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One Week Of Fasting For Our Lords Birthday

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Brothers and Sisters

I would like to invite anyone who would care to join me in a week long Christmas Fast to celebrate the birth of our Saviour.

It will involve eating only one meal per day and fasting from the other two meals in your day. I would suggest eating a good healthy breakfast as your one meal.

I will be beginning on Monday morning and continuing through to the following Monday.

I would love others to join me, so we could encourage each other and pray together and most of all to make this small sacrifice and spend our time, celebrating the upcoming birthday of our Saviour Jesus Christ.

God Bless and Much Love to All
 
Member
What a wonderful idea sister, i have been thinnking about fasting but find it hard to do sometimes on my own, maybe we should start a thread and track our progress to make us accountable during that week.

In Christ,

NC
 
Member
I think it is wonderful how much everyone loves Jesus, thinks of Jesus, and is so mindful of being a better person around Christmas time. It is a season of love and giving.

However, the Bible teaches that as Christians we are to have this spirit year round. I see so many "Christians" who only go to church or think about treating ppl well or giving only at Christmas or Easter.

Let us remember our Lord each day as many only do about 2 times each year. We should be just as mindful of Jesus and His teachings every single day as we are at Christmas time. What a better world we would live in if the Christmas spirit was a year long thing.
 
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I would like to post a devotional for each day of the fast within the lounge, please all free welcome to post also, so we may encourage one another in pray and also Praise our Lord together.

I will be posting the first devotional tommorow so please brothers and sisters feel free to join us.

NC thank you for joining me


God Bless All
 
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Thankl you for the wonderful idea, I look forward to your devotional and starting this journey.

In Christ,

NC
 
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Day One

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily.

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.

And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.
 
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Almost 5 Pm here and I have not eaten yet, planning on dinner at 7. I have had some wonderful time with the Lord today, how is everyone else doing?

NC
 
Member
Day Two

Some of My Favourite i thought i would share

Psalm 18 (King James Version)

Psalm 18
1I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.

2The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.

3I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies.

4The sorrows of death compassed me, and the floods of ungodly men made me afraid.

5The sorrows of hell compassed me about: the snares of death prevented me.

6In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.

7Then the earth shook and trembled; the foundations also of the hills moved and were shaken, because he was wroth.

8There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth devoured: coals were kindled by it.

9He bowed the heavens also, and came down: and darkness was under his feet.

10And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: yea, he did fly upon the wings of the wind.

11He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.

12At the brightness that was before him his thick clouds passed, hail stones and coals of fire.

13The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Highest gave his voice; hail stones and coals of fire.

14Yea, he sent out his arrows, and scattered them; and he shot out lightnings, and discomfited them.

15Then the channels of waters were seen, and the foundations of the world were discovered at thy rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of thy nostrils.

16He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.

17He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me: for they were too strong for me.

18They prevented me in the day of my calamity: but the LORD was my stay.

19He brought me forth also into a large place; he delivered me, because he delighted in me.

20The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands hath he recompensed me.

21For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.

22For all his judgments were before me, and I did not put away his statutes from me.

23I was also upright before him, and I kept myself from mine iniquity.

24Therefore hath the LORD recompensed me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his eyesight.

25With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;

26With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

27For thou wilt save the afflicted people; but wilt bring down high looks.

28For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.

29For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.

30As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

31For who is God save the LORD? or who is a rock save our God?

32It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.

33He maketh my feet like hinds' feet, and setteth me upon my high places.

34He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.

35Thou hast also given me the shield of thy salvation: and thy right hand hath holden me up, and thy gentleness hath made me great.

36Thou hast enlarged my steps under me, that my feet did not slip.

37I have pursued mine enemies, and overtaken them: neither did I turn again till they were consumed.

38I have wounded them that they were not able to rise: they are fallen under my feet.

39For thou hast girded me with strength unto the battle: thou hast subdued under me those that rose up against me.

40Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies; that I might destroy them that hate me.

41They cried, but there was none to save them: even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.

