Archive for the ‘Manger’ Category
December 25th, 2009
“While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:6-7 (NIV)
What does Christmas mean to you? What will you experience on this special day? Perhaps this will be a busy day for you as you make your rounds to connect with family. Or maybe for you it is a quiet day with minimal activity. Whether the pace is intense or tranquil, there is a miracle in the manger.
When you contemplate the vastness of God’s love, you have to consider the decision God made to take on human form and to dwell among us. Mary wrapped the Son of God in cloths and placed Him in a manger. Can you imagine the Creator of the universe being place in a feeding trough? The One who could have created a castle for that moment, chose to be placed in a manger.
The miracle of the manger is that God chose to come to our rescue. God was willing to become like us so that we could become like Him. God orchestrated our reconciliation. Our transformation was initiated and implemented by God and for God.
Will you make room for Jesus in your life? Will you allow Him to be evident in your life as your Savior and Lord? He saved you so that you can present the miracle of the manger to those who are not yet connected to Christ. Jesus provided the miracle of your transformation so that you can join Him in providing that miracle to a dark and decaying world.
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December 26th, 2008
December 25th, 2008
Merry Christmas to you and your family!
The day we have been anticipating all year is finally here. We have the wonderful privilege of celebrating the birth that changed our past, present, and future. Jesus is born!
- “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ –which means, ‘God with us.’” Matt 1:22-23 (NIV)
- “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV)
God is with us. God is for us. God is in us. This day of celebration goes far beyond simply a day of exchanging gifts and seeing our loved ones. This day marks the day when God became like us so that we could become like Him. Have you received the ultimate gift made available to you by God? Have you received God’s gift of eternal life? If so, then say so!
- “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” Luke 2:20 (NIV)
- “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philem 1:6 (NIV)
Are you willing to share the ultimate gift that you have received with others? Jesus came to earth, lived, died, rose from the dead, and ascended back to heaven so that we could have eternal life and share it with others. Now that’s what Christmas is all about!
December 24th, 2008
God’s revelation demands a response.
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” Luke 2:15-18 (NIV)
God speaks. God reveals Himself so that we may know Him and serve Him. God invites us to join Him in His redemptive activity. He includes us in the redemptive process. Yes! God could accomplish His mission without us. He doesn’t need us. God chooses to use us in communicating His love to a lost and drifting world.
The shepherds responded to God’s invitation through instant obedience. They hurried off to find Jesus! There wasn’t a delay to calculate the cost of obedience. They passionately sought the Lord and responded to God’s offer instantly. The shepherds are examples of how God’s revelation demands a response. They could have responded in apathy or in resolve.
What has God revealed to you? Have you responded to God’s revelation by obeying instantly? What is keeping you from walking in the light God has given you? Imagine responding to God with a resolute, “Yes, Lord!” For Christmas, consider what God has been speaking into your life. Make a decision to trust God and His perfect timing. Decide to obey Him instantly. Leave the results up to God!
December 23rd, 2008
God’s activity is perpetual.
“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’” Luke 2:8-12 (NIV)
God is always at work. He never sleeps and never takes a power nap. God’s activity is redemptive. In His redemptive activity, God chose to announce His good news of great joy to shepherds. Shepherds were considered unclean in their day. They were not honored for their vocational choice. Though despised by people, they were loved by God. God allowed the shepherds to participate in His redemptive activity.
Is there anyone you have been praying for lately who is in need of salvation? Have you had moments of doubt? Maybe you have wondered if it is even possible for God to convince them of their need for salvation. You may have felt that they are beyond God’s reach. The good news of great joy is that there is not a person on planet earth beyond God’s reach. For Christmas, be reminded of God’s activity. Ask God to heighten your awareness of His activity. Make yourself available for the redemptive activity of God in the one you have been praying for. God is working!
December 22nd, 2008
“But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 (NIV)
Think back to a Christmas experience you had in which you were deeply moved. Do you remember the specifics of the event that made it so touching? With our modern day affinity for technology, you probably captured the experience with a camera or a video recorder. Special moments are worth capturing and worth sharing.
Mary’s experience was beyond words. Though cameras were nonexistent at that time, God gave Mary the wonderful capacity to treasure up all the things that the shepherds had shared with her concerning Jesus. She pondered them in her heart. Mary gathered all the information coming her way about Jesus and she embraced God’s activity. Can you imagine how she felt? Mary was chosen by God to bring the Savior into our world.
Have you recognized the value God places on you? For Christmas, retrace the spiritual markers in your life. Spend time reflecting on each one. Treasure each one and ponder them in your heart. Consider how God is at work in you, around you, and through you to bring His light and His love into our world of desperation.