Saturday, December 26, 2009


The shepherds
“hurried to the village
and found Mary and Joseph.
And there was the baby,
lying in the manger.”
Luke 2:16 NLT

Though the birth of Jesus took place under such humble circumstances on earth; in heaven it was quite a different story. Angels of the Lord were dispatched to make the announcement and a special star appeared in the eastern sky.

On that historic night, hireling shepherds near Bethlehem were watching their sheep as usual; suddenly an angel of the Lord, in brilliant light, appeared to them. He announced “the Savior, Christ the Lord had just been born in Bethlehem.” He said they would recognize him when they saw a baby "wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger." Then the whole sky filled with angels, who were praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels were gone, the shepherds said, “We’ve got to check this out!” They did - and found exactly what they were told. Just plain hireling shepherds doing their menial task, and God had shown them such amazing favor! They told everyone about it, and kept on praising God as they went back to work.

The wise men
“entered the house and saw
the child with his mother, Mary,
and they bowed down
and worshiped him.”
Matthew 2:11 NLT

The wise men came from the opposite spectrum of the social order. They were high ranking officials who studied the stars and advised the kings of the Medes. Somehow they came to know that a special star was announcing the birth of the Jewish messiah.
Two years after the star had first appeared they arrived in Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews?” They were told, “In Bethlehem in Judea.” Miraculously, the star reappeared over the house where the Christ Child now lived. “They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh…. they returned to their own country by another route.”

Whether we find ourselves at the top - at the bottom - or somewhere in between - on the social ladder of life, God wants us to follow his leading to “the Savior, Christ the Lord!” May our Christmas experience this year have been life changing as it was for the shepherds and wise men.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


”She brought forth her firstborn son,
and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger;
because there was no room
for them in the inn.”
Luke 2:7 KJV

God has a unique way of doing things!

To begin with, he allowed unkind rumors to spread around Nazareth concerning Mary and Joseph – Mary had become pregnant during their engagement. People rolled their eyes when she told them, that it was “of the Holy Spirit.”

And just when Mary was getting close to delivery time, they had to go to Bethlehem like many other people, for the census, because that’s where their relatives lived. By the time Joseph’s donkey got them there, the homes of relatives were filled, and Mary was going into labor – there was no time to lose. They needed a place to stay!

Hospitality in that society was taken very seriously. They did everything possible to accommodate visitors, especially relatives in need. Many homes were two story structures. The upper part was where people lived and entertained guests. The lower room often was for livestock. (KJV translates "kataluma" in Luke 2:7 as “inn.” The same word is translated “guestchamber” in Mark 14:15 and Luke 22:12 so it’s very possible that the best lodging Joseph’s relatives could provide at the time was the stable below the “guestchamber.”)

Joseph and Mary made the best of it. There was no time to waste. The baby was coming! We don’t know if there was anyone to assist Mary aside from Joseph. Even if the stable had just been cleaned, it still was a dirty, smelly place. The baby came - they cleaned him up the best they could – and Mary “wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger.”

The creator of heaven and earth, in the most humble and lowly of circumstances had become one of us – so he could die - that we might live!!

"Oh love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall for-ever-more endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.”


Saturday, December 12, 2009


“The passionate commitment
of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies
will make this happen!”
Isaiah 9:7 NLT

The love of God goes beyond all human comprehension!! He created people in his own image to have fellowship with them. When they yielded to the serpent’s temptation and disobeyed God - even before they knew that they needed forgiveness, God promised a Savior who would make forgiveness possible. To the serpent he said: “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15 This is a prophesy of Satan’s final destruction and Christ’s sacrifice for our sins.

Another reference to the promised Savior is made to Abraham in Genesis 22:18 “Through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed.”

900 years later God promised David: “I will raise up one of your descendants, your own offspring, and I will make his kingdom strong…..Your house and your kingdom will continue before me for all time, and your throne will be secure forever.” 2 Samuel 7:12, 16.

Isaiah 9:6,7 sees the promised Savior as clearly as if it had already happened. “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!”

The promise of our Savior was not an afterthought – it was in the Father’s loving heart from all eternity and he made it happen!

During these days before Christmas, may we KEEP LOOKING UP beyond the tinsel and decorations to the true meaning of the season.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


“Always be joyful.
Never stop praying.
Be thankful in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you
who belong to Christ Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NLT
Our mindset is our habitual mental attitude that determines how we will interpret and respond to situations. Our basic mindset is initially shaped by our family, friends, and the culture we grow up in. However, our mindset can be changed for the better or worse by what we focus our thoughts on.

As born again believers we always have reason to rejoice, no matter how many disappointments we may face. The fact that our sins are forgiven through Christ overshadows every negative thing we may be facing. So there is always reason to rejoice.

Our Father’s door is always open, and we can talk with him about whatever is on our heart, whether praise or a call for help. We can have a continuing mental or verbal conversation with him day and night no matter what we are doing.

All of us have things happen to us and we get into situations for which we are NOT thankful! But even in the midst of such painful and disturbing circumstances there are always reasons to be thankful because of the hope we have in Christ!!

God’s will for us is to make a habit of focusing on doing what pleases him in every situation. That will bring him glory, and a deep lasting peace to us.