Posts Tagged ‘Mark Besh’

The First ‘Christmas’

29 December 18

Parents, remember the birth of your first baby, and going though all the apprehension and nervousness? Then, after it was born, how all that was replaced with inexplicable joy? (Especially for mom!)

Well, first off, let me say that second, third, fourth, etc. babies are just as ‘important’—it’s just that the first is ‘uncharted territory’ for the new parents.

Now, at least here in the U.S., women know that they are very fortunate to have access to arguably the best medical care in the world, where most families experience the birth their first child in a hospital (According to the U.S. government, as of 2012, less than 2% of the births are outside of a hospital). But, natural, “at-home” births are becoming much more commonly planned (in “low-risk” situations), though a very small amount are performed because they were ‘unexpected’. [ Many parents also noted that they wanted to have their other children experience the birth of a baby ].

 

Even though childbirth is kind of a ‘miraculous’ event, since it happens many, many times daily throughout the world, most people view it as an ‘ordinary’ occurrence. That being said, there was ONE BIRTH that was EXTRAORDINARY, truly MIRACULOUS, and a ‘FIRST’—the birth of Jesus, with God becoming man. A ‘MOMENTOUS’ TIME for the world!

 

Now, that depiction of the birth of Jesus (from the movie, “Mary of Nazareth”), based on historical evidence, was definitely ‘sanitized’ (especially compared to the mom in the first video!). The thing is, we should not try to ‘romanticize’ it or settle for a fanciful legend that renders the “Christmas story” as ‘picturesque’. That first ‘Christmas’ was anything but ordinary—for ONE ‘MAJOR’ REASON.

From the Bible, here’s the scene: “And she [ Mary ] gave birth to her firstborn son and she wrapped Him in swaddling cloths and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn” [ Luke 2:7 ].

To me, that verse describes a very ‘lonely’ birth. Where usually a midwife would clean up the baby and wrap him in the cloths, there was not one mentioned. Most likely, Mary did the birthing all by herself. Where there usually would have been a cradle or basket for the baby, there was none. Mary had to put Jesus in an animal’s feeding trough—and the ‘manger’ in which Mary laid Jesus would have probably reeked of animal ‘slobber’ and smelled ‘the high heaven’.

The Bible doesn’t even mention that Joseph was present. Perhaps he was, but if he was a typical first-time father, he would have been of little help to Mary anyway [ ;^D ]. She was basically on her own.

Now, let me ‘back up’ a bit to give you a more encompassing view of all that was happening in the FIRST ‘CHRISTMAS’ story.

 

The First ‘Christmas’

Most people know that the “Christmas story” is about a baby born in a stable in a small village called Bethlehem in the land of Israel 2,000+ years ago, and the parents, Joseph and Mary, named Him Jesus. While still in the stable, a bunch of shepherds and “Magi” showed up.

[ Note: As a clarification, the Magi did not show up when they were in the “stable,” since the Greek word used for where they showed up was “oikian,” which means “house,” so Jesus was probably 1-2 years old. (That’s the reason why Herod had all boys two years old and younger killed) ].

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!’” [ Luke 2:8-14 ].

 

Many people like to put up a manger scene that shows all the ‘characters’ mentioned above. The thing is, most of the time there is a problem with that. Most people have just gazed upon the manger scene for so many years that they’ve become ‘numb’ to it, and so often they have stopped thinking about it’s DEEPER MEANING.

But, when one does ‘really’ think about it, you realize that this scene isn’t ‘normal’ at all. What happened at the manger wasn’t designed to put us into “the holiday mood.” It was intended to SHAKE US to the ‘essence’ of our soul!

 

The word “Savior” mentioned in the above passage, in the Greek, means “Deliverer; Preserver; Jesus Christ who saves believers from their sins and delivers them into His safety” (Strong’s Greek Lexicon). You might then ask, “Savior from what?” Well…GOD’S ‘WRATH’! The Christmas message is one of loving rescue from ‘deserved’ wrath. Leave off the wrath of God, and you only have a ’vainglorious’ story about an invisible God who loves us for some reason.

Now, you might say, “WAIT ONE MINUTE!!! Are you are telling me that the real reason for Christmas is because of God’s ‘anger’ toward us? I was always told that ‘God is love,’ and Jesus came to bring ‘peace on earth’. How can God be angry at a bunch of humans that He knows are imperfect?!”

Well, let me give you a bit of the ‘back story’ to explain what you may think as my ‘ludicrous’ assertion.

 

God, the Creator of the universe, creates man without sin and puts him in a perfect environment. He then ‘creates’ women from man’s rib. In the garden, Adam and Eve disobey God, having been tempted by the “serpent” (Satan) to desire to “be like God” (Genesis 3:5). They then ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, catapulting the whole human race into a ‘cursed’ condition.

The results were tragic. Adam and Eve, expecting illumination, immediately experience humiliation, seeing their nakedness. They feared God’s presence, and threw each other ‘under the bus’ to avoid God’s wrath. The serpent, Eve, and Adam are all ‘cursed’. Death enters the world, and they are forbidden from reentering God’s paradise. “The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies. The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished” [ Nahum 1:2-3 ].

Now, like a disease, all of their offspring was ‘infected’ and was born a ‘sinner’, and all have turned into rebels and ‘enemies’ against God, violating His laws. (Yes, this has infected even you and me!)

Despite the darkness that shrouded that day, one ‘beam’ of hope shone through—and this is where we come back to the topic of the FIRST ‘CHRISTMAS’.

God promised that a special Child would be born, who would defeat the serpent: “I will put enmity between you [ i.e. Satan ] and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Genesis 3:15). God promised that Someone among Eve’s offspring would win the ultimate ‘victory’ over Satan. The promise of this offspring is ‘fulfilled’ in JESUS.

 

So, since all of us are human, we are all sinners, and we ALL NEED ‘Christmas’. This holiday of holidays doesn’t exist because we need a ‘vacation’ from work, more family get-togethers, to exchange gifts, experience special foods, or have special church services. ‘Christmas’ exists because WE ALL HAVE SINNED and ‘DESERVE’ JUDGEMENT!

God, being perfectly just and perfectly holy, must ‘PUNISH’ sin (just as any ‘good’ judge would do in the courtroom). He can either justly punish all us sinners for each one of our sins—which would mean sending all of us to Hell forever to pay the ‘unpayable’ infinite penalty for our sins against an infinite God—or He can provide a ‘substitute’ to bear the punishment for all of our sins.

Out of an INCONCEIVABLE LOVE for sinners, God deemed that He would send His Son, Jesus, to become a man for the purpose of dying FOR sinners, in order to bear the infinite punishment that they owe.

Jesus then lived a sinless life, and God punishes Him on the Cross to bear the total punishment for all who would believe throughout all of human history. Three days later, Jesus is resurrected, God ‘validates’ His sacrifice as being perfect, and declares that it has satisfied His ‘penalty’ for the sins of those who put their trust in His Son, Jesus.

[ Note: See the “Parable of the Unforgiving Servant” (Matthew 18:21-35) for an explanation of this ].

 

So now, when I stop to consider these facts, and then take a second look at that scene of the baby Jesus in the manger with this new information, I better understand that the REAL STORY of Christmas is not the manger, stable, new parents, a little baby, the shepherds, or the wise men—that’s all ‘surface’ stuff. The REAL REASON is the ‘SATIATION’ OF GOD’S WRATH against sinners, and His divine love to ‘REDEEM’ sinners.

 

Again, you still might be ‘reeling’ from my previous claim about Christmas being about God’s ‘ANGER’ toward us, so maybe a Bible story can clear this up for you:

“But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. He went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish. So he paid the fare and went down into it, to go with them to Tarshish, away from the presence of the Lord.

But the Lord hurled a great wind upon the sea, and there was a mighty tempest on the sea, so that the ship threatened to break up…Therefore they called out to the Lord, ‘O Lord, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not on us innocent blood, for you, O Lord, have done as it pleased you.’ So they picked up Jonah and hurled him into the sea, and the sea ceased from its raging” [ Jonah 1:3-4, 14-15 ].

It is clear that God ‘sent’ the storm, and it was because of His ‘ANGER’ against Jonah—for his sin of disobedience (and God is ‘FURIOUS’ at ALL OF US for ANY of our sins, too!).

So, why is God so furious? Well, it’s because He is PERFECTLY GOOD and PERFECTLY LOVING, and our sins are an ‘OFFENSE’ to Him. Our sins have ‘offended’ an INFINITELY HOLY Being, and punishment must correspond to that offense.

[ For more on this, see the “God’s Love/God’s Justice” section of this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/house-of-horrors-v237/ ].

 

So, God’s anger comes down on us like a raging ‘storm’, and there’s NOTHING WE CAN DO to stop it! “For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth” [ Romans 1:18 ]. Then, are we all going to Hell?

Well, not all of us. In order to stop the ‘storm’ that is coming against all of us for our sins, Jesus ‘threw’ Himself into the ‘sea’ of God’s wrath to ‘cover’ all of our sins (like the ‘covering’ of sins by the sacrifice of a lamb in Old Testament times). So, when Jesus ‘paid’ for all of our sins with His perfect life, God’s anger was ‘calmed’, and He then could freely love us, since we all are now ‘cleansed’ by Jesus’ sacrificial blood.

 

God is Perfectly Righteous and Cannot Overlook Sin

We have a hard time thinking or conceiving about God as wrathful—it makes us ‘squirm’, and it probably should! The problem is that we tend to think about God’s wrath in the same way that we think about our sin—that it’s no big deal. We think: “Well, no one’s perfect”; “I don’t think God is going to hold that against me”; “I do try to be a good person”; or “I don’t believe I’m that bad to be sent to Hell.”

The thing is, many people say that all this doesn’t matter since when they die, they will just cease to exist. Well, the Bible has a different view: “[God] has set a day when He will judge the world” [ Acts 17:31 ]. All of us will ‘live’ eternally somewhere. The Bible calls these places “Heaven” and “Hell”—and for those who have not been “redeemed,” they will suffer the punishment for their sins in a place separated from God and from everything that is good—forever!

[ Note: For more detailed info about this, read the “Misconceptions About Hell” section of this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/house-of-horrors-v237/ ].

 

People also think that the God of the Old Testament was “mean,” but the God of the New Testament is “nice,” and that “God is loving and forgiving no matter what.”

Maybe you have said (or thought) some of those things—or maybe you’ve heard them said—and the concept of God’s wrath still makes you question His ‘goodness’, especially when God talks about eternal damnation. We think that God is being overly harsh and not being ‘fair’ about all this—since He knows we’re not perfect—so we tend to minimize or think very ‘lowly’ of the sin in our lives, and that sin only deserves a ‘slap on the wrist’.

Theologian R.C. Sproul tells a story in one of his seminars that just might help you ‘grasp’ this subject of God’s justice and His ‘fairness’:

“We become so accustomed to God’s normal patterns of grace and mercy that we not only begin to take it for granted, we begin to assume it. We begin to demand it. And then if we don’t get it, we are furious. We’re all like Rex Harrison: “We’ve grown accustomed to God’s grace.” We’ve presumed upon that grace. We assume that God will be as kind to us always as He is now, and that because He stays the hand of His justice, that He will stay it forever.

My favorite illustration about this took place in the early years of my teaching. I was taking a new teaching assignment at a place where I had not taught before, and I had the responsibility of teaching 250 freshmen a required course” “An Introduction to the Old Testament.”

And on the first day of class, I gave out the course syllabus and explained the requirements. I had already taught long enough to know that these kids are Philadelphia lawyers and they’ll find loopholes in your directions and so on. So, I said, “I want to make it very clear. Here’s the rules. You have three little papers—they were short papers—just three to five pages that you have to turn in over the course of the semester. And the first one is due the 30th of September at 12 o’clock noon. It has to be on my desk. And if it’s not there, you get a zero an ‘F’ for that assignment, unless you are physically confined in the hospital or an infirmary, or there’s a death in the immediate family (not your dog!).” I then asked, “Does everybody understand?” They all said, “Oh yes, we agree.” I then said, “The first one’s due September the 30th.”

On September the 30th, 225 students diligently came forward with their term paper. Twenty-five of the students failed to make the deadline and they were terrified—standing there shivering and shaking in fear. And they came to me begging, “Oh, Dr. Sproul we didn’t get our papers done. We didn’t make the transition from high school to college. We didn’t budget our time properly. Please don’t flunk us. Please, don’t give us an ‘F.’ Please, give us an extension. Please let us have a little more time.” They are begging! ‘Crocodile’ tears. So I said, “Okay, okay, okay. I’ll give you a couple more days to finish it—two more days extension. But don’t do this again!” They said, “Oh, thank you very much. You’re wonderful!” Two days later, they all turned their papers in, and everything was fine.

October 30th came. The second paper is due. This time, 200 students come with their papers, and 50 of them don’t have their term paper. So, I said, “Where’s your term papers?” They said, “Oh, professor this paper was through the same week and everybody else had papers due, and we had midterms, and besides that we had homecoming and we were all busy working on floats for homecoming.” They gave me all these excuses. There was ‘weeping and gnashing of teeth’. They said, “Please, please, please! Give us one more chance.” I said, “Okay, but this is the last time! You better not do this again! I’m telling you if you do it again you’ll flunk. Is that clear?” They said, “Oh yes!” And spontaneously, the class began to sing: “We love you, Prof. Sproul, Oh, yes we do.” I was ‘Mr. Nice Guy’. And I enjoyed this wonderful rapport with the kids until November 30th, when the third paper came due.

Now, this time 150 kids come with their third paper 100 of them just breeze in that day and there’s not a concern in the world. I said “Hey, wait a minute! Whoa! Where’s your papers?” And one kid—I’ll never forget—he said, “Hey, hey Prof. Don’t sweat it. We’ll have it for you in a couple days.” I said, “What?” He said, Hey, look, don’t worry.” I said, “What’s your name?” He said, “Jamison.” I said, “Jamison, ‘F’. Martin, where’s your paper?” He said, “Don’t have it, sir.” I said, “‘F.’ Allen, ‘F’. Baumgartner, ‘F’.”

What do you suppose was their reaction? Unmitigated fury. Like one voice, they cried out—you can guess what they cried out—“That’s not fair!” I said, “Wilson, what did you say.” He said, “I said, that’s not fair!” I said, “Oh, it’s justice that you want! Seems to me, Wilson, that I remember that the last time you were late, too—isn’t that right?” And he said, “Yes.” I said, “Okay, I’ll give you justice. I’ll give you an ‘F’ for this one, and I’m gonna give you an ‘F’ for the last one.” So I took up my black book and I went back to his name and for the second paper I made an ‘F’. I said, “Who else wants justice?” And nobody said a word!

That’s how we are. We get mercy once and we’re thrilled. We praise God. We get it twice, and we tell how wonderful is His kindness. But by now we’re beginning to assume it, and to presume it. And without the twinkling of an eye, we begin to demand it. We begin to think that He owes it to us.

I said to my students two things. I said, “Look, don’t ever ask God for justice—you might get it!” The second was this: “That the basic difference between justice and grace is this: That grace has never, never, never, never due us! God is never obligated to be gracious. Grace by definition is voluntary. And the minute you think that God owes you mercy, let a bell go off in your head, and realize that you’re no longer thinking about mercy, you’re thinking about justice.”

 

[ Note: For more detailed info about this, read the “God’s Love/God’s Justice” section of this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/house-of-horrors-v237/ ].

 

Why Is Sin So Bad?

Some people suggest that our greatest problem is lack of education, lack of self-esteem, or lack of social welfare. However, if any of these were the case, why is there still so much discord and conflict even for the academically gifted, financially well-off, and very confident people? Why haven’t they got this all sorted out by now? It’s because sin causes ‘alienation’ from others, and causes ‘brokenness’ within our hearts, marriages, and homes. Each time we ‘miss the mark’, we spoil our own lives and the lives of those around us. It means we fall short of God’s perfection and He cannot lower His standard or compromise His character. Anything that falls short of His standard of perfection is sin—and the ‘distance’ between sinful men and a perfect God is far too great for humans to get there on their own. Sin is not merely a bad habit, in fact, sin is OUR GREATEST ‘PROBLEM’—as well as God’s.

The Bible says that, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” [ Romans 3:23 ]. Everyone misses the mark when it comes to pleasing, loving, and following God—who sustains us and gives us everything we have. We can miss the mark by an inch or by a mile, but it’s still a miss, so it’s still a sin!

[ For more details about “missing the mark’, see this previous Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/missing-the-mark-v222/ ]

 

The problem is, often many people don’t much care if they miss the mark or not—they are not even ‘aiming’ at living in a way that pleases God, but rather live trying to please themselves. However, even when we are really trying to obey God, we still miss the mark and sin.

Well, as the human race has been trying for millennia, we still have not figured out how to ‘overcome’ sin on our own. We can try to live the perfect life, and try as we may with all our strength to do everything the right way, we will ultimately fail. The Apostle Paul was one of the most faithful and dedicated servants of God (in my and others’ opinion, the ‘greatest’ Christian, besides Jesus), and if anyone was going to be able to live the ‘perfect’ life, it would have been him. But, this is what he said: “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me” [ Romans 7:15-20 ].

Paul goes on to say, “what a wretched man I am, who will save me from this body of death?” Paul knew he couldn’t do this on his own, and that he needed Someone to be his Savior.

Well, the truth is, we ALL NEED A SAVIOR! We all need to be ‘SAVED’ from our sin—and God made that possible ‘through’ Jesus. That’s was the message of the angels at Jesus’ birth: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” [ Luke 2:11 ].

Sin ‘enslaves’ us and we can’t stop it even if we want to! Like a REALLY, REALLY bad habit, it proves impossible to ‘break’. So, am I ‘doomed’ to being tyrannized by sin?

Maybe this illustration can help you understand this:

Two men were digging a ditch. As they were digging, the ditch collapsed and unfortunately both of them fell in. It was a very deep hole and they couldn’t climb out. There was no way for them to get out themselves, so one man looked at the another and said, “Help me get me out of here.” The other man said, “How can I help you when I can’t even help myself? I can’t get out of this ditch, so I certainly can’t help you get out.” They were stuck. So, they started to cry out to see if there might be somebody up there that could get them out of there. Finally, a man came by, threw down a rope, and pulled both of them to safety.

The same thing happens when you ask your ‘neighbor’ to help you get into ‘right’ relationship with a perfect God. They can’t help you get you out of the ‘hole’ you are in with God, since they are in the same ‘hole’ you’re in—“because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” [ Romans 3:23 ]. But, we can CRY OUT for Someone who’s not in the hole with you to get you out.

The thing is, when it comes to our sins—done against an infinitely holy God—it requires an infinitely holy ‘Person’ to be capable to pay that penalty. There is ONLY ONE Someone from the ‘outside’ that doesn’t share in our sin ‘predicament’, and has the ability to pay the price to free us from the consequences of our sins. That ‘Someone’ is JESUS. “He [ Jesus ] who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21), and if you believe in Him as your Savior, He will throw you a ‘lifeline’!

 

Now, Jesus didn’t come merely to help us put the ‘broken pieces’ of our lives together so that we could be ‘whole’ again. He didn’t come to charge up our little religious ‘battery’ so that we would become nicer people. He didn’t even come to make our life happier. Jesus came because we are ‘drowning’, miles from shore, and the sharks are circling!

