VIDEO Keep Christ In Christmas Mini Movie for Church

Sharefaith Worship Resources
Dec 2, 2013

Keep Christ In Christmas Mini Movie for Church

This Christmas in all the hustle and bustle of gift buying and giving, don’t forget the reason for the season. The most important gift of all is the gift of Jesus the Messiah! Though in the very nature God, He humbled Himself and became a man. We can get so busy “serving” God, even in religious activities, that we forget the God we serve. Keep Christ in Christmas! “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33).

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Outside In?

All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Galatians 3:27

“Change: From the Inside Out or the Outside In?” the headline read, reflecting a popular trend today—the idea that outward changes like a makeover or better posture can be an easy way to change how we feel on the inside—and even change our lives.

It’s an appealing concept—who wouldn’t want improving our lives to be as easy as a new look? Many of us have learned the hard way that changing deep-rooted habits can seem nearly impossible. Focusing on simple external changes offers hope that there is a quicker path toward improving our lives.

Lord, thank You for Your Spirit renewing us every day and drawing us closer to You and Your love.

But although such changes can improve our lives, Scripture invites us to seek a deeper transformation—one that is impossible on our own. In fact, in Galatians 3 Paul argued that even God’s law—a priceless gift that revealed His will—couldn’t heal the brokenness of God’s people (vv. 19–22). True healing and freedom required them to, through faith, be “clothed” in Christ (v. 27) through His Spirit (5:5). Set apart and shaped through Him, they would find their true identity and worth—every believer equally an heir to all of God’s promises (3:28–29).

We could easily devote much energy to self-improvement techniques. But the deepest and most satisfying changes in our hearts come in knowing the love that surpasses knowledge (Eph. 3:17–19)—the love that changes everything.

Lord, we’re so grateful we don’t have to rely on ourselves. Thank You for Your Spirit renewing us every day and drawing us closer to You and Your love.

In Jesus, true and lasting transformation is possible.

By Monica Brands 


How does God’s love transform us? Second Corinthians 5:17–18 tells us, “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ.” As Christians we are already new, transformed creatures through Christ’s death for our sins. But that doesn’t mean our transformation is complete. What’s our part in this transformation? We are to “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18) so that we are no longer “infants in Christ” (1 Cor. 3:1). And we are to no longer “conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (Rom. 12:2). But we don’t accomplish this on our own. The Holy Spirit is at work inside us. As we “contemplate the Lord’s glory, [we] are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).

As we pray, read the Bible, and fellowship with God, the Holy Spirit reveals more about Jesus, helps us to love Him more, and transforms us to more closely resemble Him.

Alyson Kieda

Be Strong and Courageous

Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Have you ever faced a challenge that left you feeling inadequate and afraid? The great men and women in the Bible weren’t superhuman, so they undoubtedly experienced the same weaknesses we do. Though Joshua was a strong military leader, he probably felt inadequate to fill Moses’ shoes. After all, Moses had talked with God face to face, performed amazing miracles, and led the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. How could Joshua ever expect to live up to that?

But remember, Moses didn’t start out as a mighty man of faith. When God first called him to deliver the children of Israel, he focused on his own inadequacy and begged the Lord to send someone else (Ex. 4:10-13). I think Moses knew exactly how Joshua felt. That’s why he exhorted his successor to be strong and courageous.

However, the strength Joshua needed was not going to come from positive thinking or puffed-up self-confidence. What he needed was assurance that the Lord would go ahead of him every step of the way and give the nation the land as promised.

Confidence for God-given challenges never comes from within ourselves. But when we believe the Lord and rely on His Word instead of our feelings, He’ll give us the ability and courage that we need to accomplish His will.

If your life were always easy, you’d never need strength and courage—and you would miss great opportunities to get to know the Lord intimately. Only as we face one faith-stretching challenge after another and experience God’s faithfulness will we learn to depend on Him instead of ourselves.

Faint Not

“For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.” (Hebrews 12:3)

The Christian life and ministry can grow wearisome and hard at times, but with Christ Himself as our example, the Lord admonishes us not to faint but always to press on.

If our prayers seem to go unanswered, He reminds us that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). When we grow tired and are tempted to quit, the Scriptures assure us that “in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Galatians 6:9).

