VIDEO The Real Christmas Story ~ Birth of Jesus Christ ~ ♪ Bagpipes

Dec 5, 2012

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo!
Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année
Feliz Natal e Próspero Ano Novo
Счастливого Нового года и Рождества!
즐거운 성탄
Hristos se rodi i Srecna Nova Godina
Srećan Božić i Nova Godina.
Светлого и счастливого Рождества!
С Новым Годом и Рождеством Христовым!
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo
Счастливого Рождества и Нового года
Mir Boziji, Hristos Se Rodi
Fröhliche Weihnachten und ein gutes neues Jahr
Vesel božič in srečno novo leto
Wesołych Świąt i Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!
Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket és Boldog Új Évet
Prettig Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Crăciun Fericit şi un An Nou Fericit
Mutlu Noeller ve Mutlu Yıllar
Hyvää joulua ja onnellista uutta vuotta!
חג מולד שמח ושנה טובה!
Veselé vanoce a Štastný nový rock!
Καλά Χριστούγεννα και Ευτυχισμένο το Νέο Έτος
Cestit Bozic i Sretna Nova godina
Gesëende Kersfees
Gezuar Krishtlindjet dhe Vitin e Ri
عيد ميلاد سعيد وسنة جديدة سعيدة
Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Zorionak eta Urte Berri On!
Bon Nadal i un Feliç Any Nou.
Veselé Vánoce a Šťastný Nový Rok
Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
기쁜 성탄과 새해 복 많이 받으세요
Sretan Božić i Nova godina
Glædelig Jul og Godt Nytår
Zalig Kerstfeest en Gelukkig nieuw jaar
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon
Nadolig Llawen
Mele Kalikimaka
Selamat Natal dan Tahun Baru
Среќен Божиќ и Среќна Нова Година
God Jul og Godt Nyttår
Vrolijk Kerstfeest, Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo
Crăciun Fericit şi un An Nou Fericit
Щасливого Різдва!
Giáng Sinh Ngọt Ngào – Khổng Tú Quỳnh
Nollaig Shona
Nollaig Chridheil
Merii Kurisumasu


Observed on January 6th, the Epiphany celebration remembers the three miracles that manifest the divinity of Christ. The name “Epiphany” comes from the Greek word Epiphania, and means “to show, make known, or reveal.”

The celebration originated in the Eastern Church in AD 361, beginning as a commemoration of the birth of Christ. Later, additional meanings were added – the visit of the three Magi, Christ’s baptism in the Jordan River, and his first miracle at the wedding in Cana. These three events are central to the definition of Epiphany, and its meaning is drawn from these occurrences.

For many Christians, the definition of Epiphany is a reminder of God the Father’s unlimited love and mercy, which He has extended to all of mankind through the revelation of His Son, and of the hope of salvation that is now manifest for all who come to him in faith.


They Saw the Young Child With Mary His Mother and Fell Down and Worshipped Him

magi murillo wise men
MATTHEW 2: 1-15

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

6 And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

9 When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

A Living Hope

1 Peter 1:3-5

Corinth was a city characterized by sexual immorality and many other forms of ungodliness. (See 1 Cor. 6:9-11.) Believers there had once been like their fellow citizens—filled with greed, envy, wickedness, deceit, anger, and malice. But now they were new creations in Christ, indwelt by the Holy Spirit and adopted into the family of God. The Corinthian lifestyle no longer matched who they’d become in Jesus.

In that passage from 1 Corinthians, Paul reminded the believers not to be influenced by their culture or old patterns of thinking. The apostle was not warning them that they might miss out on the kingdom. Instead, he was encouraging them to abandon their old ways and bring their behavior in line with who they really were—children of God.

We, too, should know salvation is permanent and faith should positively affect conduct. What’s more, understanding the basis for our salvation—Jesus’ finished work on the cross—banishes fear and fills us with hope.

