Joseph’s Christmas Present to Mary…and to Himself

Joseph often gets sort of lost in the Christmas story.  I suppose most dads get sort of lost in the “birth narrative”.  All of my children are adopted so I’ve never had the privilege of seeing a child born or being with my wife as a child was born…but I think I’ve spoken to enough men about the process to know that it is definitely “not about them”.  So it is with Joseph.  He sort of gets lost in the shuffle of stars and shepherds and wise men and of course, Mary.   Yet Joseph really shines in the Christmas story […]

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A Christmas Prophecy…about John

Often when parents have a new baby, “prophecy” is made about the child.  Not really in the biblical term of the word but people will often say, “He looks just like…..” or “I hope he/she grows up to be a …..”  It is natural for us to “look” into the future and make pronouncements.  But these kind of pronouncements are just products of our own, human imagination.  But that’s not the case here.  Here, Zacharias is given a prophecy from God about his son, John.  Here it is: 67 Now his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, […]

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The Preparation Before Christmas Is Almost Done

Most of us parents have been up late at night preparing for Christmas morning.  That preparation might include wrapping or assembling or scrambling around the house trying to find batteries or Scotch tape.  There is a lot of preparation before Christmas morning.  God rarely bursts into this world without preparation.  Certainly the birth of Jesus is God “bursting” into this world but this did not happen without some preparation.  We do have prophecy in the Old Testament which told of Jesus’ birth, but very few people understood it, or those who knew it, misapplied or misunderstood it. The Christmas story […]

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A Dose of Christmas Humility

At the end of Luke’s narrative about Mary’s visit to Elizabeth we have these wonderful verses where Mary praises God.  I want you to see the humility in Mary’s voice and in her words. 46 And Mary said:  “My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 48 For He has regarded the lowly state of His maidservant;
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.  49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His name.  50 And His mercy is on those who fear Him
From generation to generation.  51 He has shown […]

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Elizabeth’s Encouraging Christmas

Our God is really awesome.  We’ve already seen how God moved in the lives of Zacharias and Elizabeth to conceive John the Baptist.  John the Baptist is going to prepare the way for Jesus’ public ministry.   God uses a relative of Mary, Elizabeth, to bring John into the world.  How cool is this?  Imagine Mary, having just heard this incredible announcement from the angel.  She has to be excited, confused and scared, all in the same moment, plus having to deal with hormonal changes!!!  Let’s read Luke 1:39-45 39 Now Mary arose in those days and went into the hill country […]

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A Very “Mary” Christmas

Today’s journey through the Christmas story finds us in Luke 1:26-38.  Let’s read this together:  26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”  29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel […]

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What Does It Take To Get An Angel’s Visit?

Angels are often thought of at this time of year.  An angel visits Mary.  An angel visits Joseph.  Angels announce the birth of Jesus to the shepherds.  This is a time when angels get a lot of publicity.  Would you like to have a visit from an angel?  I admit that it sounds like it would be pretty cool.  I think angel visits are pretty rare.  I think they are fairly well occupied in the heavenly realm worshipping God.  However, there are times when they enter our realm and visit.  However, angels in the Bible usually visit people who are […]

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Blessing Before the Christmas Story

Some of the greatest blessings of the Christmas season occur before Christmas day.  The parties and the traveling and the Christmas caroling are all fun and exciting and they all happen before Christmas day.  In the Bible, there are some really incredible things that happen before the manger ever enters into the picture.  One of those incredible things is the birth of John the Baptist.  In Luke 1 we read about some amazing circumstances surrounding John’s birth.  Though John doesn’t have an immaculate conception, he has a pretty miraculous conception.  We read part of the story beginning in verse 5: […]

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Jesus and Santa Claus are NOT the Same!

Now we’ll begin a closer look at the Christmas story as we spend this time of year focusing on the birth of Jesus.  Most of the Christmas story is contained in Luke’s gospel.  It is Luke’s gospel where we begin, just a little earlier than you might expect.  Let’s begin with the beginning of the gospel of Luke, chapter 1 verses 1-4: Inasmuch as many have taken in hand to set in order a narrative of those things which have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word delivered them […]

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Christmas Starts in Genesis

I apologize for not posting anything the past two days.  I guess I just didn’t have anything to say….I know, that is very hard to believe isn’t it? This morning I’d like to start a series of Christmas devotionals running through…well….Christmas.  I always like to read through the Christmas story at this time of year and if you join with me, we’ll walk through the journey together.  I’m always anxious to read any comments you have…I think it adds to the entire process of doing this together.  Before we get to the New Testament Christmas story, I wanted to begin […]

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