Jesus IS the reason for this season! Dec. 24, 2020
The first Christmas was not a gift to a child; it was the gift of a Child. The story of Jesus Christ coming into this world is not so much the story of a birth as much as it’s the story of a gift. For us, it was the entrance of Jesus to Planet Earth. But for God the Father, it was the departure of a Son from Heaven.
“For unto us a Child is born,” the Scriptures say. “Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6 NKJV).
We sometimes think that when Jesus was born into the human race in Bethlehem, He essentially made His entrance into the universe. But that isn’t true at all.
Jesus is God. Therefore, He is eternal. He has always existed. The Bible says, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children” (Galatians 4:4–5 NLT).
His birth was His entrance into the world as the Messiah of Israel and the Savior of the world.
The prophet Micah said, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting” (Micah 5:2 NKJV).
The words from everlasting could be translated “from the vanishing point.” Micah was revealing by the Holy Spirit that the Messiah, God in human form, would be born in a manger.
This is the great miracle of Christmas: God became a man.
Maybe you’ve heard the adage “the family that prays together, stays together.”
But did you know there’s actual data to support that? Researchers found that when a family takes time to pray every day, their family relationships tend to be stronger.
I think it’s good to pray with your family and to pray over meals. It’s good to stop and have a word of prayer together and to encourage all your family members to do so.
There’s also power in corporate prayer when we unite as the church. Yes, it’s good to pray by yourself, but it’s even better to pray with someone else. Jesus said, “If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you.” (Matthew 18:19 NLT).
It matters when we pray together for something. In the Book of Acts, we find the story of Peter, whom King Herod arrested for preaching the gospel. Verse 5 of chapter 12 tells us, “But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him” (NLT).
We see from this verse that they prayed together (“the church prayed”), and they prayed persistently (“prayed very earnestly”). And the next thing we know: Peter was free.
The chapter opens rather ominously. We read that Herod is in power, and Peter is in prison. But by the time the chapter closes, we see that Herod is dead and Peter is out of prison.
That’s the difference prayer can make. It’s great when you can come to church and say, “I’ve got a burden today, and I’d really appreciate it if you would take a moment to pray for me.”
The church should be a loving place for hurting people, a safe place for sad people, and a place for unsaved people to be saved.
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