First of all, Merry Christmas! I'm thankful that you've chosen to check out my blog today. It is a special day today because it's our Worship Wednesday, so I'm going to be covering some Christian topics.
Mainly I want to explain how God and Jesus are symbols of giving.
GOD GAVE HIS SON JESUS
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." - John 3:16, KJV
JESUS GAVE AND GIVES BLESSINGS
Jesus was killed for basically causing too much of a ruckus. The Pharisees didn't like that Jesus questioned some of the things they did. They didn't like that he healed people and made miracles.
Jesus prayed in the garden before he was taken. He was so stressed out that he cried blood, which is a medical condition called Haemolacria.
JESUS GAVE US THE GIFT OF SALVATION
"Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God; Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began..." - II Timothy 1:8-9
If you don't know what happens next in the story of Jesus, I'll tell you. Jesus died but three days later, he rose from the grave. He conquered Hell and the grave.
Jesus' sacrifice gave us eternal life and forgiveness from our sins. One thing that has always sort have bothered me are those old hymns.
The thought is that people are made up of two parts: the body and the soul. The one that you feed most will be the one that becomes stronger. So, if you live a worldly life of greed, you're feeding your body. If you live a life where you connect with God through prayer and worship, you're living a soulful life.
Any Christian will tell you that Jesus gave his life so that we could be forgiven of the wrong that we’ve done. However, Jesus gave much more than his life while he was on Earth. Let’s talk about it:
1: HIS TIME
Jesus gave his time to the people who needed it most. Those included the sick, the people living in sin, and others. He even gave time to those who abused God’s word or some of the laws of the time that were extremely critical and harmful to his people.
Time is an important gift you can give to someone this season.
2: HIS GIFTS
Because he is the son of God, Jesus was able to do many wonderful and amazing works through the power of his father. He never held this back from anyone who needed it or asked for it. He even re-attached the guard’s ear after one of his disciples cut it off in the garden when the Pharisees were coming to take Jesus.
3: HIS WISDOM
Take some time to share some wisdom with someone this season. Teach them to do something they cannot do by themselves.
4: HIS HEART
Jesus put his heart into everything that he did. The scriptures tell us a story of Jesus’ passion and love for all people. He loved people who society didn’t love: adulterers, lepers, and tax collectors, among others.
He never denied them anything and always did his best to help them in their situation. We should all aspire to put our hearts into all that we do, especially in the Christmas season.
5: HIS EAR
Jesus is a listener. When on Earth, he always took time to hear from people and learn about them. He listened to their stories and helped them in their time of need.
What most people lack in their relationships is, sadly, communication. It is one thing to hear someone say something, but it is another to listen and really comprehend what they’re saying. This is a blessing, and more people need it.
MATTHEW 1:18 TO MATTHEW 2:23
Matthew says that Jesus’ mother Mary, who was to marry Joseph, became pregnant with a child of the Holy Ghost. Joseph, when he found out, was troubled because he didn’t want to embarrass her, so he started to think about breaking off the engagement. However, the Angel of the Lord appeared in a dream and told Joseph that the child was of the Holy Ghost.
The angel told Joseph they would have a son and that they should name him Jesus. It then says that Joseph went on to marry Mary and didn’t break her virginity until after she had Jesus in Bethlehem of Judaea.
Herod was the king and wise men came into the area. They were talking about visiting the King of the Jews and that they had been following a star to get to him. Herod overheard their conversation and gathered his priests and scribes to ask where Jesus was born. They answered him and he called the wise men, asking them to find the child and return to tell him where the child was. He claimed it was in order to worship him.
Frankincense is a resin that is obtained from an African tree. It is sweet smelling and is often burned as incense. Myrrh is similar. It is also a resin from trees near the East that is used in perfumes, medicines, and incense. Both would have been very valuable in those days.
After Herod died, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph again and told him to take his family to Israel, and he did. They moved to a city called Nazareth.
LUKE 1:36-37 AND LUKE 2:1-20
The angel said that she was going to have a son named Jesus who would be called the Son of the Highest and he shall have the throne of David and that his kingdom will never end. Mary said she didn’t know how that would be possible since she was a virgin. The angel explains she will conceive through the Holy Ghost. Her cousin Elisabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, was also brought up. The angel told Mary her cousin would also have a child.
In Luke 2, Caesar Augustus decided to tax everyone, which meant they had to return to their home lands. Joseph, Jesus’ worldly father figure, went into Bethlehem with Mary, who was very pregnant at this point, to pay taxes. While they were there, she had to have her child. She wrapped him in clothes and laid him in the manger because there was no room in the inn.
HOW THE STORIES WORK TOGETHER TO COMPLETE THE NARRATIVE
Additionally, we see that some time must have passed between the birth of Jesus and when they fled to Egypt because Herod has all children aged two and younger killed.