42Then did I beat them small as the dust before the wind: I did cast them out as the dirt in the streets.

43Thou hast delivered me from the strivings of the people; and thou hast made me the head of the heathen: a people whom I have not known shall serve me.

44As soon as they hear of me, they shall obey me: the strangers shall submit themselves unto me.

45The strangers shall fade away, and be afraid out of their close places.

46The LORD liveth; and blessed be my rock; and let the God of my salvation be exalted.

47It is God that avengeth me, and subdueth the people under me.

48He delivereth me from mine enemies: yea, thou liftest me up above those that rise up against me: thou hast delivered me from the violent man.

49Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name.

50Great deliverance giveth he to his king; and sheweth mercy to his anointed, to David, and to his seed for evermore.


Psalm 23 (King James Version)

Psalm 23

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.



Matthew 3 (King James Version)

Matthew 3
1In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,

2And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

3For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

4And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.

5Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,

6And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.

7But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

9And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

10And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

11I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance. but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:

12Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

13Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.

14But John forbad him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?

15And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him.

16And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:

17And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.--- WOW WOW
 
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Day Three

My reading for today.

KJV

  • Mark 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
  • Mar 15:16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.
  • Mar 15:17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
  • Mar 15:18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
  • Mar 15:19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
  • Mar 15:20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
  • Mar 15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
  • Mar 15:22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
  • Mar 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
  • Mar 15:24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
  • Mar 15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
  • Mar 15:26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
  • Mar 15:27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
  • Mar 15:28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
  • Mar 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
  • Mar 15:30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
  • Mar 15:31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
  • Mar 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
  • Mar 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
  • Mar 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
  • Mar 15:35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
  • Mar 15:36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
  • Mar 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
  • Mar 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
  • Mar 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
  • Mar 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
  • Mar 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
  • Mar 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
  • Mar 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
  • Mar 15:44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
  • Mar 15:45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
  • Mar 15:46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
  • Mar 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
  • Mar 16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
  • Mar 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
  • Mar 16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
  • Mar 16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
  • Mar 16:5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
  • Mar 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
  • Mar 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
  • Mar 16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
  • Mar 16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
  • Mar 16:10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
  • Mar 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
  • Mar 16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
  • Mar 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
  • Mar 16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
  • Mar 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
  • Mar 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
  • Mar 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
  • Mar 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
  • Mar 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
  • Mar 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
 
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Day Four

All is going well brother and hows your fast going?

Some days i enjoy reading stories from my daughters bible so today i thought i would share some with you all.

The Birth Of Jesus

The virgin Mary lived in the city of Nazareth. One day when she was alone, Angel Gabriel appeared to her and told her, “Don’t be afraid. God has chosen you. You shall have a son, and you shall call Him Jesus. He shall be great and shall be called the Son of God”. Mary was very happy with the news given to her by the angel.

Joseph the carpenter and his wife Mary went on a journey. When they arrived at Bethlehem in the evening, Joseph wanted to find a comfortable place for his wife Mary who needed to rest and who was awaiting the birth of her promised Son. The only place they found was a stable with camels, donkeys and sheep. It was a quite night. Soon after midnight, Jesus was born under the clear sky of Bethlehem.

After His birth, the angels were singing in the sky, which was lit by the light of heaven. Nearby there was a group of shepherds. An angel appeared to them and announced to them the birth of Jesus Christ. The angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you great news. Today was born a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”, and the angel showed the shepherds where the newborn baby was. The shepherds rushed to the stable to see the newborn baby. After seeing Him, the shepherds left the stable. They praised God and told everybody what they saw on this first Christmas morning.

Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem to present baby Jesus to God in the Temple. As they were there, they were approached by an old man, who was known to be always watching and praying for the coming of the Messiah. The old man whose name was Simeon, took baby Jesus in his arms. As he looked at the baby’s face he knew at once that his prayers were answered. He said, “Oh Lord, my eyes have seen your salvation”.

