Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’


John 1:1-18 (NLT) In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created,[and nothing that was created was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything] and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it. God sent a man, John the Baptist, to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. John himself was not the light; he was simply a witness to tell about the light. The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He came into the very world he created, but the world didn’t recognize him. He came to his own people, and even they rejected him. But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. They are reborn—not with a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan, but a birth that comes from God. So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son. John testified about him when he shouted to the crowds, “This is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘Someone is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’” From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

Considering the time of the year this is being written (December), I have studied the birth of Christ from the two gospels that record it, Matthew and Luke and it would have been proper to focus on those passages but as you can see above, the passage I used is from John. Being a chronological thinker, I like to put things in perspective and this passage in John seemed to help put the first block in place of Jesus’ birth.

The birth of Jesus was a significant event at that time when it occurred and there was much that happened in and around His arrival. However, from reading this passage, it makes me wonder if we are right in saying Jesus was ‘born’ because He pre-existed before anything was ever created. This was merely Him taking human form to relate to us but He most definitely was not a new creation placed in the middle of humanity as an afterthought to save humanity.

John starts his gospel by stating that the word existed before everything, it was God and it was with God. He then gives the word personality by using the term ‘he’ (verse 2) and we see it transpose itself into a person, the person who created everything, gave life to everything and gave light to everyone. This person is the person of Jesus Christ who He came into the world He created (verse 10) by taking on human flesh and lived among us (verse 14) to reveal God’s glory.

Jesus’s life brought light to everyone and this light shines in the darkness, therefore dissipating it. Is it not interesting that darkness is the lack of light and only comes into existence when light is put out? Jesus in his later years on earth in human form dealt with evil doers by revealing the darkness in their hearts and they could either respond by receiving His correction or running away from it. Light always reveals things shrouded in darkness and so Jesus’ life brings the truth out in our dark world.

As we draw near to the day many Christians chose to celebrate Jesus’ birth, December 25th, let us now dwell on whether we got the date right or if we should be celebrating his birthday on one day or everyday but instead let us use this opportunity to receive the Word of God into our lives so that He can reveal the darkness in our lives and give us a way to be reconciled with His father so that we may have life and life eternal.

If you want a sense of the power or worth of this Word of God, read the passages below:

The Lord merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born. Psalm 33:6 (NLT)

He sent out his word and healed them, snatching them from the door of death. Psalm 107:20 (NLT)

Then, at his command, it all melts. He sends his winds, and the ice thaws. Psalm 147:18 (NLT)

The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.” Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

The Word of God is true (Psalm 33:4; John 17:17), it is flawless (2 Samuel 22:31; Psalm 18:30; Proverbs 30:5), it is infallible (1 King 8:56; 2King 10:10; Psalm 103:20), it is obeyed by angels and it is eternal (Psalm 119:89,152; Isaiah 40:8; 1 Peter 1:25; Psalm 119:103), it is sweet and delightful (Psalm 138:2), it is exalted above all things (Isaiah 45:23), it is irrevocable (Ephesians 6:17), it is the sword of the Spirit (2 Titus 2:9), it is not chained (Hebrews 4:12), it is living and active (1 Peter 1:23) and It is living and enduring.

There is so much more we can study on the Word and I hope today’s passage has inspired you to seek Jesus Christ who came to live among us and die for us so that we might have the opportunity to be reconciled with His father and be called children of God and have an eternal inheritance no one can ever take away.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

