or (Christmas and how to never fail again)
How many people have broken hearts or relationships and you can’t be in contact with certain people that you used to be in contact with because there is a strained or broken relationship? Every year we face the same thing at key times, whether a birthday, anniversary, but especially at Christmas time when emotions are exaggerated and more people are lonely and depressed, forsaken, unloved, upset and even turn to alcohol, drugs and suicide. Please note that Christmas and the holidays associated with it have never healed or delivered anyone. In fact, if anything, it is the hardest and most pressured time of the year for many. It is a time of great anxieties and worries and added concerns and cares that cause some to break apart emotionally, others to run away, divorce and much more. Christmas has never delivered or helped anyone. Statistics show that more people die, more people commit suicide, more people suffer from emotional problems during the Christmas holidays than at any other time of year. So Christmas doesn’t produce joy and happiness in peoples lives because it can’t remove people’s burdens, destroy their yokes and set them free and change their lives. In fact, it just adds to the problems which most have and have to deal with at this time of year.
The only thing that can set people free; that can break yokes and burdens and bring happiness and joy is the presence of the spirit of God, the presence of Christ coming to you and the power of the Holy Spirit working in your life and bringing deliverance. His presence isn’t here or with us because it is Christmas time and the holidays. His presence and the anointing of the Holy Spirit that breaks yokes is not present because we celebrate the birth of Jesus and have parties and give presents and have Christmas plays and all the other things ignorant religious people do at this time of year. The presence of Christ is only with His people who are in fellowship with Him, who have a relationship with Him and then He is with them based upon His promise and His Word. The Holy Spirit is with His people because He promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
Let us get real spiritual. ‘The Grench That Stole Christmas’ is in a way a brilliantly done video. It took cartoons to a whole new level. In that movie they depicted the Grench as a man who hated Christmas because of the bad memories that it brought to him about his childhood. The fact is, not all of us have good memories about Christmas’s past or our childhood. The birth of Jesus in your life, when you were born again of His spirit marks the end of your past and your past failures. The life and presence of Christ in your life marks the end of hurts and what people have done to hurt you in the past.
In this story of the Grench, whenever he would hear the songs that the people in the village would sing every year, he would try to drown out the sound because every time he heard the sounds of the music of Christmas it reminded him of his pasts and of his hurts and short comings and the weaknesses and imperfections in his life. Now maybe you are not reminded of those kinds of things every Christmas as many are; but instead, maybe you are reminded of such things on your birthday or anniversary or maybe even daily because the enemy is constantly throwing them in your face and reminding you of the things of the past that bring pain and sorrow and fester up old hurts and failures and wrongs.
The devil is the accuser and it is his purpose to accuse you, not just to others and to God, but even to yourself and he is good at beating people, even believers on the head with their past failures and sins just as the Grench was beaten up concerning the things of his past when he heard the Christmas music and so he retaliated by hating Christmas and anything that had to do with it because he was trying to drown out the pains of his past hurts.
Everyone one of us in life are no different and we all do the same thing. We all try to drown out the voices of our past, of the things that hurt us and cause us pain. We try to ignore our pain, we try to avoid and run from the things that cause us pain and that remind us of pains from our past so we don’t have to deal with them. Many try to drown out their pain and ignore it through drinking, taking drugs, illicit sex and many other ways, even through compulsive shopping and buying things we don’t need. They are all used to try and cover-up the things that cause us pain, emotional pain. Some think that by getting things we can drown out our pain.
But let me say this, you cannot drown out your pains with a Christmas celebration or service, a party, a drink, money, things and possessions, drugs, sex, by ignoring it, a gift or anything else. The only way to drown out your pain is to be healed of it by the Lord Jesus Christ who is the only one who by the power of the Holy Spirit is able to break the yoke and set us free and to deliver us from our past hurts, pains and failures and bring us peace of mind and spirit. There is no other way to have peace within, other than to find rest in Him. He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29). There is no other way to peace of mind and rest for the weary soul and spirit. For us to deny that we have pain in our lives is to live in denial, but for us to admit and face our pains, hurts, failures, imperfections and deepest longings is the beginning of deliverance and healing if we will turn to the Lord Jesus as our Savior and Redeemer and let Him do what no one else and nothing else can do and set us free. Jesus said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36).