When God has entrusted us with a certain ministry, we need to learn to say, as with Paul, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not” (2 Corinthians 4:1). As we see God’s mercy-drops of blessing begin to fall, we then can say, as he did, “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16). We can even encourage others to faint not, as he did: “Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory” (Ephesians 3:13).

The same Greek word is translated “weary” in 2 Thessalonians 3:13: “Be not weary in well doing.” Finally, even when God has to rebuke us, we must learn to take it patiently. “Despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him” (Hebrews 12:5).

But with all these strong exhortations to faint not, we also need to know just how we can obtain the needed strength to keep on keeping on. The answer is in God’s great counsel to Isaiah: “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). HMM

Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion

2 Kings 11:1-4, 10-18, 20

2 Kings 11:1

Like a true descendant of Ahab, she stopped at nothing which could promote her own ambition. Well might she be called “Athaliah that wicked woman.” The seed of David was almost destroyed by her, but the Lord interposed, for the sceptre could not depart from Judah until Messiah came. The covenant promise to David was bound up in a single life, but it did not fail.

2 Kings 11:2, 3

Athaliah was not likely to go to the Lord’s house to find the child, for she seldom troubled that sacred place. David had lovingly cared for God’s house, and now the Lord shelters the hope of his servant’s race in the chambers of the temple.

2 Kings 11:4

These he appointed to act as a body-guard to the king, when he should be brought forth publicly to be crowned.

Matthew Henry remarks that Jehoiada was a man of great wisdom, for he kept the prince in the background till the fit time when the people were weary of Athaliah’s tyranny; a man of great influence, for the Levites and all Judah did as he commanded; a man of great faith, for in the darkest times he said, “Behold, the king’s son shall reign as the Lord hath said;” a man of great religion, for he re-established the worship of the Lord all over the land; a man of great resolution, for he went boldly through with his loyal resolve, and carried it out to final success.

2 Kings 11:4

Yet she was herself the greatest traitor. Vain were her cries; her despotism and cruelty had alienated all her friends; neither hands nor voices were lifted in her defence.

2 Kings 11:15, 16

Thus the last of Ahab’s seed died an unhallowed death: imperious to the last, the fierce woman, like Jezebel before her, rushed upon destruction.

2 Kings 11:20

Thus by the holy influence of one eminently good man, the nation was brought back again to its former condition, and purged of idols. When God’s Spirit is in a man he can sway the hearts of thousands. Lord, send us such men both in church and state.


Is There Any Sick Among You?

James 5:14, 15

What should be done if a critically ill person is either bedfast, homebound, or immobile due to his illness yet deeply desires to have special prayer for his healing? Are there special cases when the elders of the church should go to a person’s home to pray for him?

According to James 5:14 and 15, if a person is so extremely ill that he cannot come to church, the elders of the church should go to him. These verses give the scriptural procedure for how to pray for people who are in such a situation. Verse 14 begins by saying, “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church….”

The Greek word translated “sick” in James 5:14 does not describe people with minor ailments such as the common cold; rather, this Greek word astheneo refers to people who are physically frail or feeble due to some bodily condition. This deteriorated physical condition has rendered them unable to freely move about; hence, they are homebound by this infirmity and unable to come to church to receive prayer for healing.

In such situations, James says that the believer who is impaired by physical sickness has the right to “… call for the elders of the church…” to come to pray over him, “… anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” James 5:15 promises that if faith is present when the elders pray, the Lord will raise up that believer from his bed of sickness.

Let’s really look at this verse to understand the instructions that God gives for praying for such physically ill individuals. First, it says the sick believer should “call” for the elders of the church. The word “call” is the Greek word proskaleo, a compound of the words pros and kaleo. The word pros means toward, and the word kaleo means to call, to invite, or to beckon. When compounded together, it means to summon to one’s side.

The tense used in this verse is so strong that it doesn’t just picture a request for someone to come to one’s side. Instead; it is an ardent plea, so intense that it could almost be perceived as a requirement. In other words, this person is urgently requiring the elders to come pray for him.

