Every year at our Carols, Candlelight & Communion service at Rhema Bible Church, I read the story of Jesus’ birth. When I was four years of age, my aunt took a special interest in me. She had no children of her own, but she loved to teach children God’s Word.
Aunt Oma compiled the Christmas story from Matthew and Luke and took me to her house every weekend to memorize it. At our church Christmas program that year, I recited the story by memory. Those scriptures are still alive in my spirit after all of these years.
As I was preparing to write this column for December, I was alerted in my spirit to look at those scriptures. I encourage you to read both accounts of Jesus’ birth in Matthew chapter 2 and Luke chapter 2. For lack of space, I want to bring your attention to several of the verses.
Matthew 2:7–10: “Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.”
The word joy jumped out at me. Over the past 18 months, it appears that people have not experienced a lot of joy. Circumstances and situations have sapped a lot of joy out of our lives. Sometimes you don’t realize how much even small things in the natural can sap your joy.
Draw strength from the joy of the Lord during the difficult times you may encounter during this Christmas season.
News broadcasters are already warning that you had better buy your Christmas presents early because of a shortage of supplies. I encourage you not to let that sap your joy. Nehemiah 8:10 states, “For the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Draw strength from the joy of the Lord during the difficult times you may encounter during this Christmas season.
Another portion of the Christmas story that jumped out at me is Luke 2:8–11. “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”
The word fear became emphasized to me. Many people have been gripped with fear these last 18 months. Fear of Covid, fear of loved ones getting sick, fear of dying, fear of jobs, and fear of even finding supplies.
Fear brings torment. Fear and faith cannot dwell together. If you are in fear, you are not in faith. The enemy loves to taunt our minds with fear. Many scriptures begin with “fear not.”
Once again, I encourage you to allow faith to be the dominating factor in your life. You can have faith that God will see you through any circumstance that may come your way. Isaiah 41:13 (NLT) says, “For I hold you by your right hand—I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’ ” When you allow God to be the captain of your ship, you do not have to be afraid.
The last verses that seemed to be highlighted in my spirit were Luke 2:13–14, “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
The word peace stuck out to me. We have had many opportunities to be out of peace. I love Isaiah 26:3 and quote it often, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.”
It is important to keep your thoughts on the Lord and place your trust in Him. And finally, it is important to live in peace with others. Hebrews 12:14 (NLT) admonishes us to “Work at living in peace with everyone.”
One of Satan’s crafty tricks is to keep Christians out of unity. When we unite together great things can be accomplished for the Lord in these last days.
Have a Merry Christmas! And do not allow the enemy to paralyze you with fear, but let joy and peace reign in your life.
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