One of the best things about the virgin birth of Christ is that it reveals to mankind that it is impossible for the flesh, for the power of man to bring about salvation. That took a supernatural intervention; that took God doing what we could not do, by His becoming a man and dying for us. Why wasn’t Jesus born of two parents? Because first of all, mankind cannot save himself and all men have sinned and are of a fallen sinful nature and it was God’s way of showing us that man was helpless to save himself and that God alone could be the source and the author of our salvation and there was no other way. Salvation had to begin with God and had to come from God and had to come not from the seed of man, but from His own seed, His own arm brought forth salvation which He accomplished for Himself. (Isaiah 52:10, 59:16, 63:5) “The LORD hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God… And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him… And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me.”
Jesus’ miracle birth is a picture of how incapable we are of receiving anything we need from God in our own power. How can we walk through life thinking we can get what God wants for us to have through our own efforts, work, energy, ability, beauty or whatever? We can only receive what we need from God by His own hand, by His own power, through divine intervention. We can’t receive the divine and miraculous from God because we pray enough, are worthy enough, holy enough, go to church or read the Bible enough or anything else of our doing. We can only receive the miraculous power of God that can change our lives by believing what He has done for us and His promises to us, not by anything we are or can do. “Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:4). Our faith should produce action and we can do good works, but it is not all about us, but all about Him.
Isaiah 9:6a “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given:” A child is born, but a son is given. It is a gift. The Son of God is a gift to us. Yet so many preach that you have to do something to be saved. You have to earn and deserve your forgiveness and salvation by religious works and actions. You didn’t and can’t earn salvation. You didn’t find God, He found you. You didn’t seek God, He sought you and
I. Luke 19:10 “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.” 1 John 4:9-10 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” Romans 5:6-8 “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Matthew 9:12-13 “They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.” Ezekiel 34:16 “I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick: but I will destroy the fat and the strong; I will feed them with judgment.” Luke 5:32 “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”
Were you lost? I was. We didn’t find God, He found us. Back to Isaiah 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” God gave Jesus five names here. First he was called, “Wonderful”, full of wonders, power and miracles. He will bring wonder and make the world marvel and wonder at Him. No matter what the world does to drown out the name of Jesus, He brings wonder, power and miracles to His people.
He is the counselor. He will provide us with whatever wisdom and counsel we need from Him. The counsel of God is knowing the right thing to do at the right time. Psalm 1:1-2 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” Jesus will give us good counsel, wonderful counsel, but we need to avoid bad counsel and avoid making decisions because we are desperate or in a desperate situation. Go to Jesus and ask counsel of Him. He is our counselor and He is made unto us wisdom. 1 Corinthians 1:30 “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:”
The third name given to Jesus was “The Mighty God”. He is the God of power and might. He is more than able to do all that we have need of. In Matthew 28:18 Jesus said; “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Ephesians 1:19-22 “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,”
Matthew 9:27 “And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou son of David, have mercy on us.” Do you need His mercy? Have you asked and cried out to God for that which you have need of? V.28 “And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.” Do you believe He is able to do, to perform that which you need? You must first believe it for He will only do it for those who believe He will do it for them and are not double minded.
Then Jesus is called “Everlasting Father”. We are accepted by Him. There is no greater word to us than Father. He is not just God to you, savior to you; He has opened the door to the Father and given us access to the throne of grace. He said that He and the father were one and so when we come to Jesus we have access to the heavenly Father. Jesus is also father in the same way we speak of the founding fathers of this nation, or the founding father of a city. They were the ones who began something new, where that city or this nation began. They were the authors the ones who brought it into being. Jesus brought salvation to us; He is the author of salvation for His people. He is the source and the one who made salvation possible. He is the author of the New Covenant of His blood that was shed for us, bringing us salvation, beginning His kingdom and making it possible for us to be a part of His kingdom and to share His life and have an inheritance in Him.
