Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas and its meaning...

Good morning all-

Headlines are reading this morning that a Jordanian pilot has been captured by ISIS.  Then I turn to the weather channel and a tornado is moving through parts of Georgia and finally a number of tweets are on the actress from "The Interview" and her sadness that her Today Show spot was cancelled.  By the way that's been in the last five minutes.  Do you see how easy it is to get caught up in the chaos?  And yet, my mind wanders to Christmas and why in a few short hours people will be reflecting on its meaning while gathering with friends and family.

Why do we celebrate Christmas?  I think it's important to ask yourself this question.  Is it so we can rush through the festivities to the presents, eat way to much and be merry, or is there a deeper meaning?   Do I think we have lost the meaning of Christmas?  Sometimes, especially when we are out driving in bad traffic or just in our heads counting down the days without really looking up.  So
this morning as I drink my coffee, I'm focused on one thing only, Christ.  He is the reason for the season.  Beyond the beautiful lights and the presents, there is a true God.  He is not an idol or a prophet.  He doesn't need ritual and grand jestures.  He is a God that loves His people, who is there in our time of need and who shows us daily that His sacrifice was for us.  We aren't required to bow a million times or fast for days.  We don't have to try to put our mind in a peaceful place or spend hours at church.  All He requires is that we love Him with all our hearts and minds and that we confess our sins, not to others but to Him.  He is the lamb who died upon a cross that saved you and me.  So as you are preparing for Christmas don't get caught up in the worldly things of Christmas, get caught up in the Spirit behind the day.  He is with us, watching over us and loving you in Africa, France, England, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel and all over the world.  His love spreads farther than a missile, higher than the the farthest star and wider than the earth.  He is God and He is near.  Please take a moment to pray for your families and those that are in need of a Savior.  Please pray for the pilot and his family that was shot down by ISIS and pray that hearts would turn towards Christ.  We live in evil times and often we are distracted by those times.  Focus on the Lamb of God who was slain so that we would have eternal life.  There was no greater gift than Jesus.

Be well my sisters and join me in my prayer for this Christmas. Dear sisters please treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart just as Mary did.  We must treasure the birth of Jesus so our children and grandchildren can spread the good news.  He is Lord!

An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the !!Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived. (‭Luke‬ ‭2‬:‭9-21‬ NIV)

My prayer today:

O, Lord of Israel, divine King over the world, please inhabit the souls of those that don't know You and renew those that have forgotten what You have done.  Many are suffering all over the world and You know them by name, give them peace and help them as they try to find You.  Open the eyes of the lost and the warrior that believes we are heretics.  Make our enemies see You as You did during the time of the Old Testament.  The world needs You now as it grows more selfish and full of material things over spiritual things.  You are the reason for Christmas because it was Your birth that stirred the hearts of men.  It was Your birth that made people quake and it's your birth that saved me and everyone that follows the name of Christ.  You are one God and You are the Savior of the world.  Come upon Your people, fill us with Your Holy Spirit, guide us to You and to those that need You and bring peace on this earth.  My prayer is that millions will find You on the day we celebrate Your birth.  Place conviction in the hearts of those that are against You, for You are mighty and true.  Thank You for allowing Americans to continue to worship You in an open way.  This country continues to have the privilege of acknowledging You.  Please continue that freedom and turn hearts toward You, not just in America but all over the world.  May Your light shine on the masses as we praise Your name in song and prayer.  In Jesus Name, AMEN.

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