“For unto us a child is born. . . . “(Isaiah 9:6) “And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him In a manger; . . .”Luke 2:7)
The birth of a child is a joyous occasion considered non-threatening to anyone or any power. For what harm could an infant bring to an individual or a power structure? Births take place by the thousands
every day and the world has no feeling of fear only joy and festivity. Why then the rage and apparent defense of the throne by King Herod? The answer is simple. The discomfort that all of Hell felt was being
manifested by King Herod. For the birth of JESUS – though an innocent babe – to an innocent lamb sacrificed to God – was a threat to the kingdom of Satan.
Why a threat? John the Baptizer fills in the blanks when upon seeing Jesus for the very first time, he stated: “Behold the Lamb of God”! Here is the One who came to take way the sins of the world. And
when in is defeated – the author of sin is defeated. The birth of Christ was hen the beginning of the end of Satan.
From the first miracle of Christ to the wedding of Cana to the healing of the blind, the leprous, to the resurrection of the dead, and the deliverance of the demoniacs, to the reproving of the Pharisees – Christ was destroying Satan’s playhouse block by block. Calvary was the ultimate blow that defeated sin and the power of sin – Satan. This first birth is still changing the world today!
The second birth is located in Acts 2. We are placed directly into the birthing room to hear the first cry of this newborn baby. And they were a11 filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them the utterance.”
A church is born. The CHURCH of the Living God was born. That day alone 3,120 were filled with the Holy Ghost. It spread from the Jews to the Gentiles to the Samaritans, leaving a giant wake of change
behind. This innocent babe was so powerful that nothing could stop it. The religious order tried and failed. The demons of Hell tried and failed. Nothing could stop the change that this birth brought about.
The change of the church was so great upon the then known world that it is recorded. . .
“These that have turned the upside down are come hither also.”
The second birth that is still changing the world is the CHURCH of the Living God.
The third birth that is destined to change the world is the one who has been born again of the water and the Spirit. Every tongue talking, born again believer can change their personal world through Christ as
well as the world in which they live. History is being written by this very moment. Only you a lone know whether you are changing your world or the world is changing you. I trust your epitaph will read: He/She was a World-changer.
Luke 2:8 “And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night ”
In the days of the nativity, one could not pass over the road from Bethlehem to Jerusalem without noticing the Migdal Eder,” or the Tower of the Flock.. From this tower close to the city of Bethlehem,
shepherds the year round would tend flocks of sheep. Now these sheep which pastured there and the shepherds who kept watch over them were not common. The shepherds who fed the flock at this place were under the strict discipline of Judaism, which was not the case with most shepherds who roamed the wilderness areas and were not able to observe all the rabbinical additions to the Law. And as for the sheep, their destiny was the Brazen Alter!
It was the universal conviction of the day that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem. Along with that conviction, was the belief that the Messiah would first be revealed from the Migdal Eder!”
And so it was the night of our Savior’s birth, that shepherds faithfully guarding
the temple flocks just outside the city of Bethlehem were dazzled with the sight of great light and the glorious announcement of the birth of the Christ in the “City of David.” Their wonderment continued as the sky filled with the heavenly singing of a “Multitude of heavenly hosts.” How their hearts bubbled with excitement as they rushed to see the sight of the Babe born to be the King of all Kings! So who was the first to hear the marvelous news about the birth of the Savior whose sacrifice would be the complete and final offering for sin? Kings? Priests? How about lowly shepherds! Not just any shepherds however,
but ones who faithfully cared for the sheep that were to become oblations to the Lord!
Shepherds were in their fields one night when a host of angels spoke: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!”
The quiet countryside about Bethlehem exuded peace. Gentle rolling hills. Still waters. Sheep resting. Shepherds watching. No disturbances. Until the angels spoke: “PEACE!”
Have you ever wanted peace? “What I wouldn’t give for just a day of peace!” Underlying that silent prayer is the unspoken request for no phone, no mail, no interruptions.
But is that really peace? Is peace the absence of chaos? Is it found only in quiet scenic settings? It occurred to me recently that peace and still are two different concepts.
“Master, carest thou not that we perish?” Jesus was awakened to the desperate cry of His disciples. He got up and rebuked the wind and waves and said “Peace be still!”
