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"I rejoice in your word like one who discovers a great treasure." - Psalm 119:162

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Rejoice!

Does the baby thrill you?


RejoiceLuke 2:20  The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

Luke 2:37-38  Then she (Anna, a prophet) lived as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the Temple but stayed there day and night, worshiping God with fasting and prayer.

38  She came along just as Simeon was talking with Mary and Joseph, and she began praising God. She talked about the child to everyone who had been waiting expectantly for God to rescue Jerusalem.

Matthew 2:9-10  After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10  When they saw the star, they were filled with joy!

The people that missed Christmas did so for many different reasons. They had a very different reaction when they found out about this little baby. Among them the innkeeper was too busy, Herod was too scared, the religious leaders didn't care and the Romans were so busy with their idols that they didn't need to have another god.

A lot of people get excited about Christmas but for those that are spiritually minded it goes way beyond what is waiting for them under a decorated tree. It means far more to them than pretty decorations, parties or delicious treats. For these people the baby is more exciting than Frosty, Rudolph and Santa!

The devil has a very good replacement for Jesus, it is easier to like Santa than it is to like Jesus, Santa has a lot of power but he doesn't demand too much from us:


What is remarkable about Santa is that his supposed power is eerily similar to God’s. He’s a transcendent being, not limited by the physical laws of this world. He can fly around the entire planet in a single night, stopping at every house along the way. Santa is also omnipresent—he sees you when you’re sleeping. He’s omniscient—he knows when you’re awake, he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness’ sake.

The mythological Santa operates in a paradigm of benevolent promises and benign threats. If you’re good, you’ll get gifts. If you’re bad, you won’t. But, really, aren’t we left with the sense that everyone is rewarded with a gift, and any naughtiness is forgiven with a wink of Santa’s eye?
John MacArthur - The Christmas Intruder

There were two groups of people in the Christmas story two thousand years ago and it is still that way today. There are still a lot of people that miss Christmas and get caught up in the worldly view of Christmas. They continue to live for themselves instead of living for Jesus.

The people that were looking forward to the coming of the Messiah were excited when they heard the good news. All of them reacted with a sense of wonder and awe that God would come and be with us. The shepherds, Simeon and Anna (Luke 2:25-38), the wise men and even the baby in Elizabeth's womb (Luke 1:39-45) were all thrilled.

Does the Messiah thrill you?

Luke 19:37-38  When He reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of His followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.  38  "Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the LORD! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!"  
God's people should get excited when they think about the birth of Jesus, we are the people that realize that we were in a desperate situation without hope, finally there is a reason to expect to have a bright future for eternity instead of the punishment that we deserve.

God's people cannot be indifferent or refuse to give Jesus control of their lives. If you are spiritually minded then you will realize that Jesus wants all of you, you cannot worship Jesus and self, you cannot worship Jesus and other things. Let's get excited and rejoice about the real reason for the Christmas season!
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