Dear Fellow Disciple-Maker,
At Christmas time, people go places. They often go to see relatives. They also go to parties, friends' houses, and church services. This Christmas I want to encourage you to go to Bethlehem. That's what a group of lowly shepherds did on the very first Christmas. After the angels announced Jesus' birth, these shepherds said, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us" (Luke 2:15).
Now it's our turn to go to Bethlehem and see with fresh eyes the One who miraculously came from heaven to earth to save us from our sins. As the Scriptures foretold, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given" (Isaiah 9:6). Jesus is God become man. He was given to us. Let us open our hearts to adore and admire.
When we take a closer look at the miraculous birth of Jesus, we notice some important spiritual truths. First, we notice His miraculous conception. It was a thing unheard of before, and unparalleled since, that a virgin should conceive and bear a son. Our Savior, although truly man, was also fully God. The Son of God became a man to enable men to become sons of God. Let us thank God for this undeserved gift and pray that the nature of His Son may be formed in us.
Second, we notice the humility of his earthly parents. His mother was described simply as "a virgin," not a princess, a queen, or an empress of a large estate. Yes the child within her womb was from the Spirit of God, but her status and position was humble and lowly.
Joseph were not rich and thus Jesus ended up being born in a manger (a feeding
trough for animals) – hardly a desirable setting. Nevertheless, God humbles the
proud and exalts the humble. They were the chosen by the Lord and they took up
their part in the storyline of God.
God with Us
Finally, the coming of the promised Messiah means that we are not alone. His name means God with us. "Behold, the Virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel" - which means, God with us (Matthew 1:22-23). God is with us and understands every challenge we face. God is with us in our lifework, our disappointments, and even in our death. And because he is with us now, we shall someday be with him forever. It all began in Bethlehem. Come and see for yourself.
Author:Paul Schlieker www.bible-study-lesson-plans.com
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