Sunday, December 26, 2010


Read Matthew 2:1-15
     Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”    Matthew 2:13 NKJV
* * *
     Centuries before this, God instructed the family of Jacob (Israel) to settle in Egypt because of a great famine in the land. Now the family of Messiah, descendants of Jacob are forced to flee to Egypt once again. This time just until the death of Herod, but still a significant event in the light of prophesy.
     What was to both generations a time of sorrow and testing was actually the moving of the providence of God in bringing about the salvation that is so freely offered to us today. Jesus, the Son of God, was also a descendant of Jacob through his mother Mary, and the fulfillment of a promise made to Jacob. God's perfect plan was being worked out in spite of the acts of wicked sinful men.
* * *
     Lord, help us to trust you and your plan for our lives, in spite of the circumstances we face. You are the God of history and You have our future in Your hands. Help us to never forget that as we look with dismay at threatening world events shaping up around us.
* * *
     When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt I called My Son.”   Matthew 2:14-15 NKJV

Friday, December 24, 2010



Read Matthew 2:1-23; Genesis 35:9-19; Jeremiah 31:15
* * *

     When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under– Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled:    Matthew 2:16–17 NIV
* * *
     More than 1400 years before Christ was born, the patriarch Jacob buried his beloved wife, Rachel who died in childbirth. We read, "So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel's tomb." (Genesis 35:19–20)
      The prophet Jeremiah predicted a future day when children would be slaughtered near Rachel's grave. (Jeremiah 31:15) This was fulfilled when Herod killed all of the male babies under two, trying to destroy the Jewish Messiah.
* * *
     We live in a day where it could be said "A voice was heard in America of weeping and mourning for children, because they are no more." The travesty of millions of babies aborted over the past thirty plus years must grieve your heart, Lord. Don't let us become apathetic to the cries of unborn babies, or the grief caused to women in our day.
* * *
"A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." Matthew 2:18 NIV

Monday, December 20, 2010



Read Matthew 2:1–12 & Micah 5:2

     When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: Matthew 2:4–5 NIV
* * *
     Long before Jesus was born, the prophets  predicted His coming. The priests and rabbis knew that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem – a prophesy they explained to Herod and to the Kings from the East.  We know that even the common people were taught this prophesy because later, after Jesus began His ministry, they said, "How can the Christ come from Galilee? Does not the Scripture say that the Christ will come from David's family and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?" (John 7:41b-42)  
     The people must not have realized that Christ was born in Bethlehem during the time of  the census though his home was in Nazareth. They really had  no excuse for not recognizing their Messiah. Had they truly been looking for Him, they would have known who He was–just as the Wise Men and even Herod did. The wise kings sought to worship Him, but Herod caused the murders of thousands of children in his attempt to destroy Him.   
* * *
     Lord, I praise You for the reliability of Your Word. Help me to be willing to share the message of Your coming with my children, my friends and all who might be seeking for truth. As the Christmas cards say, "Wise men still seek Him."
* * *
"Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."  Matthew 2:2 NIV

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Read Luke 2:21-40
     Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: "This child is destined… to be a sign that will be spoken against, so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too." Luke 2:34–35 NIV
* * *
     Holding the newborn baby in his arms, Simeon spoke prophetic words: Mary's life would be filled with both joy and sorrow, her baby would be at the center of controversy, her Son would be the revealer of hearts – even her own.
     Mary would have to learn to step back, be silent, and continue to ponder things in her heart. Shepherds could praise Him, Pharisees would curse Him and children would adore Him – but Mary could only quietly pray for Him. He was her son, but he was also her Savior. God's plan would proceed as she stood by and watched.
* * *
     Lord, I know You have a plan for each of our children. Mary had some very human sons and daughters in addition to her perfect Son, Jesus. Would they ever accept Him as Messiah? No doubt, Mary prayed that her other children would receive Him as their personal Savior. It wasn't until after the resurrection that they truly believed – but in God's perfect time – Mary's prayers were answered.
* * *
     And Joseph and His (Jesus) mother marveled at those things which were spoken of Him.  Luke 2:33 NKJV

Sunday, December 12, 2010



Read Isaiah 7:10-14, 9:1-7; Matthew 1:18-2:6

     All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"-which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:22–23 NIV
* * *
     The book of Isaiah was written about 700 years before Christ was born and is filled with prophesies about the coming Messiah. When the angel Gabriel appeared to Joseph, he quoted Isaiah 7:14: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” Jesus would be called, "Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6b)
* * *
     Isaiah prophesied that this Holy Child would live "In Galilee of the Gentiles.” saying, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined." (Isaiah 9:1b-2 NKJV)
* * *
     Dear Lord, You truly are my Wonderful Counselor and I am so thankful that the light of the gospel has shined on me. Just as Isaiah foretold the coming of Jesus, help me to tell the good news wherever I go, especially to members of my family. Keep me faithful in reading Your Word so that I will have something fresh to share with my family and friends.
* * *
     "For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."   Isaiah 9:6 NIV

Monday, December 6, 2010



Read Luke 2:8–20
     "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."  Luke 2:10–11 NKJV
* * *
     Exhausted but happy, Joseph wraps his newborn babe in swaddling clothes and lays him at Mary's side. They are alone, in the city of their birth, but not their home. Only the sounds of nearby animals disturb their quiet conversation. What will life be like with this child of God? Soon they will be able to consummate their marriage and build a family together.
     Meanwhile, out in the nearby fields, a lowly group of shepherds are in for a big surprise. Suddenly an angel appears in the night sky surrounded by the glory of the Lord. He announces, “There is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (2:11)  Lonely quiet places - this stable - those fields - where all of history would be changed. Even today we date our lives from this event.
* * *
     Lord, help me to value the lonely, quiet moments of my life. They are so few and yet so valuable. Speak to my heart this morning with words of peace. Like Mary, I truly desire to understand Your ways and ponder them in my heart.
* * *
     "All those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart."    Luke 2:18-19 NKJV