Eternity Wraps the Christmas and Resurrection Stories in Love

“Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:43b-45, NLT)

I have seven nativities scattered around our home, not to mention our nativity Christmas tree ornaments. My Christmas newsletter’s 7-day devotion “A Savior Was Born for You,” begins with Isaiah 9:6, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I find that leading up to Christmas, I focus on the birth of Jesus, the Son, the Child, and I neglect the government on His shoulder and why the Son was given. Instead, I think of Mary’s and Joseph’s devotion to God and His plans even though they didn’t fully understand them. I think of the miracle of the virgin birth, the angels proclaiming Jesus’ birth, the shepherds watching their sheep and then adoring the Great Shepherd. I smile and remember the wise men coming from the East bringing gifts and worshiping the All-Wise King.

Beautiful stories of God’s love, His goodness, and His glory. Beautiful stories and promises made possible by the self-sacrifice that was to come.

What if we started the Christmas story by telling the Resurrection story?

Continue reading Eternity Wraps the Christmas and Resurrection Stories in Love

The Greatest Gift

“Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah.
Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, 
which I will show you.”
(Genesis 22:2, NLT)

The first time ”love” is mentioned in the Bible is in this Scripture. Abraham had walked with God for many years, and God had promised Abraham that he would be the father of many descendants through Isaac. Now, God told him to sacrifice Isaac, the son of promise, the son he loves, his only son.

Only son . . . Loved son . . . Sacrificial son

For three days, Abraham and Isaac, along with servants, walked to the land of Moriah, Jerusalem today. For three days, Abraham focused on the death of Isaac and his resurrection, for he knew God could raise Isaac from the dead, Hebrews 11:19. But God provided Himself a ram for the sacrifice, Genesis 22:8-14.

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. ‘For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.'” (John 3:14-16, ESV)

No food, no water, only manna from heaven, and the Israelites complained to Moses, “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?” As a result, God sent fiery serpents to bite and kill many of them. They confessed their sin to Moses, and Moses prayed to God on their behalf. God told him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole. Everyone who had been bitten was to look at the serpent and live. (Numbers 21:4-9)

Sin confessed . . . Advocate prayed . . . Life restored

A picture of what was to come. A picture of the Good News.

Even though all people have sinned (Romans 3:23), God loved the world so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, to pay the price for your sins and my sins, so that we might have eternal life. That life is knowing our Everlasting God and Jesus (John 17:3).

Gift of Forgiveness . . . Gift of Eternal Life . . . The Greatest Gift

When we think of Christmas, we think of Gabriel announcing to unmarried Mary that she will bear the Savior of the world. We think of the trek from Nazareth to Bethlemen and no place for Mary to give birth to Jesus. We think of the manger, the shepherds coming to see Jesus, and the gifts of the wise men.

Then, we turn our eyes to Christmas decorations, purchasing gifts and wrapping them, cooking, and festivities. Do you still send Christmas cards?

A time to turn from our busy preparations and meditate on why it was necessary for God to send His Son into the world.

Beginning in Genesis 3:15 and throughout the Bible, God shows the world that He will provide a Messiah who will defeat Satan and sin, One who will pay the price for all sin. “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.” (Galatians 4:4-5)

The message of Christmas: God loved the world and sent His Son to bring eternal life.

Father, thank You for loving the world so much that You sent Jesus to pay the price for our sins so that we could live with You forever. We praise You for this amazing gift. We celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive. In Jesus’ name, amen.

How are you celebrating Christmas?

Merry Christmas!

From Death to Life – The Promise of Jesus

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16 (NLT).

The Creator of the Universe lovingly formed you and me. He knew His plans for you before you were formed, and they were good.

In Him, there is no wickedness, only good. He is holy and pure and cannot tolerate sin. Sin is disobeying God’s law and rebelling against Him.

Continue reading From Death to Life – The Promise of Jesus

Who is Jesus?

  • Our Jesus is the Christ – the Messiah
  • Our Jesus is the Director of our steps
  • Our Jesus is God’s Son.
  • Our Jesus is our example.
  • Our Jesus knew no sin.
  • Our Jesus submitted to God.
  • Our Jesus submitted to governmental authority.
  • Our Jesus suffered in silence.
  • Our Jesus was beaten and did not open His mouth.
  • Our Jesus was nailed to the cross.
  • Our Jesus asked that the Father forgive.
  • Our Jesus took our sins upon Himself.
  • Our Jesus paid the price that we owed.
  • Our Jesus healed our relationship with God.
  • Our Jesus conquered death by rising from the dead.
  • Our Jesus sits at the right hand of God speaking on our behalf.
  • Our Jesus loves us with an everlasting love.
  • Our Jesus is our Good Shepherd.
  • Our Jesus is the Overseer of our souls.
  • Our Jesus is Salvation.
  • One day, we will see Jesus face to face

Our Jesus is coming again!

  • “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 
    All the days of my life; 
    And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
    Psalm 23:6

Good Shepherd and Overseer of our souls, we are overwhelmed by Your great love for us. We have sinned. Thank You for paying the price of our sins, so that we could be dead to sins and live to righteousness. Be our Lord and Savior. Teach us to follow You, to live for righteousness, and to imitate You. You gave Your all for us. We give our lives to You. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.

When you think of Jesus,
what is the first word that comes to your mind?

Photo is what is thought to be the empty tomb of Jesus in Jerusalem.