The Story of Christmas

Christmas in July?! With Christmas in July being marketed more and more. Why not post the meaning of Christmas for Throwback Thursday?

The Good Word

Christ Born of Mary

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed [a]wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a [b]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in…

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Bonus In The Christmas Series: 12 Days of Christmas

First off, I just want to say I hope everyone had a great Christmas.

Many people end their Christmas celebrating right after Christmas or at the latest New Year’s Day.

However traditionally Christmas is just starting on Christmas Day.

It is the first day of 12 days of Christmas with the final day being the Eve of the Epiphany.

Now I always make it clear, I am not an expert on the Bible or Church history. I write about things as I learn them.

So rather than me explaining some of the important post-Christmas dates. I am going to provide some links to some articles from a site called “Why Christmas”.

Have a Blessed Week and Happy New Year!
Chris

Links:
https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml

https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/epiphany.shtml

12 Days of Christmas Performance:

Christmas Series: Worship and Remembrance

This week is our final entry in the Christmas Series, this post is a simple post but the most important.

Because the most important aspect of Christmas and the true meaning of Christmas is the birth of Jesus Christ.

At this time of the year, we must remember Him and why He came. We must worship Jesus as He truly is and thank Him for coming to Earth for us because He loved us.

There is nothing more to say, let us just read the story of Jesus’ birth from Luke…

Luke 2:1-20 (ESV)
The Birth of Jesus Christ

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c]

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Have a Merry Christmas!
Chris

Christmas Series: Joy

Today in our Christmas Series I am going to be discussing joy.

The word Joy is everywhere during the Christmas season, commercials, shows, movies, heck you can buy pretty much anything with the word joy on it during Christmas.

But in reality, all that stuff for the most part is fake and not real joy. I saw a commercial that said, “spread joy” and of course doing so was by buying presents from their store for other people. But that’s not joy that is temporary happiness.

True joy is found in God.

Joy not only in the good times but in the times of struggle and pain.

We can have Joy in knowing Jesus is Lord.

And at Christmas time we have joy remembering that He came to Earth for the purpose of redeeming us and bringing the Kingdom of God to Earth.

God is true Joy.

Have a Blessed and Joyful Week,
Chris

Daily Bible Readings

Monday – Micah 5:2-5a

Tuesday – Psalm 80:1-7

Wednesday – Hebrews 10:5-10

Thursday/Sermon – Luke 1:39-55

Christmas Series: Generosity and Charity

Two of the most important aspects of Christmas is generosity and charity.

Often however that is forgotten in all the chaotic planning, in all the fun things like movies, events, light shows, caroling and sometimes even at church.

In the world they make the getting more important than the giving and even when the world mentions giving its really about the getting, as in getting your money.

The truth is giving, generosity and charity is so important to not just Christmas but the Christian life in general.

I have a Christmas story to tell about both generosity and charity.

Years ago, my wife and I were involved at a church that was definition of a family church. Every member except maybe 5 people (including us) were relatives of each other. The church had a wonderful heart but was a bit impulsive. One year they gathered brand new Christmas presents for children in need. They ended up with three large black garbage bags filled with toys. I couldn’t even count how many there were.

One problem, they had no idea where to take them to. The Pastor called me panicked asking if  I knew anyone who needs them. I told him I thought of one family but that’s it he told me to just take the presents to them.

Now this family was dirt poor and were on the brink of eviction. They kept managing to hold on to their apartment through help from others but at this point they were out of options.

We arrived and gave the presents to the children.

The two children, one boy and one girl were overwhelmed with happiness. The mother who had been raising them on her own was weeping from what had occurred. She revealed to us that the children had no presents for Christmas and she felt so ashamed of her situation.

The generosity and charity the church had shown her and her children brought joy to them in a seemingly hopeless situation.

Joy is another important aspect of Christmas but more on that next week.

Money and possessions isn’t the only thing that can be given. You can give your time, generously use your talents, love and complements are free, give those in plenty.

Be generous and charitable in your actions, in patience, kindness and forgiveness.

Be generous and charitable in the ways of God.

Have a Blessed, Generous and Charitable Week,
Chris

Advent and Hope

Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent. Our church had a wonderful service to kick off this season. (The service should be posted on here tomorrow.)

They’re four weeks of Advent and each has a candle with a theme.

The four themes are hope, peace, love and joy.

I also am starting a series today on the important aspects of Christmas leading up to the day that we celebrate the arrival of the “True Meaning Of Christmas”.

Let’s kickoff the series of by keeping with the theme of the first Sunday of Advent, hope.

Hope is so important to faith in God and it predates Christianity. The Jewish people long hoped for their Messiah. Jesus is that long awaited Messiah. 

We as Christians have hope in Jesus, we have hope in the promises He has made to us, we have Hope in eternal life, we have hope in God’s Kingdom.

We have hope in it’s truest form because of our hope in God.

At Christmas we are reminded of this hope as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. 

It’s a time when we can look back and reflect knowing how difficult the circumstances were, are and will be that we can have hope in the One who was, is and yet to come.

If you’re reading this and haven’t put your Hope in God, do so today. I am not telling you that your life will become easier, in fact it probably will become harder but in the end it’s all worth it because we have hope in the imperishable, the eternal, the true and living God.

Have a Blessed and Hopeful Week,

Chris

Scripture Reading Plan:

Monday – Malachi 3:1-4

Tuesday – Luke 1:68-79

Wednesday – Philippians 1:3-11

Thursday – Luke 3:1-16

Christmas 2020

Let’s begin today with the story of Christmas from the ESV translation…

The Birth of Jesus Christ

“2 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed,[b] who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.[c]

The Shepherds and the Angels

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”[d]

15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.”

In this tough time we can read this and remember we have hope in Jesus.

He came just like the Bible foretold.

He will come again just like the Bible foretells.

Our hope is in the Lord. Who will make all things new, stop suffering and be with us forever and ever. In the meantime let’s pray for one another and focus on the miracle of Jesus’ life and ministry.

Let’s rejoice at His birth and let’s try our best to have a wonderful day remembering Him.

Merry Christmas and may God bless you all,
Chris

Heritage Baptist Church Online Service

Something Satan Loves

You know something Satan loves? Distractions.

While we debate Holidays and are heretic hunting in the church arguing over petty things like Halloween in October and in December it will be Christmas trees the sick are not being healed, the hungry are not being feed, the cold won’t be clothed, the needy wait for their needs, the widowed are not being comforted, justice is not being fought for and the unsaved wait to hear the Gospel.

How often do we see discussions on politics, theology and other things turn toxic and become an obsession by the Body of Christ?

People end up behaving the opposite of the manner God has taught them.

I am not saying certain topics aren’t important, what I am saying is prioritize what you’re doing and use discernment to see if what you’re doing bares fruit.

I’ll give an example.

If you come home and notice the house is dirty but then see your children are hungry and without food, your brother is cold and without coat, your sister is sick and without medicine, you look outside and your neighbor is drowning in a nearby lake screaming for someone to save them what do you do?

Do you clean the house to make everything appear well while everyone suffers?

What is your priority?

Save your neighbor, give medicine to your sister, warm your brother, feed your children and then you can focus on cleaning the mess which truly when you think about it was a much smaller mess than you realized at first.

Have a Blessed Week,
Chris