Merry Christmas, The King Is Born


His Birth and Our New Birth


His Birth in History. “…that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God (Luke 1:35). Jesus Christ was born into this world, not from it. He did not emerge out of history; He came into history from the outside. Jesus Christ is not the best human being the human race can boast of— He is a Being for whom the human race can take no credit at all. He is not man becoming God, but God Incarnate— God coming into human flesh from outside it. His life is the highest and the holiest entering through the most humble of doors. Our Lord’s birth was an advent— the appearance of God in human form.

His Birth in Me. “My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you…” (Galatians 4:19). Just as our Lord came into human history from outside it, He must also come into me from outside. Have I allowed my personal human life to become a “Bethlehem” for the Son of God? I cannot enter the realm of the kingdom of God unless I am born again from above by a birth totally unlike physical birth. “You must be born again” (John 3:7). This is not a command, but a fact based on the authority of God. The evidence of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that “Christ is formed” in me. And once “Christ is formed” in me, His nature immediately begins to work through me.

God Evident in the Flesh. This is what is made so profoundly possible for you and for me through the redemption of man by Jesus Christ.


The Smells Of The Stable

From: Our Daily Bread

A stable? What a place to give birth to the Messiah! The smells and sounds of a barnyard were our Savior’s first human experience. Like other babies, He may even have cried at the sounds of the animals and the strangers parading around His temporary crib.

If so, they would have been the first of many tears. Jesus would come to know human loss and sorrow, the doubts his brothers and family had about Him, and the pain His mother experienced as she saw Him tortured and killed.

All these hardships—and so much more—awaited the baby trying to sleep that first night. Yet from His very first moments, Jesus was “God with us” (Matt. 1:23), and He knew what it meant to be human. This would continue for over three decades, ending at His death on the cross.

Because of His love for you and me, Jesus became fully human. And being human allows Him to identify with us. Never again can we say that no one understands us. Jesus does.

May the Light that entered the world that night cast its brilliance into the deepest corners of our souls this Christmas, giving us the peace on Earth of which the angels spoke so long ago.

Father, help our hearts to know the
love of Christ and to honor Him
with our unyielding devotion in
this and every season. We love You.
Jesus understands.


The role of shepherd is one of the oldest occupations named in the Bible (Gen. 4:2). Shepherds were deemed irreligious and irreverent, because in taking their flock into the wilderness to find pasture, they could not perform their religious duties at the temple. And being in contact with animals (and dead sheep), they were considered “unclean.” That God would announce the birth of the Savior of the world to a group of shepherds is consistent with Jesus’ mission to save the poor and exalt the lowly (Luke 1:51-53; 4:18). It is interesting that Jesus is both the Lamb of God (John 1:29) and the Good Shepherd (10:11).


The Greatest Gift of All

This post is not what it appears on the surface…Please keep reading…

By now most of my friends and family know that we did not send out our annual Christmas letter…and only a very few cards to some who don’t have email or do Facebook.  And many of you also know that I had a hard time getting myself into the proper spirit for Christmas shopping, etc.  (click on the blue words for a link to these posts).
But if you have been following along the past week or so, you also will know that God came through, and He met me in my deepest place of sorrow, and gave me the strength and courage to choose JOY!

I am happy to report that after two long, grueling days of shopping and gift wrapping…I am feeling much better prepared to face this week and truly enjoy Christmas!  Thank you all for your prayers and words of support and comfort. You have blessed me with your love and wisdom, and I thank God for you.

Today has been a wonderful day of Sabbath Rest.  We had our

morning worship service here in our home, and the lesson today was taken from Matthew 13:45-46, which says:

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls,
who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”
Not exactly an Advent or Christmas message for this fourth Sunday of Advent, the Sunday before Christmas.  At least not at first glance.  But as the message unfolded, we were asked to imagine ourselves as a person who had been captured and held prisoner, chained to others and forced to walk many days in the hot desert, back in the days of the Roman Government, which was in power at the time of Jesus’ birth. Instead of food we were given very little water and a detestable watered down broth of some kind, just barely enough to keep us alive. As our horrendous journey continued, we were not permitted to speak or cry, and if one did, he would be severely punished by many lashes of the whip.
After many days we finally arrived in a city, where the slave auction was held. One by one we watched our traveling companions be auctioned off to the highest bidder, to be purchased as a slave to cruel taskmasters who would make the previous journey seem like a vacation.
Suddenly it was my turn on the auction block. I was forced to stand before the bidders, my clothes were tattered and torn and filthy. I had not eaten or bathed in many days. My hair was matted and dirty, my body was bleeding from the many lashes I had endured. Weak, weary, and fearful, I tried to stay conscious as the bargaining and bidding began for my life. As I struggled to stand, listening to the jeers and jests of those around me shouting all manner of ugly and disgusting insults regarding my appearance, there was One bidder who stepped forward, and with a commanding voice He spoke His bid loud and clear above all the others.  The amount that He shouted out caused all the other slave traders to stop and turn around and look.  They began to question among themselves, “Who can this be? Why would He wantthis worthless prisoner…the one who looks completely beaten and defeated…the one who probably couldn’t do a day’s work no matter how hard she’s whipped?  And what is that He said? He’s giving all that He has to purchase this piece of human refuse! Who IS He?
And who can this person be who has such value in His eyes?”
Finally I heard the auctioneer shout, “Sold to the Highest Bidder! Take her away!”  I was expecting to be yanked up and rudely jerked off of the block and dragged along by my chains.  But instead, my Purchaser was kneeling before me, tenderly washing my wounds, removing the chains from my ankles and wrists, holding a cup of water to my lips, lifting me up and carrying me away in His arms. As He lifted me high above my previous tormentors, He gently whispered my name and called me His beloved child. I thought I must have died and gone to heaven, but He said, “You are my precious child…my chosen one…my “Pearl of Great Price!” 

