A Special Birth

Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. —Isaiah 7:14

In the pages of Scripture, several baby-boy births stand out. Cain, the firstborn after creation. Isaac, the hope of Israel’s future. Samuel, the answer to a mother’s fervent prayer. All extremely important. All joyously expected. And all described exactly the same by the chroniclers of Scripture: In each case, we are told that the mother conceived and bore a son (Gen. 4:1; 21:2-3; 1 Sam. 1:20).

Now consider one more baby boy’s birth. The description of this arrival was much more greatly detailed: a few words were clearly not enough to tell of Jesus’ birth. In Micah, we were told where He would be born—Bethlehem (5:2). In Isaiah, that His mother would be a virgin (7:14), and that He was coming to save people from their sin (ch.53).

In the New Testament, we were given such key information as what His name would be and why (Matt. 1:21), where He was born in fulfillment of prophecy (2:6), and how both His birth mother and His adoptive father were part of God’s plan (1:16).

Jesus’ birth stands above all births. His coming changed the world and can change our lives. Let’s celebrate Him! By Dave Branon

Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth. —Wesley

Christ is the greatest gift known to man.

What is Christmas Truly About, from a 10 Year Old

Today, we are going to talk about Christmas and the story behind it.

Some people might say, “Is Christmas about Santa Claus and how much he gives us for Christmas?” Absolutely not!

One day, a girl named Mary was tending to some things, when suddenly, an angel named Gabriel appeared. The angel told Mary that she was going to have a baby and she would call His name Jesus. The angel said that Jesus would be the Son of God. Mary said that she had never been with a man, but the angel said that the Holy Spirit would come upon her. Because of this, baby Jesus started to form in Mary (Luke 1:27).

Soon after this, Mary had to explain things to Joseph (the man she was betrothed to marry), but an angel had already visited Joseph and explained everything. One day, Joseph and Mary and all the people were ordered to go to the city of their birth to be taxed. So, while Mary was pregnant, they made their way to Bethlehem. Mary was getting very close to giving birth. When they finally got to Bethlehem, because of all the people, there was no room for them at the inn. However, there was a stable that had enough room for them to lodge in. Soon after that, baby Jesus was born and Mary wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.

Angels told shepherds that the Son of God had been born. So they found where Jesus was and they worshiped Him.

Wise men from the East knew that Jesus, the King of the Jews was born. So, they followed a great star to get to where Jesus was, eventually finding him in a house with his mother. However, on the way, they went to wicked King Herod, and asked them if they knew where the new King of the Jews was so that they could worship Him and bring Him gifts. Herod said, that if the wise men found the King of the Jews (which was Jesus) to come back and tell him so that he could worship Him as well. However, the truth was that Herod wanted to kill Jesus because he did not want there to be any other king but him.

The wise men kept following the star until they found Jesus. Then they gave him gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

They were then warned by God not to return to Herod and so they journeyed back to their own country.

The wicked King Herod was so mad at how the wise men had left and not informed him of where Jesus was that he ordered all male babies 2 years old and younger to be killed. This was so that he would know for sure that he had killed King Jesus (Luke 2:16).

However, a dream came to Joseph, telling him to leave Bethlehem because the bad guys were going to kill Jesus. So Joseph got up and told Mary, and they took baby Jesus, and left and went to Egypt. Baby Jesus was saved!

See folks, Christmas is not about Santa. He’s nowhere in the Bible. Christmas is about the birth of the Son of God. Tell your kids the truth about Christmas and celebrate the true reason for the season – Christ!

by: Samuel Judah


Zechariah’s Visions: Man’s Attempt to Measure

“I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof.” (Zechariah 2:1-2)

Seeing a human in the vision is a departure from the earlier visions of Zechariah. Each of the prior three visions included only angelic beings interacting with the Lord of hosts. Suddenly a man emerges holding a measuring rod attempting to measure Jerusalem.

Immediately, a second angel is sent to the angel who has been explaining the visions to Zechariah, instructing him to “run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein” (Zechariah 2:4). Obviously, whatever time is anticipated by the vision, it is not the time of the present Jerusalem. God sees a vast Jerusalem that cannot be measured (Zechariah 14:8-11).

Not only will the city grow beyond historical memory, but the Lord “will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her” (Zechariah 2:5). No longer will Jerusalem be the pawn of other nations, no longer will she be subject to the whims of rival nations and competing religions. The Lord Himself will become a wall around her similar to the way God protected them as they fled from Egypt (Exodus 13:21-22).

Yet beyond even that wonderful promise, the Lord insists that “many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee” (Zechariah 2:11). Not only will God restore the city to prominence, but the nation itself will become the center of His global government. “Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation” (Zechariah 2:13). HMM III

Perplexed, but not in despair, cast down, but not destroyed

Perplexed, but not in despair, cast down, but not destroyed.—2 Corinthians 4:8, 9.
Faint yet pursuing.—Judges 8:4.
I, even I, am He that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.—Isaiah 43:25.

I DON’T think it is possible to overrate the hardness of the first close struggle with any natural passion, but indeed the easiness of after-steps is often quite beyond one’s expectations. The free gift of grace with which God perfects our efforts may come in many ways, but I am convinced that it is the common experience of Christians that it does come. There may be some souls, whose brave and bitter lot it is to conquer comfortless. Perhaps some terrible inheritance of strong sin from the father is visited upon the son, and, only able to keep his purpose pure, he falls as fast as he struggles up, and still struggling falls again. Soft moments of peace with God and man may never come to him. He may feel himself viler than a thousand trumpery souls who could not have borne his trials for a day. For you and me is reserved no such cross and no such crown as theirs who falling still fight, and fighting fall, with their faces Zionwards, into the arms of the everlasting Father. “As one whom his comforteth” shall be the healing of their wounds.

By nature the children of wrath, even as others

By nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:3

We ourselves also were sometime foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. — Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile: what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. — The LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. — David … to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart, which shall fulfil all my will.

I obtained mercy, … who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.

Titus 3:3. John 3:7. Job 40:3,4. Job 1:8. Psalm 51:5. Acts 13:22. 1 Timothy 1:13. John 3:6.

Make his praise glorious

Make his praise glorious. Psalm 66:2

This people have I formed for myself; they shall shew forth my praise. — I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth. — By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell. — Who is like unto thee, O LORD, … glorious in holiness, fearful in
praises, doing wonders? —I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving. —They sing the Song of Songs of Moses the servant of God and the Song of Songs of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty.

Isaiah 43:21. Jeremiah 33:8,9. Hebrews 13:15. Psalm 86:12,13. Exodus 15:11. Psalm 69:30. Revelation 15:3.