A season of thanksgiving
Jesus left the halls of heaven for us. And though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, that we through His poverty might become rich. Jesus not only had to come down among us, but He had to be one of us! He had to become a member of the human community.
He came as a meek and quiet, weak and helpless baby. He not only adapted Himself to our bodily form, but also conformed to the human ways of life. He was human. He got tired, He got hungry, He got weary. He was subject to all these things, even as we are, yet without sin, that He might be a good High Priest, have compassion upon us, know how we feel, know when we’re footsore and weary, know when we’ve had enough.
God sent Jesus to become a human being in order that He might better reach us with His love, communicate with us on the lowly level of our own human understanding, and have more mercy and patience with us than God Himself. Think of that!
“He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust,” (Psalm 103:14 NKJV) having worn that frame Himself, suffering in it and dying in it for our sakes. He came down here to our level that He might take us with Him back up to His. What a miracle, all for our sakes!
We thank You, Jesus, that You were born on this earth to live here for us and to die for us. You lived here like us, and suffered through all the things that we have to go through, yet You never wavered in faith.
We thank You for the greatest gift of all, Yourself. We thank You, Lord, for Your gift of love, above all other things. We thank You for Your birthday and Your life and Your death and all that went into giving us salvation and eternal life! Amen.
—David Brandt Berg
A season for praising
I have a proposal for you this Christmas season: In order to provide you with the best outlook for the season, I’m offering you Christmas praise glasses. It’ll require some effort on your part to choose to sport this trend, because you’ll have to make the effort to take out those glasses of praise and put them on, but they’ll clear your vision like no other glasses can.
When an event seems to be a little fuzzy to you, and you’re not sure you like where it’s heading, slip on these glasses of praise by lifting your voice to Me in thanksgiving for this Christmas season, and watch how your outlook will change. Your spiritual sight will be clearer, and you’ll find yourself loving the crisper vision.
Be trendy this Christmas season by sporting the versatile glasses of praise. You’ll feel more confident about yourself, experience greater clarity and perspective on all that I bring your way. My praise product line is unique and always in vogue.
I promise that with a little effort on your part you can remember this Christmas with a smile on your face for the cool things that I’ve done for you. The way to do that is by taking a little time throughout the day to send praises upward to Me. Sprinkle those words of praise throughout your day; thank Me for the goodness you experience in your life, and you can even praise Me for the dips and lows during this season and how I use them for good. When you look for the positive, you’ll be amazed at how that goodness filters through your spirit, refreshing you and changing your outlook.
You might not think that praise will be the ultimate solution to the challenges you may encounter this Christmas. But sometimes your vision is a little clouded because you haven’t donned the praise glasses available to you. They can dramatically change how you feel, and you’ll be able to see the numerous ways that I’ve enhanced this Christmas season for you.
—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
A season of reconciliation
Some years ago a popular song was the ballad, “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’Round the Old Oak Tree.” There is an old Christmas story which predates the song, but it tells of a similar homecoming.
In that tale, a young runaway boy is returning home on Christmas Eve by train. He has written ahead to tell his parents that he wants to come back, but he isn’t sure that he will be welcomed. The train runs right by the boy’s home, so he has asked his father to tie a red cloth on the big elm at the back of the farm, to signal him.
When he is yet a few miles away, the runaway shares his anxiety with an older man sitting next to him. The man says he knows the teenager will be as welcome as another young man who ran off one time. Then he tells him Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son. (See Luke 15:11–32)
Sure enough, when the train reached the old homestead, the father’s red signal was out. But instead of one banner, there were dozens of red flags waving in the wind, one from every conceivable branch, shouting the news to a runaway boy that all was forgiven at Christmas.
A season for love
Christmas is spoken of as “the season of joy” and “a time of cheer.” But as Christmas comes around, do you sometimes experience things far from joy and cheer? Do you find yourself bogged down and your days filled with busyness? Are you weary after a long year and the numerous problems and difficulties that came your way? Does Christmas seem like one more pressure, one more demand on your time?
All kinds of questions and concerns run through your head as you weave together the Christmas season’s events. Will your loved ones appreciate all that you put into making Christmas special for them? Will you be able to fulfill their expectations? Will your plans come to pass as you hope? Will this be a happy Christmas?
I want to help you experience calm and peace this Yuletide. Instead of hoping to survive the Christmas season, I’d like you to actually enjoy it! It will mean an exchange, though. You’ll have to give up something in your busy life so that you can make space for something better.
You may look at each Christmas as needing to be bigger and better than the last, and you anxiously fill up every moment making preparations toward that goal. But sometimes less is more. Have you stopped to think about whether all the running around is necessary? Is it really making your Christmas season and that of your loved ones happier? Or are you cutting out the truly important things in life in order to select the perfect gifts, arrange the decorations impeccably, and gather the most sumptuous ingredients for a dinner celebration?
The less frenzied you are about creating the “perfect” Christmas, the more time you’ll find to enjoy it. The less stressed and pressured you are, the more happiness and joy will fill the time you and your loved ones spend together.
Christmas is best enjoyed when it isn’t centered only on decorations, gifts, or festivities, but when love is at its core. Love is the essence of Christmas. Christmas is about taking quality time with your family and friends. It’s about cherishing and celebrating the love you share. Sadly, love can get lost amid the Christmas hustle and bustle.
Christmas is a time of festivities, but there’s much more to it than that. It’s a time to celebrate the greatest gift ever given to humanity. It was love for you that brought Me to earth 2,000 years ago. It was love that gave Me the impetus to walk your world and be one of you, to live and to die for you. Love was, and still is, the core of My existence. Everything I have done has been out of love for you personally, and love for humankind as a whole.
This Christmas season, take time for love.
—Jesus, speaking in prophecy
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