How thankful we are to you Father for such a great love that never fails or forsakes us …. as demonstrated to us in the giving of Your only begotten Son Jesus who died in our place and rose to make a way back to intimate relationship with You. Thank you Jesus that You came in love to the giving of your own life. Thank you Holy Spirit that You wake us up to truth, deliver us from deception, and bring us into remembrance of our faithful and loving Father and Son. Help us to abide and live in Your continual presence through mindful thoughts and behaviors. And should we be headed the wrong way, please correct and encourage us in the right instruction and discipline. How awesome it is that we can be named and counted as the sons and daughters of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. We are so thankful that nothing can separate us from the love of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Hallowed and honored be Your name. Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. And some day we will lift our song with the angels and sing…”Joy to the world, the Lord is come…let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room and heaven and nature sing. He rules the earth with truth and grace and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”
Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel (meaning God with us.)”
Luke 1: 30-35, “The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Yeshua. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; 33 and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” 35 The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.”
In days of old this might have required a leap of faith, but not now! Today, even human doctors can do in vitro fertilization in a virgin and she can give birth by a donor father. But, in Mary’s case, this was no ordinary father’s seed! This was holy, pure seed to put Life back in the blood. Jesus/Yeshua was no ordinary man. He is the ONLY begotten Son of the Creator Father! And His blood filled with pure Life is the ONLY sacrifice that can pay for the penalty and contamination of death.
Leviticus 17:11, “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you on the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement.”
We do need a Savior to have our blood cleansed and to be restored in relationship with our Creator Father that we might again have eternal Life. And this is ONLY through our union with the blood of Jesus/Yeshua by accepting the gift of His sacrifice for us! If you do not accept the package, you cannot have the gift. And there is ONLY one package option. This is a VERY costly package to Father and Son….and once is enough! Why would the Creator Father ever think to do it again? One begotten Son’s obedience and sacrifice was enough! There is ONLY one Way….Jesus Savior/Messiah….Yeshua Hamashiach……Christ meaning “the Anointed One.”
If there really is a Higher Power, Creator Father….and there really is His Son who gives eternal life….then it is of IMMENSE importance that you come to know them!
What is prophecy? It is saying something is going to happen and then it really does happen. (2 Peter 1:19) That implies some omniscient foresight. Another aspect of prophecy is when someone says they are going to do something and they actually do it just as they said they would. That reveals trustworthy character.
Our Creator Father is both of these. He gives His word in the bible and He always does what He says He will do. He keeps His word and performs it. (Jeremiah 1:12)
The first time the Creator Father prophesied about His Savior coming to restore relationship with Him and eternal life to all humans was just after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. (Genesis 3:15) Multitudes of prophesies about Jesus/Yeshua follow. It is wondrous to check into all these Bible prophesies and find out that Jesus/Yeshua fulfilled them all! (Book sources: “Messiah Prophecies Fulfilled” by D. James Kennedy, PhD; “More Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell; “The Case for Faith” by Lee Strobel)
Let’s just look at one of the Christmas prophesies. Micah 5:2, “Bethlehem, though you are little among 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.” And where was Jesus/Yeshua born? In Bethlehem, the city of David. As a descendant of David, Joseph had to report to Bethlehem for a tax census….at just the time Jesus/Yeshua was to be born. His family lived in Nazareth, but his roots were in Bethlehem. So, as prophesied, the Savior was born in Bethlehem.
Notice that this one prophesy does not only tell of Jesus/Yeshua’s first coming as a baby to save, but it also foretells of His second coming to return as One who rules as King. Like it says, this prophesy goes from the times of old to everlasting!
God’s Word is true and Jesus/Yeshua is the Savior of humankind. This is just the beginning of the evidence …. It is reality and not just religion or myth.
“Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above you heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Who can visit every home in one night? Who knows if you are sleeping or awake? Who knows if you are bad or good? Who knows everyones’ name and where they live and what they need or want? Who loves children and wants to be a father to them all? Who brings gifts for all the children who love and believe in him? Who has helpers in his gift giving? Who lives “on the sides of the north” and so far away that no one really ever sees him? Who displays exceptional character of love, peace, and joy? Who never fails to deliver on time? Who rides in the air of heaven? Did you guess Santa Claus? WRONG! Santa Claus is an attractive counterfeit. You might think I am a Scrooge, but I am thinking Santa is a glory snatcher….possible even a “cheerful” deception. He is not the real deal. He does not even really exist. Just because Santa Claus does not really exist, does not mean that there is no one with these attributes. There is a true and real Father Who really does exist and deserves all the glory all the time. Do you know Him?
