Thursday, December 24, 2015

Oh Holy Night

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace" and of his kingdom there shall be no end.”

Michael’s Christmas message: Jesus Christ is the reason for the season.  It's hard to keep our minds focused on the things that really matter amidst the distraction of the festivities around us. However the Word of God says, “thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee because he trusteth in thee.” Some people don't look forward to the Christmas season because broken relationships bring back painful memories. Jesus said, "In this life ye shall have tribulation. Be not discouraged, be of good cheer for I have overcome the world."  When we understand that in this life we will have tribulation, then life will be less difficult.  We have but one life. Jesus came so that we would be clothed not in the filthy rags of our sin nature, but that we could be clothed in the robes of his righteousness, saying: “for though your sins were as scarlet, you shall be as white as snow.

Sometimes, Christmas is a painful time for many people because it forces them to associate with "friends" and relatives they haven't seen during the year. They feel uncomfortable when they think that they have not lived up to the expectations of others. However, when the crisis comes God expects His people to be the reliable ones who rise to the occasion to prove His power in their lives...  for it is God which worketh in you to will and to do of His good pleasure. Our peace is in fellowship with the “Prince of Peace”. For surely our fellowship is with our Father, His Son Jesus Christ and one with another in “the household of faith”. God wants us to spend time in His presence and in the presence of Jesus Christ, so that our hearts will be pure as He is pure and so that our focus would be on Him; not on the things of this world that come to nought. He said if we confess our sin, including our broken fellowship, He is faithful and just to forgive us of all unrighteousness. He came to give us His character. Therefore Jesus said, "abide in me and I in you, then shall you bear much fruit."  When we abide in Him, His character will influence and infuse our character, that we may become the righteousness of God in him.

God doesn't count righteousness to us by what we've done. Any man can claim his human "rights" and any demon will make sure they get theirs. Righteousness is not of the flesh, but only in Him. There is none righteous (in the flesh) no not one. He did not come with a mighty whirlwind., rather, He came like winter snow falling softly.  Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given...  he came that we would be reconciled to God.  For He who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf, that we may be made the righteousness of God in him.

The lyrics of a popular Christmas song says "Mary did you know that one day your baby boy would walk on water?" This is the theme of the paraphrase of an essay "One Solitary Life" by Dr. James Allan Francis:

“He was born in an obscure village. The son of a peasant woman espoused to a lowly carpenter.
He did none of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but himself.

Nineteen centuries have come and gone. Of all the armies that have ever marched, all the navies that have ever sailed, of all the governments that have ever ruled, Nothing has changed the course of the history of mankind as much as this one single solitary life.”

“For he who knew no sin humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.  Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him and given him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” – Philippians 2:8

That in everything he might have dominion over the sin that separates us from the righteous judgment of almighty God. For Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, paid the price for our sin nature when He became the sinless sacrifice on our behalf, that we who were dead in trespasses and sin, may receive life and become the righteousness of God in Him. In Him all things hold together...  in the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.  There is always hope in this world. He is our hope. The love of God beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things,  endureth all things.

May God richly bless you as we celebrate the birth of our Lord.  Oh Holy night...  Christ the Savior is born!
Merry Christmas! Your Brother in Christ,

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