"Mary Did You Know?"
"My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. For He hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For He that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is His name. And His mercy is on them that fear Him from generation to generation. He hath shewed strength with his arm; He hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich He hath sent empty away. He hath helped His servant Israel, in remembrance of His mercy; As He spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to His seed for ever." Luke 1:47-48, 49-50, 51-52, 53-55
2 Timothy 3:1, 4:3; Luke 2:11
11-25-2014, * -- Millions of Christians around the world soon will be celebrating the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. In many places, like ancient Bethlehem where Jesus was born, commemorating the birth of the Savior is still the main focus. Unfortunately, the United States has witnessed increased hostility toward the sacred and true history of Christmas, erupting into what has become a blatant war on Christmas.
Stores, schools and communities across America continue to find new and intolerant reasons to remove any religious references to Christmas, stripping it of any holy or historical significance. Christian songs, prayers and other spiritually vital connections to the birth of Christ are deleted or diminished.
The root and core, of the war on Christmas isn't really about Christmas at all—it’s about the Son of God; it’s a war on Christ and His followers. It’s the hatred of our culture for the exclusive claims that Christ made:
"I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6
When Christ appeared in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago, to shepherds in the Judean darkness, the angels announced His birth with these stunning words: “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
Jesus was fully God Who took on human flesh for one reason—to die for our sins, (John 3:18, 36, 17:3). He fulfilled that mission three decades later when He hung on a cross in Jerusalem, was buried, rose again and ascended into Heaven. When Christ returns—His second Coming—it will be entirely different. He’ll come with power and glory as a conquering King who will cast Satan and unbelievers into an eternal lake of fire. (Revelation 19:11; 20:10, 14-15)
So this Christmas, don’t worry if you see the opposition building. We know that Christ has already made every provision for sinners like us, we can steadily and obediently be about our Heavenly Father’s work testifying of Christ’s power to deliver all who will repent be delivered from sin. (Matthew 10:33; Luke 13:3)
We praise Him that He came to earth 2,000 years ago on a rescue mission; to snatch us from sin and the grave. (Psalm 30:3; Matthew 1:21) The war on Christmas—the war on Christ—is doomed to fail. Christ came the first time as a helpless babe but He is coming a second time to establish His kingdom forever under His righteous reign.
"In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow after their own ungodly desires." Jude 1:18
*Excerpted and adapted full original message from Rev Franklin Graham here https://billygraham.org/decision-magazine/december-2014/the-war-on-christmas-is-a-war-on-christ/
History of Santa Claus
Saint Nicholas of Myra was a 4th-century Greek Christian bishop of Myra (now Demre) in Lycia. The real person was famous for his generous gifts to the poor. He was very religious and from an early age devoted his life entirely to the Lord Jesus Christ. Surely he would despise the way the world has honored HIM instead of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ... The remains of Saint Nicholas are in Italy; and in 1087, the city of Bari mounted an expedition to locate his tomb. More here
Holy Bible Old Testament About the Lord's First Coming
The Savior: "Born of a Virgin" Isaiah 7:14
"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel."
The Savior: "Born in Bethlehem" Micah 5:2
"But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for Me one Who is to be ruler in Israel, Whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days."
The Savior: "Rule the Nations" Psalms 72:11; Isaiah 9:6
"May all kings fall down before him, all nations serve Him! v6 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, Prince of Peace." More here
The Birth of Jesus
And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.
2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
12-25-17, PASTOR JD FARAG CHRISTMAS Message
Oh my! Pastor Farag does such a wonderful job telling the story of Jesus' birth with focus on some facts we may have never thought about before. What a great speaker he is! Thank you, Brother JD!
One hour video here:
Traditional Instrumental Hymns of
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Psalm 85:5, 15
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1 Corinthians 9:22
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