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The Christmas Story

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Found in the Holy Bible, in the book of Luke.

The story of the Birth of Christ Jesus:

“About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s hometown, for the census. As a descendant of David he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the hostel.

There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”

At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights; Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him.”
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed.

Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!”  (Luke 2:1-20).


It was a simple scene that first Christmas – a rough room, a young couple and nothing but a feeding trough to put the child in. It was probably quite cold and with family far away there was little help. Not exactly the Hallmark moment we like to show in Christmas pageants. And yet this rustic scene marked the greatest event in the history of mankind.

God’s Son became human and came to earth to save us. God had promised to send a Messiah, one who would save His people. He could have easily burst on the scene as a full grown man, a seven foot warrior with fiery eyes and arms of steel. This was what many people were looking for, but it wasn’t how God did it. He arrived in the arms of a young girl. He was, as another of our authors put it, “a very small package, wrapped in rags, given from the heart of God. The perfect gift.”

God gave His only Son to die in our place so that we, in all our brokenness, could know forgiveness. He came so that we could know what love feels like, real love – love that never leaves, love that never disappoints, love that is never betrayed. He sent His Son into a corrupted world to bring us hope.

How are you doing this Christmas? Are you having a hard time finding hope in the world? Are you having a hard time finding peace? It doesn’t have to be that way. You can have peace and find hope and know forgiveness through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Here’s a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know You personally. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to You and ask You to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Bring peace to my world this Christmas. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.

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Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to  http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/the-christmas-story/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


 

Related Articles: 
  1. Knowing Jesus Personally – 4 lessons (printable pdf file) Lesson 1: Understanding your relationship with Jesus ChristLesson 2: Experiencing God’s love
    Lesson 3: Power for Living (the Holy Spirit)
    Lesson 4: Growing in your relationship with Christ
  2. How to Experience God’s love and forgiveness (3 parts)
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Christmas: An Invitation to Reckless Abandon

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For those of us who grew up celebrating the birth of Jesus, the Christmas story can become too familiar. It easily slips from a story of awe to simple facts of history. We rattle off these events, such as Mary gave birth to Jesus and then the shepherds and wise men came to see Him, with the same ease that we describe what we did last weekend. When you stop to really consider it, the story of Christmas is anything but normal. It is absurd. It is full of biological impossibility, strained family dynamics, emotional turmoil, supernatural encounters, a failed assassination attempt, and people asked to do the craziest things.

This is an invitation to deeply experience the Christmas story.

How would you feel if God told you that you are bearing His Son? Feel the fear of telling your fiance and parents that you are pregnant, and Joseph is not the father. Sense the shame as the village whispers about you. Imagine the weight of knowing you are carrying God’s son, hoping that you don’t mess the whole thing up.

Put yourself in Joseph’s shoes. How would you feel if your beloved comes to you and says she is pregnant and you know that the baby is not yours? Feel the betrayal, rejection, and heartbreak of Joseph, based on the wrong conclusions about Mary, until God sends the angel who straightens things out.

How would you feel on a ordinary night at work taking care of your sheep if an angel of the Lord showed up to say, “Drop what you are doing and go“? Feel the fear of such a supernatural event, followed by the doubt that creeps in to say, “Did I make that up?” What about leaving the sheep which are your sole source of income? Sense the wonder, fear, uncertainty, and hope of the shepherds as they come to meet their Savior.

What if you were one of the servants in the entourage of the magi? You are following your master who is basing his journey on a star. It is not a short journey either. It was weeks, months, maybe even years before you arrive at your final destination. How long would you keep walking to a place you don’t know to meet a person no one else seems to know about with only a star as a guide?

Then as the story continues, when is the last time you had a dream that you woke up from and knew that you, your wife, and child were to leave immediately to live in a foreign country? What was that discussion like? Would you leave friends and family behind, based solely on a dream your spouse had to go to Egypt?

The story is full of one crazy event after another. Beyond recording the details of Jesus’ birth, the Christmas story reveals to us the otherness of God and how He longs to partner with big-spirited people to do the impossible. His reality is so much greater than ours. While we are thinking about getting married and settling down with a family in our hometown, He is planning to partner with us to fulfill His plan for the world.

The joy of this season is that with each twist and turn in the story God finds people who choose to live from their spirit and follow when they are challenged to believe what they have not seen and do what they have never done before. That is the adventure He is calling each of us to live.

This Christmas marvel at the outrageous and awesome lengths to which God the Father will go to give you the perfect gift.

Give Him the gift of the same reckless abandon of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the magi to pursue and follow your King Jesus.

May your spirit be so large and in tune with the Holy Spirit that when God shows up in the middle of your ordinary day with an extraordinary plan, you are ready to follow Him regardless of how absurd it might sound.

As 2015 approaches, open your heart to God-size dreams. Wait expectantly for God-sized visions, and don’t be surprised as He does exceedingly abundantly more than you can ask or imagine.
(Read Luke 1-2)

By Sylvia Gunter
Used by Permission

WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR COMMENTS.

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Comments: If you don’t see our response form, please go to http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/sylvia-gunter_christmas-reckless-abandon/

Learn more about knowing Jesus at: http://thoughts-about-god.com/four-laws/


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