We could never earn our way into God’s family, nor could we pay our own sin debt. But our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ willingly paid the penalty on our behalf, satisfying divine justice and the Law’s demands (Rom. 3:25-26). To show the sacrifice was accepted, God raised Jesus to life and brought Him to heaven, where He reigns at the right hand of the Father (Mark 16:19).

What God has accomplished—pardoning our sins, giving us a new nature, and adopting us into His family—no one can undo. That gives us a living hope to sustain and uplift us all our days.

My Savior Makes Me Whole

“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” (Isaiah 40:26)

The hymn “Jesus! What a Friend for Sinners” mentions the frequent failure of our friends and the persistent opposition of our enemies. Conversely, Jesus Christ, who loves us completely, never fails. “For he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

Jesus! what a Friend for sinners!
Jesus! Lover of my soul;
Friends may fail me, foes assail me,
He, my Savior, makes me whole.

The hymnist was not writing for believers only but also for those who still reject God’s gift of salvation. Jesus loves them and came to Earth on their behalf. A favorite Scripture reminds us “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). Abraham was one of those who loved and believed God, “and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God” (James 2:23).

Christ taught His disciples that He would soon die, but they didn’t believe. Jesus taught them that “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13), and “ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (v. 14). They were growing in the understanding that He was God Himself. “Henceforth I call you not servants . . . but I have called you friends” (John 15:15).

Later, John wrote they were more than friends. “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God” (1 John 3:1). JDM

Determine to Find Him

My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. —Psalm 5:3

I want deliberately to encourage this mighty longing after God. The lack of it has brought us to our present low estate. The stiff and wooden quality about our religious lives is a result of our lack of holy desire. Complacency is a deadly foe of all spiritual growth. Acute desire must be present or there will be no manifestation of Christ to His people. He waits to be wanted. Too bad that with many of us He waits so long, so very long, in vain.

Every age has its own characteristics. Right now we are in an age of religious complexity. The simplicity which is in Christ is rarely found among us. In its stead are programs, methods, organizations and a world of nervous activities which occupy time and attention but can never satisfy the longing of the heart. The shallowness of our inner experience, the hollowness of our worship, and that servile imitation of the world which marks our promotional methods all testify that we, in this day, know God only imperfectly, and the peace of God scarcely at all.

If we would find God amid all the religious externals, we must first determine to find Him, and then proceed in the way of simplicity.

Quiet my heart, Lord, that I might be still enough to find You in the midst of this complex world. Simplify my life that I may never lose sight of You. Amen.

Our Charter Is from God

Upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16:18)

While we are right to thank God in appreciation for all of the great and good men in the history of the Christian church, we actually “follow none of them. Our charter goes farther back and is from a higher source. They were rightly looked upon as leaders, but they were all servants of God, even as you and I are.

Luther sowed. Wesley watered. Finney reaped—but they were only servants of the living God.

In our local assemblies, we are part of the church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and perpetuated by the mystery of the new birth. Therefore, our assembly is that of Christian believers gathered unto a Name to worship and adore the Presence. So, in that sense, the strain is gone. The strain and pressure to abide by traditional religious forms all begin to pale in importance as we function in faith as the people of God who glorify His Name and honor His Presence!

If all of this is true—and everything within me witnesses that it is—we may insist that God is able to do for us all that He did in the days of the apostles. There has been no revocation of our charter!

Never, never neglect the word of God

Never, never neglect the word of God; that will make thy heart rich with precept, rich
with understanding; and then thy conversation, when it flows from thy mouth, will be like
thine heart, rich, unctious and savory. Make thy heart full of rich, generous love, and then
the stream that flows from thy hand will be just as rich and generous as thine heart. Oh! go,
Christian, to the great mine of riches, and cry unto the Holy Spirit to make thy heart rich
unto salvation. So shall thy life and conversation be a boon to thy fellows; and when they
see thee, thy face shall be as the angel of God.