James instructs us that a believer in this physically impaired condition is to call for “the elders of the church.” The word “elders” is the Greek word presbuteros, a word that appears no less than sixty-five times in the Greek New Testament. In the Gospels, the word presbuteros (“elders”) was used to depict Israel’s most visible spiritual representatives of the people, such as the ruling members of the local synagogues and the teachers and instructors of the Law who taught in the synagogues. The term itself expresses that these elders are not to be looked upon as common members of a local assembly; rather, they are deemed worthy of honor due to the position they hold.

In Acts 11:30, Luke uses the word presbuteros (“elders”) to describe those who exercised authority and who formed the leadership of the Jerusalem church. In First Timothy 5:17, 19 and in Titus 1:5, the apostle Paul uses the term presbuteros to depict those who held officially appointed church offices. In Titus 1:5, Paul instructs Titus to appoint elders in the church; then he follows up in Titus 1:7 by giving Titus the requirements for these elders. However, when Paul begins to list these requirements, he exchanges the word “elder” with the word “bishop.” This is the Greek word episkopos, which definitely points to the ordained leaders of a local assembly. This means that the elders whom the sick believer is to call upon should be among the official or ordained ministers of the local church.

When these elders arrive on the scene to minister to the sick, James says they are to “… pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.” The word “pray” is the Greek word proseuchomai, which represents the act of drawing near to God and passionately petitioning Him to perform a specific act. This is important, for it lets us know that this is not referring to a casual, token prayer but one that is deeply felt and passionately prayed. The tone in Greek again reflects the idea of urgency.

In addition to fervently praying for the sick person to be healed, the elders are also to anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The word “anoint” is the Greek word aleipho, and it refers to the outward anointing of the body. Although the exact type of oil is not the main topic of this verse, the Greek word aleipho usually referred to olive oil. We find this word used in Mark 6:13, where we discover that when Jesus sent the apostles forth to minister, “… they cast out many devils, and anointed with oil many that were sick, and healed them.”

Oil itself has no healing properties, but in both the Old and New Testaments, it is used symbolically to depict the Presence of the Holy Spirit. By anointing the sick person with oil, the elder uses a tangible substance to declare that the Spirit of God is coming upon the infirmed to bring His healing power. Although the oil itself doesn’t heal, the moment it is applied in prayer is the critical moment for the sick person to believe that God’s Presence is coming upon him to bring healing to his sick body.

The elders are to perform this action in “the name of the Lord.” The word “name” is from the Greek word onomos, and it represents the full authority that exists in the person being named. By praying in Jesus’ name, a believer actually stands in the physical place of Jesus who is in Heaven, acting on His behalf and operating in the authority He has vested to that believer as His official representative.

Thus, this prayer is prayed by someone who understands he is standing by the bedside of the sick on Jesus’ behalf. As the representative of Jesus Christ, this elder has the right to call on the power of God and to exercise all the authority that belongs to Jesus. What would Jesus do if He were physically present in the situation? That is precisely what this leader is to do as he ministers to the sick in the very stead of the Master.

But even if everything else is done according to this verse, the prayer must also be offered in faith if healing is the desired outcome. Too many pray with no feeling, fervor, or faith, and the results are therefore disappointing. For healing to result according to the promise of James 5:15, the prayer offered must be a “prayer of faith.”

James goes on to say that when faith is present, the elders’ prayer will “save the sick.” The word “save” is the Greek word sodzo, which in this verse definitely describes a physical healing or the restoration of one’s health. The word “sick” now switches from astheneo, which describes a physical frailty or feebleness, to the Greek word kamno, referring to a person who has long suffered from this affliction and is extremely weakened from the effects of this disease.

The next phrase confirms that this is no person with a head cold or minor ailment, for it says that after the oil is applied and the prayer of faith is prayed, “… the Lord shall raise him up….” The word “raise” is the Greek word egeiro, which means to raise, but it is also the root from which we get the word resurrection. This lets us know that the sick person is gravely ill, perhaps even close to death at the time of prayer. This would explain the urgency with which this prayer is to be offered.


James 5:14, 15 could be interpreted to mean:

“Is there anyone among you who is extremely weakened due to illness? If there is such a person, let him urgently call for the ordained leaders of the local assembly to come and passionately petition God on his behalf. As the leaders pray, let them also anoint the sick person with oil, standing in the very place of Jesus—acting on Jesus’ behalf and using the authority of His name. The prayer offered in faith will have definite results, for it will restore the sick person’s health as the Lord raises him up from his bed of affliction.”

