Every Christmas comes with its own issues and struggles but the original message about the birth of a Saviour for our world does not change because it is to him we owe all these celebrations and a second chance at life. It is to him we allocate the favour that we have been accorded as saints. It is unto him that we turn in appreciation of salvation so beautiful; that he laid his life down for us, that we would live, that we would be set free, that we would now know the truth that the enemy tries to blind us from. It is because he is that we are. In saying this therefore are seven things to consider this time round.
Firstly that God's Word never fails. Scripture prophesied the birth of Christ hundreds of years before it happened. God's word is always true. He spoke through the Prophet Isaiah about the coming of a saviour and it came to pass. Psalms 12:6 says, 'And the words of the Lord are flawless, like silver refined in a furnace of clay purified seven times'.
For some people, this may just be another Christmas celebration time but through God's words we know that He gave His son for a purpose. He chose and used prophets to deliver His messages of things to come. Deuteronomy 18:18 says, 'I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers; I will put my words in his mouth and he will tell them everything I command him'. He spared the lives of those who would witness and confirm the birth like Simeon and Prophetess Anna in Luke 2:25-32. God's word is true, He holds Himself accountable and He is not the son of man that He should lie. 1Peter 1:25 says,' but the Word of the Lord stands forever'.
No matter what promises God has whispered to you, they will surely come to pass. All that He has ever promised you about your life, He is faithful enough to see it all through. Believe Him; be still in His presence for He will surely deliver on His promises. Allow Him to work in you. Be ready for Him.
Secondly, nothing is impossible with our God, Jehovah. He promised that a virgin would conceive and it happened. God is not limited by your frailties, experiences or potential. From nothing He can and does create something. When things look impossible, trust Him to produce something. Do not look at your circumstances or limitations because He works with what there is to produce what there was not. In Genesis 18:14 He says to Abraham, "Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year and Sarah will have a son"; this came to pass. Sarah, who was well advanced in years and way past child bearing age, gave birth to Isaac. In Jeremiah 32:27 He poses the question once again, "I am the Lord, the God of all mankind, is anything too hard for me?' Surely is there anything at all in your life that is too hard for Him to handle? Nothing at all; not your ailments, not your debts, not your barrenness; nothing is impossible to Jehovah!
When God makes His promises we must believe Him. Mary chose to believe. Believing is a choice that we must make because performance only comes after we have actioned our belief. Full of the Holy Sprit Elizabeth, in Luke 1:45 proclaimed, "Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished".
Thirdly, do not let your past limit you future. Jesus Christ was born in a manger, in a poor unhygienic environment but he grew up to be praised and worshipped by many generations. He may have been born in a manger but he is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. You too may have had a terrible past- full of hurts, disappointments and abuses but this does not mean that you cannot rise up and be what God intended for you to be. You are only limited by your thoughts and not by the abilities that God knows you possess. God is not a respecter of persons that He should deny some of us talents. We are all fitted with different gifts that we are to use for His glory.
Fourthly, no one is insignificant before God. Proverbs 22:2 says,' rich and poor have this in common: The Lord is the maker of them all'. Angels were sent to the lowly shepherds to declare the message of the birth of Christ. In those days, shepherds were a forgotten class of people, left to tend the sheep out in the wilderness. But in them, God saw special messengers. David may have been the least among his brothers but God, who is the observer of thoughts and motives, saw beyond what man saw. Not even the prophet Samuel, who was sent to anoint him, could see what God saw. God sees what man cannot see.
You may be feeling insignificant and lost in a world that brushes past you in haste, but there is a God who knows you by name, who knows the number of hairs on your head and who saw you before you were born because He saw your unformed body in the depths of the earth before you ever came to be. How special then is His love for you!
Fifthly, God is pleased by those He sees as righteous; they invite His friendship and His favor. Proverbs 22:4 says that 'humility and the fear of the Lord bring wealth and honor and life'. God is holy 1Peter1:13-14 confirms that God expects us to be holy as He is holy. John the Baptist was born of upright parents. God's favor rested on them so that they were chosen to be the parents of the one who would prepare the way for Christ. Luke 1:6 tells us that 'both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing his commandments and regulations blamelessly'. God loves righteousness and obedience.
The sixth point is to remember that God's provisions come long before a crisis. If there is going to be trouble ahead, you can be sure that God has already provided a way out of it. Long before the Israelites left Egypt, there already existed a rock that Moses would strike for water. Long before Samson ever needed a jaw bone, a donkey had died and rotted away. Christ may have been born in a manger but the costly gifts brought by the wise men were enough to see him through; God had made His provision for His Son. Long before we sinned, God had already thought of our reconciliation to Him through Jesus Christ. God knew we would need a bridge to reach to Him so in John 3:16, He provided the solution; He gave us His only Son to save us.
Lastly, our King is coming. In Acts 1:11 the apostles were told, 'This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven'. The question is, what preparations have you put in place for his coming. Are you prepared enough for him? What have you put in place to receive him? Are you ready for his second coming? Are you a practicing, born again Christian?
Do not cross into the new year without full knowledge and conviction of the Lord in your heart for 2Peter 3:11-12 says 'You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming'. 1Peter3:14 concludes, 'So then dear friends since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with Him'.
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May these words (sermons), from various men and women of God be a blessing to all.