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Numbers 31 (NLT) Then the Lord said to Moses, “On behalf of the people of Israel, take revenge on the Midianites for leading them into idolatry. After that, you will die and join your ancestors”… They attacked Midian as the Lord had commanded Moses, and they killed all the men. All five of the Midianite kings—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba—died in the battle. They also killed Balaam son of Beor with the sword. Then the Israelite army captured the Midianite women and children and seized their cattle and flocks and all their wealth as plunder. They burned all the towns and villages where the Midianites had lived… But Moses was furious with all the generals and captains who had returned from the battle. “Why have you let all the women live?” he demanded. “These are the very ones who followed Balaam’s advice and caused the people of Israel to rebel against the Lord at Mount Peor. They are the ones who caused the plague to strike the Lord’s people. So kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man. Only the young girls who are virgins may live; you may keep them for yourselves… “From the army’s portion, first give the Lord his share of the plunder—one of every 500 of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, and goats. Give this share of the army’s half to Eleazar the priest as an offering to the Lord. From the half that belongs to the people of Israel, take one of every fifty of the prisoners and of the cattle, donkeys, sheep, goats, and other animals. Give this share to the Levites, who are in charge of maintaining the Lord’s Tabernacle.”

Some chapters of the Bible like today’s reading make us as Christians wish they were never recorded because it seems to show God in poor light. What is God speaking to us through this horrendous bloodshed He ordered and was it recorded incorrectly? (more…)


Luke 17:11-19
Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed. One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan. Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”

What a sight it must’ve been for those traveling with Jesus when ten lepers called out to him for healing as he passed them by. Over and over again in the gospels, we hear the plea of the poor, the suffering, the dying, the mourning and what is interesting about them is that they are not ashamed to call out to Jesus for help. What is even more amazing is that this is what the Lord appreciated and responded to with healing and the basis was their faith in him and his ability to heal them. In this passage above, it is the record of another great miracle but the response from those who were healed is what is most important for us today.

Last evening, we were visiting with dear friends who are better called family considering the relationship we share. They shared something from times past when they lived in Dubai that I would like us to do. Every Christmas, each person in their fellowship would bring in a list of prayer needs for the following year and these would be individually sealed in envelopes and stored by a custodian. The following Christmas, the envelope would be opened and the individuals would share the way the Lord worked in their lives. It would be outstanding to see how God answered prayers and people would express their gratitude to God for his manifold blessings. We need to know that God will answer our prayers if it is what he wants for us and we ask in faith. However, when God answers, what is our response? Have you been grateful to God for his countless blessings in your life? Have you thanked him and been grateful for his goodness? Lets be people of gratitude for what the Lord has done and is doing in our lives. Let’s not be the 9 healed lepers who forgot but rather like the one who was sincerely grateful.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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A Natural Canopy


Luke 14:12-14
Then Jesus said to his host, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Jesus was certainly ruffling feathers of the holy men during his ministry and it was not because he was doing it to offend them but because they were so unbelieving. They were so blinded by their belief that they did not see how they were robbing people of any connection with God through their rituals and laws. God was not looked at as someone who loved us but instead it was pressure that pushed people to follow God. What a tragedy because God is love and we have no right to change that nature of God! In the above passage about the banquet, it is something I would find very hard to follow. How could I not invite my own or those that are dear to me for a special occasion where I want to share my joy with them? How can I focus my energy and resources on those less fortunate than me and what good would that be to me? Would this be a lost networking opportunity or a smart PR strategy?

In today’s world, we are so focussed on doing good for public perception and there is seldom a business or famous person who does not support some cause or give to the needy but that’s never done without making a big deal about it. Jesus is not telling us to do things to get approval of man. Our focus should be on serving those less fortunate without expecting anything back. My grandmother has a thanksgiving dinner every year on the occasion of my grandfather’s passing away and one of the things they do is to invite all the less fortunate people in the community for a meal. There are over 100 people who are brought in, fed and sent home with love and what strikes me most is that this is done without any expectation of anything in return. These people cannot give anything back materially but Christ is shared and they receive willingly. What is your Christmas plan this year? Are you giving those who have lots or those who have nothing? Can we find someone in our areas of influence who is in need and share the joy of this special season? Can we give them some love that God shared with us who were once lost?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting http://groups.google.com/group/in-his-loving-service. Share this with your friends and family who need some encouragement.

God's Wondrous Creation