If you are drowning, it doesn’t help for someone to come along side of you in a boat and say, “Hey, you need to try a little harder treading water, so you can save yourself.” No, just like the guys in the hole, you need someone to reach down, grasp your arm, pull you out, and take you to shore—and if you know you are drowning, you don’t refuse the person who is offering to pull you out. You hold on to their hand with everything you got, and profusely thank them for saving your life!

 

We must understand that God is rightfully punishing our sins, but Jesus voluntarily ‘stepped in front’ of God’s fury and anger in the place of all who would believe in Him. Without Jesus absolving us by taking on the wrath of God, there would be no interaction with Him at all. Jesus experienced God’s wrath for us (“My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” – Matthew 27:46b). Only ‘God’ (Jesus) can overcome God’s wrath, and provide forgiveness for us.

So, instead of God’s wrath, the believer only knows God’s love and mercy. But, for unbelievers, every sin they commit stokes the ‘fire’ of God’s wrath. It is ‘bubbling’, and one day it will ‘boil over’ on them—and it will ‘destroy’ them forever if they don’t repent of their sins! “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” [ Romans 6:23 ].

 

Some people mention that other religions teach that there are other ‘ways’ to get to God. Well, all of us has to determine if they believe the Bible is ‘inspired’ by the Holy Spirit of God (I do), and then who Jesus is. The Apostle Paul said that, “For there is one God and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all” [ 1 Timothy 2:5-6 ]. This is saying that Jesus is the ONLY ‘MEDIATOR’ between God and man, and our ’substitute’ for all our sins. You have to determine for yourself if that is true!

 

Jesus was BORN TO DIE

Sometimes at Christmas time, it is difficult for us to see Jesus other than as a little baby. Even though we now know the ‘real’ reason why He came, we still usually focus on His death on the Cross at another time of the year (Easter). The thing is, we must never forget that He CAME TO DIE!

Those soft the baby hands—fashioned by the Holy Spirit in Mary’s womb—were made to have two great nails hammered through them. Those chubby little feet were made to walk up the hill at Golgotha and be nailed to a cross. That sacred head was made to wear a crown of thorns, and His tender body, wrapped in swaddling clothes, would be pierced by a spear to reveal a broken ‘heart’. The death of Jesus was no accident. It was ‘planned’ from eternity past!

Jesus died to remove the curse so we regain our relationship with God. But to do that, He had to come a man—Adam’s ‘replacement’. Even though in doing so, He temporarily became lower than the angels, He accomplished something no angel could: Our ‘RESTORATION’.

This illustration I heard might help you understand why Jesus had to become a man:

“A man was observing a certain anthill for months. Each day the man spent hours watching the intricate maneuvering of these ants, and had come to the place where he felt a very special affinity for them.

One day the man saw a huge bulldozer in the distance, and immediately realized that this anthill lay right in the path of the construction of the new road. The man panicked. He desperately searched his mind for a way to remove the ants. He scooped up a hand full of them, but they only bit him. He thought of building a fence around the ant pile, but realized the bulldozer would only tear it down. In his frenzied mind, he thought to himself, if only I could communicate to them and tell them about the danger ahead of them. If only I could make them see I’m their friend, and only want to save them from complete destruction. But despite his great concern, he could think of no way to communicate to them in a way they would understand. You see, to be able to do that he’d have to become an ant himself, and yet fully retain the nature of a man so he could continue to clearly assess the problem and make it known to the ants.”

So, God, seeing how the world was devastated by sin, sent His one and only Son to become one of us (an ‘ant’) so that He could ‘speak our language’ and warn us of our plight—the impending danger that would come upon our life if we continued to sin (the bulldozer)—and guide us away from destruction (offering us His ‘salvation’ instead of punishment we deserve…eternal Hell).

 

The first and foremost reason for Jesus’ ‘Incarnation’ was that He might taste death on behalf of every believer. He came to die in our place—to be our substitute. God had two options: Either let us die and have us pay for our own sins, or allow a ‘substitute’ to take our punishment and die in our place. He mercifully chose the latter.

Jesus died as our substitute for you and me. As a result, He freed us to live for and with God. Rejoice that the Creator of angels, the Lord of host, was willing to become lower than His creation for our sakes.

 

Jesus came for our sake. He was born to die on a cross for our sins, and He was resurrected to give us forgiveness and eternal life (“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures” – 1 Corinthians 15:3-4). So, Christmas is not so much the birth of a baby, but that the baby was God Himself, would live a perfect life, die, and be resurrected—to be the ‘propitiation’ for our sins.

So, Christians celebrate Christmas not so much the birth of a baby—as important as that is—but for the Incarnation of God Himself and what He came to do: DIE!

 

‘Preparation’ for “Good Friday”

Unless you understand the events of Easter, you will never grasp the ‘heart’ of Christmas.

On the cross, Jesus entered into a realm He had never experienced before. Here we have God, abandoned by God. Here we see God’s Son, punished as a sinner by His Father, even though He had never ever sinned, or never failed to love His Father perfectly. Jesus was experiencing the real abandonment of His Father. He was experiencing ‘hell.’

Why? Because Jesus was bearing the burden of the world’s sin. He was paying the price to redeem people. He was ‘going through hell’ so that He could save people from going to Hell.

It is what some people call the “Great Exchange.” God the Son took the penalty due to sinful people, so that God the Father declares guilty sinners who trust Jesus as forgiven and guilt free. We deserve to be on that cross; Jesus hung on it for us. Our sin deserves punishment; Jesus took all of it for us!

The ‘Cross’ shows me that my sin is very real and is absolutely ‘HORRENDOUS’—it took the death of God’s only Son to deal with it and free me from it. But, the Cross also shows me that God is ‘AWESOMELY’ LOVING!

This is why you will never get to the ‘heart’ of Christmas unless you grasp the meaning of Easter. Christianity is not necessarily good ‘advice’ about what we should think and how we should act (although it does provide some help with this). It is the Good News of what Jesus has done.

Christianity does not proclaim that you are worth saving or are able to save yourself. It announces that God WANTS to ‘save’ you! (“The Lord your God is with you, the mighty One who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing” – Zephaniah 3:17).

The 17th century poet and pastor, John Donne, in his Christmas Day sermon way back in 1626, said it this way: “[ Christ’s ] birth and His death were but one continual act, and His Christmas-Day and His Good Friday are but the evening and morning of one and the same day.”

D. DeHaan, of “Our Daily Bread” ministries, said it this way: “When we look beyond the manger, to the cross of Calvary, we will know the reason Christmas, brings such joy to you and me.”

 

God IS Loving and Forgiving

Now, while I am suggesting that the “Christmas story” is about God’s ‘wrath’ and ‘anger’, it, at the same time, is all about God’s LOVE. You may say, “What? How’s that work?”

Well, God put forward Jesus Christ “as a propitiation” for our sins (One who appeases or satisfies wrath – Romans 3:25). This way God could be “just” (fair and righteous) and also “the justifier” of the person who has faith in Jesus (Romans 3:26). God’s good standard is upheld, and we who believe are made righteous. Hopefully, this changes the thinking of those who call God, a “monster.”

For one, His anger was perfectly justified; secondly, it was His love that made a ‘way out’ for us; and thirdly, Jesus—fully God and fully man—willingly endured the punishment to make us right with God the Father. The Cross is a demonstration not only of God’s LOVE but of God’s JUSTICE.

So, out of love for His ‘children’, God ‘GAVE’ His only Son, Jesus, to take the punishment for our sin (“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him” – John 3:16-17). That is ‘REAL’ LOVE!

God has shown this love many times to us—even when we have been ‘insubordinate’. In the Old Testament, after God had just saved the Israelites from the Pharaoh by parting the Red Sea, the Israelites were impatient for Moses to come back from Mount Sinai with a ‘word’ from the Lord, so they created a “golden calf” to worship. Moses than had to intercede for them, and God was merciful. Moses proclaimed that God is “merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin” [ Exodus 34:6-7a ]. God had a ‘valid’ reason to punish them, but He didn’t.

Later in the Old Testament, King David also reminds us not to forget “all His [ God’s ] benefits, who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy” [ Psalm 103:2-4 ]. He also reminds us of God’s ‘redeeming’ character’: “He is compassionate, slow to anger, loving, forgiving, and gracious” (verses 3–13); He “does not punish us for all our sins . . . [or] deal harshly with us, as we deserve” (verse 10); and God “has forgiven our sins completely” (verses 11–12).

 

Just as God had a VERY VALID reason to ‘wipe out’ the flagrantly disobedient Israelites at Mount Sinai (after removing them from slavery, saving their lives, and feeding them miraculously), the Creator of everything, could just ‘TORCH’ all of us for our blatant disobedience and just start over again—but HE HASN’T! He ‘SACRIFICED’ His only Son on a rugged Roman cross to DIE IN YOUR PLACE for all your sins, so you could be free from condemnation and have a way for you to live forever with God in Heaven. Again, that’s REAL LOVE, and every Christmas (and Easter) Christians celebrate, out of the ‘GRATITUDE’, what God has done for them.

What all this demonstrates is that God’s love for us does not come at the expense of His holiness. Rather, because of His love for us, He made a way for His holiness and not destroy us (“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation” – Romans 5:6-11).

Rather than ignore or overlook sin—and essentially become unrighteous (like us)—God’s holy love devised a way to make us righteous—through Jesus’ substitutionary death!

 

What’s All This Mean For You?

Christmas is not just about family and presents, or even a sweet baby in a barn surrounded with shepherds, angels and beautiful music. It plays the much more profound role of ‘pointing’ to Good Friday, which culminates in Easter. “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many” [ Mark 10:45 ]. Jesus came to ‘drink the cup’ of God’s wrath so that we would never have to drink it (Matthew 26:39). He was temporarily abandoned on the Cross so that we might forever be accepted!

Based on a fuller understanding of the complete holiness of God, the wrath of God is simply a ‘REASONABLE’ RESPONSE to all the opposition of His holiness by evil and sinful people. This emphasizes the overpowering magnitude of His MERCY in His free offering of forgiveness for our sins through grace by our faith. Psalm 30:5 states, “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime.”

 

The Christmas season is actually about the joyful fulfillment of God’s long-anticipated promises of salvation: our reconciliation with Him and our escape from His wrath. The birth of the Messiah—foretold centuries before in the Old Testament—fulfills God’s promises of our redemption, which was made possible only through Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross at Calvary and His glorious resurrection from the dead.

The point of Jesus’ birth is that He CAME TO DIE on our behalf to justify us before a Holy God. We are then called to repent of our sins, have faith in Jesus, and we will be saved from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10). When we are justified by the death and resurrection of Jesus, we are saved from the wrath of God (Romans 5:9-10). Jesus’ atoning death was substitutionary on our behalf, and by it the holiness of God is satisfied and renders Him favorably disposed to us!

The New Testament clearly indicates that there is “a righteous wrathful anger” of God. So, our sinful condition cannot be ignored. We each stand in need of God’s forgiveness and mercy to avoid His wrath and our eternal punishment. God’s mercy is offered to all who seek it. We would be foolish to reject this or delay seeking God’s forgiveness. Something to really THINK ABOUT this Christmas season, isn’t it?

 

Many people see a manger scene on a Christmas card or on the front lawn of a home and interpret it to mean that once upon a time there lived a holy man who was truly a great moral teacher, and if we would simply follow His example a little more, the world would be a better place.

To these folks, Christmas can be very appealing, for they see in it nothing more than a sweet little baby Jesus who is very tolerant and not judgmental of others.

The thing is, most people have a ‘Christmas card’ version of Jesus. It is all rather sanitized, sentimentalized, and ‘safe’. The ‘Christmas card’ Jesus wears a permanent smile and only ever says nice things that make us feel wonderful about ourselves. That sees God simply as a ‘cheerleader’, Someone who simply wants our success and to solve all our problems. We want a ‘god’ who conforms to us rather than us conforming to Him!

However, the Incarnate God-man did not come on a mission to be a moral example to the world. He did not come on a mission to be our cosmic therapist or occupy a little area of our lives called “spirituality.” He came on a mission to REDEEM His people from sin, death and Hell through His life, death and resurrection—and in order to accomplish His mission, He had to suffer. It is that suffering that Isaiah describes in chapter 53—what Christ accomplished by the gloom and darkness of the Cross.

The importance of Christmas is not so much that Christ came into the world, but why He came into the world and what He actually accomplished. If we do not make that connection, it becomes very difficult to avoid sentimentalizing and misinterpreting Christmas.

 

THE Most Important Birth EVER!

There have been many ’notable’ births throughout history—because of what they then did in their lives. Some examples are: Moses, Homer, King David, King Solomon, Pythagoras, Confucius, Hippocrates, Euclid, Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Gautama Buddha, Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Cicero, Ptolemy, Horace, Cleopatra, Nero, Marcus Aurelius, John the Baptist, Apostle Paul, Apostle Peter, Tacitus, Constantine, St. Augustine, Mohammed, Charlemagne, Richard the Lionheart, St. Francis of Assisi, Marco Polo, Thomas Aquinas, Leonard da Vinci, Johannes Gutenberg, Christopher Columbus, Johannes Kepler, Blaise Pascal, Copernicus, Michelangelo, Joan of Arc, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Isaac Newton, Rembrandt, Shakespeare, Galileo, Bach, Mozart, Napoleon, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Charles Darwin, Adam Smith, Samuel Morse, Louis Pasteur, Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell, Florence Nightingale, Vincent Van Gogh, Albert Einstein, Henry Ford, Rosa Parks, Jonas Salk, Mahatma Gandhi, Marie Curie, Winston Churchill, Vincent Van Gogh, Indira Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Stephen Hawking, Martin Luther King, Jr., Tim Berners Lee, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, Jeff Bezos, and many, many others. (I’m sure I missed some ‘notable’ ones).

[ FYI: For a more comprehensive listing of “influential people, see this ‘crowd-ranked’ list:
https://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/the-most-influential-people-of-all-time ].

 

BUT, the MOST ‘NOTABLE’ BIRTH EVER was JESUS CHRIST. However, by all outward appearances, Jesus was just an ordinary Jewish baby (He didn’t arrive with a ‘halo’ or any visible presence of God’s glory). Apart from knowing divine revelation (Old Testament prophecies), no one would have known that He was unlike any other human being ever born.

However, He was unique in one way: Jesus didn’t have a human father, in fulfillment of a prophecy given hundreds of years earlier to Isaiah (Isaiah 7:14)—Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit in a virgin’s womb. Micah, another Old Testament prophet, wrote that this baby was to born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). He wrote this over 400 years before Jesus was born, and before the city of Bethlehem even existed!

Joseph, Mary, and the shepherds all learned of Jesus’ uniqueness from angels, but today, we have the inerrant, divinely inspired Word of God (the Bible) to tell us who He truly is—a ‘baby’ that was destined to “save His people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21). That’s why Joseph was told to name Him “Jesus,” which means “Yahweh saves” or “God rescues.”

 

The Greatest ‘Gift’ Ever

For many people—whether they care to admit it or not—Christmas is about giving gifts. Children nearly burst in anticipation of Christmas morning. Far-sighted adults start stockpiling on-sale gifts in the fall, and the procrastinating multitudes flock to the mall the week preceding the holiday to try to still get the most ‘popular’ item for that year.

However, the gift-giving tradition at Christmas has its roots in the offerings that the Magi made to the infant Jesus, ostensibly meant to remind people of God’s ‘GIFT’ of Jesus to humankind.

[ FYI: For more details about God’s greatest ‘gift’ to us, see this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts” post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-gift-v226/ ].

 

Many years ago, I came back to the Christmas tree and saw one present still unopened under the tree—and it was for me! Right away I knew what it was by just looking at it—and then knew, for sure, by shaking it. It was a sleeve of golf balls. But, even though I knew what they were, I still needed to open it, so that I could use and enjoy them.

The Bible says something similar about faith in Jesus: “the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). Perhaps you have left this ‘gift’ under the tree year after year, or maybe you have never noticed it before, have just ignored it, or giving you the benefit of the doubt, you may never have realized what it was, or realized how much you actually needed it.

So, I hope that I have shown you that the ‘GIFT’ offered to you is REDEMPTION through faith in Jesus, that IT IS FOR YOU, and that YOU DESPERATELY NEED IT! I hope that this Christmas you will not leave, under the tree, that UNOPENED ‘GIFT’ with your name on it—especially since it comes from God!

 

Do You Have Any ‘Room’?

Before Jesus was born, Joseph and Mary were told that “there was NO ‘ROOM’ for them [ and by extension, Jesus ] in the inn” [ Luke 2:7b ]. Now, to be honest, in the lives of so many of us, we don’t have any ‘room’ for Jesus in our lives…especially if it makes things ‘uncomfortable’ or ‘inconvenient’ for us.

The thing is, God HAS visited this world to bring peace to us by redeeming us from our sins. Now, it’s UP TO YOU to determine for yourself if you have any ‘room’ for Him in your ‘heart’.

[ For those ‘unbelievers’ reading this, I pray that you would repent of your sins and ‘plead’ to God that He makes you one of His ‘children’ (the “Repentance Prayer” below might help). Then, this could be YOUR FIRST ‘CHRISTMAS’—becoming “born again” and headed to Heaven to ‘live’ with God forever! FYI: For more details about the peace ‘OF’ God and peace ‘WITH’ God, read this previous “Life’s Deep Thoughts post:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/ ].

 

An ‘Invitation’

Christmas is an ‘invitation’ from God, delivered by His Son, Jesus, offering salvation to mankind. The ‘gift’ came wrapped in swaddling clothes instead of colorful wrapping paper, and was laid in a manger rather than under a decorated evergreen tree. This tiny baby, who seemed so small and helpless, was the ONLY ONE who could rescue sinful human beings from eternal destruction through a process called “redemption.”

To redeem means to “buy back.” For instance, suppose you saw an old family heirloom in a pawn shop and recognized it as having once belonged to your grandfather. I’m thinking that you would immediately purchase it back to keep it in the family. In the same way, mankind was created by God in His image, but when Adam and Eve rebelled against Him and fell into sin, the entire human race became ‘slaves’ of sin. Jesus said, “Everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin” [ John 8:34 ].

So, what we need is a “Redeemer” who is able and willing to pay whatever price is required. But who determines the ‘price’? Well, since Adam and Eve broke God’s law, it is God who must receive the payment for mankind’s redemption. He clearly warned Adam and Eve that the penalty for eating the fruit of the forbidden tree would be not only physical death but spiritual death and eternal punishment—and God’s price for sin is sinless blood: “for it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life” [ Leviticus 17:11 ].

The Redeemer had to be Someone who could perfectly fulfill the law of God by living a sinless, obedient life, and He must be willing to pay the penalty by dying, receiving God’s wrath for the sins of fallen mankind, and shedding His perfect blood in payment for those sins. No mere human being could do this because we are all sinful, and we are not capable of enduring the wrath of God for ourselves, let alone for everyone else. But “the grace of God has appeared” in the Incarnation (Titus 2:11).

His redemption brought us a pardon, purifies us, made us “a people for His own possession” (1 Peter 2:9), and redeemed us to be “zealous for good deeds” (Titus 2:14).

Jesus came the FIRST ‘TIME’ as a tiny baby in a manger and set in motion this entire plan of redemption. Like the heirloom in the pawn shop, we were separated from our Heavenly Father by our sin. But Jesus bought us back and reunited us to the Father. Now we have received the blessings of that redemption and the promise of a GLORIOUS ‘FUTURE’ with Him!

