Posts Tagged ‘christmas tree’
[buzzsprout episode="37947" player="true"]
Today I’m going to finish our Christmas devotional. I really appreciate you following along with me. Without the decorations that adorn our Christmas trees, they would just be another pine tree. But because of the decorations, they are Christmas trees.
Without the decorations of love, grace, peace and forgiveness, the cross of Calvary would be no different from any other cross that was used to crucify criminals. But because of the person who hung on the cross and what He did for all mankind, it can change your life forever.
Many people today are satisfied to celebrate Christmas as long as Jesus remains a baby in a manger.
In an Orange County Register article titled, “Bloody Jesus In Parade Outrages Townsfolk,” it describes how a church in Illinois entered a float in their town’s Christmas parade and many were outraged because of the point it illustrated. The float featured a young man depicting the crucifixion of Jesus wearing a loin cloth and blood-like makeup all over his face and body. The pastor of the church stated, “We weren’t out there trying to stir controversy. We were out there trying to identify the whole meaning of Christmas, and the ultimate meaning is Jesus did give His life, God gave a gift.” The pastor went on to say that no one had made any complaints about the float to him or his church, but the parade coordinator said she had received plenty of complaints and stated, “I’m not saying this was an inappropriate float, but it certainly was perceived that way by a lot of people.”
If Jesus had not died on the cross of Calvary to provide love, grace, peace and forgiveness, Christmas would be meaningless. Even Christians can miss the point of the Christmas story if they aren’t careful.
The great question for us is this: Is our Christmas still only a story about a baby, or is it more, a story about a Person into whom the baby grew, who can redeem the world from it’s sins, and who calls us to have a relationship with Him.
It is only as we see the birth of Jesus in light of His crucifixion and resurrection that we are able to grasp the full meaning of Christ’s coming. If Jesus had not died on the cross and rose again, he would have been just one out of billions upon billions of babies who have ever been born. But because he died and rose from the dead, he is much more than just an ordinary child or person.
With your eyes wide open this Christmas, respond to God with love and commitment for the gift of His Son. Focus your thoughts and actions and motivations toward honoring the Baby who grew up and died for all our sins.
After all, on that first Christmas the angel did not declare, “Christ the baby is born” but rather the angel said, “Christ the Savior is born!” Jesus went from the cradle to the cross.
Thank you for following this Christmas blog and listening. I pray that you will have a wonderful Christmas this year. May God bless you.
[buzzsprout episode="37945" player="true"]
Welcome back to our Christmas devotional. There are only three days left until Christmas. No during the last few days we’ve been looking at the comparison of a Christmas tree decorated with beautiful physical ornaments to the cross of Calvary which is decorated with beautiful spiritual ornaments.
So far we have seen how God has decorated the cross with the ornaments of love and grace. Today we’re going to look at how he decorated it with the ornament of peace.
When Jesus was born, the angels in heaven sang praises to God in Luke 2:14 saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”
According to tradition, a Christmas song once brought peace to a battlefield. It happened on Christmas Eve during the Franco-German War (1870-1871) as the two sides faced each other in their trenches.
A French soldier jumped up and began singing “O Holy Night.” The surprised German soldiers did not fire. Instead, one of them stepped forward to sing “From Heaven Above To Earth I Come.”
For a brief time at least, peace on earth prevailed and goodwill was shared among men whose job it was to kill each other.
Think about the words of “O Holy Night” and see how they can bring hostilities to a end. “Long lay the world in sin and error pining.” Who knows about the world’s ills better than soldiers who are facing the consequences of war, killing, and death?
“A thrill of hope” is what those men needed in the darkness of that winter night. Hope is what “the dear Savior’s birth” provides. Because of Him the “weary world rejoices.”
Even though we may not be engaged in physical combat, we all face the battles of everyday life. We can let the peace of that holy night—the night of our dear Savior’s birth—reign in our hearts the whole year through.
Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Without first having peace with God through Jesus, we can not experience the peace of God in our hearts on a daily basis.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
It is difficult to put into words and describe the peace that a Christian has because it is a divine peace, not a worldly one.
John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
The kind of peace that people experience based upon their circumstances in life is temporary in nature at best because circumstances are always changing.
One day your life might be floating along on cloud nine and you are thinking that life couldn’t get any better. But in just a matter of seconds the bottom could fall out and your entire life could be turned upside down. That has happened to me on several occasions. How about to you?
During those times it is the peace of God that you need more than anything else. During those times it is the peace of God that remains with you when everything else has left.
That my friends is why this decoration of peace is so important.