heart. As the stories of his sons gallantry continued to reach him, the old mans fatherly pride and satisfaction began to ease the grief and heartache he had suffered.
The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world pay dearly for and collectors clamored for. He told his friends and neighbors it was the greatest gift he had ever received.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed way. With the collectors passing, and his only son dead, the press released a story that his precious art collection, worth many tens of millions of dollars would be sold at auction. The art world was excited in anticipation. According to the will of the old man, all the art works would be auctioned on Christmas day, the day he had received his greatest gift, the gift of the painting from the once wounded soldier that had been saved by his son. The day soon arrived, and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the worlds most spectacular and expensive paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled this day; greatness would be achieved as many would claim I have the worlds greatest painting, or I have the greatest collection of paintings in the world.
The auction began with a painting titled simply The Son. It was a painting that was not on any museums list, or on the list that any of the buyers had. It was the painting of the old mans son. Those in attendance looked around in bewilderment, what kind of joke is this they wondered. This painting is obviously of no value, it is garbage, they said among themselves. It is of poor quality, very amateur to say the least. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. Who will open the bidding with $100 for this painting? he asked.
Minutes passed. No one spoke. From all around the room of the shouts came, Who cares about that painting, it is not even a decent painting, it is of very poor quality, by an unknown artist, and it has no value whatsoever. It is not worth anything. Its just a picture of his son at war. Lets forget it and go on to the good stuff, no one here is interested in that. More voices echoed in agreement. No, we have to sell this one first, replied the auctioneer. The auction resumed.
Now, who will bid on this picture said the auctioneer? Over and over he repeated the same phrase, Who will bid on this picture?
Finally, sitting on the back row at the far end of the room the gardener of the old man stood up and spoke. Looking first around the room at all the glaring eyes, and then at the auctioneer he said, I am not a rich man, and I do not have much to offer. The father was a friend of mine, and I knew the boy. I would love to have it, if no one else wants it, it would mean so very much to me. But I only have ten dollars, Will you take ten dollars for the painting, Im sorry, thats all I have.
I have ten dollars, will anyone go higher? barked the auctioneer. After more silence, the auctioneer said again, I have ten dollars, will anyone go higher? No one else bid on the painting. Going once, going twice, sold for ten dollars to the gentleman in the back row; please see the cashier said the auctioneer. The gavel fell.
Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures of art.
The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over. Stunned disbelief at first quieted the room. Then from all around the room there was yelling and confusion. They were all saying, What do you mean its over? We didnt come here for a picture of some old guys son. What is going on here? What about all the paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and Rembrandt? There are millions and millions of dollars of art here! We demand that you explain whats going on here!
The auctioneer replied, Its very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes The Son gets it all.
The lesson learned from this story, brings forth a lot of truth for us to consider. Those who came, intended to bid on what they considered to be the finest works of art in the world, but the father knew what was his greatest treasure was, the painting of his valiant and unselfish son. The message that was delivered by the auctioneer that day still rings true today, According to the will of the father, whoever takes The Son gets it all.
But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God. - John 1:12 (KJV)
Whom will you take? Whom will be the center of your Christmas?
It is 10 p.m. Eastern Standard time in North America. In two hours it will be officially Christmas Day in this time zone. Many around the world have already begun and have had the Christmas supper or soon will.
I look back tonight over my life and contemplate what I have done, where I have been, and where I am going.
Just a little while ago as I had these thoughts in mind I returned in my mind to about 30 years ago about mid November or perhaps later when I was in Mexico. Whenever I think of Mexico, I remember a family I met there in Mexico city and spent some time with. In todays world, as in then, they would be considered poor. Augustine and his wife with their few children had very little in the way of possessions with which the world measures wealth.
They lived in what I might think as a cave in a sense. Not that it was a cave, but it was a home carved or built of stone, with a center yard where their neighbors shared the fountain by which everyone in that section got their water. One might think this place like a condominium with two stories with a central yard where everyone's front door opened up to it. Next door it was the same, and next door the same, etc. This is the way of much of Mexico city. This is how people lived. This was their homes. They had little private space to themselves, as many parents slept in a loft above the main room containing the kitchen and sitting area where all eating and entertaining was done.
There was also a public shower and toilet area shared by all the neighbors in each address. Certainly not very sanitary by todays standards of modern living and the wealth of the world.
Augustine would go out every morning to buy the groceries which would consist of fresh vegetables and fruit and perhaps some meat (fish , pork etc) as they could afford. In Mexico much of the main staple is corn flour and they ate lots of what we would call burritos and things of the sort. Most of what they ate was beans, beans and beans. Oh, and fresh fruit juice squeezed at a local vendor from his cart. I often would walk up the street to get a tall glass of freshly squeezed orange juice, from freshly picked oranges. To me this was a treat, because where I live, to get fresh fruit daily is not so possible. The vendor after a time would have a glass ready for me when he saw me coming.
I digress a bit. But what I am saying is this. Though by todays standards or even then, Augustine and his family were very poor. They had nearly no money. Yet, they treated this Caucasian white North American lad like a king. They treated this total stranger like family. I had never known them a month earlier.They insisted I sleep in their own bed. I could not refuse. For to do so in the Mexican culture then, and still is, as far as I am aware is an insult. They fed me very well, and again to refuse food is an insult. I had a hard time one time to eat something, that to me tasted like chocolate covered chicken. I could barely hold it down without puking it up. I tried my best not to show I did not like it and tried my best to hold the food down without sharing it without regurgitating it. I finally said " No embryo." Maybe not the correct spelling, but what I was saying without meaning to insult them was, " I am not hungry." I nearly cried when Augustine's wife made a sign of tears streaming down her face. I guess I had insulted them mildly without meaning to, yet they were so gracious and forgiving that they did their best to console me, to try to comfort me and make a show of accepting me just the same, just as I was, with my shortcomings etc.