It must be pointed out that it is “the Lord” who raises up the sick man from his bed of affliction. Although the elders actually anoint the person with oil and pray the prayer of faith, it is God who works with them and performs the miracle of healing. Here we see a beautiful picture of God and man working together to bring healing to those who are sick and disabled.

If you know anyone who is so gravely ill or weak that he is unable to come to church to receive prayer for his healing, let that person know he has a scriptural right to call for the elders of the local church to come anoint him with oil and pray the prayer of faith. As these elders stand at the sick person’s bedside, acting and speaking on Jesus’ behalf, James 5:15 promises that God’s power will be ignited to raise him up from his bed of affliction!


Lord, thank You for giving such clear instruction about how the critically ill are to call for the elders of the church to come pray for them. Please help me be an instrument of help to those who are gravely ill. Please alert me to the seriousness of their physical condition. Remind me to urge them to call for the local elders to come pray for them so that they might be restored to health. Help me to urgently press upon them the importance of exercising this God-given right. And, Lord, I ask You to raise them up by Your power so they can live a healthy life.

I pray this in Jesus’ name!


I confess that I am quick to help the gravely ill remember that they have a right to call on the elders of their local church to come anoint them with oil and pray the prayer of faith for their recovery. The moment that the prayer of faith is prayed, God’s power will be released—and that power will literally raise up the sick from the bed of affliction and out of the sickness that has disabled them. Jesus purchased healing for all believers. All they have to do is exercise their right to receive their healing by faith, and they will walk free of physical sickness and disease.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!


  1. Have you ever been present when the elders of a local church came to anoint the sick with oil and pray the prayer of faith? When was that event, and what happened as a result of that time of prayer?
  2. Can you think of anyone you know right now who is so sick that he or she cannot come to the church to receive prayer for healing? Have you suggested that this person call for the elders of the church to come pray for him or her?
  3. Can you remember at least one time in your life when you witnessed the Lord literally raise up a person from the bed of sickness? When was that experience?

If you know anyone who is so gravely ill or weak that he is unable to come to church to receive prayer for his healing, let that person know he has a scriptural right to call for the elders of the local church to come anoint him with oil and pray the prayer of faith.


Running The Race

How am I doing in running the race God has assigned for me, as outlined in Hebrews 12:1-3?


Verse 1 — “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.


Is anything hindering me from running the “race” God has assigned me?

(Matthew 10:37, 38; Luke 8:14)


What is the good in my life that has the potential of becoming the enemy of the best? (Philippians 3:12-14)


Is there any sin in my life that is entangling me?

(Psalm 106:34-40; 1 Corinthians 9:25, 26; 2 Timothy 2:4; 4:10)


Am I choosing to run with perseverance the race God has “marked out” for me? (Romans 2:7)


Am I in rebellion against God’s plan for me?

(1 Samuel 12:14, 15; 15:23; 2 Samuel 15:1-18:33; Proverbs 17:11)


Verse 2 — “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Are my eyes on Jesus, or on someone/something else?

(Isaiah 31:1; 45:22; Philippians 3:20; 2 Timothy 4:8)


Is my faith being perfected (matured)? Or am I stagnating?

(Psalm 92:12; Colossians 1:10; 2 Peter 3:18)


If I am stagnating, what are the contributing factors?

(Proverbs 1:32; Zephaniah 1:12; Revelation 2:1-4; 3:15-20)


Verse 3 — “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.


Is Christ the primary consideration in my life? Or have I pushed Him to the periphery? (Colossians 3:4)


If Christ is at the periphery, what changes do I need to make to place Him at the center? (2 Peter 2:15)


When I encounter opposition for my faith, am I choosing to endure? If not, why not? (Revelation 12:11)


Have I grown weary and lost heart?

(Luke 18:1; 2 Corinthians 4:1, 16; Galatians 6:9; 2 Thessalonians 3:13; Revelation 2:3)


What would I need to do to regain my strength and hope?

(Isaiah 55:1-3; Hosea 6:1-3; Matthew 11:28-30)



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