 

The birth of a new baby, especially if it’s your first, is an UNBELIEVEABLE event in one’s life, and a ‘decision’ that will totally change one’s life.

The parents do a lot of preparation before the birth, first ‘EQUIPPING’ themselves for labor and delivery. Then, after the birth, they start living a VERY DIFFERENT lifestyle after they get the newborn home—putting a lot of ‘FOCUS’ into helping this new human being to become strong and self-sufficient, so they can grow up to become a ‘blessing’ to others.

Well, this is very similar to beginning a ‘journey’ of faith with Jesus. One should ‘equip’ oneself with a knowledge of what it means to “have faith in Jesus.” (Hopefully, this and other LDT posts have helped with that). Then, there is a sort of ‘birthing’ (being “born again”)—surrendering one’s all to Jesus, allowing Him to become the ‘leader’ of your life (probably very different than the ‘self focus’ you were used to). This means to REPENT of your sins and ‘PLEAD’ to God to make you one of His ‘children’.

If you haven’t yet done this, might I strongly suggest you consider doing this NOW! With Jesus as your Savior, EVERY DAY could be ‘Christmas’!

 

[ Excerpts from: Paul Washer; Alistair Begg; Tony Evans; John MacArthur; Mike Brown; Alex Chediak; Bill Brenner; John Piper; Timothy Keller; Dan Schaeffer; Eric McKiddie; D.A. Carson; Matt Slick; David Jeremiah; Hal Lindsey; Jon D. Payne; James Merritt; R.C. Sproul ]

 

[ Please consider studying and really understanding the “Prayer of Repentance” below – Feel free to contact me if you have questions about any of this! ].

 

RELATED POSTS:

“‘House Of Horrors”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/house-of-horrors-v237/

“The Greatest ‘Gift’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/the-greatest-gift-v226/

“Missing The ‘Mark’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/missing-the-mark-v222/

“‘Saved’ From Death”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/saved-from-death-v219/

“‘Real’ Love”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/real-love-v216/

“Know ‘Peace’”:
https://markbesh.wordpress.com/know-peace-v201/

 

‘PRAYER’ OF REPENTANCE
In the Bible, there is a parable that Jesus told about a Pharisee and a tax collector praying in the Temple. He notes that the tax collector didn’t even dare to lift his eyes toward Heaven as he prayed. Instead he “beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner’”—and Jesus said that the tax collector “went home justified,” he had been “born again” and ‘reconciled’ by God. (Luke 18:9-14).

If you are ‘sensing’ something like that right now, let me strongly encourage you to HUMBLE YOURSELF, CRY OUT to God, and PLEAD for Him to mercifully ‘SAVE’ YOU! None of us have a ‘claim’ on our salvation, nor do we have any ‘works’ that would cause us to deserve it or earn it—it is purely a gift of Divine grace—and all any of us can do is ask. So, CONFESS YOUR SINS and acknowledge to God that you have no hope for Heaven apart from what He provides through Jesus.

There is no ‘formula’ or certain words for this. So just talk to God, in your own words—He knows your ‘heart’. If you are genuinely sincere, and God does respond to your plea, one will usually have a sense of joy and peace.

Jesus said, “He that comes to Me, I will not cast out” [ John 6:37 ].

[ NOTE: If you have ‘tasted the kindness of the Lord’, please e-mail me—I would love to CELEBRATE with you, and help you get started on your ‘journey’ with Jesus! ].

 

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RESOURCES:

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Homebirth: The Essential Guide to Giving Birth Outside of the Hospital

More and more women are keen to explore their options for childbirth, and to choose the kind of birth that they feel is best for them and their babies. For many women, giving birth at home in their own surroundings has significant advantages. In this book, Sheila Kitzinger gives the reader all the information she needs to plan a birth in a setting that she can control herself, whether at home, in a birth centre or in a birthing room. She cites first-hand accounts of birth in and out of hospital.

Looks at the pros and cons of home birth, suggests preparations, explains the role of midwives, and shares women’s experiences

https://www.amazon.com/Homebirth-Essential-Giving-Outside-Hospital/dp/1879431017/

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The Essential Homebirth Guide: For Families Planning or Considering Birthing at Home
By: Jane E. Drichta, Jodilyn Owen, and Dr. Christianne Northrup

Two midwives present the What to Expect When You’re Expecting for homebirths—with a Foreword by Dr. Christiane Northrup.

Birthing is a miraculous time when you and your baby will work together to bring about life. As you finally cradle your precious newborn in your arms, you should know deep in your soul that every decision that brought the two of you to this special moment was yours.

More families than ever are choosing to birth at home. Midwives Jane E. Drichta and Jodilyn Owen answer questions about the kind of care, support, and information you need as you investigate whether this option is right for you. Birth can be an empowering and positive experience, and this book provides gentle guidance, with high regard for your wisdom and ability to successfully navigate your prenatal care, birth, and early mothering.

Enriched with real birth stories from new mothers, The Essential Homebirth Guide offers thoughtful, compassionate advice on a wealth of birthing topics, including:

• Building a supportive homebirth community • Caring for yourself and your baby from your pregnancy through the postpartum period • Communicating about your birthing plans with your midwife, your partner, and your family and friends • Deciding whether homebirth is safe for you • Educating yourself about common pregnancy-related issues • Preparing your home and your family for the big day

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The Homebirth Handbook: How to Have Your Baby Calmly and Safely at Home
By: Annie Francis

The majority of babies throughout the world are born at home and it is mainly in developed countries (and mostly in the past few decades) that going to hospital to have your baby has become the norm. This is all set to change as more and more evidence comes to light about the positive outcomes of homebirths. With inspirational stories from women who have had successful homebirth experiences, you’ll find out in this book why women are perfectly designed to give birth, what the evidence says about the best place to give birth, and what the truth is about the myths surrounding childbirth at home. You’ll also learn how to plan for a homebirth and what you need on the day, what your choices of pain relief are, and what the possible risks and complications might be. Practical and reassuring, this guide provides all the information you need to feel completely prepared and excited to welcome your baby in the comfort and safety of your own home.

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The Father’s Home Birth Handbook
By: Leah Hazard

The Father’s Home Birth Handbook provides a resource aimed specifically at exploring men’s hopes and fears around home birth. Thorough research, balanced discussion, and dozens of home birth stories from real men all over the world make this book essential reading for all fathers-to-be and the professionals who support them.

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The Very First Christmas
By: Paul L. Maier

Examines the Nativity story as the origin of Christmas, viewing it in both scriptural and secular contexts.

https://www.amazon.com/Very-First-Christmas-Paul-Maier/dp/0570050642/

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The First Christmas: The True and Unfamiliar Story
By: Paul L. Maier

The events surrounding the birth of Jesus are told with remarkable simplicity in the Bible, but they have too often been obscured by myths, mistletoe, and consumerism.

Now in paperback, The First Christmas separates fact from fiction, stripping away Yuletide folklore and questionable traditions to tell how it really was in the world of the Nativity. Delving into Jewish, Greek, Roman, and early Christian sources, Paul L. Maier uncovers fresh and fascinating insights into the true, yet unfamiliar, story of the first Christmas. A captivating combination of sacred and secular history, this informative and entertaining book answers many compelling questions, such as: Why did the Roman emperor Augustus order his famous census? What marriage customs applied to Mary and Joseph? When and where was Jesus born? Who were the Wise Men? What was the Star of Bethlehem?

This beautifully illustrated gift book by a best-selling author and church history expert offers a glimpse at the real, historical drama of Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/First-Christmas-True-Unfamiliar-Story/dp/0825439159/

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Twas the Night of Christ: The True Christmas Story
By: Michael Vandeburg

Meet little baby Jesus in the town of Bethlehem. It was on a chilly cold night that a star shines bright over the town of Bethlehem. Joseph and Mary search diligently for a room for the night. Come and follow baby Jesus through his life, death, burial, and resurrection in “Twas the Night of Christ,” the new children’s book by Michael Vandeburg, as baby Jesus teaches you about the true story of Christmas. Profound and heartfelt colorful illustrations capture the real meaning of Christmas in a way that has never been told before! This real story will wash away the fake story about Santa Clause. Take a walk down the narrow path with Jesus Christ leading you. Extremely moving colorful pictures highlight the entire journey of Jesus Christ, including a glimpse of Jesus surrounded in the heavens with angels. There has never been a children’s book so moving and important for spreading the gospel to every new generation and old generation. Grandparents and parents will be thrilled to share the true story about baby Jesus each and every Christmas. Michael writes, “Christ walked to His death as hell barked like a hound, Filling our hearts with joy, to the grave He is bound! And laying His life aside for His chosen found, Giving a nod from Father above, then gave up without a sound.” Perfect for families and children of all ages, “Twas the Night of Christmas” is an eye-opening derivative of the original poem “Twas the Night before Christmas.” After reading this new story, Santa Clause will be gone forever and ever.

“Thank you for the opportunity to edit ‘Twas the Night of Christ.’ Your poem is a sweet homage to not only the birth of Christ but also to a well-loved traditional poem. I am sure your poem will be well received by its readers and may even become a classic in itself.” -Ellen Peixoto, editor for AuthorHouse

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A Jesus Christmas: Explore God’s Amazing Plan for Christmas Perfect
By: Barbara Reaoch

Get your family excited with this advent devotional offering a fresh way to prepare for Christmas.

Right from the beginning, the serpent lied to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden and he has been lying ever since. But right form the beginning, God told us his amazing plan to send Jesus.

Each day’s devotional looks at one of the serpent’s lies from Genesis 3, and then shows how the glorious truth of Christmas beats it every time!

God prepared the world for Jesus and he will prepare your heart to celebrate this Christmas in a new and lasting way.

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The Very First Easter
By: Paul L. Maier

The Gold Medallion Award-winning team of the renowned ancient historian and the gifted illustrator make the story of Jesus death and resurrection come alive for children aged 5 to 10. Difficult questions are asked, reasonable answers given.

https://www.amazon.com/Very-First-Easter-Paul-Maier/dp/0758606273/

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Hidden Christmas: The Surprising Truth Behind the Birth of Christ

Even people who are not practicing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the nativity. Every Christmas displays of Baby Jesus resting in a manger decorate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air. Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this biblical story?

In his new book Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the nativity. By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a deeper and more meaningful way.

[ Tim Keller ]

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Because of Bethlehem: Love Is Born, Hope Is Here
By: Max Lucado

Max Lucado loves Christmas. Let the sleigh bells ring. Let the carolers sing. The more Santas the merrier. The more trees the better.

He loves it because somewhere someone will ask the Christmas questions: What’s the big deal about the baby in the manger? Who was he? What does his birth have to do with me?

And the answers he’s found give us all hope. God knows what it’s like to be a human. When we talk to him about deadlines or long lines or tough times, he understands. He’s been there. He’s been here. Because of Bethlehem, we have a friend in heaven.

And Christmas begins what Easter celebrates. The child in the cradle became the King on the cross. Because of Bethlehem, we have a Savior in heaven.

These are the heart shaping promises of Christmas. Long after the guests have left and the carolers have gone home and the lights have come down, these promises endure.

Let’s turn on the lamp, curl up in a comfortable spot, and look into the odd, wonderful story of Bethlehem.

Max has found a lifetime of hope. We will too.

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The Christ of Christmas
By: James Montgomery Boice

The Christmas story evokes many touching images. Halos, fresh hay, shepherds carrying newborn lambs, and young motherhood all bring tears to the eyes of Christmastime churchgoers.

But the Christmas story is more than sentimental.

It is powerful.
It deals with real people.
It involves pain.
It is one of the most strikingly unusual stories in all of history.
And its main emphasis is not on Jesus’ infancy, but on his deity—and why deity took the form of an infant.

In this collection of Christmas insights and messages, Dr. James Montgomery Boice emphasizes the incredible implications of one of our favorite true stories.

The Christmas story has deep meaning today, not merely as a nice bedtime story for children or a narrative in a choral concert, but as a foundation point of your salvation and your new life in Jesus—the omnipotent, omniscient, righteous Christ of Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Christmas-James-Montgomery-Boice/dp/1596381590/

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Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came To Die
By: JohnPiper

The most important question of the twenty-first century is: Why did Jesus Christ come and die? To see this importance we must look beyond human causes. The ultimate answer to the question, Who killed Jesus? is: God did. It is a staggering thought. Jesus was his Son! But the whole message of the Bible leads to this conclusion. [ more…]

Book: https://www.amazon.com/Fifty-Reasons-Why-Jesus-Came/dp/158134788X/r
FREE PDF:
https://document.desiringgod.org/fifty-reasons-why-jesus-came-to-die-en.pdf?ts=1446647227

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The Christmas Cross
By: Max Lucado

The Christmas Cross is a story about finding your way home for the holidays, told in the context of one man’s journey in a small Texas town. Unique interactive elements inside this book-including envelopes with pullout letters and surprises-makes this a one-of-a-kind Christmas treasure.

[ Max Lucado ]

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The Gift
By: R. Kent Hughes

Paintings and meditations deal with the annunciations and births of Jesus and John.

https://www.amazon.com/Gift-R-Kent-Hughes/dp/0891078215/

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Child to the Promise

[ Stormie Omartian ]

https://www.amazon.com/Child-Promise-Stormie-Omartian/dp/0736902503/

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The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas
By: Ann Voskamp

Hundreds of thousands of readers have already fallen in love with Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts, and this Christmas, Ann invites readers into the rich and meaningful celebration of Christmas we all long for — a celebration of the complete love story that’s been coming for you since the very beginning.

In what is certain to become an instant holiday classic, Voskamp reaches back into the pages of the Old Testament to explore the lineage of Jesus — the greatest gift — through the majestic advent tradition of “The Jesse Tree,” each day featuring its own exquisite ornament highlighting the Biblical story (free download of each of the 25 ornaments available from Voskamp’s website, annvoskamp.com ).

Beginning with Jesse, the father of David, The Greatest Gift retraces the epic pageantry of mankind, from Adam to the Messiah, with each day’s profound reading pointing to the coming promise of Christ, so that come Christmas morning you find that the season hasn’t blurred past you but your heart’s fully unwrapped the greatest gift you’ve always yearned for.

Sure to become a holiday staple in every Christian home, The Greatest Gift, a New York Times bestseller, is the perfect gift for the holidays and a timeless invitation into the richness of the true meaning of Christmas.

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Love Came Down at Christmas: Daily Readings for Advent
By: Sinclair B Ferguson

Love is at the heart of Christmas – it’s the reason behind all our gathering and gift-giving at this time of year. In this Advent devotional, Dr Sinclair B Ferguson refreshes our hearts as we reflect on the source of it all – love incarnate, Jesus Christ.

Over the course of December, this devotional walks through 1 Corinthians 13 phrase-by-phrase, showing us that “love is” the Lord Jesus himself.

Sinclair Ferguson brings the rich theology of the incarnation to life with his trademark warmth and clarity. Drawing on stories from the Gospels, we’ll see what “love” looked like in the life of Christ, and be challenged us to love like him during the Christmas season. Each day’s reading finishes with carols and hymns for reflection and prayer.

However you’re feeling – weary or frantic, lonely or lovesick – your heart will be refreshed as you wonder again at the truth that love came down at Christmas in the person of Jesus Christ.

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The Greatest Christmas Gift: The true meaning of Christmas
By: Glenn Pease and Steve Pease

What is the greatest Christmas gift ever? The reason we celebrate Christmas is because of this precious gift. In this book we will go over the different parts of the Christmas story. The different things that happened and the reason that they happened the way they did. None of the things that happened when Jesus was born were a coincidence. The entire birth and life of Jesus was planned by God to happen the way it did. The virgin Birth. Why was Jesus born to a virgin? Why was Jesus born to average people and not to a King? Why was the virgin birth a secret until after Jesus died? Why was there no celebration throughout the land when Jesus was born? Why did God notify Shepherds? Shepherds were among the lowest status of people in that time, yet they were the first people to know of the birth of the son of God. The method that God used to tell the shepherds were Angels. What are angels? Many Christians think that when they die they become angels. The Bible is clear that we will not become angels when we die. How did God notify the wise men of the birth of the savior? A star led them to the place of Jesus birth. What was the purpose of the star? What was the meaning of the star? There are many other things that relate to Jesus birth. How things that are used to celebrate Christmas are related in some way, or have a correlation to Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas.

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The Story of Christmas
By: Greg Laurie

It was a cold December night around the campfire.
Owls were hooting, pine trees were creaking, and
the rustling sounds of forest animals could be
heard in the distance. Papa and his grandkids—
Stella, Lucy, Rylie, Allie, and Christopher—were
sitting around the campfire laughing, roasting
marshmallows, and talking about their favorite
ways to eat them.

Everyone was bundled up in scarves, hats, and
mittens—and everyone was merry with excitement.
It was almost Christmas! What a wonderful time of
year!

Seeing the happy faces of his grandkids glowing
in the firelight, Papa knew that this was the
perfect time to tell a Bible story.

“Who wants to hear the story of Christmas?” Papa
happily asked, raising his hand high in the air.
[ more…]

FREE PDF:
https://inbound.harvest.org/hubfs/E-Books%20and%20PDF%20Files/Harvest%20Ministries%20E-books/Christmas_Ebook_Final.pdf

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Christmas Playlist
By: Alistair Begg

Christmas is a great time to give a non-Christian friend or church visitor a short book getting to the heart of what it’s truly all about. This is perfect for giving out at church events, or with a present.
Music is everywhere at Christmas chart-toppers, carols, children’s tunes… Alistair Begg takes us to four songs that were sung by people at the very first Christmas (and his favorite carol).

In this short, winsome book a teenage girl, a respected priest, a group of angels and an old man bring readers to the heart of Christmas, showing them the joy and peace that comes from meeting a baby who lay in the food trough and changed eternity.

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The Real Gift of Christmas
By: Dan Schaeffer

The Christmas scene is anything but ordinary. “What happened at the manger wasn’t designed to put me in ‘the holiday mood,’” writes Dan Schaeffer. “It was intended to shake me to the roots of my soul.” In this excerpt from his book In Search of the Real Spirit of Christmas, Dan Schaeffer helps us see beyond the holiday traditions to embrace Jesus—the gift God sent into the trouble and difficulty of our lives to bring us true peace.

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The Christ of Christmas
By: James Montgomery Boice

The Christmas story evokes many touching images. Halos, fresh hay, shepherds carrying newborn lambs, and young motherhood all bring tears to the eyes of Christmastime churchgoers.

But the Christmas story is more than sentimental.

It is powerful.
It deals with real people.
It involves pain.
It is one of the most strikingly unusual stories in all of history.
And its main emphasis is not on Jesus’ infancy, but on his deity—and why deity took the form of an infant.

In this collection of Christmas insights and messages, Dr. James Montgomery Boice emphasizes the incredible implications of one of our favorite true stories.

The Christmas story has deep meaning today, not merely as a nice bedtime story for children or a narrative in a choral concert, but as a foundation point of your salvation and your new life in Jesus—the omnipotent, omniscient, righteous Christ of Christmas.

https://www.amazon.com/Christ-Christmas-James-Montgomery-Boice/dp/1596381590/

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“FRUITS OF THE BEATITUDES” WEB SITE
(The ATTITUDES of Jesus that produce the CHARACTER of Jesus)

CLICK ON THE LINK to view:
http://fruitsofthebeatitudes.org/

FACEBOOK PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/FruitsOfTheBeatitudes/

[ Mark Besh ]

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[ P.S.: If you would like to investigate further about what God’s justice is all about, visit the following link:
http://www.4vis.com/sfm/sfm_pres/sp_q9_d2_1of10.html ].