A few months later, three old men came to Jerusalem with their servants. The old men were asking, “Where is he who was born King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the East and have come here to worship him “. Herod the king of Judea was troubled by these events and brought the three wise men to his palace. He asked them about the star the have seen and about the King they were looking for. The three wise men who spent many years studying the stars explained to King Herod about the star which they saw, and that it means the birth of the King of the Jews.


King Herod ordered the three old men to go to Bethlehem and bring him baby Jesus, King of the Jews. “Go to Bethlehem and bring me the child so that I can also worship him”. King Herod’s intention was however not to worship but to kill baby Jesus. The three men went to Bethlehem and found baby Jesus. They kneeled before the child and offered gifts to him. When they left Bethlehem, they did not go back to Jerusalem because god warned them in a dream about king Herod’s bad intention. King Herod was very angry so he ordered that every baby boy in Bethlehem should be killed. God spoke to Joseph in a dream that night and told him to take Mary and the child to Egypt where it is safe. At dawn, Joseph and Mary along with baby Jesus left Bethlehem and went south towards Egypt.


Jesus and The Last Supper

Jesus Christ performed many wonderful miracles. He healed the sick and raised the dead as he went about different towns and villages. Many people believed in Him and followed Him. For them, Jesus was a father and a teacher whom they admired and loved. His followers called themselves His disciples because they were learning from Him. Of these disciples, Jesus chose twelve men who were know as His apostles. They were to go preach and teach the people the teachings of Jesus.

The rulers and priests of Jerusalem became very jealous of Jesus as many people were following Him. They wanted to get rid of Jesus. Jesus tried to warn His apostles of this danger as they went to Jerusalem for the Passover Feast. The apostles did not believe that their beloved teacher could be harmed. John and Peter, two of the apostles, asked Jesus, “Teacher, where shall we have the Passover supper ?”. Jesus answered, “Go to the city and you will see a man with a jar of water. Follow him home. We will have the Passover supper in the upper large room of that house”. That Thursday evening, Jesus and His apostles met for the Passover supper. Jesus noticed that one of His apostles, Judas, sat silently as if he had something to hide. Judas did indeed have a big secret. He had collected money from the rulers of Jerusalem in order to lead them to Jesus.


At the door of the room, there was a bowl of water with a towel. Jesus took the bowl of water with the towel and washed His apostles’ feet and said to them, “If I, your Lord, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash each other’s feet”. During the supper, Jesus said, “truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me to My enemies”, and He turned to Judas as He said this. Judas understood that Jesus knew that he was the betrayer, so he got up and ran out of the room.

At the end of the supper, Jesus told His apostles, “I give to you a new commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another”. When the supper was over, they all stood up and sang a psalm and then they left the room.



Crucifixion of Jesus Christ

On Friday morning, Jesus was brought before the Roman governor of Jerusalem for trial. The priests were accusing Jesus of lying. “He is telling lies to many people throughout Judea”, said one man. “He claims to be the Son of God and calls himself the Messiah” said another. Jesus remained silent and did not answer to these accusations. The governor asked Jesus in private, “Are you the King of the Jews?”. Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world; if it were of this world, then would My servants fight for Me”. Jesus continues, “I am a king, and all who know the truth, know that my words are true”. The governor did not know the truth but he knew that Jesus was not an ordinary man and could not sentence him to death, but the wicked priests of Jerusalem insisted the Jesus be crucified.



Outside the walls of Jerusalem, there was a hill called Calvary. There were three dark crosses on the hill. On two of them were thieves who were punished for bad things they did. Jesus Christ was put on the cross in the center with nails through His hands and feet.

Jesus’ mother Mary and His disciple John stood beside His cross comforting each other. A group of Jews close by said to Jesus, ‘If you are truly the Son of God, then come down from the cross”. Then they went away saying, “He saved others but He cannot save Himself”. Shortly after, the sky was filled with clouds and Jerusalem became dark. The darkness lasted for many hours. At that moment, all the evil in the world gathered around Jesus Christ, but the power of evil could not break the strong spirit of the mighty Son of God. The spirit of Jesus left His body and went up to the heavens.


