There are few things more painful than stepping on one of your kid’s blocks in your bare feet in the dark. I’m exaggerating, but at that moment, the surprise pain as you grope around for the light is brutal. Turning on a light before you entered the room would’ve reduced the risk. Jesus came as a light to a dark world, and He calls you to light up your world.
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Life In You
In John 8:12, Jesus tells His listeners that He is the light of the world. The Apostle John tells us in John 1:4 in Him is life, and that life is the light in us. So you are to shine that light to the whole world. Don’t hide it under a bushel but be like a city on a hill whose light is seen from afar. You should light up your world with the Good News of Jesus Christ.
There is a danger that every believer needs to be aware of. That danger is walking in darkness. When you try to have the pleasures of this world and still follow Jesus, you are walking in darkness and lying to yourself. (1 John 1:4) You can’t coexist in both worlds because they go in opposite directions. You need to either go towards the light or remain in the darkness.
Light Up Your World
When you reflect the light of Jesus, you bring hope to those who are lost. Sure, some will react poorly because they love the darkness more than the light but keep shining. As you live for Christ, you will reflect the light of Christ. People watch you twice as much as they are listening—light up your world.
There are some drawbacks to conserving energy. Some light switches have sensors that shut off lights if they don’t detect motion. This can leave you in a pitch dark room. If you are not careful, you could stumble and hurt yourself. You need to follow the light to get out. Two thousand years ago, some wise men followed the light to Jesus.
After listening to the King, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered Him gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Look for the Signs
We don’t know much about these wise men. Even their name is misleading. They were called Magi, where we get our word magician, but they weren’t sorcerers. They were probably what we would call professors, experts in areas like math and science. Legend has it that Daniel initially trained them, and that’s how they knew to look for the signs the King of the Jews had been born. What we do know is that they traveled a long distance to follow the light.
Jesus came as a light to a world darkened by sin and evil. This darkness cannot resist the light. The light is hope for the masses, lost and searching for answers. If you ever find yourself lost and not knowing what to do, follow the light of Christ. Cry out to Him, and He will answer and show you a way out.
Follow the Light
If you follow the light, you are called to reflect that light to those lost. Sure, there will be people who love the darkness and react accordingly, but you still shine wherever you go. Jesus was the light you needed when you were lost in your sin. Now go and bring that light to your world.
One of the most popular Christmas carols is “Oh, Come All Ye Faithful.” The lyrics start with “O come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant, O come ye, o come ye to Bethlehem, Come and behold Him, Born the King of Angels! O come, let us adore Him.” It is a song calling all of us to come and marvel at the newborn king and to worship him. We get this from the wise men who traveled a great distance to do the same.
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.
Wise Men Still Seek Him
When the wise men got to Jerusalem and asked about the new king, no one had a clue what they were talking about. It caused such a stir that Herod found out about it. Who were these foreigners asking about a Jewish king? They were on a mission to come and adore the king. They wanted to bow down and worship him.
Come Let Us Adore Him
We are called to adore Jesus. That’s what Christmas reminds us to do every year. The wise men bowed and worshipped him, brought gifts, and rejoiced when they found him. We can learn a lot from these guys. We need to have a surrendered heart (bowing down) when we come to him. He is the king of kings. We should approach him in such a way. We also need to give him our gift of worship. That is our sacrifice to him. Worship is giving verbal worth, and Jesus deserves that. Finally, we need have hearts filled with joy. When we surrender our heart and give our worship to Jesus, the result is a heart that is filled with Joy. Come let us adore him on this Christmas day.
A Free Gift for You
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We all love an underdog story. Someone who comes from nothing and accomplishes great things. It could be an athlete who grew up in the projects or a billionaire who started his business with nothing but determination. We cheer for these people because we want to be like him. They started from humble beginnings but made something of themselves. Jesus started the same way. Born to poor parents, in a city that wasn’t his own, there wasn’t any room for his birth when they arrived, he had to be born in a manger. Jesus was born into humble beginnings.
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. 6 And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn
Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes
Poor people during Jesus’ time wrapped new-borns in swaddling clothes. This consisted of strips of old pieces of cloth which they wrapped firmly around the baby. This gave the child a sense of being in the womb and kept them warm. He was laid in a manger because Bethlehem had swelled so big due to the census that there was no other place to put him. God intended for it to be this way so that Jesus could relate to the poorest of people. He was born into little means but God was still shining on him.
Jesus started from humble beginnings and remained humble the rest of his life. Pride and riches are often the stumbling blocks of many people. The savior of the world came down to earth and should’ve been afforded a proper welcome. The king of the universe had just come down to earth. There should’ve been a parade and a great feast. Yet, besides a few shepherds, it went pretty much unnoticed. When the wise men came to Jerusalem no one had a clue the Messiah had been born. Remain humble. Ask God to remove any pride out of your heart. As long as we remain humble, we will walk upright before the Lord.
You have found favor. In a sleepy little town up in hills of Nazareth a young woman was going about her daily tasks when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. What would your reaction be? Mary is noticeably startled and afraid. On top of that, he called her “favored one.” Why would he say that? She didn’t think she deserved that but she had found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” 29 But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. 30 And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High.
Worthy of Honor
Much has been made over Mary. Some have elevated her to the level of a god, others have tried to diminish her role completely. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, called he the Mother of my Lord. (Luke 1:43) That alone makes her worthy of honor. Whatever position you come from God looked down on her, and she found favor in his eyes. We aren’t told why she found this favor. This shows us that God can bestow his favor on whomever he chooses. God knew she would be a willing participant in bringing his son to the earth as an infant.
God is looking for those who are open to being used by him. There was nothing special about mary. In fact, she came from Nazareth, who were the hillbillies of Israel. They talked with a funny accent. It was Mary’s humility that made her a willing vessel. God often takes those who are least likely to succeed and uses them to accomplish miraculous things. You have found favor.
Call him Jesus. Joseph was in a tight place; his future wife was pregnant. He was going to do the honorable thing and divorce her quietly, but God spoke to him in a dream. This child wasn’t an illegitimate baby; it was from God. Mary was chosen by God to carry the Messiah, who is going to save people from their sins. He was to call him Jesus.
“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. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).
The Father had the responsibility to name the child, especially a firstborn son. Usually, the son took the name of his father or a close male relative. That’s why naming John the Baptist was so controversial; there was no other relative with that name. God told Joseph in a dream to call his soon to be born son, Jesus. While Jesus was a common name at that time, it had special meaning; savior.
Saved From Our Sins
The Messiah Israel was waiting for was about to arrive, and he would save his people from their sins. All of us need to be rescued from our sins, all of us need a savior. There is nothing we can do in our power that can remove one sin from our lives. It takes a sinless person to take the place of a sinner. Jesus came to do that. We celebrate this Christmas because we have been saved from our sins.