Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Keep CHRIST in Christmas:  cHrist – Holy Child, the Son of God  

”Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”  The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month.  For nothing will be impossible with God.”    Luke 1:34-37

The back story is that for 400 years God had not communicated with His people through an angel, prophet or any other means.   But the angel Gabriel had appeared to Elizabeth’s husband, Zacharias as he was serving in the temple.  He was told that he and his wife would have a son (John the Baptist), even though she was long past child bearing age.  Because of his doubt, his ability to speak was taken from him until just after the birth of John.  And the message to Mary was confirmed by the truth about her cousin Elizabeth who was now six months pregnant.  Mary went to see her very pregnant cousin and her mute husband and was shown in a very tangible way the truth of the angel’s words, “For nothing will be impossible with God.”

The very Creator of all is now about to enter His Creation as a little baby.  But Luke is very clear that the father of the child is no earthly man but God Himself.  Now why would God make such a choice?  The answer is because of His great love and our great need.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Keep CHRIST in Christmas :  Christ – Conceived by a Virgin 

We often hear, Jesus Christ, and some may regard Christ as the last name of Jesus!  But it’s not – it’s a title in Greek for the Hebrew term “Messiah” – the Anointed One who would rescue His people from their sin and bondage and establish an everlasting Kingdom where He would rule and reign. This requires a very special, unique, eternal person.  Consider the manner of how Jesus was conceived as recorded in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 1, verses 31-34, where the angel Gabriel brought a message to Mary:

You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.  He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David.  And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”  Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” 

More will follow on the importance of his unique birth.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Keep CHRIST in Christmas

Recently I noticed the town I drive through on my way to work had their Christmas decorations up before the celebration of Halloween.   If you been to a store like Walmart recently you’ve probably noticed the lighted artificial trees are up in the Outdoor section and seasonal items have been removed from the shelves to make room for the swelling toy displays.  Yes, it’s that time of the year again – ads are already being posted for Black Friday and Cyber Monday and then comes ….. a celebration holiday still about a month away – Christmas.  In the meantime you have gifts to buy, added social functions to make room for, the decorations to put up, the presents to wrap while wondering if they’ll really be appreciated and used.   And there will be 30 days or so of holiday movies that will try and make us feel good about the season.   And yet, what is this time of the year really for?   Over the coming weeks we’ll use the expression “Keep CHRIST in Christmas” to remind and remember.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Gospel of John - Examine the Witnesses

One more encouragement for Followers of Jesus:

Gospel of John - WITNESS

W the Word           1:1-18;     5:24,38;   8:47;   17:6-8, 17    "Your Word is Truth"

I IF the world hates you 7:7    15:18-21;    16:1-4; 33;     17:14-16

T TESTIFY (see Witness References below)

N NO other way   3:18,36;   6:28-29;   8:21,24;   14:6 - no one can have forgiveness of                                           their sins and the hope of eternal life apart from Jesus;  20:30-31

E EXPOSE EVIL  3:19-20;   7:7;   8:44;   10:10;   11:9-10;   12:46

S SIN                   1:29;    5:14;    8:7;    9:1-2;   10:10-11,24,34;    15:22-24;    19:30

S SERVANT   12:26;    13:12-17,34-35;    14:15,21;    15:8-17

Witness / Testify References in John
1:7-8         John the Baptist came as a witness  (see also v19,23,32,34)
3:28    You yourselves are my witnesses…  (see also v11, 26, 32-33)
4:29, 39 Samaritan woman, "Come, see a man who told me all the things I have done"
5:31-39 John the Baptist, the works of Jesus, the Father & the Scriptures testify of Jesus
9:25         The blind man who now could see, "I was blind, but now I see."
12:17 Those who had seen Lazarus raised from the dead testified about Jesus
18.37 For this I came into the world to testify to the truth
20:21 As the Father has sent me, so I send you.
21:24-25 The Gospel is John's testimony