The body of Jesus, wrapped in a white shroud, was carried into a cave where it was to be buried. The Roman governor, advised by the priests, ordered that the tomb of Jesus be guarded by soldiers. The priests told the governor, “The tomb must be watched, so that his disciples cannot steal him away and say that he is risen from the dead”.

Jesus’ apostles were very sad and miserable, for their beloved teacher and master was no longer with them.
 
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The fast is going well on my end sister, I have been blessed by this week already. Thanks for sharing the bible stoires today, I never tire of hearing them. Be blessed!

In Christ,
NC
 
Member
Day Five

Some wonderful stories i hope you enjoy.


The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree Ever
by
William Theron Yates


The Christmas tree stood in a corner of the room, decorated from tip to floor with lights and tinsel and garlands and ornaments and a star shining down from the top. It was a beautiful tree. The family had spent many hours decorating it. Boxes of things from Christmas past had been pulled out of hidden places in overstuffed closets and the dusty attic. Cries of "Oh, remember this one?" and "Didn't Grandma make this decoration?" and "Where's my little toy soldier?" and the rustle of wrapping paper filled the air. Music of the season flowed from the stereo and the intoxicating scent of cinnamon and gingerbread filled the air as Mother baked Christmas cookies in the kitchen.

Gradually the tree had been transformed from a somewhat scraggly and slightly lopsided piece of greenery into a joyous symbol of Christmas. "Isn't this the most beautiful Christmas tree we ever had, Daddy?", a young voice asked. "No", cried another, "it's the most beautiful Christmas tree ever!"

As all pairs of eyes in the room turned to me, awaiting confirmation of this most excellent judgment, my mind suddenly filled with trees -- a veritable forest of evergreens and elms, oaks and maples, sycamores and cypresses -- and one certain tree. Before I quite knew what I was saying, I replied, "No. This is not the most beautiful Christmas tree ever." Cries of "What?" and "Yes, it is!" assaulted my ears. "Hush!" I said, "Shall I tell you of the most beautiful Christmas tree ever?"

"Oh, yes, Daddy, please tell us!" they chorused.

"Well, a long time ago, long before the very first Christmas, God said, 'One day, I will send My Son to the world, and He will show all people how to live and how to worship Me. He will give them a never-ending life with Me in Heaven where they will be happy forever. All they have to do is to be sorry for doing things their own way instead of My better way and to believe that He is my Son.' "

"Long years passed and it was time for God's Son, Jesus, to be born. This is what we celebrate as Christmas."

"Yeah, there were shepherds and angels and wise men," said one. "And Joseph and Mary, His mother," replied another.

"Yes. You all know the story of Christmas. But do you know the story of the first Christmas tree?"

"No, tell us! Tell us!"

"There was no tree at the first Christmas. In fact, the first Christmas tree didn't even come at Christmas!"

"What do you mean?"

"How could it be a Christmas tree if it wasn't at Christmas?"

"Well, Jesus grew up and told everyone about God, His Father, and that they could live forever with Him in Heaven. And many people believed. But some people did not want to change the way they were living. And they were very powerful people. And they got together and arrested Jesus and sentenced Him to die."

"Yeah, they nailed Him on a cross", said a sad, small voice.

"Yes. That cross was the First Christmas Tree! We hang ornaments and decorations on our tree to make it look beautiful, don't we?"

Heads nodded.

"Well, when they hung Jesus on the cross, they hung the most beautiful ornament ever! He had a wreath -- of thorns -- and garlands -- of the blood He shed for us so we could go to Heaven. Those were the most priceless decorations ever. Because Jesus, God's greatest gift to us, died for us nailed to that tree, it really is The Most Beautiful Christmas Tree Ever!"

And all agreed.


© Copyright 1993 by William Theron Yates






Twas The Night Before Jesus Came '

Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house
Not a creature was praying, not one in the house.
Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care
In hopes that Jesus would not come there.

