VIDEO The Christmas Story, Bible Verses Narrated by Joshua J Masters

Dec 23, 2014

Using Bible verses from both the Old and New Testaments with multiple translations, Joshua J Masters narrates the Christmas Story as you read along with the Biblical texts on-screen.

What Christmas Is All About – “The Temple of the Holy Spirit”

What Christmas Is All About
manger
There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. Luke 2:8

Fifty years ago A Charlie Brown Christmas was first broadcast on American television. Some network executives thought it would be ignored, while others worried that quoting the Bible would offend viewers. Some wanted its creator, Charles Schulz, to omit the Christmas story, but Schulz insisted it stay in. The program was an immediate success and has been rebroadcast every year since 1965.

When Charlie Brown, the frustrated director of the children’s Christmas play, is discouraged by the commercial spirit of the holiday season, he asks if anyone can tell him the real meaning of Christmas. Linus recites Luke 2:8-14 including the words, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men” (vv. 11-14 kjv). Then Linus says, “That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”

During this season filled with our own doubts and dreams, it’s good to ponder afresh God’s great love expressed in the familiar story of Joseph, Mary, the baby Jesus, and the angels who announced the Savior’s birth.

That’s what Christmas is all about.

Father in heaven, as we approach Christmas, may we grasp in a deeper way Your amazing gift to us.

God broke into human history to offer us the gift of salvation!

By David McCasland
—-
“The Temple of the Holy Spirit”
praise wide sky
…only in regard to the throne will I be greater than you. —Genesis 41:40

I am accountable to God for the way I control my body under His authority. Paul said he did not “set aside the grace of God”— make it ineffective (Galatians 2:21). The grace of God is absolute and limitless, and the work of salvation through Jesus is complete and finished forever. I am not being saved— I am saved. Salvation is as eternal as God’s throne, but I must put to work or use what God has placed within me. To “work out [my] own salvation” (Philippians 2:12) means that I am responsible for using what He has given me. It also means that I must exhibit in my own body the life of the Lord Jesus, not mysteriously or secretly, but openly and boldly. “I discipline my body and bring it into subjection . . .” (1 Corinthians 9:27).

Every Christian can have his body under absolute control for God. God has given us the responsibility to rule over all “the temple of the Holy Spirit,” including our thoughts and desires (1 Corinthians 6:19). We are responsible for these, and we must never give way to improper ones. But most of us are much more severe in our judgment of others than we are in judging ourselves. We make excuses for things in ourselves, while we condemn things in the lives of others simply because we are not naturally inclined to do them.

Paul said, “I beseech you…that you present your bodies a living sacrifice…” (Romans 12:1). What I must decide is whether or not I will agree with my Lord and Master that my body will indeed be His temple. Once I agree, all the rules, regulations, and requirements of the law concerning the body are summed up for me in this revealed truth-my body is “the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mould, and when it is cold and hard we fling it at the heads of the religious people who don’t agree with us. Disciples Indeed

OSWALD CHAMBERS

Peace Beyond Comprehension

Philippians 4:6-7

Once, after I gave a sermon on peace, a woman came up to speak with me on the status of her son, who’d been in a terrible accident. Doctors had given him little chance of survival, but he was slowly recovering. “What you said about peace passing our understanding is true,” she said to me. Even when her son was on the brink of death, her heart had been assured that the heavenly Father was near and in control.

Paul wrote from a prison cell to remind believers that giving their concerns over to God would result in peace. Having a quiet spirit in a storm of trouble doesn’t make any human sense—we’re “supposed” to become anxious; it’s only natural. But our God is supernatural, and He is living inside us in the form of the Holy Spirit, so we can remain peaceful.

No matter what harsh circumstances may challenge our faith, peace grounded in Christ can’t be broken. With the Father’s omnipotent hand protecting and providing for us, what reason do we have to be afraid or fretful? What we must do is keep our eyes and our faith focused upon the Lord. “The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” (Isa. 26:3).

We live in a world of conflict, and we often find ourselves suffering heartache. It’s easy to become fixated on a situation and how it has disrupted our lives. But peace comes from choosing to trust that God will bring about a resolution in His time and in His way.

