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Friday, December 23, 2011

My Christmas Prayer for You

Luke 1: 30 - 38, Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." Then Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I do not know a man?" And the angel answered and said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy one who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible." Then Mary said, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." NKJV

The very first story that is told in the Bible is the account of creation. God looked at His creation and saw that there was a void in the earth. Something catastrophic had occurred leaving the earth formless and void. However, if you read the story found in Genesis one, you will see that God was restoring and filling the earth with living vegetation and living creatures. Throughout the Word of God, we can see God at work restoring the earth and the lives that had been devastated by the evils of sin.

Since the fall of man, mankind has had a void in their hearts. The fall caused us to become separated from the very presence of God. As a result of that void, people have pierced themselves through with many sorrows in their effort to fill that void with something other than the presence and life of God. Although sin originally separated us from the life of God, it did not separate us from the love of God. The love of God overcame His wrath against sin and caused Him to send His Son to earth.

For God so loved the "world" that He sent us His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believes on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life. God created a void in heaven and filled the womb of a virgin on earth. What is so amazing and glorious about this virgin conceiving and giving birth to the Christ-child is the truth that she didn't need a man in order to obey God's will. When Mary heard the angel tell her about God's plan to allow her to bring forth the Christ into the world, she agreed with His Word instead of doubting it. As a result of her faith and willingness to agree with God, the Holy Spirit overshadowed Mary and the formation of Jesus began in her womb. 

This event of Mary becoming the Mother of God is the greatest story of all time. Many traditions and forms of celebrations have arisen over the centuries to commemorate that joyous occasion. Over two-thousand years later, people celebrate the birth of Christ and remember how God filled the void in man by first filling the womb of a virgin without the aid of a man. The lesson that we need to learn from the method God used to send His Son to man is very important. God shows us through the immaculate conception of His Son that we don't need man to partake or to enjoy His goodness and life in our lives. In fact, the more we try to add "man's ways" to the gift of God's Son and the celebrations that surround this blessed event, the less we will be able to experience the liberty of His gift.

In what should be a fulfilling and heart-warming season, we are witnessing an upswing of anxiety, depression, and despair in more and more people because of the "frenzy" that is brought on by a world that overshadows and surrounds this sacred event. As Christmas, which is the celebration of the birth of Christ, becomes more and more about something else, disastrous results can occur. Anytime something is misused or misrepresented, such as Christmas has been by the world, it will also alter the intended purpose, and the results of the season that surrounds it.

Christ was sent to earth to fill the void that was caused by man turning his heart on God. If we should turn our hearts toward the world's view of Christmas at the expense of not having Christ as the focal point, then the season won't have the power to fill the void in our hearts. Remember, it was Satan convincing Eve that she could find fulfillment outside of God's will that formed the void to begin with.

The "Christmas" that the world portrays will leave you empty and hurting. However, the CHRIST-mas that is spoken of in Luke 1 will fill your hearts and lives with great joy, whether you have a worldly Christmas or not. Always remember that nothing can replace Christ and the joy that He gives to the human heart. It's good to share our love through gifts and Christmas get-togethers, but our love didn't empty heaven in order to fill the hearts of mankind. It was God's love that did that. 

If you have to be away from your family and the ones who mean the most to you this Christmas, instead of looking at what you don't have, begin to thank God for the Christ that is always with you and allow Him to fill that void in your heart with His presence. Doesn't the Bible teach us that when we have Christ in us, we have the "HOPE OF GLORY?" Christmas and hard times come in seasons. Christ is year-round and will never forsake you, especially in your darkest valleys. If you are hurting this Christmas because of lack, separation, or the loss of a family member, then invite the Lord to fill that void with His comfort, peace and love. 

I want to thank you personally for allowing this ministry to be a part of your life this past year. Today, I pray that God will heal the brokenness in your life and fill your heart with His comfort and joy. May the Holy Spirit surround you wherever you might be this week and cause you to know that He loves you. May the LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace. 

Fill in the blank. MERRY _______________mas. It isn't the same without Christ.

Merry Christmas Y'all,
Pastor Asa Dockery

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