The children were dressing to crawl into bed,
Not once ever kneeling or bowing a head.
And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap
Was watching the Late Show while I took a nap.


When out of the East there arose such a clatter,
I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!


When what to my wondering eyes should appear
But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here.
With a light like the sun sending forth a bright ray
I knew in a moment this must be The Day!


The light of His face made me cover my head
It was Jesus! returning just like He had said.
And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth
I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.


In the Book of Life which He held in His hand
Was written the name of every saved man.
He spoke not a word as He searched for my name;
When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.


The people whose names had been written with love
He gathered to take to His Father above.
With those who were ready He rose without a sound
While all the rest were left standing around.


I fell to my knees, but it was too late;
I had waited too long and this sealed my fate.
I stood and I cried as they rose out of sight;
Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.


In the words of this poem the meaning is clear;
The coming of Jesus is drawing near.
There's only one life and when comes the last call
We'll find that the Bible was true after all!



copyright © 1993 Bethany Farms, Carrollton, IL
 
Member
Day Six

[B]The True Meaning Of Christmas

Jesus Christ was born this day
So many years before
He came a servant to the lost
Though he was Lord of Lords

We celebrate this joyous time
Reflecting on His birth
Not born in a mansion, but a stable
As if He had no worth

He came so He could identify
With the human heart of man
And gave His life as a sacrifice
Offering a better plan

A plan that reconciles us back
To our loving Father God
Bringing hope and redemption from
Sins ruling iron rod

For this is the only reason that we
Should celebrate this day
To become focused on anything else
Would take the meaning away

So let’s arise with joy in our hearts
And share it with everyone
The meaning of Christmas will always be
The birth of Jesus – God’s son

© By M.S.Lowndes
[/B]
The Christmas Story Devotional

Read: Luke 2:1-20

The events leading up to the birth of Christ weren’t coincidental, but was put in place by God, so that the prophecies of old would be fulfilled, in Isaiah 7: 13-14; Isaiah 9: 6-7; Micah 5: 2-5.

Everything that happened from the time the census was ordered, to everyone returning to their own city to be registered, and then the birth of Jesus while Joseph & Mary were in Bethlehem, was orchestrated by God. Out of Bethlehem, a small town in the City of David, came the Messiah.

This event was the beginning of something so incredible. Jesus Christ leaving His throne in glory and taking on human form, just to bring us reconciliation to our Father God. He came into the world, miraculously conceived, and then born as all humans are. He was first a baby, then a toddler, then a child and adolescent, and then became an adult. He experienced humanity at all levels. He truly can identify with all people at all stages of life.

This very first Christmas, God gave the greatest gift ever. His Son! And His Son gave the gift of His life – which was why He came. Because of this, we can have relationship with God as His children. Through Jesus Christ we are Sons and Daughters of the Most High God.

So this Christmas, bear in mind the ‘True’ Christmas story, which led to the ‘True’ Easter story. Let us give thanks and praise to our heavenly Father for these events, which have changed our lives forever.

No matter how ‘secular’ the world is becoming, disregarding the truth of Christmas, let us boldly proclaim the truth about the birth of Jesus as the reason for the season.

Let us claim ‘CHRISTmas’ back!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
~ John 3:16


Names Of Jesus

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace..." - Isaiah 9: 6

As we are heading toward Christmas, let us focus on the reason for the season, which is Jesus. Jesus is our Wonderful Counsellor. He is our Mighty God – the Everlasting Father. He is the Prince of Peace. His coming was prophesied of long before He came. His names were given to Him – long before His lowly birth. May we focus on and celebrate who Jesus is and all that His names represent.

His miraculous birth was the start of something that history will never repeat. Christ’s birth, His life, death and resurrection, and our relationship with Him because of this, is the reason we celebrate.

No one else can bear these names
For no one could ever be the same
 
Member
How is your fasting going my sister? I am still doing well and have been blessed by the experience this week.


In Christ,

NC
 

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