Merry Christmas, my friends! Today is the Sunday before Christmas, and like you, I’ve been spending some time looking for and buying presents for the loved ones in my life. However, one thing I’m trying really hard to make sure I don’t do is putting the secular celebration of Christmas, with Santa and all of that, before the true reason that I and my family celebrate Christmas — the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus.
His birth is the ultimate expression of love that God has for us. God sent His Son Jesus to earth in the form of man to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins — and Jesus did so willingly because He loves us. For us in the 21st century, it truly is an act of faith to believe that this happened. I believe, and I think you believe also — and it is because of that belief that you and I are saved on this day.
So, my friends, while it is perfectly okay to celebrate Christmas with the exchanging of gifts, and seeing what Santa brings us, and all of that, it’s equally important that we not forget exactly why we have Christmas to begin with — to celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Luke 1: 31-33 (ESV) And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give to 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.”
- Lord, first and foremost, we have You and the birth of Your Son Jesus to give praise for — without Jesus we all would still be slaves to our sin — and even if we struggle with it, we know that through Jesus we are saved, and our sins are forgiven when we ask You to forgive us.
- Cindy’s Uncle Ted is doing quite well, and he was able to have his treatment on this past Monday and now won’t need a treatment until after Christmas! Thank you God for all that healing that you are giving to Uncle Ted, and please keep Uncle Ted and Aunt Connie safe and continue to heal them as they need it.
- Lord, we were able to celebrate with family twice this past week, and it was a great, joyous time both times. Thank you Lord for giving us family that we can visit and love and laugh and cry with, and please keep them all safe this Christmas season.
- Lord, thank you for putting it on all of our hearts — Christian and non-Christian — to be caring of our fellow human beings.
- Lastly, Lord, thank you for the wonderful gift of music that you have given Sophie — our Christmas concert this past Tuesday was a blessing to listen to. Lord, also, thank you for making Sophie’s transition to braces fairly easy.
- Please pray for my friend Vickie. Here is what she wrote: Mike I have been having severe pain in my jaw for a week now. Both the my dentist and doctor have failed to stop the pain. It has kept me from work as it becomes so severe I can not concentrate on driving. I drive a semi so being able to keep my mind on the road is important. A change of careers may also be needed. I pray that God will lead me to the solution of my pain and open up a door if getting off the road is what I need to do.
- Lord, please be with those people in this world that, through no fault of their own, find themselves falling on hard times. One such person is a man who was a manager, but the owner was stealing money, and as a result, the manager came into a lot of trouble as a result, and ended up being homeless. Please remind him that although he is facing tribulation at this time, there is a beautiful verse that You have given us that will help him if he but listens to it:
Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
- God, thank you for putting services such as Facebook to work for good instead of evil. It was through Facebook that I learned of a senseless death and accident at the hands of a drunk driver. The blessing is that it didn’t result in more deaths, although it certainly could have, but at this point, please pray for all the victims, but especially for the salvation of Cynthia Kirk, the 64 year old lady who died that night. Here is what I wrote as a comment to Jeffrey Sherman, who, along with his wife, were eye-witnesses to the death from about a foot away.
“Jeffrey, even though we have never met before, I am very glad that you and your wife were all right physically. Unfortunately, I worry that the emotional scars may take a little more healing. My prayer for the victim is for his salvation, and for you all, Peace and comfort and also the realization that there is something great in store for you — a bigger legacy than you may even know or have realized. It is truly sad that people do things like this, and I am angry that it happens, but I’m also sad, because so much hurt has now been caused because of some totally senseless acts by the driver.”
If you haven’t heard about this, you can click on this link to read all about it. A word of caution, you will be able to visualize it all because of the poignant writing of Mr. Sherman.
- Lord, I know that there are a lot of other prayer requests out there that I don’t know about. Lord, please hear those prayers — those calls for mercy — and lift up the afflicted and grant them Your Peace. It is in the name of Your Son Jesus that we pray. Amen.
And now, Lord, just to be sure that we are praying for Your Will, we will close with the Lord’s Prayer as Your Son Jesus taught us to pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be Thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come, thy Will be done,
On earth, as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive those that trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory,
Forever and ever.