As a young woman engaged to Joseph, she probably had her own hopes and dreams. But when the angel Gabriel brought news of God's plans for her life, she laid down her own plans and submitted to His.
In yielding her life to the Lord's will, she also gave her reputation. In those days, an engagement was as binding as a marriage, even though the couple's union was not yet consummated. To be found pregnant during this time was a shameful thing. Whispers undoubtedly flew around town and could very well have been accompanied by open condemnation. As Christians, we should follow Mary's example and give ourselves fully to the Lord - even if doing so results in being misunderstood by others.
Upon hearing the birth announcement from an angel and seeing a heavenly host praising God, they left their sheep and hurried to find the baby. However, they didn't keep the good news to themselves; they let everyone know about the angelic message and the birth of the promised Messiah.
Christmas is the perfect time for us to give others the gift of truth by telling them about Christ and what He's done in our lives. You never know when a seed will be planted, watered or harvested.
These men were more than likely astrologers or philosophers who traveled all the way from Persia (modern day Iran). They arrived in Jerusalem, asking, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him?(v.2)...Upon finding the child, Scripture tells us the wise men first fell down and worshipped Him; then they offered Him presents of Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. In all of our Christian celebrations, we to should first offer Jesus our worship. When we begin by focusing on Christmas as a time to adore Him, all of the traditions we enjoy take on a deeper significance.
As a result of the Father's gift to us, everyone who believes in Jesus receives complete forgiveness of sins and eternal life. If God demonstrated His love by giving us the gift of His Son, then we to may enjoy the privilege of showing our love to others by giving them gifts (1 John 4:10-11). Not all gifts have to cost money. Consider giving the gift of time or a call or visit to someone who would appreciate it.
Christmas is known as the time of the birth of Jesus, however December 25th may not be the date He was born.
Other articles of interest include:
Written by Charles Stanley. December 2013 Newsletter - From the Pastors heart. Slightly abbreviated.
May God's gift of His Son enrich your spirit during this joyous season and throughout the coming year. Merry Christmas - Charles Stanley.
Thanks for partnering with In Touch Ministries: http://www.intouch.org/