Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, and Herod all heard God’s message. So what accounted for their different reactions? Zacharias doubted, Mary and Joseph believed, and Herod rejected the message. And each of their responses had significant results.
The problem with an often-told story is trying to hear it the way it originally unfolded and affected people. The Christmas story is a prime example…familiar and predictable. But the events surrounding the birth of Jesus were anything but expected! So much so that most of the Jewish people who were eagerly waiting for their Messiah totally missed His arrival!
Insight for Living offers a number of helpful resources that can help you see the Christmas story from a fresh, new angle. See this wondrous event through the eyes of the ordinary, everyday people whom God chose to involve. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the original meaning behind it all and with a heart bursting with gratitude for the incarnation of the Son of God.
God doesn’t rush. Carefully and sovereignly He works to reveal His glory. From the morning sunrise, which slowly spreads its rays across the face of the earth, to the unfolding of His plan in each of our lives, God takes His time to achieve His will. How unlike us! We are impatient, anxious, and impulsive, wondering why things haven’t happened as quickly as we wish.
Christmases of my childhood were marked by monumental events, few more exciting than the Sunday school program, which slammed the door on three months of school and opened another on two weeks of holidays.
Hopefully we leave the event with a renewed sense of wonder, overwhelmed by the magnificence of what unfolded in Bethlehem long ago. Imagine…
The more I think about angels the more I notice how casually we refer to them. As if angels are sweet little pets or something.
Now, before you call me “Scrooge,” I suggest you return to the first century and meet a disciple of Christ who fit this category.
How easy for us to make a promise, say words of intention, yet which may only be of as much substance as the air it took to utter it. Once spoken, promises carry a weight that may be difficult to bring to full term and delivery.
Boredom is the real danger we face when we approach the Christmas story. It’s so familiar, our minds just hit the highlights, because we think we’ve already plumbed the depths of every detail. But if we could approach the nativity as if we’ve never read it before, we’d discover something new and exciting—we’d discover the birth of Jesus is a gift too wonderful for words.
Although it won't be as simple as in years past I have resolved to rid myself of my selfish attitude, only interested in what I can get out of Christmas.
If you aren’t Jewish, then you’re what the Bible calls a “Gentile.” Most folks who follow the Jewish Messiah, Jesus, are just that—Gentiles. And as Gentiles, most of us don’t always understand Jewish Scripture, the Old Testament. This is particularly true when it comes to reading the prophetic books of the Bible. However, it’s helpful to keep in mind that the Old Testament makes the first announcements of Messiah’s coming and ministry. And few prophetic books have more prophecies about Messiah Jesus than the book of Isaiah.