As Christmas is nearing, the Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) officially announced that they will be hosting Christmas shopping bazaars set to happen over three consecutive weekends this December. The event is officially called the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and the exciting news is that people are invited to attend it as there will be vendors selling lots of products and food, plus some notable fun events.
To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the AHVA’s official announcement. Some parts in boldface…
We are delighted to announce that we will again be holding a Christmas bazaar this December! Dubbed “Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar”, the festive event will draw on the theme of Tchaikovsky’s world-famous Christmas ballet, “The Nutcracker”.
The bazaar will open on Friday, the 2nd of December and will run for three consecutive weekends: December 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18. Bazaar hours will be from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM every day of the 9-day bazaar. Venue will be the entire AHV Phase 2 Park.
Come to the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and enjoy
• CHRISTMAS TREE & BAZAAR LIGHTING CEREMONY on December 2, 6:00 PM,
• UNCLE DROSSELMEYER’S ENCHANTED MARKET (the bazaar),
• THE KINGDOM OF SWEETS & SAVORIES (the food pavilion), and
• HARLEQUIN THEATRE (the stage and performance area)
The bazaar’s fun highlights will include Bingo & Raffle Afternoons, Dance, Food, Magic, Music, and more!
Entrance to the bazaar is free! Invite your friends and relatives and let’s together make this a fun and memorable community Christmas celebration! A portion of the proceeds from the bazaar will go to the beneficiary of the AHV Christmas Outreach Program.
Indeed, the Christmas season is already here and if you are looking for things to buy for Christmas gift-giving or buy something you need, then Alabang Hills’ Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar is something you should consider. With three consecutive full weekends set, there will be opportunities for you and your friends to attend and have fun. The Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar is the first Christmas bazaar to be held inside Alabang Hills Village in the last few years. Truly, the AHVA and its strategic partners and bazaar organizers are going big-time this December with the 3-weekend bazaar.
Before you engage in Christmas shopping and having fun, always remember that Christmas is always all about Lord Jesus and it is to be rejoiced with Him. Thank the Lord for the continued revival of the Philippines from the downturn of COVID-19. Thank the Lord that more people have gotten vaccinated/boosted for COVID-19, that the local businesses and customers are more confident to interact with each other face-to-face, and that the Philippines is moving beyond the pandemic. Thank the Lord for the Nutcracker Christmas Bazaar and the many fun activities scheduled!
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Merry Christmas to all of you readers and my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! It is Christmas time once again and that only means that we must keep honoring, thanking, remembering and praising Jesus for He is our Lord and Savior sent by the Heavenly Father.
Previously I blogged that Christmas has always been about Lord Jesus and this new faith piece I am writing is a follow-up to that. In this very divided and screwed-up world we live in, it is simply too easy for people to celebrate Christmas without prioritizing Lord Jesus at all. There are some, knowingly or unknowingly, who celebrate while forgetting or even disregarding Lord Jesus. And there are some who celebrate Christmas in a rather covetous manner, making material gains the top priority of the season instead of prioritizing the Lord. There are also others who celebrate Christmas without Lord Jesus as they were influenced by the works of entertainers who organized or published these so-called Christmas specials with unholy influences. In many cultures around the world, the fictional Santa Claus became the figure of the season instead of the Lord Himself. Christmas is to be celebrated with Lord Jesus first and foremost! To rejoice with Lord Jesus every Christmas season is the definitive way of celebrating the very season!
To understand the truth that Lord Jesus is the definitive reason of Christmas, let’s go to the Holy Bible with the following holy scriptures below…
Yes, all kings shall fall down before Him;
All nations shall serve Him.
Psalm 72:11 (NKJV)
For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
Listen! A virgin will be pregnant, she will give birth to a Son, and he will be known as “Emmanuel,” which means in Hebrew, “God became one of us.”
Matthew 1:23 (TPT)
During the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the angel Gabriel was sent from God’s presence to an unmarried girl named Mary, living in Nazareth, a village in Galilee. She was engaged to a man named Joseph, a true descendant of King David. Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Rejoice, beloved young woman, for the Lord is with you and you are anointed with great favor.”
