The Real Meaning Of Christmas
Yet, Christmas can be a season of great joy. It is a time of God showing His great love for us. It can be a time of healing and renewed strength. You see, Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born. His birth brought great joy to the world. Shepherds, wise men, and angels all shared in the excitement of knowing about this great event. They knew this was no ordinary baby. The prophets had told of His coming hundreds of years before. The star stopped over Bethlehem just to mark the way for those who were looking for this special child.
Luke 2: 4-19 says:
"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
This will be a sign to you: You will find a
baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company
of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
Why did He come? Why did God send His son to this sometimes cruel and hard world? He sent Jesus to us so that one day, He would grow up to become a very important part of history. His story (history) is one of truth, love, and hope. It brought salvation to all of us. Without Jesus, we would all die in our sins.
Jesus was born so one day the price could be paid for the things we have done that are wrong. The Bible says that all have sinned. We are all born with a sin nature. We do things that do not please God. Through the sins of Adam and Eve, we have all inherited that sin nature. We need to have that removed. The only way is through Jesus. Jesus came so He could die on the cross for ALL of our sins. If we believe that Jesus died for our sins, we can ask Him to come into our hearts and forgive us. Then, we are clean and made whole. We can know that heaven is a place where we can go to when this life is over.
"But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong." I John 1:9
We can truly be happy at Christmas! No matter what may be happening, we can know that we are His children. We then become sons and daughters of God. Heaven will be our home one day.
Look at Christmas in a new way this year. This is
the year to invite Jesus into your heart. You will then have a "Merry
Christmas." The joy and peace you will receive will last all year as you
look to God for all your needs to be met.
Jesus Is The Reason For The Season! Rejoice
Father's Love (Agape) Letter
The Cry of a Father's Heart from Genesis to Revelation
Satan’s Secret Weapon!
By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
The Devil has many methods and devices which he uses to try to discourage the faith of believers. But out of all of Satan’s strategies, he has a favorite "secret weapon" which has been more effective in destroying Christian lives than anything else in his arsenal. He delights in this wicked device. Each time it succeeds, I can imagine that he gleefully prances about, celebrating the downfall of another poor soul.
Unfortunately for many Christians, Satan’s ultimate weapon still remains a secret. Even though its lethal strike has caused countless numbers of believers to stumble away from God and the the Church, and into the clutches of the Devil, most never actually recognized what the weapon was.
By now I’m sure that you’re very curious and wonder why the Bible didn’t warn us about this weapon. However, it does warn us. As a matter of fact, Jesus taught about it repeatedly. He certainly knew its danger and made it a priority to instruct his followers of how to protect themselves against it. The Apostle Paul also exposed the weapon, teaching believers how to be protected from it, and made it clear that no one should be ignorant of its dangers. He said, "A further reason for forgiveness is to keep from being outsmarted by Satan; for we know what he is trying to do" (2 Cor. 2:11 The Living Bible). Satan’s secret weapon is "unforgiveness and an absence of love!" Satan knows that if he can deceive us into harboring anger, bitterness, or grudges toward our fellow Christians, he can actually cause us to fall from the grace of God. The scripture says, "looking diligently lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled" (Heb. 12:15).
According to the Bible, it brings grief to the Holy Spirit if we will not forgive and love one another. The Apostle Paul said, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ also forgave you" (Ephesians 4:30-32).
Is it really possible to lose one’s salvation by merely holding a grudge against someone? Jesus left no room for doubt on the subject. He clearly stated that we cannot have God’s forgiveness if we choose to withhold forgiveness toward others. "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses" (Matt 6:14-15).
It’s no wonder why Satan works so hard to stir up turmoil, and tries to keep us from forgiving and loving each other. If he can deceive us into harboring bitterness, he knows that we will exempt ourselves from God’s forgiveness of our sins, and will ultimately go to the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15). The consequences of unforgiveness is reiterated in many scriptures: Matt. 18:21-35, Mark 11:25-26, Matt. 6:12, Luke 6:37, Luke 11:4.
The scriptures make it very clear that the person who withholds forgiveness in not right with God. Their prayers go unanswered, they lack the Lord’s joy and peace. They will usually mainfest a critical and judgmental attitude, along with a dissatisfaction with with the people and circumstances around them. They may blame their unhappiness on a variety of other things, but the problem lies within themselves -- they’re simply out of fellowship with the Lord.
Friends, it’s time to wise up and become aware of Satan’s most effective weapon! Many believers still seem to be ignorant of these tactics of the enemy. They coddle offenses and grudges as though they were "pets" to be fed and watered. There is probably nothing else that has been more devastating to the body of Christ than unforgiveness. It has split Churches, destroyed families, and ruined lives forever! No wonder Christ spent so much time on the subject.
Jesus taught that loving God and loving one another were the highest ideals of His followers (Luke 10:27). Love and forgiveness is the most basic standard of Christianity -- it is the mark of followers of Christ -- the highest display of spiritual maturity! Love is the evidence necessary to convict you as a true follower of Jesus Christ. "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13:35).
Therefore, Satan’s secret weapon is not really so secret after all! Every Christian can be totally protected and immune from its effect by merely obeying this simple scripture:
"Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God, and that they are getting to know Him better. But if a person isn’t loving and kind, it shows that he doesn’t know God - for God is love" (1 John 4:7-8 The Living Bible).
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Today's Bible Verse
Luk 2:10 And the angel said to them, "Stop being afraid! For listen! I bring to you* the Gospel of great joy, which will be to all people.
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