Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Jesus Away With the Manger?

What will you do with Jesus now that the Christmas season is over?  Maybe you will tuck Jesus away along with all of the Christmas decorations that come down after the 25th.  I urge you not to do that this year!  Really, we should be in awe of Jesus‘ coming to the earth as a baby boy every day.  We should be in awe because He came to offer every one of us forgiveness of sin.  
Forgiveness.  A complete cleansing.  A new life.  And it comes not through our own efforts to be “good enough” (see Ephesians 2:8-9)  We can never be good enough to measure up to God’s standard, which is perfection.  
This makes me think about the movie Mary Poppins.  (Another piece of evidence that I have young children!)  There is a point in the movie where Mary Poppins pulls a tape measure out of her bottomless carpet bag.  This isn’t any old tape measure; when she measures the children, each one “measures up” to an accurate description of personality and behavior.  When Mary is measured, it reads “practically perfect in every way.”  Imagine God’s tape measure: the standard is PERFECTION.  Only Jesus Christ “measures up.”  I won’t even tell you what my “height” would read!   Completely perfect in every way.  This is why we need a Savior!  None of us measures up without Jesus. 
The Creator of the world, the entire universe clothed Himself in human flesh and walked the earth (see Colossians 1:13-17).
The King of kings humbled Himself and left the magnificence of Heaven to become a servant and to give up His life for us (Mark 10:45).
The Ruler of all things came to the earth for one purpose: to be the final, ultimate sacrifice for sin, to offer us forgiveness of sin because without the shedding of blood sin cannot be forgiven (Hebrews 9:22).
This is just a sampling of what Jesus’ birth really means, and what those of us who believe in Jesus and trust Him as our Lord ought to celebrate at Christmas time and give thanks for every day of our lives.


Friday, December 2, 2011

24 Days of CHRISTmas

I love Christmastime! The lights, the decorations, the music, the festivities...I could go on!  But one of my favorite things about the month of December is the tradition that my husband and I started a couple of years ago. It is one we have enjoyed sharing with our children as well, and hope to pass it on to future generations.  
The 24 days leading up to Christmas is a perfect time to look at some of the Bible’s Old Testament prophecies and New Testament fulfillments concerning the Messiah (Savior), who we know is Jesus Christ.  Curl up in your favorite chair with a blanket and cup of hot cocoa and read through one grouping of the following verses each day from now until Christmas. Look at how the Old Testament describes Messiah, and watch how the New Testament describes Jesus Christ. (Just a note: this list of verses is not exhaustive!) If you ever wondered how we know He is the Messiah, you will discover the answer this month. 
  • Genesis 3:14-15 
    • (Luke 22:52-53; Galatians 4:4-5)
  • Genesis 12:2-3 
    • (Matthew 1:1; Acts 3:25-26;)
  • Genesis 13:14-16 
    • (Galatians 3:15-19)
  • Genesis 22:18 
    • (Galatians 3:6-9)
  • Genesis 49:10 
    • (Luke 1:32-33)
  • Numbers 24:17 
    • (Luke 1:32-35)
  • Deuteronomy 18:15 
    • (Acts 3:18, 22-26)
  • Deuteronomy 18:18 
    • (John 6:14; 12:49-50)
  • Psalm 2:7 
    • (Acts 13:32-33)
  • Psalm 8:4-6 
    • (Hebrews 2:6-9)
  • Psalm 45:6-7 
    • (Hebrews 1:8-9)
  • Psalm 102:25-27 
    • (Hebrews 1:8a, 10-12)
  • Psalm 118:26 
    • (Matthew 21:9; Mark 11:9; Luke 19:38)
  • Isaiah 7:14 
    • (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35)
  • Isaiah 9:1-2 
    • (Matthew 4:12-16)
  • Isaiah 9:6-7 
    • (Luke 1:31-33)
  • Isaiah 11:1-2 
    • (Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22)  
  • Isaiah 16:5 
    • (Luke 1:32-33)      
  • Isaiah 42:1-4 
    • (Matthew 12:15-21)
  • Isaiah 55:3 
    • (Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25)
  • Isaiah 59:20-21 
    • (Matthew 1:21; Acts 2:38-39)
  • Jeremiah 23:5-6 
    • (Luke 1:32-33; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
  • Isaiah 35:5-6 
    • (Matthew 11:4-6; Luke 7:22)
  • Micah 5:2 
    • (Matthew 2:1-6)

May this renew your sense of awe this Christmas season. Merry Christmas!