HOPE …. Romans 15:13 … December 18, 2016 MOVING FORWARD ….Philippians 3:13 … January 1, 2017

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JESUS …. Matthew 1:21 … December 25, 2016

    She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.  Matthew 1: 21 ESV
 
     Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year! At lest that is what I heard expressed in a song on the radio. I tend to agree with the song, but there are some who would beg to differ. For me, I enjoy the season and the gathering of family and friends. I enjoy hearing and saying, “Merry Christmas” to and from those I meet. It seems to be a time when people are a bit more merciful to one another. A time when it feels a bit more peaceful. Not all would agree with my description or feelings. They miss loved ones who are absent for one reason or another. They do not desire to share nor feel the sentiment of Merry Christmas. Perhaps they would even agree with Mr. Scrooge when he says, “Baugh.. Humbug.” People do not seem more merciful to them and it defiantly isn’t peaceful for them. I suppose it depends in how you want to view things, for I believe life is a choice. It does seem to be easier and sweeter for some, or is it that they just choose for it to be so. I know for me; I could feel some of the second person described, for I have experienced some of the narratives as described, but I choose JOY. Some days are easier than others in making this choice but never the less, I choose JOY. Why? Because there is another song I have heard and it says, “Joy to the world the Lord has come.” I believe He, the Lord, is the reason for the season and this reason reminds us who He is.
 
HE IS THE SON: The Son of God coming and given to the world because of love. For to us a child is born, a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder. Isaiah 9:6a ESV  Not just any son but God made flesh in His Son. And the word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1: 14 ESV …. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son. John 3:16a ESV
 
HE IS JESUS: The sweetest name I know, and I know it is to many. By Jesus, The blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. Matthew 11:5 ESV  You might be temped to say “I’ve never seen nor experienced this.” Really? If you are a Christian, you have been given spiritual eyes to see, the ability to walk in the Lord, able to hear spiritual truth, and have been made alive in Christ. I know you have heard the gospel of the good news preached.
 
HE IS THE SAVIOR: For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 ESV  If you know you have a home in heaven, it is only because Jesus paid the debt of your sins. It was necessary for Jesus to be born in order for us to receive eternal life by Him. If there was any other way, then His birth, death, and resurrection was all for nothing. By faith we believe and receive the precious gift of eternal life. The greatest gift of Christmas to us was Jesus, God’s only Son….born to die that we might live.
 
     As you reflect on this day, do not let the past rob you of the JOY of the present and future. Make the choice to live in JOY for it may be the only light enabling some to see in a dark world. A light that will be as the star that lead the wise men to him. May the light of Christ burn so brightly in you that others see the truth of the miraculous birth of Jesus.
 
Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

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