A man came, sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify about the light, so that everyone might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify about the light. The true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was created by him, but the world did not recognize him. He came to what was his own, but his own people did not receive him. But to all who have received him – those who believe in his name – he has given the right to become God’s children – children not born by human parents or by human desire or a husband’s decision, but by God.
~The Apostle John, John 1:6-13
A deep Christian thinker once said: “preach the Gospel always, use words when necessary.” I am sure the intention of this thinker was Read More
Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure of this? For I am an old man, and my wife is old as well.” The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. And now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will be silent, unable to speak, until the day these things take place.”
~Zechariah and Gabriel, Luke 1:18-20
Zechariah had just been told of a blessing he and his wife were about to receive. He and his wife Elizabeth were Read More
In those days Mary got up and went hurriedly into the hill country, to a town of Judah, and entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She exclaimed with a loud voice, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child in your womb! And who am I that the mother of my Lord should come and visit me? For the instant the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that what was spoken to her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”
~Mary and Elizabeth, Luke 1:39-45
Mary had just been told that her life was about to change but she also heard that Elizabeth, her elderly aunt’s life was about to change. Elizabeth was elderly but she was Read More
Now the birth of Jesus Christ happened this way. While his mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph, her husband to be, was a righteous man, and because he did not want to disgrace her, he intended to send her away privately. When he had contemplated this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, because the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you will name him Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
~The Apostle Matthew 1:18-25
Life doesn’t always turn out the way you think it will. Sometimes our expectations are crushed by Read More
The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town of Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, a descendant of David, and the virgin’s name was Mary. The angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled by his words and began to wonder about the meaning of this greeting. So the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God! Listen: You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 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. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will never end.” Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I have not had relations with a man?” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be holy; he will be called the Son of God.
~Gabriel and Mary, Luke 1:26-35
The clearer the calling of God the more difficult the task. Mary was given a very clear mission. She would have a child without Read More
As for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, seemingly insignificant among the clans of Judah – from you a king will emerge who will rule over Israel on my behalf, one whose origins are in the distant past.
~The Prophet Micah, Micah 5:2
The little town of Bethlehem has a significant place in history. The small town surrounded by grain fields is where God chose to Read More
For this reason the sovereign master himself will give you a confirming sign. Look, this virgin is about to conceive and will give birth to a son. You, young woman, will name him Immanuel.
~The Prophet Isaiah, Isaiah 7:14
Throughout history people have longed to see the promise of God fulfilled. God had promised that through the “seed of woman” He would rescue His creation.
Sometimes it is hard to imagine how something out of the ordinary will happen. Read More
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to testify to you about these things for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star!”
~Jesus, Revelation 22:16
God had made a promise to King David, it was a continuation of the promise He had made to Adam and Abram. One day in a time of His choosing God would bless the world through the family of David. Read More
Naomi said, “Look, your sister-in-law is returning to her people and to her god. Follow your sister-in-law back home!” But Ruth replied, “Stop urging me to abandon you! For wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live. Your people will become my people, and your God will become my God.
~Naomi and Ruth, Ruth 1:15-16
God’s Christmas promise came through Abram’s family but the promise was not only for his family. God’s intent was to bless all people with Read More
Then Rahab let the spies down by a rope through the window. (Her house was built as part of the city wall; she lived in the wall.) She told them, “Head to the hill country, so the ones chasing you don’t find you. Hide from them there for three days, long enough for those chasing you to return. Then you can be on your way.” The men said to her, “We are not bound by this oath you made us swear unless the following conditions are met: When we invade the land, tie this red rope in the window through which you let us down, and gather together in your house your father, mother, brothers, and all who live in your father’s house. Anyone who leaves your house will be responsible for his own death – we are innocent in that case! But if anyone with you in the house is harmed, we will be responsible. If you should report what we’ve been up to, we are not bound by this oath you made us swear.” She said, “I agree to these conditions.” She sent them on their way and then tied the red rope in the window.
~Rahab and two spies, Joshua 2:15-21
Rahab did not live a life that was pleasing to God. She ran a business that exploited other people, but she did fear God. The story of this unlikely hero provides an excellent picture of our situation and God’s Christmas gift to Read More