I did not quite understand then what He meant by that…but when the day came that I saw this One hanging on a cross, crucified and dying, I understood.  You see, He did give all that He had for me…He gave His life, so that I might live.  And before He died He told me all that I would need to know so that I could one day join Him.  He said,

“Let not your heart be troubled; 
you believe in God,
believe also in Me.
In My Father’s house are many mansions,
if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you to Myself,
that where I am, there you may be also.
And where I go you know,
and the way you know…
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through Me.”
John 14: 1-6 

You may be asking yourself, “What does this story have to do with Christmas?”  Well, my friend, it has EVERYTHING to do with Christmas!

Why did Jesus come to earth in the first place?

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, 
but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:45
And again:

This sign hangs in my living room…a very old heirloom from my husband’s grandparents’ home.  A powerful message there to remind us every single day that we were bought at a great price…the very life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  He gave His life a ransom for us all…(see I Timothy 2:5-6)

This Christmas song tells it clearly: (click below for the song)

Bill & Gloria Gaither,  copyright 1963
“From God’s heaven to a manger,
From great riches to the poor,
Came the Son of God, a little Child;
From the azure halls of heaven
To a lowly manger stall,
Jesus came, and here He gave His life for all.
From a loving heavenly Father
To a world that knew Him not,
Came a man of sorrows, 
Jesus Christ, the Lord;
In my wandering Jesus found me,
Touched my life with His great love,
And this Babe has grown to be my sovereign Lord.
Redeeming Love,
a love that knows no limit;
Redeeming love,
a love that never dies;
My soul shall sing 
throughout the endless ages
The adoration of this great love on high!”

My friend, I am that precious pearl…and so are YOU.  This same Jesus left the “azure halls of heaven…to a lowly manger stall…Jesus came, and here He gave His life for ALL!” …and that includes YOU! YOU ARE ALSO THAT PRECIOUS PEARL!  JESUS CHRIST HAS PAID YOUR RANSOM WITH HIS LIFE.  Won’t you accept this greatest gift of all this Christmas?  The gift of your redemption from sin and sorrow…from the slavery of this old world…freely given for you, so that you might live! Yes, that IS THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

From:  Through The Bible

December 25

Ezekiel 37:3-5 (NIV) 3He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “O Sovereign LORD, you alone know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD! 5This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.

Ezekiel was prophesying to the people of Israel who did not have the life of God in them. They went into captivity a depraved people that were a horrible example of people in covenant with the one true God. What is needed to change our testimony from a bad example to one that honors the name we bear? What can bring life to our lifeless existence? Only the Spirit of God can make the difference.

The Word of God must be heard. “Breath” is the same in Hebrew as “wind” or “spirit”. The Spirit of God must be breathed into us. Do you remember that it was the breath of God that brought life to Adam (Genesis 2:7)? And do you remember that Jesus breathed upon His disciples and told them to receive the Spirit (John 20:22)?

In this passage God is dealing with His people Israel. It is by His command that the breath of God brings life. In the New Testament we are told that the Father longs to give the Holy Spirit to those who will but ask (Luke 11:13). If you recognize your spiritual life is lifeless, that it needs a power beyond yourself, if you need to be restored from scattered bones to a living breathing being, ask the Father. He longs to give good things to His children when they just ask.

Consider: Will you receive the breath of God today!


December 25

Revelation 3:15-16, 20 (NIV) 15I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

20Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Jesus dictated the last letter to the church of Laodicea. Though these were actual churches in Asia Minor, some believe that these represent different periods of church history, Laodicea being the last and one that we are currently in.

The indictment against them was that they were content in their physical abundance. They were not on fire with desire to love and serve God, neither were they anti-God. They were just disinterested. The opposite of love is not hate; it is apathy. They thought they had this world’s goods and the promise of heaven too.

Jesus told them that they did not realize that they were really naked and blind and poor. Contentment in this world had numbed them to their true spiritual condition.

Jesus gave them the solution. Come to Him and receive true wealth, righteous clothing, and eye medicine so they could see. He asks them to answer the door. Today He’s knocking but we are too busy with the things of the world. If we will just get up and let Him in, everything would change. Maybe we are too comfortable to get up. His words may disturb us too much. We may see our true condition and realize there must be a change, so we leave Him outside. He longs to sit and eat with us in sweet fellowship, and heal us of our lukewarm spirit. Let Him in right now; take the time to dine with Him and hear what He has to say to you.

Consider: He’s knocking. How will you respond?

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