What kind of presents do you give at Christmas? Here’s an additional choice.

Posted: December 25, 2013 in Thoughts on God
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giftI hate to sound like I’m putting a damper on the millions of people having a Merry Christmas, but please don’t forget the ones that aren’t. I have a friend who gives up her Christmas Eve to spend time in a nursing home over 100 miles away so the residents there will have someone by their side. I think a lot about this gesture and wish more people would do something like this, because there’s nothing worse than being on the outside world of being alone looking through the window into the house of someone surrounded by friends and family. I humbly ask your forgiveness for sounding like such a gloomy Gus, but I just want us to remember those who wish they had someone to spend Christmas with.

For those people who are feeling alone and depressed at this time of year, here’s something to think about. It is my prayer this Christmas that you can rest in the reality of Christ! I know from personal experience that no matter how challenging the circumstances, how discouraged or how lonely you may feel at Christmas, God truly loves you and is with you wherever you may be. “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him ‘Immanuel’ – which means, ‘God with us’.” Matthew 1:23 Will you take time this Christmas to believe that God is good, that He loves you and that He is with you? Will you place your burdens upon Jesus today? Christmas is about God’s unfathomable love for mankind and His everlasting gift of His Son, our Lord and Savior, JESUS! “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16 I know that it can be hard getting out of the circle of sadness and back into the light of the Lord, but with the help of the Lord, you CAN do it. Let me know if I can pray for you, and I’ll be there for you.

Let’s remember that giving and receiving presents is an awesome feeling, but remember that Jesus took the route of humility, of being born in a manger with just Mary and Joseph, rather than in the spotlight. He did it for the least of the people. Make this Christmas extra special by starting a tradition that makes someone else feel good. A stranger or a family member, it doesn’t matter. Fel free to enjoy your Christmas with the ones that bring you joy, but don’t forget the ones that may stretch you a bit, that will be your giftto yourself.

 

  • Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

  • Luke 1:35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.

  • Matthew 1:18-24 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, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”  When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.

  • Luke 2:9-14 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.”

  • Isaiah 9:6-7 For to 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.  Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.

  • Luke 2:1-20 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to his own town to register.  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.  The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

  • Matthew 2:1-12 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem  and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”  When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.  When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born.  “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:  ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ”  Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared.  He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”  After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.  On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

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