CHRISTMAS


"And the Word (Jesus) was made flesh, and dwelt among us..."

John 1:14



"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name

JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins."

Matthew 1:21



At the first Christmas, a Savior was born for you and me!


A television interviewer was walking streets of Tokyo at Christmas time. Much as in America, Christmas shopping is a big commercial success in Japan. The interviewer stopped one young woman on the sidewalk, and asked, "What is the meaning of Christmas?" Laughing, she responded, "I don't know. Is that the day that Jesus died?" — by Donald Deffner, Seasonal Illustrations


Many people celebrate Christmas without knowing much about it. As the years pass, people at Christmas time give more attention to traditional requirements such as decorations, songs, special meals and especially the exchanging of gifts with relatives and friends. All of these are wonderful, but this is not the true meaning of Christmas.


When the stores are in competition to put up better displays of decorations, and the pressure is increased on people to buy more expensive gifts, they easily lose sight of a meaningful Christmas. When we take away the commercialism and traditions of our culture that includes the celebration of Christmas, it becomes easier to see the true meaning of Christmas. The Christmas story from the Bible comes alive as we focus on Christ, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). There is nothing more fundamental at Christmas than to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, who is the Son of God. The message of Christmas is so important and such a blessing to each one of us, but it is often missed by many.


Sometimes, people think that the birth of Jesus is only an interesting fact of history and not related to our present life, but it has a direct effect on our lives. When the birth of Jesus was announced to the shepherds, the angel said to them, "Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10,11).


Maybe you have never thought that the Lord was born for you. Perhaps you did not realize why God sent His Son into the world. He sent Him to become your Savior. Be careful and give special attention to what the herald angel said, "for unto you is born...a Savior." Yes! Jesus left His glory and came to be born for you because your greatest need was forgiveness, and you needed a Savior. Charles Sell wonderfully described our need as follows:


             "If our greatest need had been information, God would have sent us an educator.

              If our greatest need had been technology, God would have sent us a scientist.

              If our greatest need had been money, God would have sent us an economist.

              If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer.

              But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior."

              — Unfinished Business, Charles Sell, 1989 pp. 121ff


Jesus came to deal with the problem of sin, which separates every one of us from God. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners..." (1 Timothy 1:15). Maybe you will say, "I'm not a sinner!" Have you ever lied or had a sinful thought? God's Word tells us that all of us are sinners. "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23).


Usually, people do not realize that they are sinners, and "every one of us shall give an account of himself to God" (Romans 14:12). But the best good news is that God gives us the opportunity to solve the problem of sin by believing on His son. "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3:36). After all, the true meaning of Christmas becomes clear, and we are able to see that Christmas is all about God's special love for us and the precious gift that He offers us; the gift of eternal life. "For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life hrough Jesus Christ our Lord" (Romans 6:23).


The Baby, who was born in the manger, is the Lord of the Universe. Jesus was born fully human and was still fully divine. He is Emmanuel, God with us! When born in Bethlehem, Jesus did not just then become the Son of God, but He always was, is, and will be: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever" (Hebrews 13:8).


"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given..." (Isaiah 9:6). We do not realize that this verse presents two important truths: The Son of God is fully human and fully God. In the first part of the verse, according to the prophet Isaiah, Jesus became a man: "a Child is born." Also, when the evangelist Luke wrote, "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11), it brings the same message. In both Greek and Hebrew, the word for "born" means the same thing: "child-bearing."


The second part of the verse in Isaiah says that the "Son is given." He emphasizes and refers to eternal sonship, the relationship between a father and son. In Hebrew, the word "given" does not refer to birth, but to "bring" the Son, who is the Son of God, who already existed. "In the beginning was the Word [Jesus] and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him [Jesus], and without him [Jesus] was not anything made that was made. In him [Jesus] was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1:1-4). "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17).


The sinless One, Jesus Christ, died on the cross to pay for our sins. He is risen from the dead, and to everyone who will confess their sins to Him, and trust Him as their Savior, He offers eternal life as God promises in John 3:16. This is explicit to the heart of Christmas. We have to think about how our lives would be if Jesus had never come. We would be unforgiven sinners without salvation, without hope, and with no prepared eternal home.


A few years ago a striking Christmas card was published, with the title, "If Christ had not come." It was founded upon our Saviour's words, "If I had not come." The card represented a clergyman falling into a short sleep in his study on Christmas morning and dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.


In his dream he found himself looking through his home, but there were no little stockings in the chimney corner, no Christmas bells or wreaths of holly, and no Christ to comfort, gladden and save. He walked out on the public street, but there was no church with its spire pointing to Heaven. He came back and sat down in his library, but every book about the Saviour had disappeared.