 

ARTICLES:

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Stages of labor and birth: Baby, it’s time!

Labor is a natural process. Here’s what to expect during the three stages of labor and birth — and what you can do to promote comfort.

[ Mayo Clinic ]

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/stages-of-labor/art-20046545

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The Joy of Birth: It’s Not Just About Pain

The joy of birth comes with a long-awaited surprise, the one you’ve been preparing for, perhaps for a lifetime.

It’s not that your newfound maternal bliss will wipe away all the pain of childbirth. Just that the immense satisfaction of welcoming your little one into the world for the first time is more profound than anything else you’ll feel. [ more…]

[ You Are Mom ]

https://youaremom.com/joy-birth-not-just-pain/

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15 Unexplainable Feelings Every New Mom Has

Motherhood is absolutely beautiful. It’s also exhausting, exhilarating, and incredibly scary at times. When it comes to the emotions and thoughts a new mom faces after the dust of childbirth settles, there’s no limit to what one can experience. It’s a momentous time in a woman’s life, and the feelings she deals with are guaranteed to be as big as the love for her new child.

[ Shannon Cameron ]

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Mary of Nazareth” movie
(Birth scene)

“In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be enrolled. This was the first enrolment, when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be enrolled, each to his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be enrolled with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to be delivered. And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn” (Lk 2:1-7).

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Born to Die: The Real Reason for Christmas

A meditation on Christ’s birth through the lens of the cross. Based on a Tim Keller sermon.

[ Dan Stevers ]

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10 Reasons Jesus Came to Die

Why did Jesus Christ suffer and die? Based on the best-selling book “The Passion of Jesus Christ”, this audio outreach tract by John Piper, christianaudio.com, and Crossway Good News explores ten things that Jesus accomplished through his death on the cross.

[ John Piper ]

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Why Did Jesus Have To Die?

Dr. Andy Bannister of Ravi Zacharias International Ministries answers the question “Why did Jesus have to die?”. Want to read more widely on this question? Check out “The Cross of Christ” by John Stott (http://bit.ly/1uY1pmP).

This video is episode 12 of the “Short Answers to Big Questions” series, in which we take 50 of the most common questions and objections about Christianity and attempt to give short, succinct answers to each of them. In such short videos, we realise we can only often scratch the surface—nevertheless, we hope to give you lots of food for thought. Do feel free to download each video, circulate it to friends, or share it on social media.

[ Dr. Andy Bannister ]

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Why Did Jesus Have To Die On The Cross?

[ Paul Washer ]

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The Passion of the Christ” movie
( Crucifixion and Resurrection scenes)

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Christmas, Love and Wrath

Have you ever struggled in your study of Old Testament scriptures, conflicted between the need for justice for the oppressed, but wondering how wrath, or judgment can also be a part of a loving God? Recently, I’ve noticed God’s Old Testament love proven in His search for a reason to restrain His wrath. I’ve seen Him pursue individuals who are available and listening, willing to be used for the purpose justice through an alternate avenue than destruction.

God petitioned Noah to save his family, Moses to bring mercy to the Israelites, Joseph to provide food in famine, and Hannah to bear Samuel, a priest whose ear was sensitive to God’s voice. Ruth’s life ushered Naomi from bitterness into blessing, Esther‘s liberated her people, and Abraham’s courage bargained for Lot’s life. Unfortunately, in Isaiah 59:15-21 we see that sometimes God can’t find truth/justice, or a person who would sacrifice their life for His purpose. This passage reads that God was “appalled that there was no one to intervene.” But, in verse 21, we see He will continue to try.

In Luke 2:1-20 this is fulfilled. Angels come announcing the birth of the Answer, the Ultimate Man whose life will be an intervention for righteousness, Jesus Christ. In Christ, both God and mankind will find peace when the unsettled wrath of God is poured out on Christ, our Ultimate Mediator of mercy and justice. “For he bore the sin of many and made intercession for the transgressors.” (Isaiah 53:11)

The birth of Christ, celebrated by a host of angels with a group of simple shepherds. When I visited Israel, I saw this shepherd’s field was not far from Bethlehem. It probably did not take long for these men to find the holy family. However, I also wondered what exactly they asked to find the stable’s location. Did they inquire, “Hey, a host of angels just told us to look for a Savior wrapped in cloths in a manger. Do you know which cave they are in?”

This may be funny, but often I wish I knew more about the conversations, interactions among our heroes. For example, what specifically did Mary, Joseph and the shepherds speak about; what it was like to speak to God; to see angels? Did Mary and Joseph find relief meeting others who had seen angels, who believed in their Son? Were the shepherds relieved to know they weren’t delusional? As I sat in a “stable” in Israel, I wondered if this was why Mary treasured, pondered her conversation with the shepherds. Was her heart settled by fellowshipping with others who believed what God was doing through her?

I wish I could have been there, but I am also thankful to be here. Jesus intervened for us because there was no one else who could. But now I hope we will also intervene. When God looks at us, is He appalled, or does he see a group of people who are available, showing His love to ones not yet in His favor? I wonder?

[ Sharie King ]

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The Christmas Story
(From “The Bible Experience”)

The most ambitious, critically-acclaimed presentation of the Bible ever produced, Inspired By … The Bible Experience features a star-studded cast of almost 400 performers, including 23 Grammy winners, 8 Emmy winners, 5 Golden Globe winners, and 3 Oscar winners.

Presentation: https://soundcloud.com/harperaudio_us/sets/the-christmas-story-from-the-bible-experience-audio-bible

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What God Thinks of Christmas

I know Christmas means a lot of things to a lot of people but to God the God of heaven and earth to him Christmas only means one thing that his son who coexisted with him before all worlds that his son who has no beginning or end just like the father his eternal son came from heaven born of a pure virgin lived a perfect and sinless life he went about healing the sick but no charge raising the dead touching lepers doing miracles transforming lives and yet he was crucified on a criminal’s cross but that’s so he can pay for the wages and for the repayment for our sin and the sin of everyone who would come to him that’s what God the Father thinks of Christmas.

[ Michael Youssef ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NFguYr-C5rs

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The Wrath of God and Christmas

2014 Christmas sermon. 2 Kings 18-23

[ Joe Trofemuk ]

Sermon: Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtjW7BhLl_A

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God’s Wrath + Christmas = Atonement

[ Calvary Thunder Bay ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1WdgvXU0wk

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The Crux of Christmas

Approaching Christmas as just a sugary holiday “for the kids” leaves us without an answer to our greatest need—reconciliation with God. Alistair Begg encourages us to instead view Christ’s birth in light of His historical, victorious work on the cross. At the heart of the incarnation is a profound mystery: in the fullness of time, God took on flesh to give His life as a ransom for many. Only a cross-centered Christmas will satisfy our heart’s deepest longings.

[ Alistair Begg ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bipV-NKJ7Mk

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The Mystery of Christmas

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h76bnBLjUGg

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The Purpose of Christmas

Peace on earth seems to be a fleeting thought during the Christmas season! We can only experience peace from the One who left heaven, came to earth, lived a perfect life and reflected the love and nature of God. Dr. Evans reminds us of the significance of Christmas throughout the year through this special series on The Meaning of Christmas. Let Dr. Evans’ teaching transform your heart, mind and soul with truths from God’s Word.

[ Tony Evans ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0Gm8d1plS0

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What We Celebrate at Christmas

R.C. Sproul reminds us that what we really celebrate at Christmas is the incarnation of God Himself.

[ R.C. Sproul ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oejq25JYhLQ

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Wretched: John MacArthur: Clearing up Christmas Confusion

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1piJ3y88W4

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A Savior Is Born!

[ John Piper ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLSK3YCqAiM

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The Reality of Christmas

The celebration of Christmas has become one huge marketing ploy that guarantees an increase in the economy and substantial return for business executives in America. John MacArthur helps shed some light on the confusion that surronds Christmas and what the Bible tells us is the true theme of the day that acknowledge the birth our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1zQCfQyqNA

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Christmas Message

Christmas sermon at the Master’s Seminary in 2013.

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NicrBbGWek

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The First Christmas Gift

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQwME6H0n8I

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Christmas Is All About A Tree

Christmas is all about a tree. But it’s not the tree that you decorate. There’s another tree that Christmas is all about.

[ Paul David Tripp ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eUClFt1WOko

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Why Christmas?

[ John Piper ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-1OTVpOtyc

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Promised Savior

Pastor Bill Oudemolen speaks on Matthew 1:18-25.

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SHUx_UdbTY

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He’s The Reason For The Season

The Christmas story for children with his baby Chan speaking to kids

[ Francis Chan ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SA3woo4VZJ4

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The Promise of a Savior

From before the beginning of time, God planned to rescue His children from sin by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to live a sinless life, die in their place and rise again. When sin entered the world, so did God’s promise to send a rescuer, the Messiah. Throughout the Old Testament, God spoke through the prophets about this promised rescuer and told His people how to recognize His coming.

[ Matt Chandler ]

Part 1 of 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1f67qNJ9IE

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The Five C’s of Christmas

Excellent sermon on Christ. Creation, cradle, cross, crypt and Crown.

[ Robert Morey ]

Sermon series:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT0Jw8HI5vQ
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFWCvay5Njo
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSOSmJLbSIw
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=97CFLlq4wCw
Part 5: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjRpV9vnMro
Part 6: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSsp99inZoE
Part 7: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhUfCGj5Gjc
Part 8: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l8cJt3Ub1gI

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The Celebration of Christmas

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th762Yk3oSg

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12 Reasons for Christmas

1) “For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth” (John 18:37).

2) “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15).

3) “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners” (Mark 2:17).

4) “The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

5) “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

6) “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:5).

7) “For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16).

8) “God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him” (1 John 4:9).

9) “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10).

10) “Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed” (Luke 2:34f).

11) “He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed” (Luke 4:18).

12) “Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarches, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy” (Romans 15:7-8; cf. John 12:27f).

Glad to be pursued by God with you,

[ John Piper ]

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Born to Die: The Real Reason for Christmas

A meditation on Christ’s birth through the lens of the cross. Based on a Tim Keller sermon.

[ Dan Stevers ]

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Someone is Coming

A Bible overview that connects present day to the very first Christmas day.

[ Plungepool Media ]

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Christmas in a Nutshell

Admit it, you’ve given some terrible gifts. There’s someone who has never given a bad gift, though…GOD! For Christmas, however, He gave us something no one could’ve imagined. This video illustrates the miracle of Christmas in a fun and poignant way.

[ Dan Stevers ]

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10 Famous Sayings Surrounding Jesus’ Birth

Hear the Words of the Angels, Magi, Shepherds, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth, Simeon, and Herod Come to Life in a Whole New Way!

Sermon: https://www.faithgateway.com/10-famous-sayings-surrounding-jesus-birth/

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Take a Look at Baby Jesus
by Max Lucado

If you want to see people on the edge of insanity, just watch the way families treat their babies at Christmastime! The poor child has no warning! Red furry stocking cap, goofy elfish shoes that curl at the toes. And the pictures we take! Baby snoozing under the tree. Baby on Santa’s lap. Santa with wet spot on lap.

Is not Christmas the story of a baby? The moment that shaped all others? Mary’s eyes falling on the face of her just-born son. The first to whisper, “So this is what God looks like!” Never in mankind’s wildest imaginings did we consider that God would enter the world as an infant. John 1:14 says, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us.” Would you like to see God? Take a look at the baby Jesus!

Sermon: https://www.crosswalk.com/devotionals/upwords/take-a-look-at-baby-jesus-upwords-december-9.html

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The Paradox Of Christmas

A long time ago, one silent night loudly proclaimed God’s love for us. He gave up what He had so that we might receive what we need.

[ Igniter Media ]

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The Paradox of Christmas

What is the paradox of Christmas?

[ Michael Youssef ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0VGuS7SbWY

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The Meaning Of Christmas

2017 Christmas sermon. 1 John 1:1-4.

[ Tim Keller ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IELZH-sEdJ8

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The Paradox of Christmas
(Philippians 2:5-11)

– The paradox of the Person of Christmas
– The paradox of the purpose of Christmas

[ Manuel Pereira ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cb8aWaFa4GI

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Christmas and God’s Heroic Sovereignty

Christmas eveIt’s Christmas Eve. It’s a time to celebrate what God did. He brought everything together to do what we could not. He brought salvation to undeserving humanity in the Person and finished work of Jesus Christ. Like a perfect conductor, God orchestrated all things for the arrival of heaven’s King. [ more…]

[ Eric Davis ]

Sermon: http://thecripplegate.com/christmas-and-gods-heroic-sovereignty/

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Top 10 Reasons Why Jesus Came For Us

1. Jesus came to save sinners.
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” – 1 Timothy 1:15

2. Jesus came to call sinners to repentance.
“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” – Mark 2:17

3. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost.
“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” – Luke 19:10

4. Jesus came to give us an example on how to live our lives here on earth.
“Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” – Matthew 20:28

5. Jesus came to do the Will of His Father.
“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” – John 6:38

6. Jesus came to be a Light shining brightly in our world of darkness.
“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.” – John 12:46

7. Jesus came so we could have abundant life.
“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” – John 10:10

8. Jesus came to proclaim the Good News about the Kingdom of God.
“And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.” – Mark 1:38

9. Jesus came to die on a cross for the sins of the world.
“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.” – John 12:27

10. Jesus Christ came into the world as a demonstration of God’s mercy, grace and unconditional love for you and for me.
“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. – 1 John 4:10

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What is the True Meaning of Christmas

Question: “What is the true meaning of Christmas?”

Answer: The true meaning of Christmas is love. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The true meaning of Christmas is the celebration of this incredible act of love.

The real Christmas story is the story of God’s becoming a human being in the Person of Jesus Christ. Why did God do such a thing? Because He loves us! Why was Christmas necessary? Because we needed a Savior! Why does God love us so much? Because He is love itself (1 John 4:8). Why do we celebrate Christmas each year? Out of gratitude for what God did for us, we remember His birth by giving each other gifts, worshipping Him, and being especially conscious of the poor and less fortunate.

The true meaning of Christmas is love. God loved His own and provided a way—the only Way—for us to spend eternity with Him. He gave His only Son to take our punishment for our sins. He paid the price in full, and we are free from condemnation when we accept that free gift of love. “But God demonstrated His own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

[ Got Questions ]

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Child in the Manger
(A Scottish Gaelic Christmas carol called “Leanabh an Àigh”)

Child of joy, child of Mary,
Born in the stable, king of hope,
Came into the world, to suffer in our place,
Happy shall be those who trust in him.

Though babes are born to kings on earth
In great joyfulness and abundant love,
Short is their life and they grow weak,
Their beauty and form dwindle into the earth.

It wasn’t the same for the Lamb who came to liberate us,
Dutiful and humble was he from the beginning,
Holy and undefiled, Creator of all people,
He rose up triumphantly from the earth.

Child of joy, as foretold by the prophets,
And for angels on high, he was the light of their eye,
And he is worthy of us revering him
Happy shall be those who trust in him

[ Mary M. Macdonald ]

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The Reason for Christmas

Was this Christmas story all about it’s not all about shepherds it’s not all about manger scenes as we would call them it’s all about his love and you see for you to celebrate Christmas honestly you’ve got to deal with Jesus that’s what this is all about “The Reason for Christmas”and you can buy all the Presidents even about given to all the people you want to buy for whoever it might be and the question is did you really celebrate Christmas or did you just celebrate a holiday is it any wonder that the world wants to call it a holiday I’ll tell you why because deep down inside they know it has nothing to do with Jesus on their part it has to do with money it has to do with pleasure it has to do a lot of things but Christmas is all about God coming to earth in the person of his son Jesus Christ living among men dying on a cross rising from the grave as send it to the Father seated in his right hand to hear the cries and the pleas of his people and of sinners asking for the forgiveness of their sin that’s what this is all about so when you read the story next time remember a lot of things were going on behind the scenes but significantly in the eyes of God and if you’re one of those persons who would have to say today well you know I’ve never trusted Jesus I’ve been I’ve read that story a few times my mother my father they read it but I didn’t think it had very much significance for me let me tell you how significant it is if you ignore it you will die and the eternally separated from God period no more hope no second chance eternal is separated from God that’s how significant it is it’s not a holiday it is a moment in time when you have the privilege of asking Christ into your life that’s what I pray that you’ll do just now you say what do I say you just say this to him god I’m a sinner I belong it bad Lord but I believe what I’ve just heard and I’m asking you to forgive me of my sins I don’t deserve it there’s nothing I know that I can do I’m just asking you to forgive me because you promised that and at this moment I receive Jesus Christ as my personal Savior to follow him from this day forward if you tell him that God will forgive you no matter what you’ve done where you’ve been where you are you’ll transform your life take you to heaven for all of us who are believers I would ask again how could you ever keep this message to yourself father how grateful we are if you love for us and thank you for making the message simple and plain and crystal clear thank you for opening your arms to the world not to a few and thank you that you came and you hurt and you suffered and you walked among us so that when we come to you you could say that we could come to you and know in our hearts we are understood because of your grace I pray for every person who hears this message that you’ll drive it deep into their heart that the point they come to a decision the eternal decision of receiving Christ as their Savior and I ask this in Jesus name Amen you

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbzYAU08JfE

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Clip from “The Toy That Saved Christmas.”

[ VeggieTales ]

Entire movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toxmRVWZ2Jg

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What is the True Meaning of Christmas

What is the True Meaning of Christmas? The Truth about Christmas, or the real meaning of Christmas is clear in the Bible. Jesus is the reason for the season, and the Bible makes it clear that the true meaning of Christmas is love. In this video Pastor Nelson with Bible Munch uses the Bible the answer the question, what is the true meaning of Christmas; revealing the truth about Christmas.

[ Got Questions ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1M6mM1Hg6Y

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The Reason for Christmas

Dr. Charles Stanley says about Christmas: “It’s not a holiday, it’s a moment in time when you have the privilege of asking Christ into your life.”

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbzYAU08JfE

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Why do we celebrate Christmas?

Question: “Why do we celebrate Christmas?”

Answer: Christians the world over celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem. Various Christmas traditions have been associated with the celebration of Christmas, and different cultures celebrate different ways. The unifying factor is the historical fact that Jesus was born, c. 5 BC. The angel who appeared to the shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth said, “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” (Luke 2:10–11).

We celebrate Christmas because, as the angel said, the birth of Jesus Christ is “good news.” Good news is meant to be celebrated. In fact, the angel said the news of Jesus’ birth would cause “great joy” and would be “for all the people”—the joyful celebration would be universal. People around the globe would be glad for this occasion.

We celebrate Christmas because, as the angel said, “A Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” The three titles the angel applies to Jesus are important. Jesus is the Savior who delivers us from sin and death (Matthew 1:21). He is the human Messiah (or Christ) who fulfills the Law and the Prophets, showing that God is faithful (see Matthew 5:17). And He is the divine Lord who has entered our world: the Almighty has taken on human flesh; God and man have been fused together in an indivisible, eternal bond; God is truly with us (see Matthew 1:23).

In celebrating Christmas, we celebrate the Savior, because we needed deliverance. We celebrate the Christ in whom all of God’s promises are “Yes” and “Amen” (2 Corinthians 1:20). We celebrate the Lord who in humility took on “the very nature of a servant” for our sakes (see Philippians 2:6–8).