Mary was deeply troubled over the words of the angel and bewildered over what this may mean for her. But the angel reassured her, saying, “Do not yield to your fear, Mary, for the Lord has found delight in you and has chosen to surprise you with a wonderful gift. You will become pregnant with a baby boy, and you are to name him Jesus. He will be supreme and will be known as the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God will enthrone him as King on the throne of his ancestor David. He will reign as King of Israel forever, and his reign will have no limit.”
Mary said, “But how could this happen? I am still a virgin!”
Gabriel answered, “The Spirit of Holiness will fall upon you and almighty God will spread his shadow of power over you in a cloud of glory! This is why the child born to you will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your aged aunt, Elizabeth, has also become pregnant with a son. The ‘barren one’ is now in her sixth month. Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!”
Then Mary responded, saying, “Yes! I will be a mother for the Lord! As his servant, I accept whatever he has for me. May everything you have told me come to pass.” And the angel left her.
Luke 1:26-38 (TPT)
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.
Luke 2:7 (ESV)
As seen above, the prophecy of the birth of Lord Jesus was recorded in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. Psalm 72:11 and Isaiah 9:6 are just a few of many references to His birth. God our creator and Heavenly Father already made a plan to save all souls and bring to them peace, wisdom, love and salvation. The prophecy of Jesus’ birth continued in the New Testament and Matthew 1:23 is just one recorded reference.
As recorded in Luke 1:26-38, an angel from God came to Mary and told her she was anointed her with great favor and that she will be pregnant with none other than the Heavenly Father’s own son Jesus. Out of faith, Mary overcame the initial uncertainty (her being a virgin) and accepted her destiny to be God’s instrument on taking care of Jesus whose birth was nearing. Think about that very carefully! Imagine yourselves being approached by God and knowing how faithful you are to Him, He would approach you and trust you to follow His command and that His plans for you are always good. That being said, doubts and fear should easily be set aside to follow God’s command and be a part of His plan manifesting here on Earth. Faith in the Lord truly makes tremendous, positive changes happen! To serve the Lord with deep faith in Him is always an honor!
As recorded in Luke 2:7, Mary, who was accompanied by her husband Joseph, gave birth to the infant Jesus even without the privacy and comfort of an inn. People back then also had to live under the shadow of uncertainty and death in connection to the rules of the time. No matter how difficult their situation was, the birth of our Lord happened! There was no luck nor coincidence involved at all! The birth of Lord Jesus happened according to God’s plan! It was destiny realized with God’s favor!
More on the birth of Lord Jesus and His being the reason of Christmas, pay close attention to the following holy scriptures below…
Jesus was born in Bethlehem near Jerusalem during the reign of King Herod. After Jesus’ birth a group of spiritual priests from the East came to Jerusalem and inquired of the people, “Where is the child who is born king of the Jewish people? We observed his star rising in the sky and we’ve come to bow before him in worship.”
King Herod was shaken to the core when he heard this, and not only he, but all of Jerusalem was disturbed when they heard this news. So he called a meeting of the Jewish ruling priests and religious scholars, demanding that they tell him where the promised Messiah was prophesied to be born.
“He will be born in Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,” they told him. “Because the prophecy states:
And you, little Bethlehem,
are not insignificant among the clans of Judah,
for out of you will emerge
the Shepherd-King of my people Israel!”
Then Herod secretly summoned the spiritual priests from the East to ascertain the exact time the star first appeared. 8 And he told them, “Now go to Bethlehem and carefully look there for the child, and when you’ve found him, report to me so that I can go and bow down and worship him too.”
And on their way to Bethlehem, the same star they had seen in the East suddenly reappeared! Amazed, they watched as it went ahead of them and stopped directly over the place where the child was. And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy. When they came into the house and saw the young child with Mary, his mother, they fell to the ground at his feet and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests full of gifts and presented him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Afterward they returned to their own country by another route because God had warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod.
Matthew 2:1-12 (TPT)
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16 (NKJV)
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NLT)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (ESV)
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.
