20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.
21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us).
- Matthew 1:20-23
These are some of the most amazing verses in the Bible. In a few short sentences, we learn some amazing things about God’s love for the world:
* Through the power of Almighty God, a virgin will give birth to a son.
* This miraculous child will save his people from their sins.
* God will dwell with humanity through the birth of a child.
This is shocking because no other God has the power to cause a virgin birth. No other God has made the “first move” to save people from their sin. And no other God has loved humanity like our God.
In response to Jesus’ birth, we should be inspired to worship. We haven’t created our own salvation or found a way to stop sinning, so Christmas should remind us about how small we really are. All we can do is receive the amazing grace that God offers to us through Jesus Christ. God alone deserves the glory! None of our efforts can contribute anything more to what God has already done through Christ.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for making us Your people and for saving us from our sins. We are amazed that You came to rescue us. Even your name reminds us of your forgiveness. We can never fully express our gratitude for what You have done for us, and we ask that You will continue to save us from the evil that surrounds us.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
- Isaiah 7:14
Despite all of the problems that humanity faces on earth, God has promised to deliver His people. This promise was originally given to the Israelites, but He also promises to deliver us today. A loving God would never allow His people to be defeated.
Because life can seem hopeless at times, God also promised a visible sign of His deliverance, so that no one would miss it. The sign was simple, yet unmistakable: a young woman would give birth to a unique child that would bring God’s presence near closer to us. This prophecy was ultimately fulfilled when Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ, the son of God.
The significance of God’s promise is real and tangible. Today, no matter what problem we may face, we can know that God is with us! We do not need to doubt whether God will save us from our problems, but we can look to His promise of His Son. God has entered our world, and we are no longer alone. Even when others leave us, God is with us!
Prayer: Lord, please deliver us from the evil in our lives. Only you can save us from the problems of this world, and we thank you for sending Jesus Christ, so that we know You have not forgotten us. This Christmas, no matter what may we face, we believe and confide in You for our deliverance.
“In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his resting place will be glorious.”
- Isaiah 11:10
Isaiah’s prophesied to the people of God that a Savior was coming. Through an heir of Jesse, people from all nations would be saved. This was a message of great hope, and hundreds of years later, the people of God would see that the “banner for the peoples” was Jesus Christ.
By taking on human flesh, Jesus displayed to the world who God truly is. Jesus proclaimed rescue and safety for all those who come to Him, and He offered rest to the weary. For anyone that unites with Him, Christ offers spiritual peace by reconciling us to God. Jesus alone can provide the rest that we all long for.
The birth of Christ is a reminder God rules over all of creation. With foresight and divine control, God set His intent into motion hundreds of years before Jesus’ birth. Sovereign over all things, God knew far beyond what any human being could predict, for only God knows what the future holds. Nothing in human history is a surprise to God.
For us today, this is incredible news. Because the prophecies of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ, we can find great peace and comfort in the fact that God knows all things, and He is more than capable of taking care of us in our time of need.
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your sovereign will. Our plans shift, change, and fail, but yours remain forever. Thank you for your gift of salvation and for sending Jesus to be a banner for all the nations. This year, may Christmas be more than an American holiday, but may it be a reminder for us that you desire to save all kinds of people, from every nation. We acknowledge and believe that you alone are the world’s source of comfort and peace.
14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.
15 I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”
Thousands of years beforehand, God planned Jesus’ birth.
God’s plan was not to make everyone wealthy or to give us political victory, but to save the world from sin. Adam and Eve fell short of God’s glory by sinning against Almighty God, just as we have all sinned. Yet in the midst of our sin, God promised that He would provide a Savior to save us from our sins.
As early as Genesis 3, God explained what his plan would be: He would provide an offspring of Eve to overcome the devil. This incredible promise, following Adam and Eve’s sin, was revealed to us in Jesus Christ. All of humanity longed for this long-awaited Savior to defeat the deceiver, and with Christ’s birth, God fulfilled His promise to save His people from their sins.
Prayer: Lord, help us to remember the true meaning of Christmas this year. With all of the hustle and bustle that surrounds us, please help us to remember your incredible promise to save the world. This Christmas, help us to look beyond ourselves and to recognize the victory that only comes through Jesus Christ. Amen.