Jesus!


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It’s Christmas-time once more. The season for frantic shopping; planning and entertaining and spending far too much.

What’s the point of it all? The true reason for the season is to honor the Christ-child, Jesus. To remember why He was born and be thankful.

All who believe in and follow Him, have been changed forever by His birth. Saved from worldly values to live according to the Word of God (the Bible).

Matthew 1:21 says it so well. An angel of the Lord spoke to Joseph to reassure him and to tell him what was about to happen. It was an event that changed his and Mary’s life forever. ‘And she (Mary) will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.’ This was the birth of Christ. The first Christmas to those who looked for and adored Him. No jangling cash registers or crowds of shoppers; but a quiet event, on a cold night, that brought a sigh of relief to many. Peace. Comfort. Reassurance.

May Peace, Love and Comfort be yours, now and forevermore.

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Patricia

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The Best Christmas Gift


HAPPY CHRISTMAS!

Ah! Christmas-time is here again. Time for hurried shopping trips. Time for shopping excesses. Time to buy gifts for those we love. Decision after decision!

What can I give my spouse?

What to give the children!

What to give friends and family!

Will it be a new guitar? The latest electronic gadget on which to view, text and listen? Perhaps the latest video game?

It is so easy get ‘caught up’ in the buying frenzy expected of us by retailers.

The very best gift you can give is the story of Jesus! Christmas after all, is the celebration of His birth.

He was born to bring us the gifts of peace, contentment and joy! He wanted and still wants us, to share his unconditional love with others. What greater gift is there?

Gift-giving is a beautiful way of sharing and showing our love with those nearest and dearest to us, but let’s not forget the true meaning of Christmas.

Let us remember to say, “Happy Birthday, Jesus”!

Let us invite and welcome Him into our hearts, minds and spirits.

Let us remember to thank His Father, God for all that He provides for us day by day.

Let us keep Jesus in our hearts all year long, and each successive year of our lives.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, when the worldly interpretation of Christmas overwhelms us, help us to not forget You, and Your gift of Jesus to us. May we focus on what is important and beneficial to us and may we grow in faith and love. Amen

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The Dawning


Matthew 1:18-20a,24– This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife.” When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. (NIV)It had been a long day. It commenced at 3:30 a.m. when I was called into the jail and was just ending now at 5:30 p.m. Ending was not exactly the right word, however, as my daughter had taken over at the detention centre as I left, which meant that I still had all the evening barnyard and house chores to do on my own.

I had finished feeding the dogs, collecting, washing, and depositing the eggs in the fridge, and forking hay to livestock. Now I was standing in the dusky, drizzling wet. Weary and worn, feeling every one of my sixty-two-plus years, and very much alone, I was waiting for the water trough to top up, when something unexpected occurred. A warm, soft head nudged under my hand as brown eyes looked up into mine. Denby, my collie, sensing my discouragement and frustration, had come alongside to offer his support. With this loving gesture also came the dawning of renewed truth. Just as Denby stood so faithfully beside me, so did God’s ever-present Spirit. I was not alone. God understood my situation and would continue to supply all I needed to accomplish the tasks at hand, just as He always had in the past. With this dawning, the warmth and invigorating power of His inner peace quickly routed all feelings of frustration and weariness of heart.

Many years ago, the earthly father of Jesus must also have felt deeply discouraged, frustrated, weary, and very much alone, as he wondered what to do when he discovered that his beloved Mary was pregnant with another’s child. God’s reminder to him that he was not alone came through the guise of a dream. As Joseph slept, God’s presence came alongside, revealing the right pathway for him to follow and filling his heart with invigorating power and peace to obey.

Emmanuel, God with us, was the child whom Joseph was called to care for as his own. Jesus Christ, God incarnate, had come to earth that man might never again be alone, separated from God.

This Christmas season, some of us may be in the midst of feeling discouraged, weary, frustrated, and very much alone, but this need not be so. Emmanuel — God with us — is right where we are, whatever we may be doing, however we may be feeling. Within this precious truth lies the dawning of invigorating power and everlasting peace within, if only we will reach out in faith and embrace Him — Emmanuel, God with us.

Prayer:Father God, thank You that through Your Holy Spirit, the living Christ is always near, ready and waiting to bestow His power and the peace that passes understanding upon us, for the asking. Grant us faith to ask now. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of:  Lynne Phipps, Atlin, British Columbia, Canada

Christians And Christmas


I live in a diversified, multi-cultural area to the northwest of the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. This area I now call home was only a small town sixty years ago. Now it has multiplied into the thousands. And yes, things are changing — in the home, in the workplace, in retail business, and in our churches. Worship styles are changing from traditional to contemporary. Christians have to think of new ways to get the unchanging, true Word of God out in the open for those who do not know what it is to be a Christian. What better time than Christmas to do that?

Take for example the Santa Claus parade we just had in Brampton. It was watched by many, including a mixed group of many cultures from distant lands. It was held on a Saturday evening when the main street was sealed off to all traffic, except for the floats that were all lit up in different colours.

I watched with a certain bit of pride as our church here in Brampton took part, using a float loaded with parcels all wrapped up in anticipation of the greatest gift we can give. The nametags posted on the float declared the birth of Christ.

After the parade, I began thinking how, in our churches, we need to market what we believe in and keep Satan from slipping in through the cracks of the foundation upon which we built Christ’s church!

1 Corinthians 8:6– Yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live. (NIV)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we come to You this day as we approach the celebration of the birth of Christ, our Saviour and our Lord. May we never give up what You have given so generously to us who believe. Help us in spreading the good news as we have been commanded. In Jesus’ precious name, we pray. Amen.

By Kind Permission of the Author:  Anne Russell, Brampton, Ontario

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