John 3:16 (NASB)
For here is the way God loved the world—he gave his only, unique Son as a gift. So now everyone who believes in him will never perish but experience everlasting life.
John 3:16 (TPT)
For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,
1 Timothy 2:5 (NKJV)
With this in mind, we constantly pray that our God will empower you to live worthy of all that he has invited you to experience. And we pray that by his power all the pleasures of goodness and all works inspired by faith would fill you completely. By doing this the name of our Lord Jesus will be glorified in you, and you will be glorified in him, by the marvelous grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 (TPT)
As Christians and children of God, we must always remember and live with the truth that our Lord and Savior Jesus is truly the reason for Christmas. No matter how savage or uncertain this world is right now, we must never lose faith in the Lord and it is only the Lord who can lift us up when we fall down. It is only He who can restore us, bless us and pave the way for us. The birth of Jesus has always been a key part of God’s plan for us all! The Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit love us all and we simply have to do our parts and responsibilities as members of the Body of Christ and the spiritual family (God’s family). That being said, celebrating Christmas with our Lord Jesus is the true way of celebrating the season.
From this point on, I would like to reach out to all the lost and the unsaved people reading this. Are you frustrated with religion? Have you been living in bondage for too long? Did the atheists, the humanists and the secularists fool and abused you? Were you victimized by a religious zealot? Have you been persecuting Israel while supporting the terrorist-sponsored Palestinians and the wicked BDS movement? Have you been living as a homosexual or as a transgendered person? Are you still prioritizing addictions to sex, drugs and other inappropriate elements over the Lord ? Have you been causing trouble as a social justice warrior (SJW)? Did you spend an entire life worshiping statues, statuettes, images, people and relics? Have you been condemning churches and people of faith for a long time now? Are you a toxic person or one of those modern-day Leftist activists (Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, the abortionists and others) who got fed up fighting for worthless causes? Have been a Planned Parenthood supporter or activist? Did you kill someone and have been living so long with the guilt? Have been practicing sorcery and witchcraft? All of that darkness can finally end and you can decide to do it! How? You can save yourselves by submitting yourselves to the Lord Jesus willingly and realize He is the Light! Glorify only the Lord!
There is no force and no coercion here. You have time and freedom to decide to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. For those who have decided to get born again now and gain salvation, please read the instructions and follow the prayer that I learned from my first pastor.
Are you ready? Firstly, open your heart to the Lord and pray this simple prayer in sincerity from your heart:
I thank You. I believe Jesus is Your Son. I believe that He died for me and redeemed me from all of my sins. He took my sins and, Father, thank You for loving me and You demonstrated Your love for me through Your Son Jesus Christ. Forgive me for all of my sins. Jesus, I open my heart to You. I welcome You to enter into my heart. I confess today that You are now my Lord and Savior. Thank You for forgiveness. I receive forgiveness. Thank You for Your blood that cleansed me from all of my sins. I will follow You, Jesus. Thank You for Your plan. I receive the Holy Spirit. And Holy Spirit, help me to follow the will of God in my life in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Congratulations! You are now a child of God! You have received Holy Spirit in your heart! This is easily your greatest decision ever made and also the greatest miracle of your life. Always praise, thank and honor the Lord. No more darkness in your life caused by politics, radicalism, toxicity, rebellion, religion, unbelief, evil, idolatry, traditions and rituals! Leave behind the darkness of your life and don’t look back to it. Remember that idolatry is evil, Purgatory is a lie, penance is a deception and Satan always used religion and unbelief to prevent people from being saved by the Lord.
With Lord Jesus, you are already moving forward and the best is yet to come! You also have a personal relationship with God, a relationship that is strictly off-limits to others (even to your household members or biological family members).
The Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close to it for it is the Word of God. Remember always that Lord Jesus did not die on the cross to start religion at all. He died to redeem us all and showed that we must be led by faith in Him, faith in the Holy Spirit and faith in God the Heavenly Father. He rose from the dead and made His earthly presence felt once more to those who believed in Him. Lord Jesus ascended to Heaven and He promised to return in the future. His return is what we must always remember and keep living with holiness under the watch of God. We can do our part in building up God’s kingdom here on Earth by preaching His Word, blessing the Jewish people and saving the countless lost and unsaved souls around us by leading them to Lord Jesus. Living as a Christian is always about the personal relationship with the Lord, and it is certainly not about religion. Never let the idolaters, the idol makers and other sinister forces fool you into becoming unholy.
Thank you for reading. If you find this Christian article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing the love of Christ can make a tremendously positive difference with others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/
Welcome back and Merry Christmas to all my fellow Christians! I pray that all of you had happy celebrations of Christmas with your families and local communities the past two days even though we are all enduring a pandemic. With Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we are protected by Him and will always be blessed as long as we always honor and worship Him.
I want to share here specific online events and presentations that are focused on Christmas, God’s Word and Lord Jesus. In case you missed these events, you can still view them via YouTube right here!
The first I want you to pay attention to is Yugto, an online Christmas Eve special event that was successfully broadcast online via the Facebook page and YouTube channel of Church of God, World Missions Philippines.
Yugto has high-quality production values and its presentation was professionally done. You will see the megachurch’s musicians perform Christmas song with interviews of a number of individuals who testified how they were challenged by the pandemic and still maintained strong faith in the Lord who never abandoned them. The testimonies are very moving and they will remind you how caring and loving our Lord truly is. The national overseer of COGWMPH Dr. Anthony Velasco also appeared and stated some things that will interest you. That being said, I recommend you watch Yugto below.
Next, is the Christmas Day special event of Hillsong Church with senior pastors Brian and Bobbie Houston leading the service. Musical performances by Hillsong Worship are also included. What I find very interesting is the presentation opening with varied people from the different Hillsong churches around the world participating. I recommend watching it all below.
Last but not least, I am sharing below the video of New Life Philippines Christmas Eve worship service which I personally attended at their church in Alabang Hills Village, Muntinlupa City. Pastor Jocel Evangelista delivered another strong teaching of the Word of God in relation to Christmas. Also included was the video message by New Life co-founders Paul and Shoddy Chase. I recommend watching the worship service below.
As Christians, we should all be thankful to God that we have Christian churches around the world that actively teach His Word as people celebrate Christmas. Be aware that there are many unsaved and lost souls around us who only look at Christmas as a time of feasting, a time of receiving gifts and a time of taking vacations without focusing on Lord Jesus. We are blessed by the Lord to be reminded of prioritizing Lord Jesus no matter what happens and no matter how we celebrate Christmas. Christmas is truly all about Lord Jesus!
In ending this, I’m posting below the holy scripture of Isaiah 9:6-7 from The Passion Translation of the Holy Bible for your faith in the Lord. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all and remember to keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!
A child has been born for us; a son has been given to us. The responsibility of complete dominion will rest on his shoulders, and his name will be: The Wonderful One! The Extraordinary Strategist! The Mighty God! The Father of Eternity! The Prince of Peace!
Great and vast is his dominion. He will bring immeasurable peace and prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom to establish and uphold it by promoting justice and righteousness from this time forward and forevermore. The marvelous passion that the Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies, has for his people will ensure that it is finished!
Isaiah 9:6-7 (TPT)
Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.
Merry Christmas to all of you my readers and my fellow Christians! We honor and remember our Lord and Savior Jesus whose birth, life, sacrifice and resurrection remains highly significant to this day. It is during the Christmas season we should focus mainly on Lord Jesus and not allow ourselves to be distracted by the elements of this screwed-up world we live in. Christmas is all about Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else!
That being said, it is time for us all to take the opportunities of today to deepen our faith in the Lord and this is about what to watch this Christmas.
No, I am not talking about the venomous Hollywood movies that pretend to be about Christmas, nor those movies that used Christmas as a backdrop or a setting. In fact, I am not talking about movies at all.
What I am talking about are Christ-centered events and presentations that we can find online and easily access. For starters, we can warm up ourselves with the many Christmas musical performances by Hillsong Worship and a few from Planetshakers below.
