On the night that Jesus was born, the Angel of the Lord announced His coming and told the shepherds how to find him – you remember?
“And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Now, I can just imagine on that holy night an innumerable chorus of angels standing by in the heavens, so filled with joy and anticipation that they burst forth in songs of praise and adoration. Literally, Heaven sang while earth slept. Now clearly, those angels understood something that the mortals did not. The angels not only knew what Jesus would be; they knew what he had been.
Jesus, or Jehovah, as he was known before he was born, was in the beginning with the Father. He was the firstborn of all our Father’s children, and was his beloved and chosen from the very beginning.
So faithful and valiant was Jesus, that even before He was born, He was like unto God. He was so much like the Father [that] he was called the Father. Not just this world, but worlds without number Jesus created under the direction of the Father. He was God, the Lord omnipotent, creator of heaven and earth and all things that in them are; the God of the Old Testament. It was He, under the direction of the Father, who guided Enoch to build Zion. It was He who gave the law to Moses. It was He who taught the Gospel of God to the prophets from Adam to John. He was the “Messenger of the Covenant” the “Prince of Peace,” The King of Glory,” The great I AM, enthroned in power, might, majesty and dominion. Indeed, He was greater than us all, even before he was born.
From the beginning, Jesus was that spiritual rock that led the children of God to salvation and yet, He was as meek and lowly as a lamb. And indeed, from the very beginning, Jesus prepared himself to die that sacrificial lamb that we might live. And all men from Adam to Christ exercised faith and received the benefits of an atonement that would happen, just as we today exercise faith in the very one that did. And who can say why, but after creating worlds without number, Jehovah would come to this world to work out the infinite and eternal atonement.
The God of Heaven was coming here to take a mortal body. The God of glory stripped himself of that glory and came to earth as a tiny babe to work out his salvation and ours. The Savior and Redeemer of worlds without number was born that night in Bethlehem. The heavens understood who he was and what he was, and what he would do, and they could not be restrained from singing.
Now I say to you, the more we know Him, the more we too will feel constrained to sing in praise.
Compiled from scriptures by Glenn Rawson
It’s Christmas time – and you know, this time of year our minds are focused so much on the gifts we need to ‘buy’ for the ones we love. Well, in light of that may I share something that happened not too long ago?
I came home from work after a busy day. And I went upstairs and dropped my stuff – and then I noticed on my pillow a note, and it was written on that kind of paper, that unique kind of paper, that told me it came from my youngest daughter. I opened it up, and sure enough, it was a note from Shaina.
It said, “Dear Daddy, I miss you. I’m having fun here at school … Can I go to Santa’s secret shop. You’re gone too much. You are the best daddy in the whole world. Love, Shaina.”
Oh – oh, you talk about a payday – I loved it! I called her to me, knelt down on her level, and thanked her for the wonderful note. When I told her I loved her too, she threw her arms around my neck and just hugged me tight. It was a wonderful and a tender moment.
Now, a few days later I was with a group of teenagers.
We were chatting casually when, out of genuine curiosity, I asked them, “If you could have anything for Christmas and money was not a consideration, what would it be?”
Well, I have to confess here my shallowness. I expected them to start rambling off all these expensive toys that they would like to have. And to be honest, a few of them did mention some toys they’d like to have. But many, if not most of them, wanted such things as – their families home for the holidays; they wanted to spend time with their families and share experiences with their loved ones. I was surprised by that; I was impressed by that.
One young woman’s answer stood out in particular. She’s a quiet pretty young woman.
In response to the question, she said, “Well, I’d want some money for Christmas, and then I’d want a letter from my dad.”
Well, the ‘money’ answer I expected, but the ‘letter from dad’ – I was taken back by that, and I asked her why she would want that. I mean, I figured of all things that a teenager would want least from her parents, a sentimental letter would be that last thing.
Well, she explained that her father, at least once a year, writes her a letter in which he opens his heart, and tells her that he loves her. The letters have become a cherished tradition for her. In them, Dad bears his testimony of faith in the Lord, shares the experiences of his own life, and gives her guidance, and tells her what he expects from her.
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
“You mean to tell me, of all the things you could have, you would most want a letter from your dad?”
“Yes,” she said, and she meant it!
You know something? Maybe our loved ones really don’t want the gifts that come out of stores this year as much as they want the gifts that come out of the heart – the gifts of memories.
Now, as a related thought, it was recently explained to me what ‘W W J D’ meant. I had never heard that before. It means ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ Well, may I suggest something new for Christmas this year? How about ‘W.W.J.G.’? – ‘What Would Jesus Give?
A very Merry Christmas to you.
A special thanks to Glenn Rawson for sharing this great story with us.
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Centuries ago the nation of Israel turned and watched as Moses stretched forth his hand and the walls of the Red Sea collapsed and returned to their strength. In awe Israel saw the mighty hosts of Pharaoh’s army overthrown in the sea, never again to oppress them. Now, with the subsequent restoration of God’s holy law through Moses, and their miraculous deliverance by Joshua into the Promised Land, Israel was once more a nation of free people, free in body, free in conscience, and free in nationality. Is it any wonder that Israel was so filled with joy and gratitude that they lifted their voices in song, thanking and praising God with all the power of their delivered souls?
Ever after that and for the centuries that followed, feasts and celebrations were established among the Hebrews, times of remembrance where they would be grateful and remember how that by the power of God He had made them a peculiar people and nation.
However, in time Israel did come to forget. Not only did they forget the God who had delivered them, but they forgot and mocked the covenants and responsibilities they had assumed as His chosen people. Eventually they were scattered, destroyed, and oppressed once more.
Now my dear friends, it has been said that history repeats itself. Our season of feasting and celebration is upon us this week; it’s Thanksgiving. What a blessed people we are! By the power of God we are a prosperous and a free people. Praise be to God for the kindness of His Fatherhood, for the prayers He has answered, and for the privileges He has given us. May we rejoice now in our time. We are the greatest, wealthiest people ever in the history of this earth. Ought we not to thank the God who gave it? Oh, I hope our riches never come to canker our soul.
Further, thank God for the gift of His son; we have a free conscience. Thank God for the miracle of forgiveness and the power of redemption and resurrection. We are free. No tyrant can oppress our soul or destroy our peace unless we let him. Praise be to God for the assurance and presence of a Savior Who is always there, Who will not rest in His atoning endeavors until all of us have become celestial beings.
Thank God for truth, pure unadulterated ‘diamond truth’ that allows us to see and understand, and be anchored in place in a world that has become like a roaring blender of opinions and ideas. We are so blessed!
And thank God for America and her liberty. By the power of God and His guardian angels we are a free nation. There is so much more that is worth rejoicing of in America than is worth complaining of. Look around. I see this world we live in and I wonder: My children have never known starvation, many do; my children have never understood slavery and oppression, it’s [they are] foreign to them. They have never known the fear of tyrants, nor the despair of hopelessness and bondage. And yet there are people all over the earth who suffer so much. Why – why are we such a blessed people when so many suffer so much? I cannot help but think that America has the same responsibility as ancient Israel, to lift up the hands that hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Oh, Heavenly Father, thank Thee for all of Thy bounty.
My dear friends, this Thanksgiving it is my prayer that our gratitude will overflow unto tears of humility and songs of rejoicing for the goodness of God. Oh to grace, how great a debtor; daily I’m constrained to be. Let thy goodness as a fetter bind my wandering heart to thee; prone to wander Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love. Here’s my heart, oh take and seal it; seal it for thy courts above.