Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Light

Our family attended the 6:00 p.m. Christmas Eve service at New Venture Christian Fellowship. Pastor Shawn delivered a great message! Here is a summary.

Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!


Christmas Light For Life's Dark Days

"Jesus said, I have come as a Light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in me will no longer wander in darkness." John 12:46 (NLT)

Light is a constant subject in the Bible.

Genesis 1:3 - And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (KJV)

John 8:12 - Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. (KJV)

Psalm 27:1 - [[[A Psalm] of David.]] The LORD [is] my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD [is] the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (KJV)

John 12:46 - I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. (KJV)

Text: Luke 2:1-20

Christ Born of Mary

(Matt. 1:18-25)

2 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed *wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

Glory in the Highest

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And *behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made *widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

Jesus is the Light of the world. What does "light" do? It illuminates, warms, directs, comforts, and builds confidence.

Jesus came so that man will no longer walk in darkness. God's promises in Scripture tell us that when we belong to Jesus, there is no need for fear. Why? Because when we are born again, the Spirit of God lives in our hearts and no one can snatch us out of His hands!

1 John 4:4 - Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. (KJV)

Our fate is guaranteed!

Hebrews 13:5 - [Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. (KJV)


However, when dark days come as they inevitably will in this fallen world, it can lead to days of...

"I hoped for happiness and light, but trouble and darkness came instead." Job 30:26

"I have cried desperately for help, but still it does not come." Psalm 22:1

"The one who walks in the dark does not know where he is going." John 12:35

"The thought of my bitter poison. I think of it constantly, and my spirit is depressed." Lam. 3:19,20

"...There is darkness everywhere." Psalm 88:16


1. He encourages me.
"The Lord is near to those who are discouraged; He sees those who have lost all hope." Psalm 34:18

"The plans I have for you, says the Lord, are plans to prosper you, not to harm give you hope and a future." Jer. 29:11

Make the past a guiding post, not a hitching post! Don't stay there!

2. He strengthens me.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Phil. 4:13

"Even though I go through the deepest darkness, I will not be afraid, for you are with me." Psalm 23:4

3. He guides me.

"Jesus said, I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in darkness, but will have the Light of life." John 8:12

"Your Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

4. He accepts me.

Jesus invites each one of us to come as we are...but He doesn't leave us there! His invitation to receive forgiveness of sin through repentance allows the light of salvation to enter our souls!

"The light produces in people all that is good and right and true." Eph. 5:9

"...the darkness in our lives disappears and the new light of life in Christ shines in." 1 John 2:8


Susan Smith said...

This is a beautiful and uplifting post for Christmas, Christine. Thank you.

Merry Christmas from the Holy Land. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Hi Susan,

It's Christmas morning here in the West Coast! My husband and I have the fireplace burning, the Christmas music playing and the presents are under the tree. We are waiting for our kids and guests to awaken!

Yes. The service was absolutely beautiful! There were dozens of candalabras across the front of the sanctuary. Pretty poinsettias decorated the staging area. Beautiful Christmas songs were sung by the chorus and the congregation joined in. On either side of the staging area, there were large letters of light which read, "Jesus is the Light of the world." The message was, indeed uplifting. That's what Jesus does in the life of every believer!

Merry Christmas, my friend in the Holy Land!


Susan Smith said...

Thank you, Christine. It is 7 a.m. Monday and Christmas Day is over for 2005 in Israel. It is 9 p.m. Sunday, your time. The first candle for the 8-day celebration of Hanukkah was burning last night in the homes of many Jewish people.

Though light snow was forecast for Jerusalem on Christmas, I did not see any flakes. We have had continuous rain and it is cold here.

Thank you for describing your church service. I feel as though I was almost there with your excellent words. Bless you, my friend, as you prepare for the New Year this week. I am expecting your "best post ever" on 31December. Love to the West Coast from the City of God. (ss)

Christinewjc said...

Susan: "I am expecting your "best post ever" on 31December."

Wow! The pressure is on! j/k! I will need to give great thought about my New Year's post!

Happy day after Christmas!

Susan Smith said...

Know you are being praying for from the City of our King. He will give you the words. (ss:)

The Conservative UAW Guy said...

You have a blessed and merry Christmas too, Christine! :)

Thanks for stopping by!