Now we can focus on upcoming Christmas events. In fact, a few of them will happen today – December 24, hours from now to be precise! Let’s start with Hope Unlimited Church (HopeUC) and its Christmas Eve service which will start live streaming via YouTube today at 2:45 PM Manila Time (5:45 PM in Australia). For the newcomers reading this, HopeUC is headed by the famous pastor Darlene Zschech and her husband Mark.
Next is the Christmas Eve service of Hillsong Church which will start live streaming via YouTube at 3PM Manila time (6PM in Australia) today. Expect to see Brian and Bobbie Houston.
Tomorrow, Hillsong Church will have its Christmas Day service. It will start live streaming via YouTube at 6:30 AM Manila time (9:30 AM in Australia).
Each of the scheduled Christmas special events of HopeUC, Hillsong and Church of God, World Missions Philippines will include teachings of the Word of God, musical presentations, prayers and other special activities that viewers can focus on and deepen their faith in Lord Jesus.
In ending this, posted below are YouTube videos of the recent Christmas-related events that you might have missed. Enjoy them and remember to take steps when you want to deepen your faith in the Lord. Merry Christmas to you all and remember to keep on being the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!
Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. Sharing this Christian piece means spreading the good news of the Lord to others. It can help you save the unsaved and the lost souls out there.
Christmas is always truly about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. He was born thousands of years ago and His earthly mother Mary served as God’s chosen instrument to conceive and carry Him. As we the faithful already know, Jesus went on to spread God’s message to others, taught many meaningful and holy lessons, provided the best guidance and, ultimately, He suffered and died to redeem humanity entirely. Jesus came back from the dead and made His presence felt to many witnesses before finally ascending to Heaven with a promise that He will return.
As I personally witnessed and experienced in life, the celebration of Christmas, at least here in the Philippines, is not too focused on Jesus Himself. This is because others are distracted by earthly developments, social trends, the Internet, selfishness, materialism, covetousness and other factors.
For one thing, idolatry, which I previously explained is a sin as recorded in the Holy Bible, continues to keep people away from Jesus when celebrating Christmas. There are still a lot of people out there who instantly think of Santa Claus instead of Lord Jesus whenever Christmas is discussed. Look at all those paintings, drawings, decorations, statues and other visual forms of Santa Claus, Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, the elves and the like which many believe in. Idolatry’s menace is still present during the Christmas season. Christmas is all about Lord Jesus who is real and alive above us, high up in Heaven. Santa Claus and the related characters are all just pieces of fantasy!
There is also the distraction that comes with financial bonuses, the free meals and drinks served during Christmas parties, the dancing, the music, the gifts (which are often linked with Santa Claus), the Christmas-themed movies, the video games, the out-of-town vacations and the like. All those enjoyable elements should not be viewed as the main purpose of Christmas but rather as blessings from God who is the source of blessings, happiness, prosperity and opportunities. It’s okay to enjoy gifts and riches but always remember the Lord and thank Him for them.
Making the celebration of Christmas meaningless, hollow and complicated is secularism. Already secularism distorted many people’s ways of celebrating the season of Christ by excluding Him, by brainwashing people to express “Xmas” (or “X’mas”) instead of “Christmas”, and by making people focus on gift-giving as the main purpose of the Lord’s season instead of celebrating His birth. Be mindful that secularism, atheism and other forms of resistance or denial towards the Lord lead to unbelief.
And then there is also the presence of religion which really hinders people from being faithful to the Lord by deceiving them into practicing idolatry (true Christianity means worshiping God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit mainly and directly), practicing religious traditions (which take people away from the Holy Bible), being burdened by the many man-made rules of religion, and doing things that involve little or nothing about God’s Word (the Holy Bible) at all! As if these were not bad enough, the so-called leaders of the hierarchy of religion-driven churches wield tremendous power over the people who don’t realize they have been trapped by religion (and were even manipulated to worship those so-called leaders). Lastly, religion also hinders people from easily realizing the truth about celebrating Christmas.
With these things expressed, I would like to help you realize that Christmas is truly all about Lord Jesus, nothing else and nobody else! Please pay close attention to the following scriptures from the Holy Bible.
