3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.” – John 3:3 NLT
A star will rise from Jacob; a scepter will emerge from Israel.
So, we see that while the priesthood of the Levites was established by the law, the priesthood of Jesus was established through the power of an indestructible life that could only be from the Creator. It was decided before the earth was formed. Jesus would be the final and perfect blood sacrifice for all the sin of the world. He was not, can not, and will not be destroyed or defeated. What Adam gave up in Eden, Jesus took back with His death and resurrection.
Now, we celebrate His birth, but that truly was just the beginning!
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
65 Awe fell upon the whole neighborhood, and the news of what had happened spread throughout the Judean hills. 66 Everyone who heard about it reflected on these events and asked, “What will this child turn out to be?” For the hand of the Lord was surely upon him in a special way. — Luke 1:65, 66 NLT
In its own way, every birth is a miracle and every child has a special purpose in life. God has a plan for every life and every one has been given a particular gift to accomplish that purpose. Not all of us will be involved in what we call “fulltime” ministries, but all of us are involved in full time witnessing for the Lord. Every word and every action reflects positively or negatively on the Kingdom of God. What is our lifestyle today telling people about Jesus and His Kingdom? If someone observed us for a month, what do you think they would say about what we think is important? Does our attitude and our demeanor tell others that we live in fear or that we have faith in a God who can and does do the impossible?
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT
No army, no weapons, no royal garments, no worldwide proclamations, an announcement made to shepherds in a field. Just a poor couple in a lowly situation giving birth to a baby. Nothing unusual going on here, happens all the time. And, yet, this is how God’s plan began to unfold. Although it was well documented in the Old Testament, few chose to believe the prophecies, Because they refused to believe, this event came like a sneak attack in the midnight hours, in the most unlikely of places. No army, just one person and that person was a baby. No wonder, the enemy never saw it coming. How could anyone know that it was God Himself? His redemption plan required Him to become flesh with real blood flowing through His veins. That blood would have to be shed to fulfill the law and redeem us from our sinful state. It would be years later before the world realized what had taken place then and who arrived on the scene that night.
13 Then Isaiah said, “Hear now, you house of David! Is it not enough to try the patience of humans? Will you try the patience of my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. — Isaiah 7:13, 14 NIV
Why your joyous strains prolong
Say what may these tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Gloria, in excelsis Deo
Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing
Come adore on bended knee
Christ the Lord, the new born King
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. —– 1 Peter 1:3-5 NIV
22 It is the same with you. Now you are sad, but I will see you again and you will be happy, and no one will take away your joy. 23 In that day you will not ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you anything you ask for in my name. 24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, so that your joy will be the fullest possible joy.—John 16:20-24 (NCV)
From desperation to delight, a part of the journey that most, if not all, of us must go through on our way to heaven. It’s that part of the journey we would like to skip, but God doesn’t allow any shortcuts. It is in those times that we learn where our true allegiance is. The disciples had been on a mountain top experience while they were walking with Jesus, but now they were in the valley. But as the McKameys sing’ “the God on the mountain is still God in the valley”. At this point in time, the disciples didn’t have the luxury of looking at the cross from the resurrection side. Those three days would seem like a lifetime to them. Jesus knew this and encouraged them to be faithful. Ask the Father in my name and He will fill you with joy, the fullest, possible joy.
13 Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.–Romans 15:13 (NASB)
2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.–Luke 24:2-7 (NRSV)
The swaddling cloths are gone! The burial cloths are laid aside! Now, we see the real gift, unwrapped and resurrected! Now, we can understand the reason for the celebration of His birth. A birth that would have gone unnoticed if not for His death and Resurrection. Unto us a Son is given, a Son who was obedient unto death on a cross that you and I might have eternal life. He was born in a lowly station of life, but now He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords with total authority over all creation. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord! rejoice, for He is risen!