VIDEO Born This Happy Morning – The Supreme Revelation

Born This Happy Morning

The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being…. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Hebrews 1:3, NIV

Today we celebrate God entering the human family. This is the marvel of history—Jesus is both God and man! As God, He said, “I and My Father are one.” As man, He said, “My Father is greater than I” (John 10:30; 14:28).

Because Jesus is God, John wrote, “The Word was God.” Because He was man, John wrote, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:1 and 1:14).

As God, Jesus is “KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.” Yet He is also “a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief” (Revelation 19:16; Isaiah 53:3).

As God, our Lord’s “goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.” As man, “Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea” (Micah 5:2; Matthew 2:1).

The whole Bible is about Christmas because the whole Bible is about Christ. As God, He is pure and powerful enough to save us from sin and death. Because of His humanity, He was able to provide purification for sins, gaining our salvation.

Oh come, let us adore Him!


Hebrews 1:1-3, Jesus: The Supreme Revelation

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Winter Snow

He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break. Isaiah 42:2–3

In winter, I often wake to the beautiful surprise of a world blanketed in the peace and quiet of an early morning snow. Not loudly like a spring thunderstorm that announces its presence in the night, snow comes softly.

In “Winter Snow Song,” Audrey Assad sings that Jesus could have come to earth in power like a hurricane, but instead He came quietly and slowly like the winter snow falling softly in the night outside my window.

Jesus’s arrival took many by quiet surprise. Instead of being born in a palace, He was born in an unlikely place, a humble dwelling outside Bethlehem. And He slept in the only bed available, a manger (Luke 2:7). Instead of being attended by royalty and government officials, Jesus was welcomed by lowly shepherds (vv. 15–16). Instead of having wealth, Jesus’s parents could only afford the inexpensive sacrifice of two birds when they presented Him at the temple (v. 24).

The unassuming way Jesus entered the world was foreshadowed by the prophet Isaiah, who prophesied the coming Savior would “not shout or cry out” (Isaiah 42:2) nor would He come in power that might break a damaged reed or extinguish a struggling flame (v. 3). Instead He came gently in order to draw us to Himself with His offer of peace with God—a peace still available to anyone who believes the unexpected story of a Savior born in a manger.

Lord Jesus, thank You for willingly giving up Your majesty and coming to earth in order to offer peace.

How silently, how silently the wondrous gift is given! —O Little Town of Bethlehem

By Lisa Samra 

INSIGHT

Known as one of the Servant Songs (songs/poems that celebrate the service, suffering, and ultimate reign of the “Servant of the Lord”; see also Isaiah 49:1–13; 50:4–11; and 52:13–53:12), Isaiah 42 paints a beautiful picture of God’s care, concern, and coming justice for the nations. While there is some debate over the identity of the servant (in some songs the servant is expressed in the plural, suggesting the nation of Israel is the servant), there is little doubt about how today’s passage was viewed. Matthew quotes Isaiah 42:1–4 in its entirety (Matthew 12:18–21). Matthew says that Jesus’s ministry of healing the sick was in fulfillment of this passage: “This was to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah” (v. 17). Matthew clearly sees Jesus as the Servant of the Lord in whom the nations “put their hope.”

J.R. Hudberg

A Reverent Christmas

Luke 2:21-35

Although we usually associate Christmas with happy celebrations, it’s also an appropriate time for serious reflection about eternal matters. When we’re busy with holiday activities and surrounded by friends, family, food, and fun, it’s easy to forget about the temporary nature of earthly life. Preoccupation with plans and dreams makes death seem distant. But there will come a day when our bodies are laid in the grave and we must stand before God.

The event in Luke 2:21-35 happened just eight days after Jesus’ birth. While Mary was experiencing the joy of being a new mother and the wonder of being chosen to care for God’s Son, she came face-to-face with the pain that awaited her in the future. Simeon prophesied that a sword would pierce her soul (Luke 2:35). Although she couldn’t understand it at the time, this was a prediction of her precious son’s death.

The cross hangs like a shadow over the manger because this tiny baby was destined to die for the sins of mankind—33 years later He bore God’s wrath on the cross for our transgressions so we could be forgiven. His resurrection proved that the Father accepted His sacrifice as full payment for our sins. Now, because Jesus Christ lives, all who believe in Him will permanently live in His presence when their earthly life is done.

In the midst of all your celebrations, don’t lose sight of preparing for eternity. Reflecting on your life, death, and eternal future makes Christmas more meaningful because you understand why Jesus was born. He came to earth to die so all who believe in Him could go to heaven and be with Him forever.