He then turned to His disciples, rebuking them for lacking faith. As long as Jesus was in the ship they had Peace. And as long as they stayed in the ship with the Prince of Peace they were okay. (See Mark
Many encounter tragedy in their lives. A loved one passes. A close friend dies. It all hits home as a stark reminder that “all flesh is as grass.”
Ada Compton is a member of our church. She’s had more tragedy in her life than anyone I know. Her brother and sister-in-law died in a murder-suicide; a son died of S.I.D.S.; another son died of a gunshot
wound at a neighbor’s house; and Gale Eugene died in California in a truck accident.
As we sat at the table in her home awaiting news of Gale’s untimely death, sobbing and bitter crying racked this dear mother. We began to pray together.
As we prayed for the peace of God, the God of peace visited the room. Jesus came by and ministered to Ada Compton and simply said, “Peace!” She said later that it felt like cool water washed over her from her head down to her feet. She stopped weeping uncontrollably. She was still sad her heart was still broken. But Jesus was there. He brought His peace without stilling the storm.
And during the week when we waited for her son to be brought back home from California, during the funeral, and in the days that followed, “Peace” was there. There were storms blowing all about, but the God of Peace came by, bring in with Him the Peace of God!
The disciples could have known peace without still As long as the “God of peace” was with them they could have the “Peace of God.” But they didn’t.
Ada Compton did. She discovered something that has kept her during the debilitating struggle she has endured with emphysema. The winds blow, the storms come. But the One in her ship would never let it sink. He didn’t have to say, “Peace be still.” All He needed to say was, “Peace!”
(Philippians 4:7,9) “And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” “Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and
seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.” It’s time to “let the peace of God rule” in our hearts (Col. 3:1 5) .
“Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.”(Romans 15:33)Have a peaceful remembrance of His first coming this Christmas.
Many would have us to believe the “God is Dead” theory because they have not felt His presence nor the anointing of His Spirit upon their lives! However, there is a “magical moment” each year when the whole
world pauses in wonder, because of the influence of Christ at Christmas time. It is unreasonable to assume a mental attitude of love, care, kindness, tenderness, lavish spending on others, sacrificial giving to provide a tremendous meal for an entire family, courtesy at airline checkout counters, etc. when one is not accustomed to such.
Yet, that is exactly what happens at Christmas time every year! Now if It only happened once or even once in a great while we could perhaps understand it. There is only one possible answer to all of this – The Influence of Christ At Christmas!
Multitudes spend much finances to influence the world away from God. Satan has his power plays going to entangle the masses in alconances to influence the world away from God. Satan has his power plays going to entangle the masses in alcohol, drugs and immorality – yet in the midst of a Christ rejecting world, one day on the calendar that denotes the birth of the Christ Child is sufficient to change the pattern of the entire world’s activities for a few hours or for a season.
How powerful is the influence of Christ? You have just considered it! Even though men deny Him, they cannot help but conform to the pattern of the influence He gives out at this time of the year.
Adults who may be hardened by sin and the habits of the world are still “little boys’ and girl’s” in their hearts. Lurking just beneath the surface is the desire to be loved, held and sheltered just as “mother”
did when all were little children. The hectic pace and stress of our world causes men and women to cry out as did King David, “Oh! For the waters of the well at Bethlehem!” Not for that particular well, but for
the comfort and consolation and removal from the environmental stress and demands of present circumstances it represents!
Just the date on the calendar reminding us of Jesus’ birth is sufficient to change the pell mell course of a busy, Christ-rejecting world, for a few hours, for a few days! Has Christianity any influence today? You’d better believe it!
When you give your offering or pledge for Home Missions Christmas for Christ. Pause for a few moments of reflection and think about the power of Christ through His Church and the Influence of Christ at Christmas and let that “feeling” run through your mind and entire being. You’ll want to do more than you can – but do something lasting for the great cause of Christ at Christmas.
“Jesus Is The Reason For The Season.”
THE ABOVE MATERIAL WAS PUBLISHED IN THE DECEMBER 1995 ISSUE OF THE ILLINOIS DISTRICT NEWS, VOL. 12, AND WAS WRITTEN BY JACK VOSS, REV. M.D. CRUTCHFIELD, REV. WES WASMUDT, AND J.D. TOMPKINS. THIS MATERIAL HAS BEEN COPYRIGHTED AND MAY BE USED FOR RESEARCH AND STUDY PURPOSES ONLY.