Jesus is the “Prince of Peace”. Peace means to triumph over opposition. It is security in the face of adversity. It is assurance that everything will be alright. Peace means that nothing is missing in our lives and nothing is broken in our lives. That is the picture of Jesus to us, nothing missing and nothing broken. Remember the story of the lost coin and the story of the lost sheep and the story of the prodigal son? Jesus helps restore that which is lost in your life, the lost coin, the lost sheep and the lost son. The price of peace makes sure that whatever is missing in our life, our coin, our sheep or our son, can be found again. He will make sure that whatever is missing in our lives is found and no longer missing. Do you need peace today? What’s missing in your life today? He is the prince of peace, the prince of all that is lacking and missing in your life. He is the one who bring wholeness to us in body, soul and spirit.
Matthew 1:21-23 “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Another name for Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us. He is an ever present help in time of need. He is our “I AM” not our “I Was” or “I Will Be”, but every present, omniscient and omnipotent Lord over all creation who is working on our behalf and interceding for us at the right hand of the Father. He is one who will never leave us or forsake us. What does Emmanuel mean to us?
Emmanuel means I will never be alone for He is God with us (Hebrews 13:5). You don’t ever have to be alone again. Men might forsake you, but not Jesus. You can be celebrating Christmas with hundreds of people and still be lonely and alone inside. No one else can satisfy the deepest longing and need of man, but Jesus. No one can fill the emptiness and meaningless of life as He can. TV can’t do it though many try that way. Many try to do it with food and at times it seems to come in a close second place, but food can’t fill the emptiness and loneliness inside. Games and people and parties and gifts and all the things we use to try to satisfy our loneliness and emptiness will not work. You can eat till your stuffed and still be empty inside and unsatisfied because only Jesus can satisfy the spiritual need of the soul of man for fellowship with His creator. He is Emmanuel, God with us. He promised to walk with you and go with you everywhere and uphold you with His right hand. Isaiah 41:10 “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”
Emmanuel means I never have to be afraid. Fear comes because of the unknown. Men fear that which they don’t know. But we don’t have to fear because we know that Jesus has promised to save and deliver us and keep us for Himself. Jesus will protect us and put His arms around us and not let us go so that none can get through to us. He will put us under His wings, as a mother hen does her chicks, as he would have for His people who rejected Him. Matthew 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” To those who let Him, He will gather them under His wings. Psalm 17:8 “Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings,” Psalm 91:3-9 “Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation.”
This is part of a true story of a Northwest airlines plane crash some years ago in
Detroit, Michigan. There was a little girl that came out of this plane that they found. When they found her, they couldn’t believe that she came off the plane and thought maybe she was driven there with some other relative. Her mother had died in the crash and they didn’t understand how she could have survived and be there standing outside the plane amid all the rescue efforts. Then they discovered that when the plane was going down the mother wrapped herself around the child and covered her completely and when the plane crashed, her body completely absorbed the impact and the child was preserved. Her love protected her child. That is the kind of savior we have and what He has promised to do for His children. As this mothers love preserved and protected her child, so God’s love is for us to preserve and protect us from harm and that which would destroy us. His love is greater than even a mother’s love. Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” You will never be afraid when you know that kind of love for “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:18). If you know Jesus we don’t have to ever be afraid again.
Emmanuel means that we don’t have to be depressed and continue in depression. Whatever you are going through, he will bring you out of it if you will trust Him. The angels said, “Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11). Jesus is with us, no matter what you are going through, trust Him and hold His hand.
Emmanuel means that you are not left out, but accepted in the beloved. Ephesians 1:5-6 “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”
Emmanuel means you will not be let down. Romans 5:5 “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” You will not let you down. He will do what He said He would do. He will answer our prayer, He will fulfill His promises, He will not fail to keep His Word and you will not be let down unless you look to man or to a thing. Men will let you down, men will fail to keep their word and people will let you down but Jesus will not let you down.
Christmas time is promoted as a time of joy and happiness and celebration. But the reality is that for many it is a time of sadness, of discouragement, depression and despair because of broken relationships and broken hopes. But we can be healed and become whole through faith in Christ and what He has done and He is able to cause us to recover all that we have lost and heal our broken hearts and spirits and give us joy and hope again and cause us to stand secure in Him that we do not continue in failure and the failures of our past. Only Christ can cause your life to become all that He intended for it to be.
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