Monday, December 25, 2017 Evening
Micah 4:1-5, 5:2
The day has arrived, the promises fulfilled. Jesus has been born. God’s Son and our salvation. A physical reminder that God is with us and God desires a relationship with us. It is not just about Jesus’ birth, but about his second coming as well and the culmination of all things. The making of things right in the world.
“The nations will beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
The weapons and study of war will be replaced by more life-sustaining things like providing food and living peacefully with others.
This is all possible because of the baby born in Bethlehem. Chapter five verse two, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from old, from ancient days.”
The name Bethlehem means “house of bread.” From this house of bread, comes the bread of life, Jesus Christ. His body will become broken like the bread to give life and life eternal to all those who will believe.
The day has arrived, peace is at hand, the ways of war will cease, and life everlasting is here! Worship Christ the Newborn King, and hold on to the promises of his return.
Monday, December 25, 2017 Morning
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ[ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her, she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
This is a remarkable journey of grace that God would choose humble faithful people like Joseph and Mary to be the earthly parents of Jesus. It was a great risk and humiliation, but they honored God and their faithfulness led to our salvation.
How will God use your story of faithfulness? Mary and Joseph’s faithfulness brought Christ into the world, and our faithful testimony will continue to carry Christ to the world. God bless you as you carry the name of Christ.
Sunday, December 24, 2017
The coming of Christ into the world was and is truly the greatest of all gifts. Isaiah was speaking words that were largely ignored at the time he shared them. He responded to the call of God and shortly after God told him how the people would continue in this same path for some time.
Isaiah prophesied for God for over forty years and through the reigns of multiple kings. I used to wonder “was he successful?” Is the success of a prophet determined by the prophecies coming true or the influence of them to change the hearts and minds of the hearers? Then I realized through the years, God did ask Isaiah to be successful, but faithful! Wow! This puts the outcome in God’s hands and in God’s time. God’s word goes out and it won’t return void.
Many of Isaiah’s prophecies point beyond his life and are fulfilled in Jesus. Good news about the binding of the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives, year of the Lord’s favor, comfort to all who mourn; and gladness for mourning.
Many people won’t attempt to do something unless they believe they can succeed. Others will start, but if success doesn’t look likely then they will abandon the task. What if the burden of success was removed? We trust God for the outcome. What if we focus on faithfulness rather than success? Jesus would be glorified in us and God will do the impossible. Even a virgin giving birth to the very Son of God!