Here is a quick reminder of what we should be celebrating this month.
Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD…Zechariah 2:6 KJV
There you have it, the reason for the season! Santa Claus, coming down from the north, and showering us in gifts at the command of the LORD!
Christmas is still about a month away, but how we celebrate and honor the season of Christmas begins now. I do not want to “bash” the traditional Christmas season celebration, but I do want to encourage us all to seriously consider how personally, in our families, and in our churches we can celebrate Christmas in a way that honors both Jesus as the “gift” and God as the “gift giver.”
Click here to listen to “The Doctrine of God and Christ” mp3 [52:40].
Steve Katsaras, pastor of the Red Words Church in Australia and contributor to this blog, recently gave a thoroughly biblical exposition of the doctrines of God and Christ.
Yahweh is one, not two or three, and there is no God besides him. The Bible uses singular pronouns in reference to God thousands upon thousands of time, a fact that clearly teaches God is a singular individual. This one God is the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent creator of heaven and earth.
Well, it’s been quite awhile since I’ve posted an article here. Far too long in fact. I apologize for my hiatus. No real good excuses, just the usual things in life that pull us in all directions – job, kids, family commitments, home projects, watching too much football (yes I really do enjoy watching college and professional football – maybe too much), etc.. And probably the worst and certainly dumbest thing is just getting out of the habit. Of course it seems that may be the case with a lot of my fellow KR contributors. But let’s see if I can start a trend of coming back to the well here. Let’s see if I can start off easy and work back into pushing out some fresh content for those have kept coming here and visiting the site.
“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you one will go forth for Me [YHWH] to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of old.
Therefore he will give them up until the time,
when she who is in labor has borne a child.
Then the remainder of his brethren will return to the sons of Israel.
And he will arise and shepherd his flock in the strength of YHWH, in the majesty of the name of YHWH his God.
And they will remain, because at that time he will be great to the ends of the earth. And this one will be our peace.”
This passage of Scripture is a wonderful example of prophecy of the Messiah, representing both his first coming and his second coming ~ a delightful choice for this month of December, to meditate and study today!
The following article by Anthony Buzzard is from the August 2010 issue of Focus on the Kingdom:
What does the word “beget” mean? Definitions are easy to come by. Just type the word into a search engine, or consult a dictionary anywhere. To beget is “to sire, to father, to bring into existence, to procreate, to generate.”
This word is crucial to our understanding of who Jesus, the Son of God, is. For centuries churches bearing the name of Christ argued over whether the Son had a beginning of existence or not. Of course there is a vast difference between a person who has no beginning and one who comes into existence, that is, has a beginning of existence.
On this Christmas morn, whether you celebrate the holiday with all its traditions of lights, trees and gifts, or not, we all share in common as followers and believers in Jesus, the Christ, the belief that he was miraculously born by the power of the Spirit of God, and because of this divine, supernatural birth, the second or “last Adam” was born. Jesus was born without a sinful nature (like we are), and was able to live a life of obedience to His God, to the point of giving up his own life to die on the cross for our sins. Jesus became that sacrificial Lamb of God, without stain or blemish or sin, so that through his cleansing blood, we might be forgiven of our sins. With that forgiveness, we have the hope of inheriting eternal life in the kingdom of God, in the age to come. It is indeed something to celebrate and shout from the mountain tops, not only in the month of December, but year round.
Here are some good thoughts from John Piper’s wife, Noel:
Over the years, we have chosen not to include Santa Claus in our Christmas stories and decorations. There are several reasons.
First, fairy tales are fun and we enjoy them, but we don’t ask our children to believe them.
Second, we want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able at whatever age they are. So we try to avoid anything that would delay or distort that understanding. It seems to us that celebrating with a mixture of Santa and manger will postpone a child’s clear understanding of what the real truth of God is. It’s very difficult for a young child to pick through a marble cake of part-truth and part-imagination to find the crumbs of reality.
This is a condensed excerpt from a new article on my web site. Every year when the Holidays roll around we get the usual circulated messages about Christmas. One sector of Christendom cries, “Let’s put Christ back in Christmas” and “Jesus is the reason for the season!” Meanwhile another sector says we can’t put Christ back in Christmas because he was never there to begin with. They claim that Christmas is a Pagan feast and any Christian who observes it is committing idolatry. Obviously both sides can’t be right. Is it Pagan? Is it Christian? Is it both? Is it neither? This article is an attempt to sort it out.
In Luke 1:32-33, the angels give us the tip off that it’s all about Jesus being the Christ, the King of an everlasting Kingdom, who will be anointed by the Spirit of God: “He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the LORD God will give him the throne of his father David; and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and his kingdom will have no end.”
The views expressed by posters and commentators are not necessarily endorsed by Living Hope International Ministries. Feel free to disagree with us as we all work together to discover the truth of Scripture.