We celebrate Christmas with gift-giving because of the “indescribable gift” that God gave to us (2 Corinthians 9:15). We celebrate Christmas by stringing lights because the Light of the world has come to us (John 1:4; Isaiah 9:2). We celebrate Christmas with carols and choirs because they are expressive of joy and follow the examples of Mary and Zacharias and Simeon and the angels, all of whom extoled the Lord in poetry (Luke 1–2). We celebrate Christmas by decorating evergreen trees with stars and angels and tinsel because of the eternal life Jesus brings (John 4:14)—and stars and angels and beauty were all associated with Jesus’ birth.

In celebrating Christmas we celebrate the love and condescension of God. In Texas in 1987, a toddler by the name of Jessica McClure fell into an eight-inch well casing. Down she went, becoming stuck twenty-two feet below ground. Once people discovered that “Baby Jessica” was in the well, they took immediate action. They didn’t tell her to find a way to climb back up, and they didn’t just shout happy thoughts to encourage her. No, they went down to where she was and got her. They did whatever it took. Rescuers worked nonstop for fifty-eight hours to free her.

In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve fell. Down they went, dragging all humanity with them into the darkness and death of sin. And what did God do? He did not tell us to find our own way out of the mess we were in, and He did more than shout down happy thoughts to us from heaven. No, He came down to where we were and got us. That’s what Christmas is all about—God’s coming down to rescue us, to do whatever it took to deliver us from sure death.

When even one person is in a life-threatening situation, we understand what has to be done. When God looked down at our sinful planet, He saw a whole world of people in mortal danger. We celebrate Christmas because it was at Christmastime that the Rescuer of all mankind came to save us from the hopeless situation we were in. God did not stay in heaven; He came down to where we are.

[ Got Questions ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8kCCjM8QPE

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The Birth of Jesus – Gospel of Luke Ch. 1-2

The first in a five-part series on the Gospel of Luke. We explore the amazing events surrounding the birth of Jesus. The humble conditions of his family and their low status in Israelite society foreshadow the upside-down nature of Jesus’ kingdom.

[ The Bible Project ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_OLezoUvOEQ

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The Sacrifice of Christ in the Season of Christmas

[ John Piper ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6IKDKmj8if0

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The Shepherds: He Is the Savior

[ Colin Smith ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g6Nyy53kIy8

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Celebrate The Savior

This powerful Christmas mini-movie reminds us that as we celebrate the baby Jesus, the manger, and the joy of this season, we should remember that Jesus did not remain a baby. He became our healer, our teacher, our sacrifice, and our salvation – a profound reason to celebrate the birth of a child!

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Christmas: The Dawn of Death’s Destruction

[ Jon Bloom ]

Sermon: https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/christmas-the-dawn-of-deaths-destruction

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The Big Picture of Christmas

[ Greg Laurie ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7YFmRHt17A

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Much More Shall We Be Saved By His Life

Our focus this morning is on Romans 5:9-10. I see four great realities in these two verses. Three of them you could call Christmas gifts. One is the reason you need the gifts. One of them is the main point of the passage and repeats the theme of this whole section: namely, strong assurance. Paul’s main aim in this section is to increase the assurance of Christians that God is for us and will be for us through all our tribulations and through the last great outpouring of wrath on the world. We will see it in the words “much more” in both verses 9 and 10. But that is point four. Let’s start with point one. [ more…]

[ John Piper ]

Sermon: https://www.desiringgod.org/messages/much-more-shall-we-be-saved-by-his-life

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The Celebration of Christmas

Most people define Christmas by what they see—the trees, lights, shopping, gifts, food, and parties. However, that’s not what Christmas is all about. It is one of the three most important events in human history. God’s plan for the salvation of mankind had to begin with the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Without this, there would have been no crucifixion, no resurrection, and no hope for humanity.

[ Charles Stanley ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th762Yk3oSg

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15 Passages to Read This Christmas (That Aren’t Luke 2!)

1. Isaiah 9:6
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).

Throughout the chapters of this great book, Isaiah points us to our Savior, the Messiah, Christ the King, Emmanuel, 700 years before He was even born.

——-

2. Isaiah 61:1-3
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor” (Isaiah 61:1-3).

He alone is the One who can set us free from the stronghold of fear and sin. He alone holds the power to renew our days and give us peace.

——-

3. Isaiah 60:1-2
“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you” (Isaiah 60:1-2).

Through the gift of Jesus and the price He paid on the cross for us, we can find hope, deliverance, healing, and purpose for our lives.

——-

4. Isaiah 33:6
“And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge…” (Isaiah 33:6).

He is the Light of the world, the stability of our times, and is always greater than the darkness that surrounds.

——-

5. Matthew 1:23
“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God with us’)” (Matthew 1:23).

God never promised our way would always be “easy,” or that His presence with us meant a life of convenience or comfort. But He did promise this, over and over in His word: He would be “with us” in it all, and would never leave us. He alone holds the power to turn around any difficult season or loss we may be facing, and bring great blessing and good through it all.

——-

6. Matthew 2:10-11
“When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10-11).

His very name reminds us that He is always near, and we are never alone—what a powerful hope. May God work in our hearts and draw us close to Him again this season. May we be willing to humble ourselves, lay aside the stuff that doesn’t really matter, and worship the One who does.

——-

7. John 1:14
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

God loved. He gave; that we might have the gift of eternal life. Jesus chose to live among us, He “dwelt” with us, laying aside all the majesty of heaven, so He could walk in this world and point us to the Father. That is a miracle.

——-

8. John 3:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

God came to us, and He reaches for us even today, always full of grace and the truth that sets us free.

——-

9. John 8:12
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

May we never miss the miraculous because we’re too busy or distracted with other things. Jesus promises light and life in a world that is full of dark.

——-

10. James 1:17
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows” (James 1:17).

God is the author of every good and perfect gift. We can trust that He knows our needs before we even ask, and we can depend on Him to provide. Many may find themselves facing huge challenges and financial losses this season. But God promises that He never changes, and He loves to give good gifts to His children. When we take our eyes off the problems and begin to notice all his blessings that surround us, it can truly change our hearts and focus this season.

——-

11. 2 Corinthians 9:15
“Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Corinthians 9:15).

May He help us to find the right perspective this season amidst the gift-giving and hustle and bustle, for Jesus is the greatest gift we can ever receive.

——-

12. Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

What I’ve often noticed is that many of his most amazing treasures are not those that money can buy. A relationship with Christ fills us with lasting joy, peace, and hope that money, stuff, and the world can never offer.

——-

13. Philippians 2:9-11
“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11).

Jesus came to save, to heal, and to redeem. He came to rescue us, to pave a way straight to the Father, that only He could provide. His word is clear that He alone is Truth, He alone is Lord and Savior.

——-

14. Romans 8:38-39
“For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39).

His Spirit is among us and lives within those who have chosen to follow Him. If you find yourself doubting and still struggling to make it all on your own, be assured that Jesus loves you and chases after you even now. He is trustworthy and secure.

——-

15. Romans 15:13
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).

You can lean on Him in this uncertain world. Don’t let another Christmas go by, without giving your heart first to Jesus. He came that we might truly live, and have peace and joy.

[ Debbie McDaniel ]

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Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die

1 To Absorb the Wrath of God
2 To Please His Heavenly Father
3 To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected
4 To Achieve His Own Resurrection from the Dead
5 To Show the Wealth of God’s Love and Grace for Sinners
6 To Show His Own Love for Us
7 To Cancel the Legal Demands of the Law Against Us
8 To Become a Ransom for Many
9 For the Forgiveness of Our Sins
10 To Provide the Basis for Our Justification
11 To Complete the Obedience That Becomes Our Righteousness
12 To Take Away Our Condemnation
13 To Abolish Circumcision and All Rituals as the Basis of Salvation
14 To Bring Us to Faith and Keep Us Faithful
15 To Make Us Holy, Blameless, and Perfect
16 To Give Us a Clear Conscience
17 To Obtain for Us All Things That Are Good for Us
18 To Heal Us from Moral and Physical Sickness
19 To Give Eternal Life to All Who Believe on Him
20 To Deliver Us from the Present Evil Age
21 To Reconcile Us to God
22 To Bring Us to God
23 So That We Might Belong to Him
24 To Give Us Confident Access to the Holiest Place
25 To Become for Us the Place Where We Meet God
26 To Bring the Old Testament Priesthood to an End and Become the Eternal High Priest
27 To Become a Sympathetic and Helpful Priest
28 To Free Us from the Futility of Our Ancestry
29 To Free Us from the Slavery of Sin
30 That We Might Die to Sin and Live to Righteousness
31 So That We Would Die to the Law and Bear Fruit for God
32 To Enable Us to Live for Christ and Not Ourselves
33 To Make His Cross the Ground of All Our Boasting
34 To Enable Us to Live by Faith in Him
35 To Give Marriage Its Deepest Meaning
36 To Create a People Passionate for Good Works
37 To Call Us to Follow His Example of Lowliness and Costly Love
38 To Create a Band of Crucified Followers
39 To Free Us from Bondage to the Fear of Death
40 So That We Would Be with Him Immediately After Death
41 To Secure Our Resurrection from the Dead
42 To Disarm the Rulers and Authorities
43 To Unleash the Power of God in the Gospel
44 To Destroy the Hostility Between Races
45 To Ransom People from Every Tribe and Language and People and Nation
46 To Gather All His Sheep from Around the World
47 To Rescue Us from Final Judgment
48 To Gain His Joy and Ours
49 So That He Would Be Crowned with Glory and Honor
50 To Show That the Worst Evil Is Meant by God for Good

[ John Piper ]

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The Ant Story
(God became a man to save mankind)

It was huge sacrifice for Jesus to come into this earth. It was even greater sacrifice for Jesus to become like us. But the ultimate sacrifice was when He laid down His life for us.

[ Pastor Vlad ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqD-s3xODwg

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What Child Is This?

The spirit of Christmas often lends itself to the cry of loneliness. During this season more than any other, thoughts long hidden cease to remain veiled. Yearning for a place to rest our heads from lurking notions of restlessness or isolation, intuitively, many of us sense that we are not quite at home. Christians often speak of this truth expectantly. We are waiting, waiting for all of creation to be made new, even as we catch glimpses now: “Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him.”(1) But on honest nights, we might confess that the waiting is wearying, the silence at times daunting. We are homesick, like children lost in a crowd, not quite at home nor capable of getting there.

Edvard Munch, The Sick Child II, pastel and paper, 1896.

For many, the songs and sounds of Christmas lure us further toward this restless longing. Since I was small, the Victorian carol What Child Is This? has roused cries and questions. The haunting, minor tune itself seems to place ancient pleas on our lips: How long O Lord will you look on? How long shall I cry for help? Will you not come near? Could you not tear open the heavens and come down?(2)

The words of the hymn seem to rise from a confused onlooker at the first Christmas. What child is this, here in this crowded stable, surrounded by animals and expectation? If this is this the Messiah, why is he here in the cold, without a bed? If this is a king, where is the display of royalty? If this is God, why come like this?

For centuries, humanity has inquired similarly as to the identity of this child and the man he became. Who is this child and does it matter? Was he a myth? A moral teacher? A delusional man? A miraculous infant? Who is this child in Mary’s arms? Coupled with the longings of Christmastime, the possibility of an answer to this last question turns us inside out. Could it be that the heavens have truly come down that we might meet face to face? Is this homeless child the Word that answers our restless longing for home?

What Child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing;
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

The hymn tells a story unlike any other, even as it hints at a familiar theme: in the darkest places, we look and long for hope to rise and be accounted for. We look for answers to questions we can’t entirely find the words to voice.

In fact, the hymn writer’s own life exudes a similar tale. An insurance salesman in Glasgow, Scotland, William Chatterton Dix was quite successful in business until he was stricken suddenly with a serious illness at the age of 29. From his bed where he laid in depression for some time, he asked the stirring questions of this hymn over and over, suddenly realizing for the first time that God had answered, quite severely.

Why lies He, in a mean estate
Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.

Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
The cross be borne for me, for you.
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.

Wouldn’t it indeed be strange to have the feeling of homesickness, unless it was intended for us to know another home? The cries of Christmas are a part of a vast chorus. Even in loneliness, our longings for home are not without great company. The people of Israel had looked to this day for centuries. Their collective cry was not unlike our own: “Oh that the mountains would tremble before you! […] O LORD; do not remember our sins forever. Look upon us, we pray.”(3) Our cries today are not so different from those a person in Bethlehem could have been uttering before the first Christmas. How long O Lord? Where are you?

And then God came, choosing to be born in a sense of homelessness, choosing to lay his head in a foreign land. God came near, choosing to be born vulnerable, alone, in need of the careful arms that held him. God came beside us, choosing to be exploited, choosing to be betrayed.

What child is this? It would have been a sight to be among the first to behold the infant Jesus crying. Cradled in the arms of his young mother, his cries indeed joined the cries of the world. And for the first time in history, humanity would have heard God weep. This, this, is Christ the King!

Jill Carattini is managing editor of A Slice of Infinity at Ravi Zacharias International Ministries in Atlanta, Georgia.

(1) 1 Corinthians 2:9-10.
(2) Psalm 35:17, Habakkuk 1:2, Isaiah 64:1.
(3) Isaiah 64:1,9.

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The Cradle and the Cross

My family loves Christmas. We enjoy decorating our home, not least with a tree adorned with beautiful ornaments. Over the years, we’ve acquired quite a collection of Christmas ornaments. Each one tells a story, reminding us of meaningful experiences and significant people throughout our lives. One ornament, the product of a first-grade Sunday school class, brings up happy childhood memories. Another ornament, a small rendition of Edinburgh Castle, prompts joyful reflection on a rich season of life when my wife and I lived in Scotland. Near that one hangs an ornament given to us by beloved family members who’ve since departed this valley of tears for a better country. As we hang these sentimental ornaments on the tree, they invite us to take a walk down memory lane. They also remind us of God’s unwavering goodness, mercy, and faithfulness in Christ.

However, there is one ornament in our collection that, more than all the others, stirs our affections. The ornament is in the shape of an eight-inch iron spike, like those used by Roman soldiers to nail Jesus to the cross. Before we place it on the tree, our family tradition is for each of us hold it for a few moments as I recount the true meaning of Christmas.
“Worship Christ the newborn baby, born to die upon the tree. Thorns and nails will one day pierce Him, bearing wrath to set us free.”

Jesus was born and placed in a manger in Bethlehem so that one day He would die on a wooden cross in Jerusalem. The soft, tiny hands that clung to the Virgin Mary would one day be pierced through by sharp iron spikes. The infant brow tenderly caressed by Joseph would years later be brutally punctured by a crown of thorns. Newborn tears would in the future give way to soul-wrenching cries of anguish at Gethsemane and Calvary. Here’s the point: Christmas cannot be truly understood apart from the cross. Our meditations on the cradle must always find their way to the cross.

God sent His eternal Son into the world to be more than just a good example or a wise teacher. God sent Him to perfectly fulfill the requirements of the law, and then, as a righteous substitute, satisfy God’s justice on Calvary. Christ bore God’s wrath on the cursed tree, not for His own guilt but for yours and mine. “He was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities . . . and with his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). This is why Jesus came— to rescue us from what our sins deserve.

Therefore, as you consider Jesus’ birth this Advent season, don’t forget about the cross. Jesus was born to die. May this truth stir up new measures of love, wonder, and praise this special time of year.

“Now all those who love and fear Him, saved by grace through faith alone. Kneel in humble adoration, at His manger, at His throne.”

[ Jon D. Payne ]

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What To Do With Christmas

Rejoice and retell the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

[ David Jeremiah ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MSHZbAl-NR4

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The Night Before Christmas

“The Night Before Christmas” is not just a favorite poem but a frank assessment of the spiritual condition of the world the day before Christ arrived on Planet Earth.

Into a world enveloped in spiritual darkness, the Light of the World came to accomplish four objectives.

[ Robert Jeffress ]

Sermon: https://vimeo.com/248664149

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Six Ways to Miss Christmas

The majority of people in the world will miss the next Christmas. But how can that be? How can anyone miss Christmas, given the amount of advertising, publicity, and promotion the holiday receives each year? Because although many celebrate Christmas every year, most don’t know what it’s about. In spite of all the media promotion of Christmas, the majority of people will miss it because it has become so obscured.

For those of us who know and love the Lord Jesus Christ, Christmas is a time to focus on His birth. But even we can get caught up in the swirl of activity around Christmastime and can miss it in a practical sense. Satan has so cluttered the Christian concept of Christmas with such needless paraphernalia that its true meaning is easily lost. [ more…]

[ John MacArthur ]

Sermon: https://www.gty.org/library/articles/45SIX/six-ways-to-miss-christmas-

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This Christmas, remember that the true value of a gift depends on how you measure it. Sure, a gift with a large price tag might seem more valuable, but only by the world’s standards. As usual, God looks at it differently:

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” (Luke 21:1-4)

If you are feeling like you have nothing left to give right now, that verse is worth pondering. She gave more; she gave out of her poverty; she put in all she had to live on. Think about this a little bit—it puts a whole new twist on Christmas when we consider this passage in light of who we are in Christ, and who Christ is in us.

Mary carried Jesus for nine months in order to deliver Him to the world. We carry Jesus for the rest of our lives in order to deliver Him to the world. As living sacrifices, we take Him to mankind so that Christ might literally touch people through our hands, feet, and voices. When we allow Christ to live through us in this way, we are sharing our very life, everything we have, more than anything that can be bought.

Have you ever realized it? Have you ever thought about this? God basically asks us to do the same thing He asked Mary to do. He came to Mary, someone who had nothing to give, and He basically said, make your body a living sacrifice to me. Entrust yourself to me. And He looks at us and says exactly the same thing.

Lord, one more time, I willingly and joyfully lay myself at Your feet to be used as the packaging and wrapping of Your gift of Jesus to the world everyday, all year long. In the midst of all the holiday noise, give me ears to hear the gentle voice of Your Spirit nudging me toward tangible acts of love. Amen.

[ Pete Briscoe ]

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Emmanuel

The Son of God chose not to be born in a luxurious palace with the best the Earth had to offer. Instead, we find the creator of our universe humbly entering our world; being born in manger amongst shepherds and animals. He shared in all of our humanity, and through his birth we can see that he is familiar with the messy and imperfect parts of our lives. This mini move is a small reminder that he was, is, and always will be Emmanuel, God with us.

[ Remedy Media ]

https://www.sermonspice.com/product/75703/emmanuel

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The Doctrine of the Wrath of God

You can’t speak of God’s wrath the same way you speak of his love.

But why not?

In this 12-minute interview, Don Carson explains the wrath of God and counsels pastors in how to minister its truth.

[ D.A. Carson ]

Sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KmUTtCEXl4

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The Meaning of Christmas” (Spoken Word)

The Savior, Jesus Christ is born! He is forever alive!