We Celebrate at Christmas

“And [Joseph] knew her [Mary] not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” (Matthew 1:25) 

The actual birthday of Jesus was sometime in the fall (September or October) rather than in December. The date is of lesser consequence, however, than the reason for the celebration (Isaiah 1:18). Heaven itself celebrated the birth (Luke 2:8-14). And after the shepherds got over their fear, they couldn’t stop telling the news.

Then there were the wise men from the east who came to worship the one “born king of the Jews” (Matthew 2:1-2). They got there well after the birth, having put their lives on hold, and willingly gave of their time and treasures to honor this great King while they rejoiced with “exceeding great joy” (Matthew 2:10). Surely all Christians should worship and rejoice as well as open our treasuries when we celebrate Christ’s birth.

But if we just focus on the birth, we may miss the greatest reason for the commemoration. After all, there was nothing uncommon about the physical process. But the conception, now that was miraculous (Luke 1:35)! The eternal “Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14). The great Creator and Son of God, “foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20), submitted to the will of the Father and “made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7). That was why heaven celebrated.

Counting back nine months from around September puts us pretty close to the end of the previous December. Perhaps our sovereign God has orchestrated events so that we would celebrate the real miracle of the conception: “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). HMM III

The mystery of iniquity doth already work

Revelation 17:3-18

Among other visions, John was favoured to see the destruction of the evil system of Antichrist, which was foreshadowed before him under the image of a base and guilty woman. This mother of harlots some believe to be the Church of Rome. Certainly there is nothing upon earth so like to the description, and it is difficult to conceive that any future system could more fully answer to the prophecy.

Revelation 17:3

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness:

Rome stands literally as well as spiritually in a wilderness.

Revelation 17:3

Names of blasphemy are abundant in that church whose head dares to call himself Infallible.

Revelation 17:4

Dr. Wordsworth remarks that in the description of the official dress mention is made of scarlet robes, a vest covered with pearls, and a mitre adorned with gold and precious stones.

Revelation 17:5

These words are like a photograph of the church head, no portrait could be more accurate.

Revelation 17:8

This beast is thought to be the old imperial power of Rome upon which the spiritual power rode as on a richly caparisoned steed.

Revelation 17:8

God’s own chosen cannot be deluded by her, but myriads of others are.

Revelation 17:8

Every schoolboy knows that Rome is built upon seven hills.

Revelation 17:11

Of this many interpretations have been given, but none seems to us to be clear.

Revelation 17:12, 13

Probably these are the kingdoms which arose at the breaking up of the old Roman empire, and all became vassals of the Papal power.

Revelation 17:14-17

That church  will perish by the hands of the kings who once supported it. Already its temporal power is shorn away, and in almost every nation the rulers are resolved to curb its insolence.

Revelation 17:18

Some insist this must be Rome, for no other city has exercised such imperial authority, and made the kings of the earth her vassals. May the fall of Romanism be speedy and overwhelming.

 

One Happy Morning

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour. (Luke 2:11)

When we sing, “The Light of the world is Jesus,” there should be a glow on our faces that would make the world believe indeed that we really mean it!

The Incarnation meant something vast and beautiful for John Milton—and he celebrated the coming of Jesus into the world with one of the most beautiful and moving expressions ever written by a man:

 

This is the month, and this the happy morn,

Wherein the Son of Heaven’s eternal King,

Of wedded maid, and Virgin mother born,

Our great redemption from above did bring.

 

That glorious form, that Light insufferable,

And that far-beaming blaze of majesty,

He laid aside, and here with us to be,

Forsook the courts of everlasting Day,

And chose with us a darksome house of mortal clay.

 

Oh! run; prevent them with thy humble ode,

And lay it lowly at His blessed feet,

Have thou the honor first thy Lord to greet

And join thy voices with the Angel quire,

From out His secret altar touched with hallowed fire!

 

He Came; He Is Coming

“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.” Acts 1:11

Many are celebrating our Lord’s first coming this day; let us turn our thoughts to the promise of His second coming. This is as sure as the first advent, and derives a great measure of its certainty from it. He who came as a lowly man to serve will assuredly come to take the reward of His service. He who came to suffer will not be slow in coming to reign.

This is our glorious hope, for we shall share His joy. Today we are in our concealment and humiliation, even as He was while here below; but when He cometh it will be our manifestation, even as it will be His revelation. Dead saints shall live at His appearing. The slandered and despised shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Then shall the saints appear as kings and priests, and the days of their mourning shall be ended. The long rest and inconceivable splendor of the millennial reign will be an abundant recompense for the ages of witnessing and warring.

Oh, that the Lord would come! He is coming! He is on the road and traveling quickly. The sound of His approach should be as music to our hearts! Ring out, ye bells of hope!

 

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