What Is the Real Meaning of Christmas?

This article was contributed by Y-JESUS. I hope you will take time to explore their website. You will find answers to many of life’s questions.

Christmas means different things to different people. To most, it is a heartwarming time with family and friends. To many children, it’s about presents and Santa. To merchants, it means a season when many retailers finally begin making money.

But if you were to go back seven hundred years before the birth of Christ and ask theChristmas Isaiah prophet Isaiah what it means to him, he would tell you Christmas is about the birth of a special child:

“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)

We hear these words each Christmas season during the singing of Handel’s Messiah. This profound message is that God Himself would come to earth as both King and Savior.

Most Jews were waiting for the Messiah to deliver Israel from Roman oppression. They were looking for a Messiah of power and authority. But God had a different plan. He chose to send His son as a humble servant whose primary mission was to die for our sins (see Philippians 2:5-11).

The writers of the New Testament present Jesus as both fully human and fully God. Isaiah had said as much when he foretold the Messiah coming to earth as both child and Mighty God. Confirming the words of Isaiah, the apostle Paul writes of Jesus:

“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:15-17)

What would motivate the Creator of everything that exists to step down from his lofty position as the sovereign ruler of the universe to become one of us? Jesus tells us that he came because God loves us–each of us.

The wonderful meaning of Christmas is that Jesus came to rescue us from the death sentence caused by our sin, and to give us hope and peace with God. He did it because he cares for you and me, and wants to adopt us into his family–now and forever.

Why not take time this Christmas to reflect on God’s great gift to you? The one who created you is the same one who came to earth and died for you!

In a world filled with corruption and selfishness, there is tremendous hope in knowing that God cares. And he promises eternal life to all who believe in Jesus. Can you think of a greater reason to celebrate Christmas?

“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.” (John3:16)

The article “Why Jesus?” explains how Jesus can bring real meaning to your life: http://y-jesus.com/wwrj/7-jesus-relevant-today.

“Why Jesus?” is also available to download in printer-friendly format here or as a PDF download here.

Advertisements

The First Thanksgiving

In an old television commercial, Taco Bell told their customers, “Think outside the bun.”

When we write, we have to “think outside the box.” Editors love to hear a familiar story told in an “outside the box” sort of way.

In this week’s blog I’ve included one of my most requested holiday pieces. The most humorous part about this piece is that it can be used for Thanks giving or Christmas because it’s written “outside the box.”

I hope you enjoy The First Thanksgiving.

_________

nativity sceneTens of thousands of angels stood wing to wing peering through the portals of heaven. Hallelujahs rang down the golden streets. Today was the day King El Shaddai would fulfill His promise. Prince Emmanuel would be born on Earth. The prophets had foretold of His coming for centuries, and all the citizens of the Celestial City were celebrating the birth of the newborn Prince.

The Cherub Choir filled Bethlehem’s sky and sang to some poor shepherds tending to their sheep. the soprano voice of Greta, the tiniest angel in heaven, warbled loudly, “Glory to God in the highest!”

Kylie, Greta’s best angel-friend, chimed in, “Peace on Earth! Good will toward men!”

Greta and Kylie flew to the humble stable and peeked inside. They smiled when they saw Mary and Joseph hovering over the Baby Jesus. A tear fell from Mary’s eye as she buried her head in Joseph’s chest and cried, “My heart is bursting with gratitude, Joseph!”

“Oh, Mary, I am filled with such appreciation of Jehovah’s provision for us too.”

A knock on the stable door interrupted the young couple. Kylie and Greta cranked their tiny necks so they could get a better view of the visitors. Kylie’s heart fluttered more than her wings. “Look,  those are the same shepherds we sang to on Bethlehem’s hillside. They have come to see newborn Prince and are worshipping Him.”

The seasoned shepherd lifted his staff and hands in praise. “Our hearts are overflowing with thanksgiving today because of this unspeakable gift King El Shaddai has given us.”

Three wise men entered the room with expensive gifts and knelt before the tiny King.

“We honor You today, oh little One. Blessed be the Name of Jehovah! For He has kept His promises and He has blessed us with bountiful blessings this day.”

Greta whispered to Kylie, “Wow! We thought there was celebration in heaven when Prince Emmanuel was born, but I can see humans are even more excited than we are!”

Kylie nodded her head in agreement! “Yeah! I don’t know much about planet Earth, but I can tell you this. Human beings will be sure to make this day a holiday for the rest of Earth’s existence! There’s no doubt in my mind.”

Greta’s forehead wrinkled. “Kylie, what do you think they will call this holiday?”

Kylie hesitated, and then replied, “Well, let’s see! They say they are full of gratitude, appreciation, thanksgiving, and bountiful blessings! Oh, I think it’s pretty simple to figure out what they will name this holiday!”

“What’s that?” Greta inquired.

“Thanksgiving!” Kylie beamed.

“You are so smart, Kylie. I hope when I get a little older, I’ll be as smart as you.”

Kylie flapped her wings and blushed. “Awww shucks, Greta! All I had to do was look and listen to what they were all saying about Prince Emmanuel.”

“Kylie!” Greta squealed, “Do you realize we are seeing history in the making with our very own angel-eyes? And we’ll be able to go back to the Cherub Choir and tell them we saw it.”

“Saw what?”

“The first Thanksgiving!” Greta’s voice grew louder. “We saw the first Thanksgiving!”