*****************************
Christmas Oratorio
Johann Sebastian Bach

Christmas Oratorio I – Shout for joy, exult, rise up, glorify the day
Christmas Oratorio II – And there were shepherds in the same area
Christmas Oratorio III – Ruler of heaven, hear our inarticulate speech
Christmas Oratorio IV – Fall with thanks, fall with praise
Christmas Oratorio V – Let honour to you, God, be sung
Christmas Oratorio VI – Lord, when our arrogant enemies snort with rage

Concert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAfIQ25W2Og

[ Conducted by Peter Schreier ]

English translation: 
https://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/bach/trans_christmas_oratorio.pdf

*****************************
Messiah
George Frideric Handel

The “Chorus” Lyrics:

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
(For the lord God omnipotent reigneth)
Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah

For the lord God omnipotent reigneth
(Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah)
Hallelujah

The kingdom of this world;
Is become
The kingdom of our Lord
And of His Christ
And of His Christ

And He shall reign for ever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever
And he shall reign forever and ever

And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
And lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
And lord of lords forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
King of kings forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah
And lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords

And he shall reign
And he shall reign
And he shall reign
He shall reign
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings forever and ever
And lord of lords hallelujah hallelujah
And he shall reign forever and ever

King of kings and lord of lords
King of kings and lord of lords
And he shall reign forever and ever

Forever and ever and ever and ever
(King of kings and lord of lords)

Hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah hallelujah
Hallelujah

[ Conducted by Stephen Cleobury ]

*****************************
Love Divine All Loves Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down;
Fix in us thy humble dwelling;
All thy faithful mercies crown!
Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation;
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit,
Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit;
Let us find that second rest.
Take away our bent to sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its Beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy life receive;
Suddenly return and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation;
Pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love, and praise.

[ Charles Wesley ]

*****************************
Once in Royal David’s City

Once in royal David’s city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her Baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little Child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For he is our childhood’s pattern;1
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned2
All in white shall wait around.

[ Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander ]

*****************************
The Real Meaning of Christmas

A long time ago, one dark night
There was a star in the east shining bright
Shepherds sitting out on a hill
Watching their sheep lying still

They got on their camels and began to ride
Didn’t know how far, didn’t know how wide
Followed the star to a keeper’s stall
There found the greatest gift of all

Real meaning of Christmas
(Talking ’bout the)
Real meaning of Christmas
You know the real meaning
Of Christmas is Christ

Over the years things have changed
Christmas day has lost it’s zing
Instead of celebrating His birth
And praising His presents in the earth

We’ve turned this day into a fairytale
Frosty men and red-nosed deer
A holiday just for me
A sale on a shopping spree

To seek Him is still wise
And to find Him just look inside
If at this time we get real still
We find out what the meaning is

Real meaning of Christmas
(I’ve found out the)
Real meaning of Christmas
Hey, the real meaning
Of Christmas is Christ
(Yes, it is)

Oh, now
Give gifts on that day
Well it’s fine, it’s okay
Alright to say “I love you”
Show someone you care

But when you give
Just give it in His name
Lift a heart and ease the pain
Make a child smile a while

[ The Winans ]

*****************************
Love Came Down at Christmas

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus,
offering what for sacred sign?

Love will be our token;
love be yours and love be mine,
Love to God and to all men,
love for Heaven’s Gift and Sign.

Love came down at Christmas,
love all lovely, love divine;
Love was born at Christmas:
star and angels gave the sign.

Worship we the Godhead,
love incarnate, love divine;
Worship we our Jesus;
through our hearts may His love shine.
Love will be the sacred sign.

[ David Huntsinger ]

*****************************
Oh What a Glorious Night

The shepherds came to
See the baby
Stood by his mother’s side
Here laid the Savior
Inside a manger
Oh what a glorious night
Oh what a glorious night

I hear the angels singing halleluiah
Let the earth receive her king
I know that love has come
Singing it out
Jesus Christ is born
Jesus Christ is born
Yeah

The shepherds wondered
They couldn’t hide it
Told everyone in sight
All were amazed
When they heard how
God came down on the glorious night
God came down on this glorious night

I hear the angels singing halleluiah
Let the earth receive her king
I know that love has come
Singing it out
Jesus Christ is born
Jesus Christ is born
Yeah

Glorious
Glorious
What a Glorious night

Glorious
Glorious
What a Glorious night

I hear the angels singing halleluiah
Let the earth receive her king
I know that love has come
Singing it out
Jesus Christ is born

I hear the angels singing halleluiah
Let the earth receive her king
I know that love has come
Singing it out
Jesus Christ is born
I heard that Jesus Christ is born
Yeah Yeah Yeah

All is calm now
All is quiet
A Star shining in the sky
Below in Bethlehem
The king is sleeping
Oh What a Glorious Night
Oh What a Glorious Night

[ Sidewalk Prophets – “Merry Christmas to You” album ]

*****************************
The Savior of the World Has Come

[ The Isaacs ]

*****************************
Make Room

[Verse 1]
Family hiding from the storm
Found no place at the keeper’s door
It was for this a Child was born
To save a world so cold and hollow

[Verse 2]
The sleeping town did not know
That lying in a manger low
A Savior King who had no home
Has come to heal our sorrows

[Chorus 1]
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart
For God to write His story?

[Verse 3]
Shepherds counting sheep in the night
Do not fear the glory light
You are precious in His sight
God has come to raise the lowly

[Chorus 2]
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart
For God to write His story?
You can come as you are
But it may set you apart
When you make room in your heart
And trade your dreams for His glory

[Bridge]
Make room in your heart
Make room in your heart

[Verse 4]
Mother holds the Promise tight
Every wrong will be made right
The road is straight and the burden’s light
For in His hands He holds tomorrow

[Chorus 2]
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart?
Is there room in your heart
For God to write His story?
You can come as you are
But it may set you apart
When you make room in your heart
And trade your dreams for His glory

[Outro]
Make room in your heart
Make room in your heart
Make room in your heart
Make room in your heart

[ Casting Crowns – “It’s Finally Christmas” album ]

*****************************
Hope Was Born This Night

Tonight I can see a star shine
And its splendor fills up the sky
It’s the same that appeared
And the wisemen revered
When Hope was born this night

Out upon the snowy fields
There’s a silent peace that heals
And it echoes the grace
Of our Savior’s embrace
Because Hope was born this night

Glory to God in the highest
Peace on earth
Goodwill to men
Let all of the world
Sing the chorus of joy
Because Hope was born this night

I can hear the Christmas bells ringing
As softly a church choir sings
It’s the song used to praise
The ancient of days
When Hope was born this night

There are angels in this place
And my heart resounds in the praise
Like a shepherd so scared
I’ll rejoice and declare
That Hope was born this night

Glory to God in the highest
Peace on earth
Goodwill to men
Let all of the world
Sing the chorus of joy
Because Hope was born this night

Gloria
Gloria
Gloria
Gloria

Glory to God in the highest
Peace on earth
Goodwill to men
Let all of the world
Sing the chorus of joy
Because Hope was born this night
Because Hope was born this night

I know hope was born this night
Because Christ was born this night

[ Sidewalk Prophets – “Merry Christmas to You” album ]

*****************************
O Little Town of Bethlehem

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;

Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting light;
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.

For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wondering love.

O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth.
And praises sing to God the King.
And peace to men on earth.

Hallelujah to the Lord
Hallelujah to the Lord

O Holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in;
Be born in us today!

We hear the Christmas angels
The great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us,
Our Lord Emmanuel!

Hallelujah to the Lord
Hallelujah to the Lord
Hallelujah

[ Jeremy Camp ]

*****************************
Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
Jesus Christ was born today.
Ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today!
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Jesus Christ was born for this!
He has opened heaven’s door,
and we are blest forevermore.
Christ was born for this!
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave:
Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all
to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save!
Christ was born to save!

[ Smalltown Poets ]

*****************************
Go Tell It On The Mountain

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

While shepherds kept their watching
O’er their silent flocks night
Behold throughout the heavens
There shone a holy light

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

The shepherds feared and trembled
When lo! Above the Earth
Rang out the angel chorus
That hailed our Savior’s birth

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

Down in a lowly manger
Our humble Christ was born
And God sent us salvation
That blessed Christmas morn

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus Christ is born!

[ Tenth Avenue North ]

*****************************
God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

Fear not then, said the Angel
Let nothing you affright
This day is born a Savior
Of a pure Virgin bright
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s pow’r and might
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

God rest ye merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r
When we were gone astray
Oh tidings of comfort and joy
Comfort and joy
Oh tidings of comfort and joy

[ Pentatonix ]

*****************************
Joy To The World

Joy to the world, the Lord has come
Let earth receive her King
Let every heart prepare Him room
And heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing
And heaven, 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, repeat the sounding joy
Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow
Nor thorns infest the ground
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found
Far as, 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, and wonders of His love
And wonders, wonders of His love

[ Lincoln Brewster ]

*****************************
Hark the Herald Angels Sing

Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled.”
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th’ angelic host proclaim,
“Christ is born in Bethlehem.”
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!

Christ, by highest heaven adored:
Christ, the everlasting Lord;
Late in time behold him come,
Offspring of the favoured one.
Veiled in flesh, the Godhead see;
Hail, th’incarnate Deity:
Pleased, as man, with men to dwell,
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King!

Hail! the heaven-born
Prince of peace!
Hail! the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all he brings,
Risen with healing in his wings
Mild he lays his glory by,
Born that man no more may die:
Born to raise the son of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the new-born King !”

[Celtic Women ]

*****************************
What Child is This

What Child is this who, laid to rest

On Mary’s lap, is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

Why lies He in such mean estate

Where ox and ass are feeding?
Good Christian, fear, for sinners here
The silent Word is pleading.
Nails, spear shall pierce him through,
The Cross be borne for me, for you,
Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
Come peasant, king to own Him.
The King of kings salvation brings,
Let loving hearts enthrone Him.
Raise, raise, the song on high,
The virgin sings her lullaby,
Joy, joy, for Christ is born,
The Babe, the Son of Mary!

[ Francesca Battistelli ]

*****************************
O Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
‘Til He appears and the Spirit felt its worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees; O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the Wise Men from Orient land
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend
Behold your King; before Him lowly bend

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise His holy name
Christ is the Lord; O praise His name forever!
His power and glory evermore proclaim
His power and glory evermore proclaim

[ Josh Groban ]

*****************************
Revelation Song

Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is Thee
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
Holy, holy is He
Sing a new song to Him who sits on
Heaven’s mercy seat
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You
Clothed in rainbows of living color
Flashes of lighting rolls of thunder
Blessing and honor strength and glory and power be
To You the only one who’s King
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You
Filled with wonder awestruck wonder
At the mention of Your name
Jesus Your name is power, breath and living water
Such a marvelous mystery
Oh, You’re worthy, mystery
You are worthy
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty
Who was and is and is to come
With all creation I sing praise to the King of kings
You are my everything and I will adore You, I will adore You

[ Phillips, Craig & Dean ]

*****************************
All Hail King Jesus

There was a moment when the lights went out
When death had claimed its victory
The King of love had given up His life
The darkest day in history

[Verse 2]
There on a cross they made for sinners
For every curse His blood atoned
One final breath and it was finished
But not the end we could have known

[Pre-Chorus 1]
For the earth began to shake, and the veil was torn
What sacrifice was made, as the heavens roared

[Chorus]
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world

[Verse 3]
There was a moment when the sky lit up
A flash of light breaking through
When all was lost He crossed eternity
The King of life was on the move

[Pre-Chorus 2]
For in a dark, cold tomb, where our Lord was laid
One miraculous breath, and we’re forever changed

[Chorus]
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world

[Interlude]

[Bridge]
Let every knee, come bow before the King of kings
Let every tongue, confess that He is Lord
Lift up your shout, let us join with all of heaven
Singing ho-ho-ho-ho-holy
Singing ho-ho-ho-ho-holy
Crying out ho-ho-ho-ho-holy
Singing ho-ho-ho-ho-holy

[Chorus]
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
And all hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world

[Interlude]

[Post-Chorus]
All hail, King Jesus
All hail, King Jesus
All hail, King Jesus
All hail, King Jesus!

[Interlude]

[Chorus]
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Lord of heaven and earth
All hail, King Jesus
All hail the Savior of the world

[ Jeremy Riddle ]

*****************************
Jesus Paid It All

I hear the savior say, thy strength indeed is small
Child of weakness, watch and pray, find in me thine all in all
‘Cause Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow
Lord, now indeed I find thy power and thine alone
Can change the leper’s spots and melt the heart of stone
‘Cause Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
My sin had left this crimson stain, he washed it white as snow
It’s washed away, all my sin
And all my shame
And when before the throne I stand in him complete
“Jesus died my soul to save” my lips shall still repeat
Jesus paid it all
All to him I owe
(Sin had left a crimson stain, he washed it white as snow)
(He washed it white as snow)
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
Well praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead
Jesus
You are the one
The son of god
Conqueror of death
King of kings
The sacrificial lamb
(O praise the one who paid my debt
And raised this life up from the dead)
Well praise the one who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead
Jesus

[ Kristian Stanfill ]

*****************************
My Victory

You came for criminals and every pharisee
You came for hypocrites, even one like me
You carried sin and shame the guilt of every man
The weight of all I’ve done nailed into Your hands

[Chorus]
Oh, Your love bled for me
Oh, Your blood in crimson streams
Oh, Your death is hell’s defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

[Verse 2]
Oh, Your amazing grace, I’ve seen and tasted it
It’s running through my veins
I can’t escape its grip in You my soul is safe
You uncover everything

[Chorus]
Oh, Your love bled for me
Oh, Your blood in crimson streams
Oh, Your death is hell’s defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

[Bridge]
Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin, who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again

Behold the Lamb of God
Who takes away our sin, who takes away our sin
The holy Lamb of God
Makes us alive again
Makes us alive again

[Chorus]
Oh, Your love bled for me
Oh, Your blood in crimson streams
Oh, Your death is hell’s defeat
A cross meant to kill is my victory

[ Passion (featuring Crowder) ]

*****************************
Light Of The World

The world waits for a miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel
A child prays for peace on Earth
And she’s calling out from a sea of hurt
Oh come, oh come, Emmanuel

And can you hear the angels singing

Glory to the light of the world
Glory, the light of the world is here

The drought breaks with the tears of a mother
A baby’s cry is the sound of love
Come down, come down, Emmanuel
He is the song for the suffering
He is Messiah, the Prince of Peace has come
He has come, Emmanuel

Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
For all who wait
For all who hunger
For all who’ve prayed
For all who wonder
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

Glo-glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Glory to the light of the world
Behold your King
Behold Messiah
Emmanuel, Emmanuel

The world waits for the miracle
The heart longs for a little bit of hope
Oh come, oh come Emmanuel

[ Chris Tomlin ]

*****************************
Hallelujah What A Savior

[ Austin Stone ]

*****************************
Do You Have Room?

They journeyed far, a weary pair
They sought for shelter from the cold night air
Some place where she could lay her head
Where she could give her babe a quiet bed

Was there no room? No corner there?
In all the town a spot someone could spare?
Was there no soul come to their aid?
A stable bare was where the family stayed.

Chorus:
Do you have room for the Savior?
And do you seek Him anew?
Have you a place for the one who lived and died for you?
Are you as humble as a shepherd boy
Or as wise as men of old?
Would you have come that night?
Would you have sought the light?
Do you have room?

A star arose, a wondrous light
A sign from God — this was the holy night.
And yet so few would go to see
The babe who came to rescue you and me.

This child divine is now a King;
The gift of life to all the world He brings
And all mankind He saves from doom,
But on that night, for Him, there was no room

Chorus

Will you come tonight?
Will you seek the light?
Do you have room?

[ Shawna Belt Edwards ]

*****************************
In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground,
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm.
What heights of love, what depths of peace,
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease!
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.

In Christ alone, Who took on flesh,
Fullness of God in helpless babe!
This gift of love and righteousness,
Scorned by the ones He came to save.
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied
For ev’ry sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.

There in the ground His body lay,
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day,
Up from the grave He rose again!
And as He stands in victory,
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the pow’r of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath,
Jesus commands my destiny.
No pow’r of hell, no scheme of man,
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the pow’r of Christ I’ll stand.

[ Kristian Stanfill ]

*****************************
Cornerstone

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But holly trust is Jesus’ name

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But holly trust is Jesus’ name

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all

When darkness seems to hide His face
I rest on His unchanging grace
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil
My anchor holds within the veil

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all
He is Lord
Lord of all, Christ alone

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all
Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all

When he shall come with trumpet sound
Oh, may I then in Him be found
Dressed in His righteousness alone
Faultless, stand before the throne

Cornerstone
Oh, yeah, in the Savior’s love
He is Lord
Lord of all

Christ alone, Cornerstone
Weak made strong in the Savior’s love
Through the storm
He is Lord
Lord of all

[ Aaron Shust ]

*****************************
Winter Snow

[Verse 1]
Could’ve come like a mighty storm
With all the strength of a hurricane
You could’ve come like a forest fire
With the power of Heaven in Your flame

[Chorus]
(But) You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

[Verse 2]
Oh You could’ve swept in like a tidal wave
Or an ocean to ravish our hearts
You could have come through like a roaring flood
To wipe away the things that we’ve scarred

[Chorus]
(But) You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

[Bridge]
Ooh no, Your voice wasn’t in a bush burning
No, Your voice wasn’t in a rushing wind
It was still, it was small, it was hidden

[Chorus]
(But) You came like a winter snow
Quiet and soft and slow
Falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

[Outro]
Falling, oh yeah, to the earth below
You came falling from the sky in the night
To the earth below

[ Chris Tomlin (featuring Audrey Assad) – “Glory In The Highest” album ]

*****************************
Excuse Me, Pal, It’s Christmastime
(Parody of “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix)

People hate and rip my faith
But they get
Paid vacations on Christmas day
They act real funny when I ask them why
They tell me
“Excuse me, pal, it’s Christmastime.”

People hate and told my town:
“Don’t go put Christmas stuff on public ground!”
Planned on having a Nativity
Whatever it is, that’s worse than a felony

Help me! Oh! Help me! Oh!
Oh no, no, no!

Spoken:
If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Yeah!
People hate on Jesus Christ
Don’t know that He could save their lives
If I preached Buddha, then no one would mind
Guess I’m
Too narrow for such defensive times

Ooh – Help me! Oh! Yeah, people hate!

Spoken:
Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh:

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
One Night in Bethlehem
(Parody of “One Night in Bangkok” by Murray Head)

Bankrupt, boring little city
And the city don’t know what a gift it is getting
But crammed Bethlehem has a guest star in her
Who goes with everything at Yule dinner

I’m surprised no one seemed to visit
Since the former king and psalmist was once born in it
Saul came, don’t you know he then moved
David’s his general, you can’t fault him for that can you?
He’s fightin’ with the Philistines — why waste time — on — on this place?

One night in Bethlehem the world played hostess
The barn was simple but it sure came cheap
The Son of God would change the winter solstice
And if you’re looking at the goats and sheep
I can see an angel flying up to me

Young child, Mary was his mother
But they’ll head down over to Egypt, brother
There’s a dragnet involved, it’s really such a pity
Herod’s looking for the boy – not looking apathetic
Wait a minute
He thinks one child can politically bring him down?

