She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. Matthew 1:21
Recently I was driving down the Interstate and found it peppered with billboard advertising a business and the repeating banner was: “WECOME TO YOU.” The thought occurred to me that is the message of Christmas.
Joy to the world. The Lord has come. Jesus came as a child of an earthly mother so you and I could become the child of a Heavenly Father. He not only wants us to live with Him, He wants to live in us.
There should be no question for those who have examined the evidence and the evidence demands a verdict. Jesus came once as man and again as Lord that our sins might be forgiven, and we might live with him in eternity.
How do we know that Jesus came?
▪ His coming was prophetically anticipated.
▪ His coming was historically authenticated.
▪ He came to be our Sin-bearer.
▪ He came to destroy the works of the Devil.
▪ He came to give us Eternal Life.
▪ He came to be the Atoning Sacrifice for our sins.
▪ He came to be the Savior of the World.
We need to add to the what happened at the manger with why it happened. Christmas is not about earthly gifts, but about eternal ones. There is talk that due to the supply chain breakdown, some gifts might be scarce, but maybe this year is not the year to get everything you want, but a year to appreciate everything we have.
Joy to the world. He came to us!
A PERSONAL AUTHORS NOTE:
Beverley and I wish to each of the more than two thousand people on this mailing list a most blessed and joyous Christmas. Enjoy your family, appreciate your gifts and most important focus on the reason for the season. Merry Christmas to all!
-John and Beverley
SOMETIMES TRUE STORIES
TEN PRICELESS GIFTS FOR CHRISTMAS
1. To your enemy, give love and forgiveness (Matthew 5:44).
2. To your friend, give honesty and integrity (Proverbs 11:3).
3. To the grieving and hurting, give comfort (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).
4. To an aged parent, give honor (Proverbs 16:31; Matthew 15:4).
5. To the needy, give a helping hand (Proverbs 31:20).
6. To your neighbor, give love as you love yourself (Matthew 22:39).
7. To every child, give a good example (Proverbs 1:8-9).
8. To your spouse, give love and esteem (Ephesians 6:33).
9. To yourself, give a renewed mind (Romans 12:2).
10. To God, give love with all your heart, soul, and mind (Matthew 22:37).
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If you want to find true peace in a world of pain, abide in Christ. If you want to shine true light in a dark culture, abide in Christ. Abide in him on Monday, not just on Sunday. Abide in Him in your private thoughts, not just your public words and actions. Recognize “private” sins as the cancer they are. Malignancy starts with tiny cells that, left untreated, can eventually kill the patient.
As a result, I encourage you right now to take a moment for a spiritual inventory. Ask the Spirit to bring to your mind any “private” sins you are committing, then confess whatever comes to your thoughts, claim God’s forgiving grace (1 John 1:9), and ask for his help in refusing them in the future (1 Corinthians 10:13).
The next time you are tempted by a sin that appears to have no consequences, recognize this as a lie from the devil. Now “submit it to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7, my paraphrase). You will live in spiritual freedom, and your life will reflect the transforming light of your Lord to a world desperate for your hope in Christ.
Dwight Moody observed, “Character is what you are in the dark.”
What character will you choose today? Jim Denison
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Wisdom from General Colin Powell:
▪ Treat well those you don’t have to treat well
▪ Learn from those with whom you disagree
▪ Be ready every day for the last day
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In an important article titled “The end of vice,” Bryan Walsh notes that “all the old vices—from sex to gambling to drugs—are quickly becoming legal as both society and the criminal justice system rethink their values.” For example: legal betting on NFL games is up 32 percent. Support for decriminalizing prostitution rose from 24 percent in 1978 to 52 percent last year. Our secularized culture is busy “repairing” the supposedly intolerant legalism created by Judeo-Christian values. But how is that working for us? Jim Denison
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Q: How many Software Engineers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None, it’s a Hardware Problem!
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I changed the voice on my GPS from female to male and now it says… It must be somewhere around here, but keep driving.
QUOTES YOU CAN USE
The budget should be balanced. The treasury should be refilled. Public debt should be reduced, and the arrogance of public officials should be controlled. Cicero 102 BC
People talk about changing the world, but not about changing themselves. Leo Tolstoy
Ask the Holy Spirit to do in you, what you cannot do for yourself. Jim Cymbala
A good reputation can take a lifetime to gain and a minute to lose. Daniel Henderson
We don’t tune up the orchestra when the concert is over. Billy Graham
All theology should turn to doxology. J. I. Packer
Prayer is a matter of the heart. Jim Cymbala
When you recognize your insufficiency, it causes you to lean upon God for His all-sufficiency. Dan Shock
Christianity is not merely a philosophy to be examined or a doctrine to be taught, but a life to be lived. We are called not just to believe in something or someone, but to behave in a way that’s different from the world. Ken Weliever – The Preacherman
When we let our vision become earth-bound, we lose our eternal perspective. Dan Shock
If you’re looking for a way to live free from all temptation, problems, and pain, you’ll have to wait until heaven (Revelation 21:4). There is no such place in this broken world. Jim Denison
Greatest thing in life is experience. Even mistakes have value. HENRY FORD
You never waste time waiting on God. Ken Whitten