Kylie crowed, “There’s no other name for it! Human beings should be full of “THANKSGIVING” for King El Shaddai’s magnificent Gift.”


by Dixie Phillips, CES Editor, Writing Coach, Award-Winning Children’s Author and Songwriter 

Please visit our websites: Christian Editing ServicesCreating Christian Books for Kids, and Find Christian Links 

Questions? Email karen@ChristianEditingServices.com

What If?

What if this happens?

What if they do that?

What if I fail?

What if? What if? What if?

God is helping me overcome the “what if’s.” I have a tendency to wonder about the future and picture what I would do “if.” But this is not pleasing to God. He wants me to focus on today. Listen to Him today. Trust that He is already in the tomorrows.

We do not need to fear the future because Jesus is already there. He has it all covered. And when we do the “what if’s” we are not trusting Him. We are looking for ways to handle things ourselves. Instead, we need to remember that God has already taken care of it.

fear-3

Walking through the Hallway

2018-10-2How often do we spend today focused on tomorrow? The next job. The next relationship. The next opportunity. And by doing so we miss today. Today’s blessings. Today’s opportunities to make a difference. I think this image says it well.

So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Ephesians 5:15-16 NLT

 

His Strength

2018-9-24Are you experiencing a struggle in your life? Facing a decision? Feeling anxious? We all reach those points in life . . . sometimes daily.

The problems may be diverse . . . but the answer is always the same. I think this graphic expresses it well. The key is to remember that we don’t have to face these things alone. In fact, we will probably fail miserably if we try to. The only answer is found in Jesus.

  • His strength
  • His wisdom
  • His peace

Do not be anxious or worried about anything, but in everything [every circumstance and situation] by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, continue to make your [specific] requests known to God. And the peace of God [that peace which reassures the heart, that peace] which transcends all understanding, [that peace which] stands guard over your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus [is yours].
Philippians 4:6-8 AMP

 

 

Only One Hope

f3261d54cf0850326b5f38344e90d9feI receive a weekly e-newsletter from Hal Lindsey. He explains end time prophecies that are taking place right now. Here is an excerpt from this week’s letter:

One of the hallmarks of the last days will be the rise of irrationality. Romans 1:28 says, “And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind to do those things which are not proper.” The Greek context here means God gave them over to a mind that cannot even think in its own best interest.

Satan must be pleased. Hatred is on the rise in America. Everywhere we look, from politics to family life to racial groups to religious traditions to economic classes to sports, our impatience, disgust, and sheer hatred of one another is exploding.

Everything we once held to be true and normal now seems to be turned on its head. No one trusts anyone anymore. But it’s no wonder. Truth has become a rare commodity in America today. Conscience even rarer.

I’m reminded of a remark found in Isaiah 5 that could perfectly describe the world today. Isaiah wrote, “They say that what is right is wrong and what is wrong is right; that black is white and white is black; bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” (Isaiah 5:20 TLB)

As Christians, we need to keep looking up. It would be so easy to be overwhelmed by the turmoil that surrounds us, but we must remember that God is in control. Yes, there are more and more signs that we are in the last days. And we may be tempted to look at the evil surrounding us and think, “Where have you gone, Lord?”

He hasn’t gone anywhere. He is still here. He is still in control. And He will still help us, no matter what we face, if we will trust Him.

In the Old Testament, the prophet Habakkuk lived during perilous times. He cried out to God.

How long, O Lord, must I call for help? But you do not listen! “Violence is everywhere!” I cry, but you do not come to save. Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery? Wherever I look, I see destruction and violence. I am surrounded by people who love to argue and fight. The law has become paralyzed, and there is no justice in the courts. The wicked far outnumber the righteous, so that justice has become perverted.
Habakkuk 1:2-4 NLT

But God assured Habakkuk that He hadn’t gone anywhere. Here was His reply:

The Lord replied, “Look around at the nations; look and be amazed! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn’t believe even if someone told you about it.”
Habakkuk 1:5 NLT

You may want to read the prophet’s continued comments and questions and God’s replies in the short book of Habakkuk. At the conclusion of the book, he said this:

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LordI will be joyful in the God of my salvation! The Sovereign Lord is my strength! He makes me as surefooted as a deer, able to tread upon the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19 NLT

We are in spiritual warfare, folks. And it is going to get worse. Are we willing to declare, as Habakkuk did, that no matter what happens we will rejoice in the God of our salvation? Are we willing to depend on our Sovereign Lord as our strength? Are we willing to trust him no matter what?

Hal Lindsey concluded his letter by reminding us of our ultimate hope . . . Jesus Christ.

I say it again. This is spiritual warfare. It doesn’t have anything to do with rationality or intellectual debate. When the establishment comes after you because of your Christian beliefs, recognize that the source of that hostility is Hell itself.

Satan is behind the hatred of God’s people, whether it’s the Jews or true Christians. And he is going all-out to destroy the true church and everything the followers of Christ have built. That includes America.

But I have some good news.

Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NASB)

In II Corinthians 5:20, the Apostle Paul calls us “ambassadors for Christ.”

Consider this. Before hostilities break out between nations, they withdraw their respective ambassadors.

At some point in the near future, God will unleash His wrath against Satan and sin. But before He declares war on this sin-infested planet, God will remove His ambassadors. He will evacuate us from this hostile situation. He will get us out before the real shooting-war begins.

We call this evacuation operation “The Rapture.”

The Bible calls it our “blessed hope.” (Titus 2:13 NASB)