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Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Baby Jesus is God's Gift to Us

The Baby Jesus is God’s Gift to Us

God has given us many gifts, but the most precious gift He gives us is Jesus Christ.  Along with the gift of Jesus comes the gift of God’s presence.  The gift that God is with us.  That we are never alone! The gift of God’s presence is a gift that we really must open.  It is too valuable to leave  on the shelf.   The baby Jesus was given many names.  And names have meaning.  One of the names Jesus was given was the name, “Emmanuel” (Isaiah 7:14) And the name Emmanuel means “God with us.”

All through the Bible we see God’s presence with His people.  We see His presence with Abraham and Sarah as He led to their new promised land and protected them from harm.  We see God’s presence with the Israelites as He led them across the wilderness and fed them manna in the desert.  And if we want Him we can feel God’s presence with us too.

Sometimes we wrestle with God’s presence.  We wonder where He is when things go wrong.  But He is still there taking care of us in ways we do not yet see.  Our call now is to trust Him even when we don’t understand. When we pass from death to eternal life we may see the whole picture then. God helps us cope.  He gives us strength.  Scripture promises: “Fear not for I am with you, be not afraid for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with the right hand of My righteousness.”  (Isaiah 41:10)

Jesus ‘Spirit, the Holy Spirit, is also the Spirit of peace.  The dove, which represents peace, is one of the signs of the Holy Spirit.  And one of Jesus ’names is the “Prince of Peace.”  When we open our lives to Jesus, God’s gift to us, we will soon find ourselves being led in the paths that lead to peace because His Spirit leads us into peace.

  Jesus tells us, his followers, to love our enemies.  To do good to the people that are doing us harm.  Here is what Jesus said: “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons and daughters of your Father in heaven. “(Matthew 5:44) We need His supernatural power to obey this command.

I have someone in my life who tells lies about me and I feel I must stand up for my reputation and put this person down.  But the Lord speaks to my heart and tells me to love this person and let Him take care of my reputation.  He, with His love, can do this difficult job so much better than I could with my hate.  I fall down and get up and fall down again. You may have similar problems along your way.  But the Lord always leads us in the ways of peace and love.    

Jesus also tells us not to judge others.  Here is what He says: “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  (Matthew 7:1-2)

And Jesus tells us to forgive. Again, here are His words: “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  (Matthew 6:14-15)

These commands are difficult to follow, but the Holy Spirit will help us and forgive us when we mess up.  You can see that when we get serious and open ourselves to Jesus and His Spirit, we are opening ourselves to a radical change.     

We have God’s presence with us through the Holy Spirit living in us.  When we believe in Jesus He gives us His Spirit.  And Scripture tells us that the Holy Spirit is our guarantee of our eternal life.  “The Spirit is the guarantee or (down payment) of our inheritance in anticipation of its full redemption and our acquiring possession of it, to the praise of His glory.”  (Ephesians 1:14)  When we feel the still small Voice guiding or teaching or comforting us, this Voice inside our heart is the Holy Spirit.  He comes along side of us.  What a great blessing we have! 

This truth is so precious that we need to guard and keep our faith strong and not let it slip away or be watered down. (2 Timothy 1:14) There are heresies and false teachings everywhere.  Satan will try to undermine your faith in Jesus - the Truth that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

 Stay true to Jesus and don’t listen to false teachings. Build up your precious faith by studying the Bible, the Word of God.  Pray and listen for the Lord’s Voice and fellowship with other Christians. The Holy Spirit is in you to help you maintain your faith in Jesus as Son of God and Savior.  Welcome the Spirit into every facet of your life.  Let Him be the divine Helper to you that He wants to be and you will experience abundant blessings, peace and joy, and a greater closeness with God. 

Some of this blog was taken from Joyce Meyer’s book “Knowing God Intimately” Chapter 17, “The Wonder of It All!”        

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