For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
We see this example once again here:
22 Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am,” he replied.
2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.
15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[all nations on earth will be blessed, because you have obeyed me.”
We both agreed this is the true spirit behind the Christmas season, being willing to sacrifice your most precious and loved child that others lives might come to have life more abundantly.Every year our family read the story of Christ's birth at Christmas time. It's been a family tradition for as long as Mom and Dad have been together.
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about:
His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus because he will save his people from their sins."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."
When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife.
But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
This is a perfect example of God using the everyday people of this earth to bring about the incredible and extraordinary Abraham's faith in believing God would provide a sacrifice in place of his son, and his obedience solidified God's promise that all nations would be blessed by His saving grace and His willingness to sacrifice His only Son Jesus Christ; that we all might experience the blessings of His transforming love through Abraham and his descendants, as well as Mary and Joseph's great faith in trusting that God was going to accomplish something greater in the sacrifice of His and their son Jesus.
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
(1)"We live in a world full of God’s blessings, which can include unparalleled freedom and even great material wealth. As we enjoy these blessings, we often forget the value of Jesus Christ in our lives. It’s easy to think we are self-reliant in meeting our needs and living the “good life.”
Yet I want to encourage us today to return to our first love this holiday season. Perhaps we need a gentle reminder as we enter this month of December to try not to get so busy we forget to worship the One the season is about. Give God the worship that is due Him. Knowing the story of Jesus Christ is not nearly as important as discovering how that story can, and has, transformed our lives. I want to focus on thanking God and praising Him for all He’s done. Let’s all worship Him with our whole being this Christmas. He is worthy of the praises of His people. He deserves our heartfelt worship.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus Christ, to come in order that He might provide the pathway to You, for me and all those who trust in Him. Thank You for the multitude of blessings You have given to me over the course of my life. Please gently nudge me and remind me if I start to get so busy that I forgot to honor and worship You with my thoughts, words or actions. You are the reason for the focus of this season, and I want to remember that throughout this month. I worship You, Lord, for You are holy, powerful, restoring and the source of my very life. In Jesus’ Name, Amen".
Wishing you all the Love, Peace and Joy of Christ that lasts you all year long.
Molly and my Mom
(1) Proverbs 31 Ministries Dec. 5, 2018 Too Busy to Worship Dr. Tony Evans
We loved this A capella version of Mary Did You Know