These two gospels work together beautifully to give us a description of Jesus’ life before and after he was born, though it doesn’t give us much about when he was growing up.
In today's (Son)days Until (Christ)was blog, I wanted to share the meaning behind your favorite Christian Christmas songs and tell you where you can find the verses that inspired it! I'll also share some of my favorite covers of the song!
MARY, DID YOU KNOW?
Matthew 14:25-27 | "And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, it is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."
"Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?"
John 3:16 | "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life"
"Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?"
II Corinthians 5:17 | "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
"That child that you delivered will soon deliver you."
Matthew 6:13 | "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thing is the kingdom and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.
AWAY IN A MANGER
Luke 2:7 | "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn."
"The stars in the sky looked down where He lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay."
Matthew 2:9-10 | "When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy."
ANGELS, WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH
"Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o'er the planes."
Luke 2:13-14 | "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, good will toward men."
SANTA CLAUS = GOD/THE TRINITY
As a Christian, I believe that being "good enough," isn't what drives God to do anything for us. We don't deserve it. We are flawed and can never be good enough. But God loves us and instead brought us the gift of His son instead of toys. This was the gift of all gifts, as it covers the sins of the world and of the people in the world as it is to come!
CHRISTMAS TREE W/ LIGHTS= CROSS & LIGHT OF THE WORLD
I never really thought too deeply on the idea of a lighted Christmas tree as a symbol of the cross. However, at a recent church service, the pastor mentioned that we add light to our tree to make it more beautiful and so it can light up our home and bring us joy. Gifts seem to gravitate toward the tree this season. If you think on this, even for a little while, the connection becomes rather clear.
CANDY CANE = THE GOSPEL NARRATIVE
The candy cane is often used to teach the world of the gospel of Jesus. To begin, the cane is in the shape of a J, but also a shepherd's staff. Jesus is often referred to as a shepherd as He guides His people and they follow.
The red stripes are said to represent Jesus' blood and his sacrifice to save the world. The white of the candy cane represents just what that blood does: washes us as white as snow!
POINSETTIAS = THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM
There is a pretty amazing story behind the supposed discovery of the poinsettia, but the shape and color of it is enough to relate the flower to Christmas. Most people relate it to the holiday because of its shape, which is reminiscent to the Star of Bethlehem. The flower is also either red or white, symbolizing Jesus' blood or purity respectively.
SNOW = PURITY
Jesus was known as a man without fault. He lived His life completely sin-free and followed and trusted God. Snow is referenced a lot in reference to the color we are "washed" when we accept Jesus. It is thought for sin to be dark, and Jesus, who is a symbol of purity, will wash us white as snow and make as pure as well.
In today's blog, I wanted to talk a bit about the religious origins of Christmas. Grab a snack, sit back, and prepare to learn more about the day we celebrate Jesus' birth.
EARLY RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS
Winter solstice was often celebrated as long days were finally over! Celebrations also happened in Norse communities where Dec. 21 marked the first day of Yule when it was customary for fathers and sons to gather logs to burn while they enjoyed a Winter solstice feast. This is where the Yule log's name came from.
JESUS' INTRO TO WINTER CELEBRATIONS
It wasn't until the 4th century that the holiday was added by church officials. It was Pope Julius I who chose Dec. 25 as the day that Christians would celebrate Jesus' birth. However, the Bible seems to indicate that Jesus was actually born in the Spring when Shepards were more likely to be "watching their flock by night."
Christmas spread to Egypt by 432, then to England by the end of the 6th century, according to the History Channel. People around the world all the way to Scandinavia celebrated the holiday. Of course, the tradition came to America along with the pilgrims and other early settlers.
A MISDIRECTION IN PLANS
I hope you enjoyed and I hope you enjoy this educational series!
- Admit to God that you are a sinner
(Romans 3:23; Romans 6:23).
- Repent, turning away from your sin
(Acts 3:19; 1 John 1:9).
- Believe that Jesus is God's Son and accept God's gift of forgiveness from sin
(Romans 5:8; Acts 4:12; John 3:16; John 14:6; Ephesians 2:8-9; John 1:11-13).
- Confess your faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord
HOW TO GET TO HEAVEN
God is a perfect being who designed each and every one of us. He is sinless, good, and perfect. However, after Eve ate that apple, sin was released into the world and, as a result, everyone was born into sin and everyone does wrong. Only those without sin can enter into Heaven. But don't worry, Jesus came down to Earth and paid your sin debt do you could go to Heaven. Jesus is our salvation and offers us a way to Heaven. A way to live with Him forever. Here is what you have to do:
Ann Marie Ruby
Give Me An Answer
J. Warner Wallace
Turn The Other Cheek