“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11. This is the verse used in the Charlie Brown Christmas TV special to explain the meaning of Christmas. Often we think of it as a religious comment. But, it is so much more and there is a lot being said in that one sentence.
Let’s consider the assumption first. It assumes we need a Savior. Do we need a Savior? I mean really? I’m living a pretty good life and I am a pretty good person. What do I need saving from? Good question.
We need to go back to the very beginning. For now, consider that there really is a Higher Being who created earth, all that is in it, and His highest creation of humans. (We will examine the evidence for this Creator another time.) He gave humans authority/rule over all of earth, but He expected to still be included in all of it. However, the first humans discovered that they could become independent from their Creator Father and rule like Him without Him ( be as a god to themselves – today called humanism). They chose the other way and separated themselves from the Source of their Life. The consequence was death.
Now the Bible (God’s wisdom), tells us that the Life is in the blood. So the DNA of their blood became contaminated/twisted. Now, any seed they produced would multiply the same contaminated DNA. So, what is a Loving Father to do?
He promised a Savior….someone who would conquer death….and bring restored relationship between the Creator Father and His created children/humans and bring Life again. Today, we call this man Jesus. At Christmas we sing about His birth into our real physical world. Mary and Joseph were told to call His name, “Yeshua” (in Hebrew ). It means “One who Saves”. This should have been translated into English as “Joshua”. Have you ever wondered why it was not? A question to answer another time.
Question for today is….do you need a Savior? If you now think you might, then you really have a reason to celebrate this Christmas! Because He really came as promised! And all you need to do is ask Jesus/Yeshua with a sincere heart that you want to know about Him and come to really know Him. It opens the door/gives permission for Him to begin to reveal Himself to you. Then you will know the true joy of Christmas!
Remember this Christmas carol? We sing it to celebrate the first coming of Jesus as a baby and Savior. Did you know that it also has BIG messages for His second coming as King? Think on these words….are they true in your life and spirit? Can you call these words your blessed hope for the future?
“Joy to the world the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart PREPARE HIM room. And heaven and nature sing.
Joy to the world, the Savior reigns. Let men their songs employ. While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains repeat the sounding joy.
No more let sin and sorrows grow, nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.
He rules the world with truth and grace. And makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love.”
My hope is that you know His love this Christmas season and all through the coming year….into forever!
Traditionally, this time before Christmas is called Advent. It is intended to be a time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of Jesus. Have you ever used an Advent calendar? It is used to help children prepare their hearts for the coming of Jesus at Christmas. Every day a window is opened to inspire and bring expectation. Traditionally, it would have a Bible verse or little devotional message or picture to teach about Jesus. Plus, it kept us aware and excited of the shortened time until His arrival.
I think it would be wise for us to practice the Advent calendar tradition every day in our hope and expectation for Jesus next coming. For some, He will come immediately to receive us at our physical death. In that last Lord’s day, He will. come back to earth again in the clouds as King. Either way, it is good to prepare for His coming. We should think of Him every day and open the window of His Word to inspire us every day! And we should walk out our day in joy because we know Him and we know that He is with us.
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King! Let every heart prepare Him room! And heaven and nature sing!
Jesus (Yeshua) said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6
John the Baptist came ahead of Jesus/Yeshua saying “Prepare you the way of the Lord.” He boldly encouraged people to repent and be baptized, dunked under water for total cleansing….to cause a change in life from sin to righteousness. Today we know that Jesus is the Living water. He is also the Living Word and we are cleansed by the water of the Word. The Word is truth. Jesus/Yeshua is truth. Jesus is the ONLY way our Creator Father made for us to come back into relationship with Him and abide in His home/kingdom. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
When Jesus/Yeshua began preaching, He also boldly encouraged people to repent and turn to the Father’s kingdom. Matthew 4:17, “Jesus began to preach (proclaim) and say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” When Jesus died, rose again to life, and was ascended into heaven, He sent the Holy Spirit to carry on this ministry of restored relationship with the Father through the Son…provided by God’s grace through faith/trust and repentance. Repentance means a change in direction….no longer serving under sin in the world, but now choosing to change and serve the Father Creator in love.
This is how the Way was prepared for Jesus/Yeshua to come the first time. Shouldn’t we expect to prepare the way for Jesus/Yeshua to come the second time – the same way?