Wonderful Truths of Christmas (Part 2)

6.    God has good news of great joy for all people.

 

The angel announced to the shepherds “good news of great joy that will be for all people.” (Luke 2:10 ESV). Good news. Great joy. For all people. That’s the wonderful proclamation of Christmas in a nutshell.The good news is that we have a Savior, Jesus Christ. And it is good news – not good advice or good teaching but good news. That means something happened. God came to us in the person of Jesus. He came into our real world, in a real place, and really lived among us, and really died for our sins and really rose from the dead. And He really offers us the free gift of salvation. It’s the best news!And it is news for all people. No one is outside the reach of God’s grace in Christ. All are welcome to come to Jesus, no matter who you are, what you’ve done, or whatever your background – all are welcome to come to Jesus and receive His free gift of salvation. It is greatest gift that leads to the greatest joy – the joy of knowing Jesus, of living with hope, of being adopted into God’s family, and knowing your future is secure in heaven.“The angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord’” (Luke 2:10–11 ESV).

 

Prayer: Father, thank you for sending your Son to save me! Help me to always rejoice in my salvation – and give me the words and opportunity to tell others about the wonderful, free gift of salvation. In Jesus’ name, amen.

 

7.    God graciously gives and graciously saves.

 

We love seeing our friends and family and children excitedly open gifts with gratitude and joy, don’t we? There’s nothing like the feeling of seeing a loved one joyfully receive a gift you got them. And similarly, there’s nothing like receiving a thoughtful, meaningful gift from a loved one.Why do we give gifts on Christmas? Because we remember that God is a gracious giver.

Consider the most famous passage in the Bible, John 3:16, in light of Christmas … “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).Our greatest need required the greatest gift. And the greatest gift God can give is Himself. That’s what He did on Christmas. He gave us His one and only Son to save us from our sin. And just like any gift, the proper response to a gift is not the pay the gift-giver back – that’d be an insult!

The proper response is to simply receive the gift with joy and gratitude. That’s what God calls us to do with His free gift of salvation – to joyfully receive His Son.“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” (Matthew 1:21).

 

Prayer: Father, thank you for the gift of your Son. There is no greater gift you could have given. As I give and receive gifts this Christmas, help me not lose sight of the greatest gift. In Jesus name, amen.

 

8.    God always keeps His promises.

 

The accounts of Jesus’ birth in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke show how Jesus’ birth fulfilled many long-awaited promises to Abraham, David, and other prophets. You can hear echoes of the Old Testament throughout the Christmas story, and there are direct statements like this: “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet” (Matthew 1:22).We often struggle with waiting on God. We want Him to come through for us and fulfill His promises … according to our schedule. After all, some of the promises fulfilled at Christmas were spoken of centuries beforehand. The apostle Peter encourages us, “But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:8–9).Christmas shows us that God is always faithful to fulfill His promises. While it may not be in our desired time or our desired way, God always comes through. When He does, it’s always better than what we could have planned. We can trust Him and His timing.“He has sent us a mighty Savior from the royal line of his servant David, just as he promised through his holy prophets long ago” (Luke 1:69–70 NLT).

 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being a God I can trust. You are faithful to fulfill your promises. When I grow impatient, help me wait on you in faith and hope. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

9.    God is worthy of all praise.

 

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing! Joy to the World! Silent Night. O Holy Night. Away in a Manger. O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The list could go on. We love singing songs at Christmas, don’t we? We sing because Christmas is a time to celebrate, a time to praise God for sending His Son.You can’t read the Christmas story without hearing the songs and praises of God’s people. You can read Mary’s song, known as the Magnificat, in Luke 1:46–55,  or read Zechariah’s song in Luke 1:67–79, or read of the multitude of angel’s singing at Christ’s birth in Luke 2:13–14. At the birth of Christ, the shepherds worshiped Jesus (Luke 2:20), as did the Magi (Matthew 2:11). When you consider all that God has given us in Christ, praise is the proper response. He is worthy of all our worship.“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, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:11).

 

Prayer: Lord, you are worthy of all my praise! Thank you for sending your Son, for your boundless grace and mercy, for your immeasurable love and faithfulness, and for your constant presence and precious promises. In Jesus name, amen.

 

10.        Jesus is coming back to renew all things!

 

Advent is not just about looking back to Christ’s birth in His first coming but also about looking forward to His second coming. Just as Israel awaited the coming of the Messiah, so we too await in eager anticipation for the Lord to return to make all things right and all things new. Consider the lyrics of the beloved Christmas hymn, Joy to the World, in light of the return of Christ.“Joy to the world! / The Lord is come / Let earth receive her King! / Let every heart prepare Him room / And heaven and nature sing / And heaven and nature sing. / He rules the world with truth and grace / And makes the nations prove / The glories of His righteousness / And wonders of His love.”The repeated promise of the New Testament is that Jesus will come again as the King of Kings to reign over all the earth in righteousness, truth, and grace. We will dwell with Him forever, rejoice in the wonders of His love, and “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever” (Revelation 21:4 NLT).In our current world with so much fear, uncertainty, and confusion – this is the great and guaranteed hope we have in Christ!“Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him” (Hebrews 9:28 NLT).

 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for giving me a living hope. Help me to live in light of eternity, looking forward to your coming and telling the world of the wonders of your love. In Jesus name, amen.

Thankful to be your Pastor!

 

Breakthrough 2021

 

Pastor Larry