A ring at the door-bell, and a messenger asked him to visit a poor dying mother. He hastened with, the weeping child, and as he reached the home, he sat down and said, "I have something here that will comfort you." He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended at Malachi, and there was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and he could only bow his head and weep with her in bitter despair.


Two days afterward he stood beside her coffin and conducted the funeral service, but there was no message of consolation, no word of a glorious resurrection, no open Heaven, but only "dust to dust, ashes to ashes," and one long eternal farewell. He realized at length that "He had not come," and burst into tears and bitter weeping in his sorrowful dream. Suddenly he woke with a start, and a great shout of joy and praise burst from his lips as he heard his choir singing in his church close by:


                                        O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,

                                        O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem;

O come and behold Him, born the King of Angels,

                                        O come let us adore Him, Christ, the Lord.


Let us be glad and rejoice today because "He has come." And let us remember the annunciation of the angel, "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:10, 11). — by L.B. Cowman/ streams in the desert/crosswalk.com


Jesus is God's greatest gift of love. Jesus gave His life "that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly" (John 10:10). Without any question, love came down from heaven at Christmas. Jesus loved us so much that He came to die on the cross for our sins. What better Christmas gift could we give others than to share His love with them that they might have eternal life? Love is a gift our world desperately needs this Christmas season.


If you are not a Christian, and you have never made Jesus your personal Savior, it is time to do it now. If you do it, you can celebrate the true meaning of Christmas! Be mindful that Jesus came to be your Savior. He was born personally for you. He died on the cross to pay for your sins. Yes! He died personally for you. This kind of personal message of God's love, mercy, and grace also requires a personal response from you. Jesus Christ is God's gift to you, and He wants you to receive that gift. "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).


To receive God's gift, you must by faith believe that Christ was born for you to be your Savior and that He died for you to pay for your sins. He has risen from the dead, and He offers you eternal life. Do not forget that Jesus died for all the sinners, but forgives only the ones who repent and by faith receive Him as their personal Savior. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name" (John 1:12). Receive the gift of God this year if you desire this Christmas to be the best for all eternity. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8,9).


Christmas is also a time to give and not only to receive. Christmas is not about the number of gifts purchased or how much money is spent to impress your relatives and friends. Christmas is the love in your heart. Share this love with those as Jesus Christ has shared it with you. Christmas is about the birth of Jesus, whom God sent to persuade the world how much He really loves us. He left His heavenly home in glory and came to die for us and pay our debt. If you have accepted Jesus by faith as your personal Savior, you now have secured a heavenly home for eternity. After this, from joy, let everyone know you have a friend in Jesus and show His love to others at Christmas and each day of your life! Because of His Love, I am who I am, and I am here to share these thoughts and truths of eternal value. "Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9:15).


At Christmas time, do not be ashamed to loudly wish everyone "Merry Christmas" instead of "Happy Holidays." Let people know that you are one who has heard and received the good news of Christmas. Let people know you are not just shopping for a winter festival, but you are celebrating your Lord's birth. Christmas is not just a holiday - It is a birthday! By wishing a "Merry Christmas," the evil forces of darkness in our nation will be influenced. The Light of the World will be proclaimed. The hope of salvation will be announced, and the spiritual atmosphere will be brightened by the presence of God.


As a Christian, be careful what you watch over the Christmas season. When Jesus was born, God flooded the airways of the earth with special religious programming through a host of angels. Make sure you do the same. Turn to Christian radio and television stations this Christmas season and attend a Bible-believing church that presents Christ as God's Son and the Savior of sinful men. Let the message of Jesus be the "favorite" in your heart and on the button of your remote control this Christmas!


by Ted Matamis, copyright © 2019. All rights reserved.




The Meaning of Christmas


A Savior is born


GOD

the greatest Lover

SO LOVED

the greatest degree

THE WORLD

the greatest number

THAT HE GAVE

the greatest act

HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON

the greatest Gift

THAT WHOSOEVER

the greatest invitation

BELIEVETH

the greatest simplicity

IN HIM

the greatest Person

SHOULD NOT PERISH

the greatest deliverance

BUT

the greatest difference

HAVE

the greatest certainty

EVERLASTING LIFE

the greatest possession



"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

• "The mystery of the humanity of Christ, that He sunk Himself into our flesh, is beyond all human understanding." Priest and Theologian, Martin Luther


• The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God." Scholar and Author, C.S. Lewis


• "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." Dr. John R. Rice









God Loved

"F​or God so loved the world ..."


God Gave

"that He gave His only begotten Son ..."


Have You Received?

"that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish,

but have everlasting life." (John 3:16)


"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life

through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23)


Until we receive the gift of Jesus Christ, we will never truly experience Christmas.