Jesus, young and sweet (young, sweet)
King Herod’s fed up and things are gonna get ugly
That guy’s a tough Tyrannosaurus
Whose every move is fast and furious
I’d get my kid across the state line at crunch time

One night in Bethlehem the start was humble
Not much to see but there was history
One guy was sent to end the 12 Tribes’ troubles
So be prepared to meet your coming king
I can see the Gentiles watch expectantly

Wise men are gonna be in Guinness
As the ultimate quest to celebrate Christmas
These gifts seem more than you’d have
Brought a young ruler of the Tribe of Judah
Praise God, He’s always watching His Word, fulfilling it

I don’t see two guys raised in
The time and place Zion’s prophets placed Him
I’ll bet you lunch you couldn’t find two
But it seems these clues do not entice you

So you’d better go back to the start, and the symbols from your forefathers

One night in Bethlehem the world rejoices
The barn’s no temple, but that Boy’s a Priest
It’s time for God so raise your golden voices
He’s in the flesh, a little mystery
I can see the angels flying just to see

One night in Bethlehem the start was humble
Not much to see but there was history
The Christ was sent to end the 12 Tribes’ troubles
And with a careful look at prophecy
I can see a dreidel on your Christmas tree

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
Cut-Rate Hotel
(Parody of “Heartbreak Hotel” by Elvis Presley)

Well, since our baby’s ready
Well, we found a new place to dwell
Well it’s down with the friendly goats and sheep
That cut-rate hotel
Where we’ll be
Our baby’s a holy baby
Our baby’s so holy
He’s been foretold in Micah 5

Although the town is crowded
They still can find some room
For open-minded travelers
Who know how to use a broom
But people
Our baby’s a holy baby
Our baby’s so holy
He’s been foretold in Micah 5

Now, the well-off kids keep goin’
To the five-star this and that
But in Bethl’hem one star’s all you need
To get to the place we stopped at
It’s a stable but
Our baby’s a holy baby
Our baby’s so holy
He’s been foretold in Micah 5

Well, to visit baby Jesus
They’ve got a trail as well
Well, just take your donkey on the cheap
To cut-rate hotel
And you will see this little
Baby’s a holy baby
Our baby’s so holy
He’s been foretold in Micah 5

LEAD

Although the town is crowded
Well, they still can find some room
They’re open late for shepherds
And cows are welcome too
It’s Christmas so
Go visit the holy baby
Our baby’s so holy
He’s been foretold in Micah 5

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
Micah No. 5
(Parody of “Mambo No. 5” by Lou Bega)

Ladies and Gentlemen … it’s in Micah #5
Want … to … read verse 5
2 in Micah in the Bible cause it prophesies
To the little town of Bethlehem and
The Lord says it once was pretty puny
But it’s really important
In about 700 B.C.
Old Micah said the Son of God would be
Born eventually, prophetically in Bethlehem Ephrathah
The birthplace of King David
Now you get the Saviour
So what can I do to really thank You my Lord
I see Your birthday is just around the corner
Anything I buy, it’s all Yours
Tell me somethin’ to get You, I’m stumped here
A little bit of Hannukah — candlelight
A little bit of caroling — songs outside
A little bitty wreath — that’s small and green
A little bit of tinsel — on my tree
A little bit of Santa — just for fun
A little bit of Mary — she’s Christ’s mom
Oh little town of Bethlehem — in the sand
A little baby, too — hey, He’s the Man!
Micah No. 5!
God’s Son came down — They moved Him all around
Came to Bethlehem town but then Herod tracked Him down
So His mom and dad left — on one sad night
Went down to Egypt — and once Herod died
Nazareth was — the place that they’d reside
They said it looks like this kid is gonna be the Christ
CHORUS
Trust it! I trust it!
Micah No. 5 — ha, ha, ha
CHORUS
Micah 5:2
God above has a bird’s-eye view
His human Son was prophesied
You can read it in Micah 5
Micah No. 5

[ ApologetiX – “ApologetiX Classics: Christmas” album ]

*****************************
Christmasnite
Parody of “Kryptonite” by Three Doors Down
(Matthew 2:1-12)

I took a walk around the world to see Your promised sign
I left my buddies laughin’ somewhere in the sand behind
I watch the world glow to the dark light of the moon
I see another light in view

I walk the world but to a star’s light not the moon
After all I knew it had to be something to do with You
I really don’t mind not havin’ my old friends
As long as You’ll meet me in Bethlehem

If I’m a crazy man, well, You still called me through the sand
If I’m a wise man, well, then You prepared the gold in my hand
I’ll keep Your light in sight, with my search for You, it’s like
Christmas night

You called me strongly from the East
But still, Lord Jesus, I’m no king
You took this planet by surprise whenever You came down
You stunned all them in Bethlehem
I caught Your beacon to these men
I picked it up and took my map and started out

If I’m a crazy man, well, You still called me through the sand
If I’m a wise man, well, then You prepared the gold in my hand
I’ll keep Your light in sight, with my search for You, it’s like
Christmas night

[ ApologetiX – “Keep The Change” album ]

*****************************
Hotel Can’t Afford Ya
(Parody of “Hotel California” by The Eagles)

From a dark desert highway we pulled into the inn
Rome called for a census — I was from Bethlehem
Up above from a distance a star was giving me light
My wife was heavy cause her child was due — We had to stop for the night
So we stood in the doorway of Bethlehem Hotel
And I was thinking to myself, “I hope to Heaven they’ll give me some help”
But they told us no-can-do and they sent me away
“There’s a place around the corner though where you both can stay”
Welcome, but the hotel can’t afford ya
Such a lovely place but we’re out of space
Ran out of room and the hotel can’t afford ya
It’s the time of year — with the census here
My wife was definitely gifted — That’s what the Lord’s angel said
She was about to have a baby boy while still virgin
Spent the night in a barnyard — cheap slumlord’s rent
Some night to remember — some night to forget
So because of what happened I was grieving for my wife
I said, they probably haven’t cleaned in here since B.C. 65
Animal voices were calling for straw and hay
Keep you up through the middle of the night just as if to say
Welcome, but the hotel can’t afford ya
It’s a lovely place, but we’re out of space
Holiday rush and the hotel can’t afford ya
What a nice surprise for your silent night
He was born that evening and shepherds came that night
And they said, We are all just visitors here — of the Holy Christ
And in an ass’s manger, they found the boy asleep
They started gettin’ teary eyed so they went back to their sheep
Last thing I remember there were wise men at the door
They had a bunch of packages from the place they were before
We’re late, said the wise men, We had problems Christmas Eve
We’ve been checking out your shiny light all through the Middle East

[ ApologetiX – “Jesus Christ Morningstar” album ]

*****************************
Christ in the Stable
(Parody of “Cat’s in the Cradle” by Harry Chapin)

Our child arrived just the other day
He came to the world as the Truth and the Way
But they were trained to catch and kill the babe
We learned to watch out and run away
But He was born before they knew it or had a clue
I said, my son will be like You, God
I know He’s gonna be like You

And the Christ’s in the stable
Cause they filled the rooms
Little boy, who are You? Man, if they knew!
When they gonna know that? I don’t know when
But we’ll get to Heaven then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Our son went to temple the other day
I said, Thanks for the boy, God — His mom just prayed
Then two people who showed up had a lot to say
And they were prophets, too, I said that’s so strange
And they walked away, but they smiled as they did, I said
My goodness, they liked Him, yeah
You know, they really seemed to like Him

And the Christ in the stable
Will fulfill them soon
Little boy, who are You? Man, if they knew!
When they gonna know that? I don’t know when
But we’ll get to Heaven then
You know we’ll have a good time then

Well, they came a-callin’ just the other day
Such nice wise men, I just had to say
Wondered how they knew and brought gifts for the child
Just look, they said, overhead, with a smile
Well, it’s really quite rad but we followed the star’s beams
To see the leader that its advent means

And the Christ in the stable
Will fulfill them soon
Little boy, who are You? Man, if they knew!
When they gonna know, Son? I don’t know when
But we’ll get to Heaven then, yeah
I know we’ll have a good time then

My lungs seem so tired, my son’s come of age
I call Him “son” for His mother’s sake
I said, I’d like to see You fulfill those signs
Except my health’s too bad
Look like it’s time to die
You see, I knew God could handle anything You’ll go through
But it’s sure nice watchin’ Him do that
It’s been sure nice adoptin’ You too

And as I run up to go into eternity
Jehovah, yes, I see
My boy looks just like Thee

And the Christ in the stable
Will be killed real soon
Little boy, who are You? Man, if they knew!
When they gonna know the Son? I don’t know when
But they’ll get to Heaven then, yeah
They’re gonna have a good time then

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
Don’t Stop Till Egypt
(Parody of “Don’t Stop Believin'” by Journey)

Just a small town girl – living in a Roman world
She took a late-night trip out of Bethlehem
Just a bitty boy – born to make the world rejoice
He took a late-night trip out of Bethlehem

The king is in an OK mood – until the wise men leak the news
For a while they can spare their lives
If they run, and run, and run, and run

Angels racin’, comin’ down to pull them out
There’s bad folks searchin’ in the night
Flee, wise people
Heaven sends a warning, Joseph
Hide Him somewhere near the Nile

Well, King Herod, he ain’t quite thrilled
“Every baby must be killed!”
He’ll do anything – he’s cold as ice – what’s one more crime?
Run from Him – One with you’s
The Son of God, the King of the Jews
For His kingdom never ends
It goes on and on and on and on

Angels racin’, comin’ down to pull them out
There’s bad folks searchin’ in the night
Flee, wise people
Heaven sends a warning, Joseph
Hide Him somewhere near the Nile

Don’t stop till Egypt – go down to the pyramids
Flee, wise people, oh oh oh
Don’t stop till Egypt – go down, yeah
Flee, wise people, oh oh oh

[ ApologetiX – “Wise Up and Rock” album ]

*****************************
Tip From an Angel
(Parody of “Lips of an Angel” by Hinder)

Sorry that I’m comin’ here so late
I’m tryin’ to watch my flock right now
I heard a baby cryin’ — is that Him in the hay?
I’ll try to whisper but my lambs bleat so loud
Well, my herd’s in the next room
Most times I’m with sheep, what’s new?
I guess we never really move alone
It’s really good to be here, Lord
Seeing Your face — it sounds so weird
But I got a tip from an angel
He knew those words would take me here
And I never thought I’d be surprised
But, Lord, You made a trough be Your cradle
In the midst of a stable
There’s not a bunch in common between You and I
And yet You shepherd sheep, too
You gotta know your flock or soon they wander out of sight
No, I don’t think sheep have a clue
Well, my herd’s in the next room
Sometimes I wish sheep were mute
I guess we’d better get a move on
It’s really good to be here Lord
Glad that I came — it sounds so weird
But I got a tip from an angel
He knew those words would take me here
And I never thought I’d see the Christ
But Lord, You came — it’s not some big fable
In the midst of a stable
It’s really good to be here, Lord
Glad that I came — it sounds so weird
But I got a tip from an angel
He knew those words would take me here
And I never thought I’d be surprised
But Lord You made a trough be Your cradle
In the midst of a stable
And I never thought I’d see, You, Christ
But Lord, You came — it’s not some big fable
In the midst of a stable
Sorry that I’m comin’ here so late

[ ApologetiX – “Future Tense” album ]

*****************************
Bethlehem’s Boy
(Parody of “My Best Friend’s Girl” by The Cars)

When all the lambs are sound asleep
We keep ’em safe through the night
But there’s a new star that we’ve seen
One that looks really bright
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies, oh
You’ll think we flipped
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies, oh
Looks kind of like some spaceyships
He’s in Bethlehem
He’s in Bethlehem
He’s in Bethlehem ahem, ahem!
You can see Christ!
You gotta look in your Book
If you check Mi-cah
You’ll see why Micah said
There’s something happenin’ above
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies, oh
I’ll make the trip
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies
And kinda like the way that Micah said, they said,
Yes, He’s in Bethlehem, boys
He’s a Bethlehem boy, ahoy, ahoy!
There you can see Christ!
He’s so nice!
When all the lambs are sound asleep
We keep ’em safe through the night
And there’s a newborn that we’ve seen
Talkin’ ’bout Jesus Christ
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies, oh
Go take the trip
Here He comes, they said
Yeah, there’s angels in the starry skies
And kinda like the way that Micah said, they said,
He’s in Bethlehem
He’s in Bethlehem
He’s in Bethlehem ahem, ahem!
That’s where you can see Christ! He so nice!
In Bethlehem, friends, you can see Christ (REPEAT)

[ ApologetiX “Future Tense” album ]

*****************************
Manger
(Parody of “Angel” by Shaggy – featuring Rayvon)

Girl, use my manger for your darling angel
Cozier than my sheep you ought to be, Mary
Showed you my stable — for my farming animals
Girl, you must spend the night with these, maybe
Life is one big party when there’s children
But whose gonna have a bed for your small son?
It’s all good that you’re little one’s near but
Can’t find a room — crud! Water broke and now what?
You can rush out to the place I mentioned
Spend the night save the money for the rent and
Keep him there through your entire vacation
You won’t need reservations — my barn’s pretty vacant
Girl, use my manger for your darling baby
Over where Bo Peep would want to be, Mary
Sure, use my stable — it’s a charming place and
Girl you’ll make friends with cows and sheep, maybe
Sure it’s clean and that’s how you should be treated
Though you’d better get another one in Egypt
Ruler of Bethlehem is conceited
Take it from me kid: if he comes, beat it!
But he’s not gonna come tonight; there’s no problem
Not till talkin’ to some wise men; Herod’s so dumb
But the free room that I have for you is ho hum
He could search for so long and still never see your son
Girl, use my manger for your darling baby
Clothe Him with white sheets or else he’ll freeze, Mary
Showed you my stable — what are all these angels?
Girl, I might end up on my knees, maybe
Girl, there’s probably gonna be a crowd
So let me see your child — He must be sent from up above
And He appears to be so tender and so nice and friendly
I think He’s givin’ me a hug
Girl, there’s probably gonna be a crowd
So let me see your child — He must be sent from up above
And He appears to be so tender and so like the shepherds
I’m thankin’ Heaven He has come
Tonight it’s one big party ’cause it’s God’s son
But you’d better watch your back when it’s all done
It’s all good that your little one’s here but
Can’t be a fool, hon — what about the law, mon?
You can call on divine intervention
But shiny light gives you very much attention
It could lead to my incarceration
I wanna tell the nations, but I think I’ll wait some
REPEAT SECOND CHORUS, THIRD CHORUS

[ ApologetiX – “Keep The Change” album ]

*****************************
Try Micah
(Parody of “Drive My Car” by The Beatles)

Asked King Herod where Messiah could be
He said, “Baby, don’t ask me!”
We said, “We’ve been chasing a star in the East
But we could use some directions, please!”
Maybe, you can try Micah
Yes, I know you’ve seen a star
Baby, you can try Micah
It may be in 5:2
Been told before ’bout the prophetic books
So we said, maybe we’ll take a look
Searchin’ for Jesus is hard to attempt
But Micah shows He’s in Bethlehem
Maybe, we can try Micah
Since we’re following a star
Baby, we can try Micah
He says it’s in 5:2
Lead me to Jesus, yeah!
Balaam saw it from afar
Said there’s gonna be a star
Numbers chapter 24
And now back to Matthew
We found the Lord there just like Micah said
But since it’s Christmas, baby
We got stuff that we gave
We brought some gold, frankincense and some myrrh
‘Cause we found Messiah and that’s for sure
Baby, you can try Micah
If you’re following a star
Baby, you can try Micah
And tell ’em who sent you
We be the three kings, yeah!
We be the three kings, yeah!
We be the three kings, yeah!

[ ApologetiX “Future Tense” album ]

*****************************
Child King
Parody of “Wild Thing” by Tone Lōc
(Luke 2:8-20, Isaiah 1:18)

Yeshua!

Work with all the sheep — that’s my prime source of money
So when the sheep get dumb I can go and I find where they’re runnin’
Most were sound asleep — I saw this curly sheep was jumpy
In the blink of an eye, she got mesmerized and went to discover something
Went to use my shepherd’s crook, she headed for the briars
I said, “There’s something goin’ on, baby girl” and “I’m gonna find ya”
She took a little spill and fell — she slipped, poor little thing
I went to free my sheep in her moment of need
And that led us to the Child King
Child King
Child King

Shocking as it was, looking awesome, way up high
I saw this person it was not some bird but if he had to he just might fly
He looked at me, “A child,” he said, “that God sent is born tonight”
‘Cause there’s hope for thee, I bring goodwill and peace and news of Christ
So I turned into a mouse – I think that dude could hover
I feared before but yo, here’s some more
I looked up and there were some others
I didn’t know what to say – all those angels on the wing
But they sang a tune – and I was quite moved
And I left to view the Child King
Child King
I left to view the Child King
Child King
Please, baby, baby, please

You’d possibly expect they’d bling Him out with all this hype
But when me and the crew went to his digs
He wasn’t really the rich-guy type
Saw this precious little babe cryin’, lyin’ on a bed of straw
This sweet young miss, though, gave Him a kiss
And I knew that she was His ma
She took us to their living room – it was part outside
He didn’t glow but He fit the profile
I made up my own mind
I couldn’t get Him off my thoughts
It was … a dramatic thing
But that’s what happened to a lot of us after
From viewin’ the Child King
Child King
We went to view the Child King
Please, baby, baby, please

Child King!

You know that Kid’ll grow and I mean no disrespect
But sometimes some Christians want Him to stop
So they’re spared His blood and death
They want Him to come and stay
A cute and little prince
But if He’s still a child He can’t save you later, and forgive your sins
So when there’s snow at Christmas
Let’s look at it another way
Our sins are whiter than snow because He took the toll
We weren’t prepared to pay
He was all alone when He set the tone
When they killed Him one spring
He needed to be older
To make you holy
‘Cause a babe can’t do that kind of thing
Save us?
Yo, suffering’s not for kiddies
That swaddlin’ babe?
Just wait about 30 years
Catch Him at Easter, baby

Child King!

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
Wise Men Still
Parody of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley
(Matthew 2:1-12, Micah 5:2, Number 24:17)

Wise men came
Only fools snubbed Him
But wise men still
Follow and trust Him too

Shall I pray
Would You please come in
For wise men still
Follow and trust in You

Micah he foretold
Showed where you would be
Star brings those with gold
Some kings are led to Thee

Take my gifts
Take my whole life, too
For wise men still
Follow and trust in You

Micah he foretold
Showed where you would be
Star brings those with gold
Some kings are led to Thee

Take my sins
Make my old life new
For wise men still
Follow and trust in You

For wise men still
Follow and trust in You

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

*****************************
Mary’s Got a Son
Parody of “Janie’s Got a Gun” by Aerosmith
(Matthew 1:18-2:23, 11:27; Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-20, 10:22; Micah 5:2)

Oh, Mary, honey, what have you got?
Most don’t know it’s the Son of my God
Oh, Mary, honey, what have you got?
Oh, my Lord, it’s Your Son!
Wow!

Na na na – Na na na
Na na na – Na na na

Mary’s got a son – Joseph’s not the one
The whole world’s havin’ fun
Wond’rin’ how that was done
Babies need daddies too
What if it could be true?
They say when Mary was expectin’
They found it unbelievable
But man she hadn’t known
And if the baby’s God’s own Son
It ain’t really inconceivable

Mary’s got a son – Herod’s come undone
He don’t need anyone
To rule the country he’s tryin’ to run
They tell me that this guy’s cruel
What did King Herod do?
He killed the little bitty babies
The man has got to be insane
Oh oh oh oh
So all the males age two and under
All died and it’s a wonder
That the son she had for God escaped

Run away, run away from the king, yeah
Run away, run away from the king, yeah
Run away, run away, run from the king, yeah
LEAD

Mary’s got a son – and it’s not much fun
The ordeal’s just begun
And now the family is on the run
What should poor Mary do?
This baby can’t die on you
She had to take Him down to Egypt
And put her boy where He’d be safe
Oh oh oh oh
She said, I hope nobody sees me
The family’s got to flee
We’d be better off to leave this place!

