Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Bethelem

December 18, 2019

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus was foretold by Micah 700 years before Christ’s birth. Micah named the exact town and Matthew records the event. Bethlehem is still standing today and both Biblically and historically is proven to be the actual place where Jesus was born.

The journey to Bethlehem took Mary and Joseph about 4 days. It was not an easy journey for a woman about to give birth. Tradition says she rode on a donkey but that is not in the Bible account. She may have had to walk that distance.

Today take a few minutes from your busy Christmas preparation and think about the obedience of Joseph and Mary. They were willing to sacrifice time, ridicule, and hardship to bring JESUS into the world.

Two humans that made a difference to everyone from that time for all eternity.

Luke 2:4 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:)

Micah 5:2 But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.

Ceases Augustus, Prophecy Fulfilled

December 17, 2019

All those even vaguely familiar with Luke’s Christmas account have heard of Caesar Augustus and his famous decree. It was this decree that sent Mary in the ninth month of her pregnancy 80 miles south to Bethlehem, along with husband Joseph. Caesar Augustus reigned as emperor of the Roman empire from 27 B.C. to 14 A.D. 41 years in all. His decree had two purposes, for an accurate census and to determine taxation.

Caesar Augustus’s reign was marked by peace and security. Augustus was very interested in the number of citizens in his empire; he was especially interested in whether that number was growing.

Augustus was so concerned about the declining marriage and birth rate in his empire, that he passed legislation that made promiscuity a crime, which penalized bachelors in their right to inherit, and which bestowed political advantages on fathers of three or more children. Because of his demonstrated concern about marriage and birth rate in his empire, it is likely that one of the reasons that Augustus authorized the censuses was to see whether his legislation was working, or, at the very least, to see if the birth rates increased. Each Citizen had to return to the place of their birth fulfilling God’s prophecy that The Messiah would be born in Bethlehem.

Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.

Mary, Mother of Jesus

December 16, 2019

Mary, a young virgin, was engaged to Joseph. God chose her to be the mother of the Lord Jesus. When Gabriel came to her she was frightened at first, listened to his message and then was humble and honored. In those days being pregnant without marriage was a great disgrace but Mary was willing to obey.When the angel told her of Elisabeth’s pregnancy, Mary, went to stay with her. Elisabeth confirmed what the angel had told her because the baby leaped in her womb.

If you have not read and thought about the people in the unfolding Christmas story it would be good to read it again. We learn much about obedience and love of God as we realize that every person was human and had the same emotions, fears, joys and problems we do. Mary is a great example to us and she surely was blessed among women.

Luke 1:30-31 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary:for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

Have a Blessed Sunday

December 15, 2019

Gabriel, Angel from Heaven

December 14, 2019

Only two angels are mentioned by name in the New Testament. Gabriel and Michael. Gabriel was an archangel who was a messenger sent by God to deliver news to Zacariah and then later to Mary. Gabriel is also mentioned in the book of Daniel in the Old Testament. Angels had an important role in the birth of the Lord Jesus. Their presence brought fear into the hearts of the people they appeared to according to scripture.

We tend to forget that people like Zacariah, Mary and Joseph were just ordinary people that God used in extraordinary circumstances. If Gabriel appeared to us today we too would be afraid. As Christians we can look forward to the time when we will see angels in Heaven. What a wonderful future we have and there will be no fear, only wonder and beauty as we behold Heaven and meet Jesus face to face.

Luke 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

Luke 1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

(It has been a blessing to see the symbols of Christmas and we look now to the people that the Bible recorded about the birth of Jesus)

Gifts

December 13, 2019

The next 11 days for a lot of people will be the busiest time of year preparing for that perfect Christmas gift. Shopping in crowded stores, looking at catalogs, shopping on line.

The best gift you can give anyone is telling them about Jesus. For your unsaved friend, coworker or relative their best gift would be receiving Jesus as their Savior.

For your Christian loved ones a time of fellowship, a phone call or a message. Your time is more precious than any gift you could possibly buy.

Enjoy the Christmas season but don’t forget the best gift ever given…..Jesus.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that HE gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life

Stockings at Christmas

December 12, 2019

If you think about it, it’s a bit strange for someone to put goodies in an old sock. But like many Christmas traditions, the tradition of Christmas stockings comes from an old legend. A long time ago (so the story goes), a poor man had three daughters and couldn’t afford to give them a dowry (money or goods given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family). In those days, it was very hard for a woman to get married without a dowry. A Christian bishop named Nicholas heard about the problem and wanted to help, but the man refused to accept money. One night, Nicholas threw three balls made of pure gold in through the open window of the man’s house. Each one landed in a stocking hung by the fire to dry. The next morning, each daughter found a gold ball in her stocking. With this bounty, they were all able to get married. Stockings can remind us of the importance of service. The greatest example of service is Jesus Christ. He always “went about doing good” (Acts 10:38). Take some time to think about the Savior’s selfless acts of service. How can you give Christlike service and show kindness to others?

Galatians 6:10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Christmas Tree

December 11, 2019

It wasn’t until about the nineteenth century that we find Christianity absorbing the bright, cheery symbolism of the Christmas tree.  The Christians had long held the fir as a symbol of the Tree of Life.  Early Christians knew their symbolism well, as they added candles and apples to their Christmas firs.  These candles represented the light of Christ.  The apples symbolized knowledge which spawned man’s original sin according to Christian belief.  Here we see the light of Christ absolving the “fall of man” within the immortal symbol of the Christmas tree.

Revelation 22:14 Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.

The Christmas Star

December 10, 2019

It’s hard to go anywhere during Christmas without seeing stars hanging from street lamps or sitting on top of Christmas trees. The star is one of the most recognizable symbols of the holiday. It represents the star that appeared in the sky when Jesus Christ was born. The star led the Wise Men to Jesus and reminds us to follow the light of the Savior just as the Wise Men followed the light of the star to find Him.

Matthew 2:1&2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

Christmas Bells

December 9, 2019

For centuries, bells have been rung to announce the arrival of the Christmas season. They symbolize the announcement of the birth of Jesus when angels in heaven praised God and declared, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14