For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace,
Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)
Isaiah 9:6 emphasizes peace and Christlikeness. Peace comes from God (read Romans 1: 7) and is evidence of the rule of the Messiah whose character as the Prince of Peace waits to instill the settledness of His own rule in our souls. To be faithful to the Lord requires repentance, submission and becoming born again (refer to Jesus’ own words in John 3: 3) which includes living in holiness with Lord Jesus as the one to follow. Christianity involves faithfulness, absorbing and understanding God’s Word (the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority and nothing else comes close), doing God’s Word (applying it in our lives) and living the Christian way no matter how chaotic our world is and matter how many people will challenge or harm us (all the more reason to remain faithful with the Lord).
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9 (NKJV)
And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (NKJV)
2 Corinthians 8:9 emphasizes that the greatest and most inspiring example of generosity is the grace of Lord Jesus. His richness does not refer to material wealth during His time living in the flesh, rather it is recognition of His eternal status as Lord of both Heaven and Earth. Lord Jesus became poor through the total giving of Himself in the incarnation and the Crucifixion (refer to Philippians 2:5-8). That scripture shows how much Jesus would give and how far He went to lift people up. Contrary to the teachings of some practitioners of religion (who were even worshipped by people trapped by religion), the Lord does not want His faithful children to be trapped with poverty while living in the flesh. Continuing further, 2 Corinthians 9: 8 is about God’s ability to meet all the faithful children’s needs (spiritual, financial, and others) and increase their resources so that they can meet their needs. As mentioned earlier, God is the definitive source we the faithful must always look up to and continue to thank and honor Him in return. It is the Lord (not those idols and not people) who rewards the faithful abundantly!
This brings me to the next holy scripture with the words of Lord Jesus Himself. This one is very true and undeniable!
And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Revelations 22:12 (NKJV)
I love those words from Lord Jesus who truly loves us. We the faithful each have a personal relationship with God and that relationship is strictly off-limits to everyone else (not even the head of any over-sized religion-driven church has the right to intervene in a Christian’s personal relationship with God). At the same time, God made plans for each and every one of us and that includes assignments or tasks that He will assign to you and me. After doing the assigned tasks we got, the Lord will reward us according to the work we each fulfilled. Don’t expect the exact same reward, expect the proportionate reward and only the Lord knows the values of each task He assigns to us. The Lord knows best! Remember this whenever you think of Christmas – that Jesus was born to not only save us from sin but also to reward each and every faithful Christian who performed the assigned tasks from Him.
But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God–and righteousness and sanctification and redemption–
1 Corinthians 1:30 (NKJV)
1 Corinthians 1:30 is about righteousness, sanctification and redemption. Righteousness is God’s judicial determination to right every wrong and His gift to the guilty which removes all condemnation and puts them in a state of justification (including full acquittal from all charges made against them). Sanctification is about the need for cleansing from pollution and this includes renewal by the power of the Holy Spirit which allows acceptable living before God, and points to our ultimate perfection in His presence. Redemption speaks of freedom and final deliverance from all aspects of sin, including the resurrection of the body.
Are you still a sinner? Do you believe that the real-world justice system has been corrupted and blind to you? Look up to God, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit instead! It is never too late for sinners to become born again (to be saved), dedicate themselves to the Lord and live not only a new life but a holier life. Never forget that true redemption is from the Lord! Jesus was born into our world as the Redeemer! Jesus defeated Satan and He also saved humanity which suffered a lot since Adam rebelled towards God.
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.”
Isaiah 48:17 (NKJV)
Not only is Jesus the Redeemer, He is also God in the flesh! Instead of making our own plans (which lead to selfishness, covetousness and other unholy elements in life) thinking of pulling God to make them come true, we should do instead is submit to the Lord and repent, let the Holy Spirit come into our hearts (this is part of becoming born again) and let the Lord guide us and lead us. We in turn must follow the plan God made for each and every one of us. Those plans were made by Him even before we each got created.