Run away, run away from the king, yeah
Run away, run away from the king, yeah
Run away, run away, run from the king, yeah

Mary’s got a son – and He’s God’s own Son
Mary’s got a son — and everybody is gonna come (Yeahhh)
Mary’s got a son — the story’s just begun (Yeahhh)
Now everybody is gonna come (No one really knows the Father)
Because Mary’s got a son (Only Jesus Christ)
And He’s God’s own son (But His Daddy may adopt ya, but ya)
The story’s just begun (Need to see the light)
And everybody is gonna come (Yeahhh)
Mary’s got a son (Yeahhh)
Mary’s got a son (Yeahhh)
The story’s just begun (Yeahhh)

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah ]

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Messiah
Parody of “Desire” by U2
(Daniel 9:24-27, Isaiah 53:1-12)

Brothers, quite honestly
Is the Bible a white lie? It predicts history
Have you read the parts prophesyin’ Messiah?

See, from Daniel – the Israelites knew
The Christ would be there – be there real soon
And so they counted till they got one
And eschewed everyone who’s not one
It’s in Daniel, chapter 9 — the
That’s in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Right in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Look in Daniel, chapter 9, the
Messiah! Messiah!
You ready?

Under Caesar’s when they’d find the
Messiah! Messiah!
Yearning — yearning

He gave all us the time projections
Seek the prophets for your directions
The Scriptures that came long ago
I can preach it — still your heart has to let Him in, though
So let Him, honey, honey, honey
Honey, honey, honey, honey, honey

And when Jesus gets inside ya
Messiah! Messiah!
Messiah! Messiah!
Messiah! Messiah!

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album

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Virgin
Parody of “Urgent” by Foreigner
(Isaiah 7:14, Jeremiah 31:22, Genesis 3:15, Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 1:27-38)

You’re not blind — you’ve been around
You want a sign — it’s got to be so profound
Isaiah — he wrote some down
You won’t believe — you want ’em proved to you now
You’ve got pride in your brains
Learned a lot — but you don’t feel the faith
Your Messiah — He still came
You can’t spot Him — until you do it’s a shame
But one sign and wonder in the Book caught your eye
A baby predicted whose mom was undefiled
And I know, yes I know, now it’s Jesus Christ
That’s why we all need to admit Him in our lives

You see a virgin — a pure virgin
You know a virgin, virgin, virgin with a pregnancy
A virgin – it was Mary – yes, a virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin

The snake tricks all mankind
You best beware — it’s comin’ through our bloodline
We’re not pure – our sin’s parental
We’re Adam’s seed – you can see that’s detrimental
But my God took us on another path
He’d grow up a seed to redeem us back
Yeah, the one from the woman that He’d prepare
Read Isaiah 7:14, and you’ll find that it’s there

It says a virgin – a pure virgin
You know a virgin – I wanna tell you that it came to be (ooh ooh)
Go, go, go searchin’, searchin’, searchin’ — check in Genesis 3
The verse is number 15 – it’s a virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin
You see a virgin – came to pass
Yes, a virgin – go and check
Yes, a virgin – God with us
Yes, a virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin
Not a trick — yes, a virgin, virgin — the virgin’s seed
Virgin, virgin — the virgin’s seed – virgin, virgin, virgin, virgin
The virgin’s seed – Virgin virgin virgin virgin
The virgin’s seed
A virgin – the virgin’s seeeeeeed
Ooh ooh (ooh ooh) ooh ooh (ooh ooh)
Ooh ooh (ooh ooh)

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

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We Didn’t Start Messiah
Parody of “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
(Genesis 3:15, Revelation 13:8)

Perfect humans, had it made, then they kind of went astray
Sought the serpent for their wisdom so they had to go
Though the Lord made a prediction
Soon the lady’d have some kids and
From her seed would come to be the Man who’d win my soul
So the Lord made some coverings that came from
Animals He skinned alive, animals that had to die
After that a bad scene, Cain has got a cruel scheme
Offering some old vegetables his sacrifice was nullified

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Though his brother’s plan was flawed
Abel had a lamb for God
Sacrificed it and God liked it, Cain was ticked off
Abel’s done, murder one, Adam and Eve had another son
Named him Seth now Cain has got a spot
Seth’s line, Cain’s seed, both left God as sin increased
They could not foresee the plan – salvation through just one man
But Noah knew a bit – wound up on a cruise ship
In the waves, they were saved, God knows what He’s doin’

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Noah docked after that and he built an altar at
A spot where it was dry and he probably lit a fire
Seven pairs of animals that were clean were available
Brought them for sacrifice – tell me what that symbolized
Oh, oh
But he’d hardly been there became drunk and lost his shirt
Canaanites were past hope, Shem was blessed by Noah, though
Who do Shemites be? Abraham and then his seed
Always check for types, bro, Melchizadek is one of those

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Spent three days with Isaac, Abraham surmised if
He killed him in faith then Yahweh still could raise him
The Lord He saw the faith he had — didn’t need to take the lad
Showed him a ram – Abe said He’d provide the lamb
Close call — Isaac blessed Jacob, all his kids were next
Jacob claimed that someday – one from Judah had to reign

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, the Israelites already prophesied Him

Brother Joe, where’s he been? In the depths and back again
Big shot – who’d have thought God would raise Joe’s stock?
Made a break to palace life, there he sat at Pharaoh’s right
Highest ruler in the land, brothers did not understand
Little Moses has arrived, government infanticide
From Egypt Moses left, plagues, Passover kept
Find a perfect lamb that’s pure
Stripes of blood are on the door
Rock with water, Yom Kippur
I can tell ya many more

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning for the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
But when we are gone
He will still live on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

We didn’t start Messiah
Yet we’re always yearning since the Lord’s returning
We didn’t start Messiah
No, He isn’t hiding – if you try you’ll find Him

[ ApologetiX – “Handheld Messiah” album ]

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Lived The Day You Died
(Parody of “Love the Way You Lie” by Eminem Featuring Rihanna)

Don’t understand why they brought You myrrh
But that’s all right because I like Your day of birth
Don’t understand why You’d heal, me, Christ
But that’s all right because I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died

I can’t tell you what a thrill it is
Like in bowling when you got your first strike
It’s like now I’m hitchhiking on the turnpike
I broke free from doin’ life, now it’s midnight
Then God comes along with a ride, invites me inside
I offer stuff to compensate
He doesn’t want no payment – says, Brother, it’s all be covered
It’s tough to take – I say, Lord, I’m a lousy clown, why’d You stop to save me
You must be crazy, man, I’m such a waste
Where we goin’? I’m redeeming you – no you ain’t
I’m bad, and someone like that can’t become a saint
It’s too ingrained – He said, there’s no one good – you’re goin’ straight
I took command, and I’m winnin’ you back – your soul is saved
But, Lord, my past was awful, I feel so estranged
I’m trapped – Who trapped you? I don’t see no ball and chain
I laid hands on you – you’ll never do this alone again
I guess you don’t know the Lord’s grace

Don’t understand why they brought You myrrh
But that’s all right because I like Your day of birth
Don’t understand why You’d heal, me, Christ
But that’s all right because I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died

You know, they struck His body so much
He could breathe when they hit Him
But Jesus, He did not refuse, even though they whipped Him
Not a warm, fuzzy feeling, gettin’ killed just for livin’
Like He’s some punk they didn’t know from Adam
The Lord, He said, forgive ’em
When they did those things to hurt Him
Though they spit upon His face and invented stuff to curse and convict Him
They plucked out his facial hair
Laughed while givin’ Him a thorny crown
Pinned Him to a cross in the Roman mannerism
Yet they gave Him a cold drink to cope with though
Something infinitesimal, a gesture made
Guess that they didn’t know that in their painkilling recipe
Something was left over from a different day
One that came with frankincense and gold
It was embalmer’s myrrh
Mixed with wine – He still refrained
You don’t get it, Wonder Man, Christ was not immune to pain
But it’s not in vain
Now the rest of us receive God’s forgiveness
Guess that’s why they say “no pain no gain”

Don’t understand why they brought You myrrh
But that’s all right because I like Your day of birth
Don’t understand why You’d heal, me, Christ
But that’s all right because I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died

Now I know I said things, did things that were pretty mean
And we fall back to the days of Adam and days of Eve
But Your temptation was bad as mine is, from A to Z
Yet You never flunked the test like I did
You made it clean somehow
They cussed at You, nailed You to a tree
Maybe it was Satan just shiftin’ the blame to You from me
Maybe that’s what happens when some fourth graders meet with Darth Vader
All I know is the devil’s too much for us to face now
The Messiah picked up my tab ’cause He died for all
Though I see sin starin’ me in my face when I fall
Though I’m just a slimeball
Took me in when I called
Yes, I’m enlistin’ as a Christian disciple
Guess it’s time here for me to testify
I will follow Christ even through my lowest times
“Cause I know I became righteous from the fact I know my Messiah
If the devil tries to sucker me again
I’m a try and do my best to just renounce that liar

Don’t understand why they brought You myrrh
But that’s all right because I like Your day of birth
Don’t understand why You’d heal, me, Christ
But that’s all right because I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died
I lived the day You died

[ ApologetiX – “Hot Potato Soup” album ]

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DEEP THOUGHTS:

“Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy. Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.”
[ Pastor Saeed Abedini ]

“Off to one side sits a group of shepherds. They sit silently on the floor, perhaps perplexed, perhaps in awe, no doubt in amazement. Their night watch had been interrupted by an explosion of light from heaven and a symphony of angels. God goes to those who have time to hear him–and so on this cloudless night he went to simple shepherds.”
[ Max Lucado ]

“Once in our world, a stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”
[ C.S. Lewis ]

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!”
[ Benjamin Franklin ]

“So God throws open the door of this world—and enters as a baby. As the most vulnerable imaginable. Because He wants unimaginable intimacy with you. What religion ever had a god that wanted such intimacy with us that He came with such vulnerability to us? What God ever came so tender we could touch Him? So fragile that we could break Him? So vulnerable that His bare, beating heart could be hurt? Only the One who loves you to death.”
[ Ann Voskamp ]

“At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving the others with God’s own love and concern.”
[ Mother Teresa ]

“…And then, just when everything is bearing down on us to such an extent that we can scarcely withstand it, the Christmas message comes to tell us that all our ideas are wrong, and that what we take to be evil and dark is really good and light because it comes from God. Our eyes are at fault, that is all. God is in the manger, wealth in poverty, light in darkness, succor in abandonment. No evil can befall us; whatever men may do to us, they cannot but serve the God who is secretly revealed as love and rules the world and our lives.”
[ Dietrich Bonhoeffer ]

“We consider Christmas as the encounter, the great encounter, the historical encounter, the decisive encounter, between God and mankind. He who has faith knows this truly; let him rejoice.”
[ Pope Paul VI ]

“And when the Lord Jesus has become your peace, remember, there is another thing: good will towards men. Do not try to keep Christmas without good will towards men.”
[ Charles Spurgeon ]

“Peace with God, peace with others, and peace in your own heart.”
[ Rick Warren ]

“Any one thinking of the Holy Child as born in December would mean by it exactly what we mean by it; that Christ is not merely a summer sun of the prosperous but a winter fire for the unfortunate.”
[ G.K. Chesterton ]

“All the Christmas presents in the world are worth nothing without the presence of Christ.”
[ David Jeremiah ]

“Faith is salted and peppered through everything at Christmas. And I love at least one night by the Christmas tree to sing and feel the quiet holiness of that time that’s set apart to celebrate love, friendship, and God’s gift of the Christ child.”
[ Amy Grant ]

“Who can add to Christmas? The perfect motive is that God so loved the world. The perfect gift is that He gave His only Son. The only requirement is to believe in Him. The reward of faith is that you shall have everlasting life.”
[ Corrie Ten Boom ]

“I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.”
[ Norman Vincent Peale ]

“Best of all, Christmas means a spirit of love, a time when the love of God and the love of our fellow men should prevail over all hatred and bitterness, a time when our thoughts and deeds and the spirit of our lives manifest the presence of God.”
[ George F. McDougall ]

“It is impossible to conceive how different things would have turned out if that birth had not happened whenever, wherever, however it did … for millions of people who have lived since, the birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it. It is a truth that, for twenty centuries, there have been untold numbers of men and women who, in untold numbers of ways, have been so grasped by the child who was born, so caught up in the message he taught and the life he lived, that they have found themselves profoundly changed by their relationship with him.”
[ Frederick Buechner ]

“The Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child. The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets. Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the Incarnation.”
[ J.I. Packer ]

“Jesus was God and man in one person, that God and man might be happy together again.”
[ George Whitefield ]

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
[ Norman Vincent Peale ]

“You can never truly enjoy Christmas until you can look up into the Father’s face and tell him you have received his Christmas gift.”
[ John R. Rice ]

“The only people who soul can truly magnify the Lord are…people who acknowledge their lowly estate and are overwhelmed by the condescension of the magnificent God.”
[ John Piper ]

“Into this world, this demented inn in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ comes uninvited.”
[ Thomas Merton ]

“Christmas is joy, religious joy, an inner joy of light and peace.”
[ Pope Francis ]

“Moreover, the fact that the Son of God became man through being conceived by the Holy Spirit and being born of the Virgin Mary, that is, not of the will of the flesh nor of the will of a human father, but of God (John 1:13), means that at this decisive point in the incarnation the distinctive place and function of man as male human being was set aside.”
[ Thomas F. Torrance ]

“The great challenge left to us is to cut through all the glitz and glam of the season that has grown increasingly secular and commercial, and be reminded of the beauty of the One who is Christmas.”
[ Bill Crowder ]

“The very purpose of Christ’s coming into the world was that he might offer up his life as a sacrifice for the sins of men. He came to die. This is the heart of Christmas.”
[ Billy Graham ]

“Now all those who love and fear Him, saved by grace through faith alone. Kneel in humble adoration. at His manger, at His throne.”
[ Jon D Payne ]

“Worship Christ the newborn baby, born to die upon the tree. Thorns and nails will one day pierce Him, bearing wrath to set us free.”
[ Jon D Payne ]

“He is a Light for us when all other lights go out.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“Christmas is not simply about a birth but about a coming.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“Christmas is based on an exchange of gifts: the gift of God to man—His Son; and the gift of man to God—when we first give ourselves to God.”
[ Vance Havner ]

“Life is uncertain, Death is sure; Sin the cause, Christ the cure.”
[ Author unknown ]

“A God who was only holy would not have come down to us in Jesus Christ. He would have simply demanded that we pull ourselves together, that we be moral and holy enough to merit a relationship with him. A deity that was an ‘all‐accepting God of love’ would not have needed to come to Earth either. This God of the modern imagination would have just overlooked sin and evil and embraced us. Neither the God of moralism nor the God of relativism would have bothered with Christmas.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“If you think it takes courage to be with [Jesus], consider that it took infinitely more courage for him to be with you. Only Christianity says one of the attributes of God is courage. No other religion has a God who needed courage.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“In religion we try to tame God, seeking to put him in our debt; we do many things so he has to bless us in the ways we want. . . . Religious people are just as hostile to the sovereignty of God as the irreligious. They just find religious ways to express it and hide it.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“‘Where’s the true King?’ That question is the most disturbing question possible to a human heart, since we want at all costs to remain on the throne of our own lives. We may use religion to stay on that throne, trying to put God in the position of having to do our bidding because we are so righteous, rather than serving him unconditionally. Or we may flee from religion, become atheists, and loudly claim that there is no God. Either way, we are expressing our natural hostility to the lordship of the true King.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“No one is really neutral about whether Christmas is true. If the Son of God was really born in a manger, then we have lost the right to be in charge of our lives. Who can be objective about a claim that, if it is true, means you’ve lost control of your life? You can’t be.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“Christian faith is not a negotiation but a surrender. . . . [And] our greatest motive for surrendering to him cannot be for what he will do in us. It must be to love him for what he did for us.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“Christmas means that, through the grace of God and the incarnation, peace with God is available; and if you make peace with God, then you can go out and make peace with everybody else. And the more people who embrace the gospel and do that, the better off the world is. Christmas, therefore, means the increase of peace—both with God and between people—across the face of the world.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“The manger at Christmas means that, if you live like Jesus, there won’t be room for you in a lot of inns.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“When you say, ‘Doctrine doesn’t matter; what matters is that you live a good life,’ that is a doctrine. It is called the doctrine of salvation by your works rather than by grace. It assumes that you are not so bad that you need a Savior, that you are not so weak that you can’t pull yourself together and live as you should. You are actually espousing a whole set of doctrines about the nature of God, humanity, and sin. And the message of Christmas is that they are all wrong.”
[ Tim Keller ]

“If Christmas is just a nice legend, in a sense you are on your own. But if Christmas is true, then you can be saved by grace.”
[ Tim Keller ]

 

RELATED SCRIPTURE VERSES:

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.”
[ 1 Timothy 1:15 ]

“When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
[ Mark 2:17 ]

“For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
[ Luke 19:10 ]

“Just as the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”
[ Matthew 20:28 ]

“For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.”
[ John 6:38 ]

“I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believes on me should not abide in darkness.”
[ John 12:46 ]

“I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.”
[ John 10:10 ]

“And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.”
[ Mark 1:38 ]

“Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour.”
[ John 12:27 ]

“God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”
[ 1 John 4:9-10 ]

“For this I was born and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth.”
[ John 18:37 ]

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.”
[ 1 John 3:8; cf. Hebrews 2:14-15 ]

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
[ Mark 10:45 ]

“God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.”
[ Galatians 4:5 ]

“For God so loved the world that whoever believes on him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.”
[ John 3:16 ]

“Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against . . . that the thoughts of many may be revealed.”
[ Luke 2:34f ]

“He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.”
[ Luke 4:18 ]

“Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy.”
[ Romans 15:7-8; cf. John 12:27f ]

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“A quick summary of the Christian “Gospel”:
JESUS’ PROPITIATION made our SINS FORGIVEN and IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS to us so that we have GOD’S ACCEPTANCE into His Heaven and ETERNAL LIFE.”
[ Mark Besh ]

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Hope you enjoyed some of these insights—share them with your friends and colleagues—so we can have a larger ‘pool’ to receive from, and more to share with! Also, remember to include your name as the “source,” if some of this wisdom is of your doing—I would like to give credit where credit is due!

FOCUS VERSES:

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
[ Romans 3:23 ]

“For the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.”
[ Romans 1:18 ].

“He [ Jesus ] who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God.”
[ 2 Corinthians 5:21 ]

“For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all.”
[ 1 Timothy 2:5-6 ]

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
[ 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ]

The Lord your God is with you, the mighty One who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
[ Zephaniah 3:17 ]

“For God so loved the world, that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
[ John 3:16-17 ]

“And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!’”
[ Luke 2:8-14 ].

“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
[ Matthew 1:21 ]

“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
[ Mark 10:45 ]

Mark

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If you have a ‘neat’ story or some thoughts about an issue or current event that you would like me to try to respond to, I would be glad to give it a try…so, send them to me at: mbesh@comcast.net

Disclaimer: All the above jokes & inspirations are obtained from various sources and copyright are used when known. Other than our name and headers, we do not own the copyright to any of the materials sent to this list. We just want to spread the ministry of God’s love and cheerfulness throughout the world.

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