Faithful Stewards

“Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.” (1 Corinthians 4:2)

God’s Word reminds us that “every one of us shall give account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12), “for we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10).

These and similar verses apply specifically to Christians and relate to rewards for faithful service, not to salvation. At this judgment, “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (1 Corinthians 3:13). The test of our works is not one of quantity, but quality.

As stewards of Christ we have been entrusted not only with various material possessions, but also with time, talents, and opportunities, as well as all the blessings of His glorious gospel. We are in fact “the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1).

“Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?” asked the Lord. “Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing” (Luke 12:42-43). But He also warned: “If ye have not been faithful in that which is another man’s, who shall give you that which is your own?” (Luke 16:12).

The Greek word for “faithful” means essentially “believable.” Can our Christian profession be trusted? Are we true to our word? This is what will really count when the Lord comes “to give every man according as his work shall be” (Revelation 22:12). The greatest reward, of course, will be simply to hear Him say: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord” (Matthew 25:21). HMM

This does Not Come from God

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. —James 4:7

I have had times in my life and ministry when the burdens and the pressures seemed to be too much. Sometimes physical weariness adds to our problems and our temptation to give in to discouragement and doubt. At these times it seems that even in prayer it is impossible to rise above the load. More than once, by faith that seemed to have been imparted directly from heaven, the Lord has enabled me to claim all that I needed for body, soul and spirit. On my knees I have been given freedom and strength to pray, “Now, Lord, I have had enough of this—I refuse to take any more of this heaviness and oppression! This does not come from God—this comes from my enemy, the devil! Lord, in Jesus’ name, I will not take it any longer—through Jesus Christ I am victor!” At these times, great burdens have just melted and rolled away—all at once!

Brethren, God never meant for us to be kicked around like a football. He wants us to be humble and let Him do the chastening when necessary. But when the devil starts tampering with you, dare to resist him!

Lord, help me to resist any attempt of Satan to defeat me today and to conquer in the victory You guarantee. Amen.

God Was Never the Author of Disorder

For by him all things were created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible… and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:16, 17

Everywhere I look in the created world I see God—and my soul is delighted!

I look into a dry, old book that looks like a telephone directory gone mad—we call it a lexicon—and I find that in the New Testament the word “world” means “an orderly arranged system, highly decorative, which is tended, cared for and provided for.”

Anyone who knows God, even slightly, would expect God to make an orderly world because God Himself is the essence of order. God was never the author of disorder— whether it be in society, in the home, or in the mind or body of man.

I have noticed that some people let themselves go to seed in a number of ways, thinking it makes them more spiritual—but I disagree. I think it is proper to comb your hair, if you have any! I do not think it is a mark of deep inward spirituality for a man to forget that a soiled shirt is easily cleaned and that baggy trousers were originally meant to have an orderly crease. God is not grieved when His Christian children take a little time every day for neatness and cleanness.

Neither do I think that our Lord is grieved by a service of worship in which we know what we are going to sing and what we are going to preach—because God is a God of order!

Let the Day Dawn

The path of the just… shineth more and more unto the perfect day. PROVERBS 4:18

The Bible tells us that when a person becomes a Christian, it is as though the sun has come up and the day has dawned. Then his experience along the path should be like the glowing light which shineth more and more unto the perfect day!

This brings us to a question: If all Christians are alike in standing and state, why did Jesus point out three distinctions in the Christian life—”some thirty, some sixty and some a hundredfold” (Matthew 13:23)?

If we are all alike and have all “arrived” at the same place and state, why did the Apostle Paul tell the Philippian Christians—”I have suffered the loss of all things, that I may know Him and if by any means, I might attain unto that superior resurrection” (see 3:7-11)?

I am of the opinion that we cannot experience that which we have not believed. I still think we must instruct and urge men and women, toiling along in average and common Christian ways, to move forward and claim spiritual victory they have not yet known.

Lord, thank You for Your Spirit’s ever-present encouragement, teaching and guidance as I attempt to grow more like You each day of my Christian life.