Yes, they were poor, they were loving, they were forgiving. They were real down to earth real people who shared what little they had as if they had lots. And they were made and created in the image of God.
Today much of the world looks to and celebrates the miraculous incarnation of Jesus Christ, or Savior, our Lord, or King, our God. He to came to earth and lived in a poor family. He was born as the scripture tell us, in a manger, a barn as we would call it in America. His parents were poor by the standards of the day. They were common folk, with little money and likely little food. They could have had more I suppose if Jesus had opened up His bank account and shared the world that He owned with them at the time. He humbled Himself, so that we, though poor, may become rich.. Not rich by todays standards, but rich in blessings from the Lord. Rich in that one day, we shall share in all the universe all that is His. Rich, in that we whom believe and share a common goal, looking forward to eternity. To a mansion prepared by Him. To a life eternal with Him.
Much of the world is considered poor, by todays standards. Yet much of the world is very rich. For though it seems as though this world has become one with the ruler of the power of the air, Satan has deceived many. Yet, God always preserves a remnant through the ages. Though we are unable to count the many whom God has preserved through the ages, I am sure, because He has already given us the numbers of them, whom God has preserved through the ages. They are counted as the sands of the sea, of a beach. The number is insurmountable to out minds. We cannot count them. But the numbers are great. God always keeps a remnant.
And so today my brothers, I count it a joy to be counted with you among the remnant that God has and is preserving for the end of time, when time will count no more. When years will matter no more, when time will stand still. For then as now with the Lord, a year is as a thousand years, and a thousand years shall be as a day. I look forward to meeting you all face to face one day. What we have done in the past will have been forgotten. What will remain is eternity to spend with you all in the joy and in the presence of the Lord.
We shall share the riches of a God who loves us with such a love that it cannot be measured in all of the earth as we know it today. We shall share an eternity in a new heaven and new earth. We shall share in His riches, with which He desires to share with us. And more important than that. We shall share the joy of life with our God, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. He shall live and walk with His people eternally.
So my friends, no matter how you celebrate Christmas, whether you do, or do not, whether you awake tomorrow, or do not, whether you love, or love not, whether in grief or in joy, whether rich or poor, remember, though you may be poor, you shall be rich. And then, and only then when God calls us up to be with Him, we shall all enjoy Him, and His riches. All your sins shall be washed away. And shall be like I said to my friend Augustine, "My Friend, you are not poor, you are rich."
"Lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28 (KJV)
And A very merry Christmas to one and all
Merry Christmas - II
Just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you all. I am praying that the Lord will bless you all in a special way this Christmas, that you will also feel His presence as if He were right there in front of you, so that you would desire to reach out and touch Him.
I pray that His hand would heal, enlighten, encourage, uplift, and draw you closer to Him and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I pray that you will all have a wonderful Christmas season with family and friends, a Happy New Year with many Blessings.
Look Up and remember that He loves you with an unimaginable deep love, a love that is immeasurable.
And remember even more, the Reason for the Season. We remember the birth Of Jesus Christ, born in a manger, veiled of glory, born to redeem us and draw us to Him unto an everlasting life in glory, and to save us from our sins.
Our time is near when we shall be drawn up to be with Him. Look up and be prepared, our Redemption Draweth Nigh. Luke 21:28 (King James Version)
Your Other Brother From Another Mother
Christmas Sermon (A Response to Robert's Reading André's Sermon on Christmas)
I just read your sermon you spoke this morning. Awesome!!! It is not I who wrote those words, though some may have been written through my hand. I merely passed along a message given to me to share. That is a gift of God, that He gives us a message to share to the world. The word Gospel means just that: "A message from God to share to the world."
It is a joy and an awesome privilege to be used of God to pass along a message that He desires to tell the world. He sent "The Word" that first Christmas day in the form of a baby. The Word grew up as you and me, but was no mere man, but The Son of God. He came to share a message to the world from His heavenly father. Jesus commanded us as He was rising to the father, to likewise share to the world His message of a love, of a heavenly Father Who "gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" John 3:16 (King James Version).
This message you shared with your fellow believers in half a world away from me today is a message about that Son. And my prayers are that if there was but one in the congregation whom did not believe before entering the building this morning, is now one with God, one in the family of God. A new born man forever entrusted into the loving arms of Jesus. If but one believed today, then your message served its purpose from the Father. And still, if all were believers this morning, the message encouraged and lifted up the hearts of many as it did me this morning upon reading it.
The world may crucify us, tear apart our belief in the One Word, the Son of God. But it cannot tear out of us that belief, it cannot tear us away from the one Whom loves us so much and has promised us eternal life.
God Bless and Merry Christmas. Thanks for blieving and sharing The Word.
In days of Old, A Savior was born
To take away the sins of the world,
A babe so small,
His feet and hands, so sweet,
He lay there, in bed of straw
Helpless, yet strong
Set on a mission, to
fulfill the wish of His Father.
Oh how many came,
to seek this one,
prophesied from Isaiah,
Looking for the one foretold.
There He lay,
Born of a virgin,
To be adored, and praised
From Men from afar.
Not only then,
But also from time eternal.
When He will both exalt and arise,
Sinners now dead and alive.
So fret you not
Your troubles and trials now,
For a time will come
When, from Him will come,
A call, "Come you all,"