Welcome to our new subscribers!! And if you haven't joined the conversation on Facebook, then find us @ptsonmission to continue to receive updates, encouragement, and information. Finally, tell a friend if you are benefiting from this site.
Christmas is in the air. Cookies are baking in the oven. Christmas trees are twinkling with lights and ornaments. A spirit of giving is palpable, and families are gathering together - some in small, nuclear groups and others virtually. It truly is a most wonderful time of the year and for Christ followers it is an even more special time to pause and reflect on the sheer awe and grandeur of the Gospel story. That is what I want to provide this week: an opportunity to reflect, via the Scriptures, on the ultimate gift of Christmas to refresh my heart, your heart, and to renew our passion to spread this good news of great joy to those in our clinic in the days and weeks ahead.
“ Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save, or his ear dull, that it cannot hear, but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not here.” Isaiah 59:1-2,
“...but people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.” John 3:19
“And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience - among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. ...Remember that you were at that time separated from Christ...having no hope and without God in the world.” Ephesians 2:1-4,12
The Promise of Light and Life
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in the land of deep darkness, on them has light shone. 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.” Isaiah 9:2,6
“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.” John 1:9
“...An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins. All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: ‘Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and the shall call his name Immanuel.’” Matthew 1:20-23
The Fulfillment Bringing Joy
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:5,14
“Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.” 1 Peter 2:24
“But to all who did receive him [Jesus], who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:12
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together in Christ - by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5
Praise be to God for not letting us wallow in darkness forever but making a way of hope and salvation through the shed blood of Jesus, who came into the world on a loving rescue mission! This Christmas, when we think about baby Jesus, let’s proclaim like John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.” There was eternity altering power laying in that manger in the little town of Bethlehem bringing hope to me, to you, to your patients, and to everyone. That is good news of great joy. That alone brings comfort and hope. Do you believe that?