Speaking of plans from Him, we each need the Holy Spirit. Take note of the following scriptures.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go to pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NKJV)
Verse 11 emphasizes that God indeed punishes His people in order to restore them to a proper relationship with Him. While there is hope for sinners to reform themselves to be good (righteousness and holiness), the sinners who are truly wicked and always deliberately sin for their own agenda (or keep doing the work for Satan) and satisfaction (examples: covetousness, greed, murder, destruction, lying, idolatry) will truly be punished by the Lord (refer to Psalm 94:23, Psalm 83:17, 1 Timothy 6:9, Jude 1:10, Psalm 28:5 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10). All the more reason to be repent, submit to God and become born again (John 3: 3). Verses 12, 13 and 14 are about seeking the Lord who truly listens and responds (with action) to the prayers of those who are faithful to Him. To realize Jeremiah 29: 11-14 in your life, you need to have the Holy Spirit (receive Jesus in you) and live in holiness. Being born again means leaving your old sinful life behind and live on as a new creation of the Lord. Live in holiness with faith, not religion and not unbelief. Going back to remembering Lord Jesus for Christmas, always also remember His Holiness.
“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be gloried in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwels with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.”
John 14:12-18 (NKJV)
Those words from Lord Jesus are truly powerful and undeniable. Verse 12 refers to His earthly ministry that lasted only a few years. However, after the Resurrection and Pentecost, Jesus’ ministry was and continues to be multiplied through Spirit-empowered believers. We the faithful have work to do that includes preaching the gospel, resulting the blessings of justification, reconciliation, and the gift of the Holy Spirit coming to humankind. These are post-Resurrection manifestations of the reign of Lord Jesus. Verse 13 is about prayer offered in Jesus’ name in accordance with His revealed nature and purpose, complete with the full weight of His authority backing it. Verse 15 and 16 clearly shows that our love for Him should always come with following His commandments, and Jesus will pray to God the Father who will respond by sending another Helper (the Holy Spirit, also referred to in John 14: 26) to us as we, who live here on Earth, wait for His return. Verse 17 is a reminder that there are a whole lot of people who do not believe nor understand the Lord, and therefore they cannot relate with the beliefs of faithful Christians. This is about the many unsaved souls and lost souls who dwell all over the Earth, the many who don’t realize their true purposes under God. Verse 18 is about Jesus referring to His coming and in the Person of the Holy Spirit. For as long as we believe in Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, we the faithful will not be abandoned.
“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
John 14:26 (NKJV)
Those words by Lord Jesus goes back to Verse 16 of John chapter 14 with regards to the Helper from God which is the Holy Spirit. This particular verse goes further explaining that the Holy Spirit will teach the faithful Christian what to say yes to (acceptance) and what to say no to (denial). Instead of relying on our own thinking, we the faithful should allow the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us, and remember to always enforce the boundaries that the Lord gave us. With the Lord as our ultimate teacher and guide, nothing and nobody else comes close! Don’t be misled by the idolaters and other sinners, always follow the Holy Spirit in you! Pray for the unsaved souls and lost souls that they will realize their true purpose under God and willingly decide to return to Him with repentance and submission. The unsaved and the lost don’t realize it yet but they really need the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, and they also need to be born again. Religion, idolatry and unbelief have kept them away from the Lord for so long.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV)
Jeremiah 33:3 reminds us that God is open to anyone who seeks Him and His guidance. As such, with all the many activities happening during the Christmas holiday (partying, feasting, shopping spree, out-of-town vacations and the like), we must always make time for the Holy Spirit. This also means making time to pray to the Lord, reading the Holy Bible and continue to implement the many holy lessons into our respective lives. This is about living in holiness in a world that has been screwed up and divided.
In concluding this, I embedded below videos of Christian praise-and-worship songs that strongly emphasize the Lord. They are not exactly Christmas-themed songs but they are still great to worship the Lord with.
I wish you all a Merry Christmas! Remember that no matter what happens around you, always make time for the Holy Spirit. Enjoy the Christmas holidays but never leave and never forget about Lord Jesus. Remember to always praise, honor and thank the Lord forever.