Unwrapping Christmas • Hope – 12/25/22

Are you missing the wonder and joy of Christmas because you are too busy, stressed and distracted? Take a breath and remember why we’re celebrating. The wonder is found in the manger, in Jesus. When you kneel at the manger you find joy, hope, peace, and love…you find Jesus! Jesus’s birth changed everything. Without Jesus there is no Christmas! Jesus is the greatest gift ever given and the greatest gift you’ll ever receive.

Scriptures – Luke 2:10-12; Matthew 1:21-23; Ephesians 3:20; Hebrews 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:20; Romans 5:3-4; John 3:16

Verse – “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Mt 1:21-23) He is the reflection of God’s glory and the exact imprint of God’s very being,… (He 1:3)

Thought – When you really look in the manger you find a Mighty God. This is surprising because you don’t think of might and power when you see a baby. But Jesus was the greatest power to ever come into this world. We all need some extra strength, power for the battles we are facing. God made his power available through Jesus. But, you can’t have power if you don’t stay charged. Your phone needs frequent charging, your soul does also. You must stay connected, plugged into God on a daily basis. When you look in the manger you experience God’s glory. The God who created everything, who spoke everything into existence became a baby. He who was not confined by time or space came to earth in human form. It’s hard to grasp why he would do this. But the reason is love. He came to show us that he understands what it’s like to live in this world to be tired, suffer pain, be hurt, betrayed and be human. He is Immanuel, which means God with us! He wants to walk beside you, guide you, offer counsel, direction and hope. He is available, but it’s up to you. That baby in the manger was the imprint of God’s very being. God is the Everlasting Father. When you put your hope in an eternal God, it’s more than a wish, it’s a certain hope! In Jesus all God’s promises are available to us. So when you see no hope and problems are crowding in, don’t run, recognize that you have someone to hope in, a Mighty God, Immanuel. In Romans 5:3-4 we read that trials teach us patience and develop strength of character. As we trust God more our hope and faith  grow strong and steady. So why did God come to earth as a babe in a manger? Love is the reason! John 3:16 says he sent Jesus so that we can be saved from sin and eternal death. In the manger, we find hope, peace and purpose!

Questions – What is the toughest battle you are facing right now? Are you staying connected to God, powering up on a daily basis? Explain. In what worldly things do you find power? Where do you need hope this Christmas? Who do you know that needs some good news? How can you share Christ’s love with them?

Response – Power up. Stay charged. Give your battles to God. Take time to glorify the King of King and Lord of Lords who came to earth as a baby in a manger. Be thankful. Worship. Share joy this Christmas.

Prayer – Dear Lord, I want to know the wonder of Jesus’ birth. Help my heart to be open to the work you want to do in me this Christmas. Thank you for your gift of love and hope and for the peace you bring. In Jesus’ Name I pray amen.

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