Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas and the birth of Christ is an amazing and miraculous series of events with one of the most remarkable facts connected to Christmas coming some two years after Jesus birth. It is that despite the efforts of the king (Herod) to kill Jesus, He survived (1 Matt.2:16-20). And in that, there is the incredible impact of Jesus’ life and ministry, which culminates in His death, and Resurrection that the Church celebrates at Easter. In looking at His life, the Prophet Isaiah spoke prophetically of the coming Messiah who would be Jesus as he wrote in Isaiah 53, “He grew up before Him like a young plant and like a root out of dry ground”.
This “dry ground” that Isaiah was speaking of was the day and age in which Jesus was born. It was a time in Israel when social, political, and even religious corruption was rampant. It was a time when people made much of so many things, but made little of their relationship to God and worship of Him. It was a time when people were living lives that were full of sin, but void of God. Yet, in the midst of this “dry ground” Jesus was born in such an obstinate day and a stubborn land, but still He grew up in such an incredible and impressive way, as we read in Luke 2:52, “And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people”.
It was in this time of growth that Jesus matured into a man seasoned to His surroundings and began His public ministry as not only the Messiah, but as “Immanuel”—God with us. This ministry of Jesus was one to model the love of God and to reach out to all men with the purpose of providing them with His Hope, His love, His Joy, and HIS PEACE as we read in Isaiah 53:5, “…[the] punishment for our peace was on Him”. Jesus came so that He might cast the seed of the gospel onto the dry ground of our hearts in order that the Holy Spirit of God would spiritually water our souls that we might know God and the work of Jesus’ peace in a personal and profound way.
Isaiah writes in Isaiah 53 that the Messiah to come would be a man who was not impressive to look upon or held any sense of worldly majesty. Instead he would be despised by man, not desired and so instead of rejoicing in Him, the world rejected Him. This man was Jesus and He came to give to us His Hope, His love, His Joy, and HIS PEACE.

Yet He Himself bore our sicknesses, and He carried our pains; but we in turn regarded Him stricken, struck down by God, and afflicted. But He was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds.
Isaiah 53:4–5 (HCSB)
This is the message of Christmas: no circumstance, no matter how hopeless, is beyond the reach of the One who takes root in the most desolate and driest places imaginable in order to to give you HIS PEACE. If peace is what you are looking for—true peace, look no further than than Jesus Christ and receive the gift of His salvation today and know Him and His peace today. today.
And if you are in Christ, then may the work of Jesus’ peace be evident in your life and in your labor and may God bless that and see fit that Jesus’ work of peace is spread throughout the land.
As we approach Christmas may I leave you with these words in Luke 2:11-14, "Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”  Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:  Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people HE favors!"

“Merry Christmas”

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