What does the meaning of Christmas reveal to you? Does your perception of Christmas resemble the love that God has for His creation by sending us a worthy and chosen Savior who came to the earth 2,000 years ago, born of a virgin birth by God’s Holy Spirit, Immanuel (God in the Flesh) to carry out the will of God the Father in order that we may be saved from eternal destruction? Or does your perception of Christmas involve decorating the home with many nick nacks of Santa Claus, elves, reign deer, lighted trees, north pole, tacky Holiday stuff/Holiday music (without Christ), etc.? Does your perception include tricking your kids into believing that if they are good all year long Santa will deliver them gifts under the tree in the middle of the night?
The enemy of this world (Satan and his helpers) has tricked many into believing the latter perception of Christmas in order to diminish the true meaning of Christmas by eliminating Jesus from the Christmas celebration tradition. Santa gets more praise and recognition then the God and Savior of this world and universe! This season has become a trillion dollar plus industry each year of getting together for parties with families and friends to exchange gifts with each other in the name of Christmas, where Jesus is NOT included. Massive companies mount enormous profits by promoting their new toys, products, and widgets during black Friday sales events all in the name of commercialized Christmas greed. Parents of spoiled children selfishly compete with other parents to get their kids the best, latest, and greatest presents under the tree while department stores offer limited inventories. Christmas has transformed into a selfish season of giving only after you have first received in equal value. Pride and self-centeredness have caused many people every year to purchase expensive gifts for themselves in the name of Christmas greed as their new celebrated tradition instead of giving to others in need that are less fortunate. The world no longer mentions the word Christmas. Christmas has been replaced with Happy Holiday or Xmas, thereby eliminating Christ out of Christmas. Oh how we have lost our way from the true meaning of Christmas?
The first Christmas celebration originated over 2,000 years ago when Jesus was born on earth in a manger as stated in God’s word. Because of God’s unfailing and unimaginable love, He sent us His Son as our Savior. This is why Christmas is to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the virgin birth of our risen Lord and Savior, who came to earth as God in the flesh to offer us, a sinful world, true salvation. This festivity is to honor the birth of Jesus (His earthly birthdate) with thanksgiving and praise! God’s word foretold of this first Christmas event approximately 700 years before it happened (~700 BC) through the prophet Isaiah as revealed in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.” He continues explaining this in Isaiah 9:6-7, “For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. There shall be no end to the increase of His government and of peace, He shall rule on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness from that time forward and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will accomplish this.”
The angel of the Lord, Gabriel, appeared to the virgin Mary disclosing how the Lord was with her and how she would be blessed among all women by conceiving the Messiah as detailed in Luke 1:26-38, “Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her, ‘Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!’ But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.’ Then Mary said to the angel, ‘How can this be, since I do not know a man?’ And the angel answered and said to her, ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.’ Then Mary said, ‘Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.’ And the angel departed from her.”
As heaven celebrated the birth of Jesus, all the earth must do likewise as we read in Luke 2:8-20, “Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’ So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
The wise men from the east came to honor and worship Jesus with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh as stated in Matthew 2:1-12, “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king (Herod the Great), magi (wise men) from the east came to Jerusalem, asking, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the east and have come to worship Him.’ When Herod the king heard this, he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. So he called together all the chief priests and scribes of the people and anxiously asked them where the Christ the Messiah, the Anointed was to be born. They replied to him, ‘In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what has been written by the prophet Micah: ‘AND YOU, BETHLEHEM, IN THE LAND OF JUDAH, ARE NOT IN ANY WAY LEAST AMONG THE LEADERS OF JUDAH; FOR FROM YOU SHALL COME A RULER WHO WILL SHEPHERD MY PEOPLE ISRAEL.’ Then Herod secretly sent for the magi and learned from them the exact time the star had first appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, ‘Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.’ After hearing the king, they went their way; and behold, the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them continually leading the way until it came and stood over the place where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And after entering the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then, after opening their treasure chests, they presented to Him gifts fit for a king, gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to go back to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way.”
Jesus was with God in the beginning and has always existed with God as our creator as revealed in John 1:5, “In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself. He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God. All things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him not even one thing was made that has come into being. In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it].” Jesus chose to carry out the Father’s will with total submission and obedience by becoming the true light of the world as disclosed in John 1:9-13, “There it was—the true Light [the genuine, perfect, steadfast Light] which, coming into the world, enlightens everyone. He (Christ) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own [that which belonged to Him—His world, His creation, His possession], and those who were His own [people—the Jewish nation] did not receive and welcome Him. But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the right [the authority, the privilege] to become children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name— who were born, not of blood [natural conception], nor of the will of the flesh [physical impulse], nor of the will of man [that of a natural father], but of God [that is, a divine and supernatural birth—they are born of God—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified].”
God has given Him the name above every name where one day every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord as detailed in Philippians 2:6-11, “who, although He existed in the form and unchanging essence of God [as One with Him, possessing the fullness of all the divine attributes—the entire nature of deity], did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped or asserted [as if He did not already possess it, or was afraid of losing it]; but emptied Himself [without renouncing or diminishing His deity, but only temporarily giving up the outward expression of divine equality and His rightful dignity] by assuming the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men [He became completely human but was without sin, being fully God and fully man]. After He was found in [terms of His] outward appearance as a man [for a divinely-appointed time], He humbled Himself [still further] by becoming obedient [to the Father] to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also [because He obeyed and so completely humbled Himself], God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW [in submission], of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess and openly acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord (sovereign God), to the glory of God the Father.”
Glory to God in the highest! Jesus is King of kings and Lord of lords! He is worthy of our thanksgiving, praise, and worship! God has given Him authority over all as we read in 1 Timothy 6:15-16, “which He will bring about in His own time—He who is the blessed and only Sovereign, the absolute Ruler, the King of those who reign as kings and Lord of those who rule as lords, He alone possesses immortality [absolute exemption from death] and lives in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see. To Him be honor and eternal power and dominion! Amen.” He is the chief cornerstone as stated in Acts 4:11-12, “This Jesus is the STONE WHICH WAS DESPISED and REJECTED by you, THE BUILDERS, but WHICH BECAME THE CHIEF CORNERSTONE. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” Christmas is all about what God did for us. He showed us His great love by temporarily giving up His only Son Jesus on the cross at Calvary to offer all humanity the ONLY redemption and salvation for those that would believe, trust, accept, and confess Him to others.
Choose this season and all future seasons to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas for our true Lord and Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16), for He will return one day for those that love Him and keep His commandments (those that have a personal relationship with Him) as revealed in John 14:21-24, “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him…If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.” We pray that you have a blessed Christmas in Christ Jesus and that you pass on His love to others in need!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS!!! We love you, bless you, praise you, glorify you, magnify you, exalt you, and worship you forever more, as in heaven and on earth! Glory to God in the highest! Hallelujah! Amen!
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