Luke 2:10-11 “Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
Dearly Beloved: May God’s grace, peace, love, salvation, truth, righteousness, protection, glory and light be ever upon you! Merry Christmas and happy new year! You know, I think it is so fitting to celebrate the new year right after we celebrate the birth of our MIGHTY SAVIOR. When we get saved, we start fresh with a clean slate. Isn’t that what we are taught to do in every new year? This time of year is all about new beginnings. That’s also what JESUS is all about. That’s what His wonderful salvation does for us when we accept Him. He washes us clean and we get a fresh start. That is why it is called being “Born Again”. Our first birth is a physical one; while our second birth is spiritual. Now that may seem tough for some of you to grasp. It is kind of like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. For Christians, our cocoon is the word of GOD. We must wrap it around us. We must let it envelope our entire being. Most importantly, we must remain in our spiritual cocoon until our physical life ends. On that day, we will be released from our cocoon and fly away home into the loving arms of the LORD. None of that would be possible if it weren’t for the birth of Jesus. HIS is the most important birth in the history of mankind. Praise His mighty name! Shout hallelujah! His birth changed the world forever. Not even the atheist can deny that. We need to focus on the meaning of the birth of Christ – Liberty! Freedom from the darkness of sin!
I would like to take a moment here to offer my condolences to my German and Russian readers. Both nations have suffered tremendous losses recently. Germany was attacked by terrorist cowards and the Russian ambassador to Turkey was assassinated. My prayers are with you all. We are one world. What affects one, affects all (or at least it should). The world we live in is a treacherous place. It is infected by sin and polluted with evil. But, there is light in this dark place and JESUS IS HIS name! When you become born again you can feel the light all around you.
There is a beautiful rhythm to life. Someone asked me not too long ago if JESUS physically spoke to me. “I do not hear the voice of the LORD, I feel His rhythm.” was my reply. The LORD has visited me many times in my dreams. Each time he has taken on different forms (some male, some female), but I always know it is Him. It is very difficult to put into words. All I can say is that I know that I know. JESUS is everywhere. The problem is, if you are not saved then you are not tuned into the rhythm of the LORD. We who are saved, dance to the beat of the LORD’s drum. We were born to follow rhythms. That is why we respond so well to music. No other creature on this planet can create the type of music that we can. Nor can they pray or worship. Only man does that. Only man can sing praises to the LORD. We were meant to have rhythmic connection with JESUS. I fell out of tune with Him not long ago. I got “hypnotized” and started dancing to the rhythm of a certain young lady. Boy, could I feel it – the loss of connection to the LORD. I felt the old me creeping out of me. It was a profound difference. The minute I came to my senses and got back into rhythm, I felt complete again.
JESUS IS REAL! When I was out of sync with Him, even the number of visitors to this site was affected. The numbers dropped dramatically. But, as soon as I got back on track and started dancing to the LORD’s drum, they more than doubled. All of that has to do with rhythm. It is akin to when everything seems to fall in place for you all of the sudden. That’s GOD’S RHYTHM!
Satan has a separate chaotic rhythm. When we follow that, our life goes haywire and we walk in the wrong direction. We get sucked into the darkness. You have heard of a young man named Dillon Roof who walked into a church full of colored folks and killed several people because their skin color wasn’t the same as his. He was dancing to the beat of the devil. Satan’s rhythm led him to darkness and hate. I, for one, am praying that that young man is spared the death penalty. The rhythm of JESUS has taught me to have mercy. Jesus wants us to LOVE that young man and lead him to the saving knowledge of Christ. And, so I pray for Dillon and people like him just as much as I pray for the victims left in their wake – because that is what our LORD is all about: FORGIVENESS AND LOVE!! MERCY AND KINDNESS!! PEACE AND JOY!! and most importantly, SALVATION!!
I expect great things in 2017 – really wonderful things. Seventeen is a very significant number in the Bible, having to do with prophecy. It has always been a significant number to me as well. There are 17 letters in my full name. But, I digress. I will save that for another post.
I am speaking now to those of you who are unsaved. NOW IS THE TIME! I know you are hurting and lost. I can feel it even as I write this. I have been where you are. I know your pain. It’s time to let go. It is time to be born again. It is time to heal, free yourself from pain. Step out of the darkness and into the light. Repeat the following prayer:
“Dear Jesus, I know that because of my sin I need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins. I believe You rose again so I could live with You. I want to stop living for myself and start living for You. I want Your peace in my life. I want forgiveness for my sins. Please come into my heart and change my life. I want to live with You forever. I want You to be my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”
If you said it and you meant it, then you are my brother or sister in CHRIST and I welcome you in the light. We are part of the same flock, you and I. Let us not be strangers. Please contact us. We want to help you on your journey. You can also contact me personally at the address provided. I promise that I will personally respond to every letter. I LOVE you all – even those who have hurt me. I am in the business of forgiveness! I am here for all of you and my prayers are with you all everyday.
Christ Born of Mary
And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Glory in the Highest
Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.
Circumcision of Jesus
And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.
Jesus Presented in the Temple
Now when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”), and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons.”
Simeon Sees God’s Salvation
And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon, and this man was just and devout, waiting for the Consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” And Joseph and His mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him. Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
Anna Bears Witness to the Redeemer
Now there was one, Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; and this woman was a widow of about eighty-four years, who did not depart from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And coming in that instant she gave thanks to the Lord, and spoke of Him to all those who looked for redemption in Jerusalem.
The Family Returns to Nazareth
So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.
The Boy Jesus Amazes the Scholars
His parents went to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem according to the custom of the feast. When they had finished the days, as they returned, the Boy Jesus lingered behind in Jerusalem. And Joseph and His mother did not know it; but supposing Him to have been in the company, they went a day’s journey, and sought Him among their relatives and acquaintances. So when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, seeking Him. Now so it was that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were astonished at His understanding and answers. So when they saw Him, they were amazed; and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You done this to us? Look, Your father and I have sought You anxiously.” And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” But they did not understand the statement which He spoke to them.
Jesus Advances in Wisdom and Favor
Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them, but His mother kept all these things in her heart. And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
May God bless and keep you! May you let Him into your heart! May you follow His rhythm and receive His joy! Amen!
Love In Christ,
(A man who dances to the rhythm of the LORD and prays for the joy of JESUS to reach the whole world)