Christmas Time

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.  And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  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.  And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  Luke 2:7-11

As the Thanksgiving and Christmas season begin, I’d like for us to take a fresh look at what Christmas is really all about.

For millions of people all over the world it is the most exciting time of the year, especially for children. It is also a beautiful time with the greens, reds and other bright lights of various colors shining in the streets, stores and homes. There will be Christmas carols and other Christmas songs that we all have come to enjoy hearing as we celebrate the birth of our wonderful Savior.  

Then there’s all the good food and fun that will be readily available to everyone. Some of the most delicious cakes, pies, candies, and fruits that anyone could ever imagine will be at our fingertips just because it’s Christmas. I’m already hungry for some.

It is also a very busy time with many things to do and places to go. In the middle of these busy times there seems to be a certain amount of joy in the air because after all, we do have a Savior who loves us and has given us a meaning to life.  

But there is something we all must guard against, and that is forgetting the real meaning of Christmas. We should be mindful to keep our priorities in order.  Remember, Satan can easily trap and enslave us because he knows just how, and when to strike to achieve his ultimate goals.  

This Christmas many people will go in debt just to give gifts to their family and friends. Quite often this leaves them struggling for months just to pay for the things they’ve purchased. Churches will celebrate Homecoming, and the Fall season, and some will put on cantatas and Christmas programs for their people

to participate in or enjoy. Yes, everyone loves to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

With all the world’s beautiful “trappings” for Christmas it is hard to remember why we even have such a day. But my friends, let me remind you that it was because of God’s love for man that He sent a REMEDY for sin, born of the Virgin Mary in Bethlehem long ago, just to be a SAVIOR for our soul. Praise the Lord, what a good God we have!

But who will be thinking about the savior during these busy days? Sadly, most will not be. We all need to sincerely ask ourselves these questions:

1. Why did God send His Son into the World?
Answer: Man was a sinner and He needed a savior.
2. What did Jesus accomplish by dying?
Answer: Because of Jesus, man can have fellowship with God.
3. What is so unique about man that an almighty, sovereign God would want to dwell with pitiful, sinful, creatures such as us?
Answer: Throughout the bible we have seen that God loved to dwell with man.  How God could love man this much is beyond my comprehension.   

We’ve seen how God has loved to fellowship with man from the beginning, in the days of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament and again in the Temple of the Jews.  When God created Adam, we see Him walking with him & Eve in the cool of the day.

Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Folks, God made man in His own image, a creature He longed to have fellowship with.  We need to realize this!
The Bible says;

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.  John 1:1, 14. The Word that was made flesh was a person by the name of Jesus. The Old Testament Prophet Isaiah told us the mother of this child would be a virgin;  Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

In the New Testament in the gospel of Luke the physician wrote;

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,  To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.  And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.  And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.  Luke 1:26-31

Why was it necessary for Jesus to be born of a virgin? Because God was sending His Son to be the savior of the world and it would require a perfect, sinless man to be the sacrifice that would be acceptable to Holy God.  Man had sinned and the wages of sin is death! The Son of God was coming to die so man might have forgiveness of his sin and live with God one day.

The Prophet Isaiah also said; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.  Isaiah 7:14 The word Immanuel means “God with us.”   

In the gospel of Matthew, he also wrote;

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:23

So, both the Old and the New Testament tell us Jesus would be born of a virgin and He would be God taking on human flesh.  The writer of Hebrews wrote;

For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.  Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: Hebrews 10:4-5

Some years later the Apostle Peter wrote concerning Jesus;

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.  1 Peter 2:24

So, these are only some of the reasons why we celebrate Christmas. Unfortunately, these reasons are not why many celebrate this magnificent day. Even so my friends, God still sent us a Savior to suffer and die to pay for our sins that separate us from Him.   God wants us to be reconciled to Him so by the death burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, God can accept anyone who will believe in Jesus. Believe in who He is and what He did upon the cross when He laid down His life for us.

But there is even more we should know about what God told the Prophet Isaiah over seven hundred years even before Jesus was born;

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.  Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.  Isaiah 9:6-7

Notice who Isaiah said Jesus would be;
His name would be called Wonderful:  There has never been anyone more wonderful that our dear Savior.  
Counselor:  He would give wise advice.  
The Mighty God:  When He walked among men, he performed miracles of healing, controlling nature and even raising the dead.
The Everlasting Father:  Jesus once told Phillip in John 14:9;  Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
The Prince of Peace:  Only Jesus can bring peace to a troubled heart.  There is no peace like the peace that passes all understanding.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7-9

John 14:27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Isaiah said that this child born to the Jewish people would have a government to rest upon his shoulders.  That His government would increase, and He would sit upon the throne of David and He would rule with justice forever. My dear friends, this time is truly very near.

Today, we wait for Jesus to return to receive all those who have believed in Him. Until then, we will celebrate His birth at Christmas even as many seek to deny Him and change “Merry Christmas” to “Happy Holiday Season.”

Heavenly Father, what a gift to begin Christmas with, the birthday of your only Son, the Savior of our world. Oh, what great love God has for all of us.  We pray that many will enjoy the blessing of Jesus this Christmas. Amen.  “Loving the Savior,” Preacher

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