57 results found

A Genuine Light

December 20, 2020 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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Like Charlie Brown, when we make Christmas about something other than the coming of Christ, we’ll always be disappointed. If we make it about spending money and giving and receiving gifts, sure we might be happy for a day. But the bill for the gifts we put on our credit cards in December, come due in January. After the gifts, the food and the fun, there’s the cleanup and the packing away of Christmas decorations and lights. Our holiday festivities that we looked so forward to, always quickly come to end. Where’s the meaning? Where’s the joy that lasts for more than a day?

The answer is only found in understanding the true meaning of Christmas, by seeing the Genuine Light of Christmas found in the coming of Jesus Christ.

A Glorious Light

December 13, 2020 | John 1:1-18 | christmas

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Do you ever feel alone? Christmas is just around the corner, and for many people that means family, fun, and a few days spent in the company of the people we love. Except that, for some of us, Christmas time represents none of these things. For some, it will be a time of loneliness, trauma and great anguish. Many of us will spend this Christmas grieving for the people we’ve said goodbye to since last year. The parents we’ve lost. The friends. The children. Others may be reminded of insurmountable fractures in their familial relationships – the people we no longer speak to, the parties we can no longer in good conscience attend.

How can we experience the true light of Christmas this year? A light that overcomes our broken hearts and broken relationships? The apostle John tells us that Jesus came to light up our lives, so that we might know and be made right with God the Father. Jesus offers to be the Light of your life!

A Great Light

December 6, 2020 | Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 | christmas

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Understanding the true meaning of Christmas begins by understanding and admitting the darkness of our world. Not the darkness of winter’s short days, but the darkness of ignorance and evil, suffering and pain, fear and anxiety, dark despair and gloomy grief. These and more describe what the Bible means by “darkness.”

It’s not enough to recognize the darkness in our world, nor is it enough to think you can brighten it through your own good intentions and efforts. In fact, this is the very reality that the Light of Christmas reveals: That we not only live in a dark world, but we have a darkness in our souls that cannot be enlightened without a Light from outside ourselves, a Great Light that could overcome our soul’s darkness. In Isaiah 9, he encouraged the people of Israel with a Messianic prophecy of a Son who was to be born as a great light that would overcome the world’s darkness. We can believe that the great Light that overcomes the world’s darkness has come in the person of Jesus.

The Guest List

December 22, 2019 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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God invited total strangers (the shepherds) to his son’s first birthday party. But did you know you were on the guest list too? The Christ was born for all of us, “unto you” is for me and you. Have you accepted His invitation? You’re on the guest list.

In the gospel of Luke, he recorded the story of Jesus’ birth which an angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds, inviting them to come and see the promised Savior, who is Christ the Lord. We too are on God’s guest list. We are invited to come to the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Naughty or Nice List

December 15, 2019 | John 3:16-21 | christmas

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Parents have been using the lines from this song ever since to help make their children behave. “You better be good. You better go to bed. You don’t want to be on Santa’s “naughty list. You won’t get any presents…” So, every American child born since 1934 has been taught about this so-called “Naughty or Nice List.”

And that might sound innocent enough until we realize that many of those same children have grown up to believe that God is keeping such a list, and that the way to please God and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven, is to be good enough to be on His “Nice List” and work hard to stay off of His “Naughty List.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus told a Pharisee named Nicodemus that the only way to receive God’s greatest gift of salvation is through believing in His Son. We can receive God’s greatest gift.

The Wish List

December 8, 2019 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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Our wishes, our longings, are really a kind of worship. Because that’s what worship is. Worship is seeing something or someone that we count worthy of our affection and longing, our love, and then, recognizing that worthiness, we seek to give them what they’re worth.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

Unwrapping the Sovereign

December 16, 2018 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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When we unwrap Christmas, we see that Jesus is the Sovereign King. Having anyone else on the throne of your heart means that you have not yet understood the gift of Christmas. In the gospel according to Matthew, the child Jesus was revealed to the wise men to be the one truly born king of the Jews. We can recognize that Jesus is truly the one born king, not only of the Jews, but the Sovereign over all.

Unwrapping the Savior

December 9, 2018 | Philippians 2:1-11 | christmas

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The first Christmas was a humble one. Jesus was not born in a royal palace, but in an animal pen. He was not born as a prince, but as a pauper. His birth was not announced before high society, but before lowly shepherds. He slept not on a bed with sheets, but a manger filled with straw. Jesus came not as a Sovereign, but as a Servant. Jesus came to save us. He came to be our Savior.

In Paul’s letter to the Philippians, he described the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior. We can understand the humble mind of Christ which moved Him to come to us as Savior.

Unwrapping the Son

December 2, 2018 | Isaiah 9:1-7 | christmas

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Some of us like to give hints to see if the recipient of our gift can guess what’s inside. It builds the anticipation. That’s what God did. Centuries before offering us the gift of His Son, Jesus, He gave “hints” to the prophets of Israel concerning the coming of the Messiah. One of those prophets was Isaiah. God gave Isaiah many of the over 300 Messianic prophecies found in the Old Testament.

In Isaiah 9, God gave him a Messianic prophecy of a promised Son that would be given. We can recognize that Jesus is the promised Son that would be given. He is the Son of God given unto us.

Red Christmas

December 17, 2017 | Matthew 1:18-25 | christmas

Have you noticed how prominent the color red is at Christmas? Red bows and red wrapping, red poinsettias and red holly berries, red striped candy canes, Santa’s suit is red, and even Rudolph’s nose! Red is everywhere this time of year! The color red reminds us of the love of God and the blood of Jesus, which He willing shed for our sins. We can’t really understand the meaning of Christmas without Easter. The cradle points to the cross. God’s “love ran red.”

In the gospel according to Matthew, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream to announce that his betrothed, Mary, would give birth to a son who was God’s loving gift of salvation. We can trust in God’s Son as His loving gift of salvation.