Saturday, December 23, 2006


Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. 13 Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. Psalms 51:10 - 13 (KJV)

Dear Lord,

Renew in me the true meaning of Christmas…


  • Renew in me the true awe of You, ALMIGHTY GOD who Created man. You knew what would cause man’s downfall and planned our Salvation from the beginning.

Luke 2:8 - 9 (KJV) And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

Proverbs 9:10 (NASB) The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.

Put them in fear, O LORD: that the nations may know themselves to be but men. Selah Psalms 9:20 (KJV)


  • Renew in me the eternal joy rooted in the experiential knowledge of the Christ of Christmas.

Matthew 2:10 (KJV) 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Philippians 4:4(KJV) Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!


  • Renew in me the wonder of 4000 years of prophecy culminating in the birth of Christ.

Genesis 3:15; 49:10 – 4,000 years before Christ

Isaiah 7:14; 9:1-2, 6-7 – 700 before Christ

Micah 5:2 – 700 years before Christ

Zechariah – 520 years before Christ.


  • Renew in me the excitement of having the ONE TRUE GOD love me!

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him would not perish but have everlasting life.


  • Renew in me the ability to reflect the light of Christ. Help me to live a holy lifestyle in this world filled with the darkness of sin and evil and point all men to Christ.

Matthew 5:14 - 16 (NASB) “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; 15 ”nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

Thank you for your grace and mercy towards me, Father. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus Christ into this world and into my life. I thank you now for what you are going to do in me and through me in the year to come as I experience your renewal in my life. AMEN.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday, December 21, 2006


Young children have been telling the Christmas story every year for as long as I can remember. The scene that most often catches our attention is when Joseph knocks on the door of the Inn. The Innkeeper answers the door and those famous words echo once again,


This taken from Luke 2:7 where the writer tells us,

And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NASB)

That scene has been running through my mind lately. Last night I picked up a book that had a sermon by Dwight L. Moody called, “No Room for Jesus”. This famous preacher was active in the mid to late 1800’s. We might think that he would be a little “out of date or style” but listen to a few of his points:

  • No room for Jesus in the United States or any other nation
  • No room in the Church
  • No room in the hearts of church members

December 20, 2006 George Barna released a list of the twelve most significant findings from his research in the year 2006. The first one on the list states:

Although large majorities of the public claim to be “deeply spiritual” and say that their religious faith is “very important” in their life, only 15% of those who regularly attend a Christian church ranked their relationship with God as the top priority in their life. As alarming as that finding was, its significance was magnified by research showing that on average pastors believe that 70% of the adults in their congregation consider their relationship with God to be their highest priority in life.

It would appear that there is still no room for Jesus or, at the very least, a miniscule space in the hearts of man.

Moody made the statement towards the end of the previously mentioned sermon,

“The only room the world found for him was just on the cross.”

What about you, is there room in your heart for Christ this year? Is there room in your life for Christ this year?

Don’t push him aside. Don’t give him just a little corner of your life. Give it all to him and have the best Christmas that you have ever had. Don’t let him have to say, “I came to you and found no room.”


Wednesday, December 20, 2006


In preparation for a visit by a dignitary or special friend, we might prepare our house by vacuuming, dusting, polishing and a myriad of other things. We would shine the “surface” so to speak.

As John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus, his advice to those around him went beyond surface. It went straight to the heart. We hear his cry in Matthew 3:2,

“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

The New Living Translation says, “Repent of your sins….” We generally refer to the act of repentance as turning away from doing wrong and going in the opposite direction, presumably doing right!

John the Baptist illuminates this somewhat in verse 8 when he tells the Pharisees and Sadducees,

“Therefore bear fruit in keeping with repentance;

Or, as the New Living Translation puts it, “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”

I put before you the following definition for repent from the internet

Repentance is the feeling and act in which one recognizes and tries to right a wrong, or gain forgiveness from someone that they wronged. In religious contexts it usually refers to repenting for a sin against God. It always includes an admission of guilt, and also includes at least one of: a solemn promise or resolve not to repeat the offense; an attempt to make restitution for the wrong, or in some way to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong where possible.

I especially like the part about trying to right a wrong and attempting to reverse the harmful effects of the wrong. Isn’t that what we do when we tell people about the Savior that has come into our lives?

This year as you prepare your heart for the celebration of Christ’s birthday I urge you to “bear fruit in keeping with repentance.” Tell someone the real meaning of the One for whom this holiday was named. Tell someone what a difference He has made in your life and point them to the hope that they too can have in Him.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006


What’s in a name? Remember the old saying “sticks and stones may break my bones but names can never hurt me”? Well, actually they can hurt your feelings if you think about it. Did kids ever call you “fatty”, “pudgy”, “plain Jane” or “dopey”? That didn’t make you feel too good.

The name or more properly, knick name that others call you is often how they perceive you or identify you. “Doll”, “brain”, “sweetie” or “wiz kid” may all be knick names that some might call you. I walked into the grocery store the other day and somebody said to me, “Aren’t you the Music Man?”

In six more days, we are going to be celebrating the birth of Jesus. The scriptures list many different names by which we know Jesus…

Matthew 1:23 quotes a passage from Isaiah 7:14 calling the child…

IMMANUEL (God with us)

In Luke 2:11 the child is referred to as…




Another prophecy concerning Jesus is found in Isaiah 9:6…

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

I looked up an article on the names of Jesus in Nave’s Topical Bible and they listed 261 different names with verse references! Among them are…

The Alpha and Omega

The Cornerstone

Bread of Life

Living Water

When you stop to think about it, they all describe different aspects of who Jesus is. Do a study on your own and discover the depth and majesty of the One whose birthday we shall soon celebrate.


Monday, December 18, 2006


“There’s nothing to do in this little hick town. I’m moving out and going to a big city.”

I have heard this more than once living here in this rural setting. The truth of the matter is that it doesn’t matter what size your town is or how obscure your town is. What matters is what God has done, is doing or will do in your town and, whether or not you are willing to be a part of His plan right now.

Bethlehem was a rather obscure place, being a village 5 or 6 miles to the south of Jerusalem. The Bible first mentions Bethlehem as the place where Rachel died (Genesis 48:7) and later as the place where a shepherd boy named David was born. That shepherd boy had tremendous faith in God and later became the King of Israel (1 Samuel 16:4-13).

The prophet Micah also wrote of this small village:

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,

are only a small village among all the people of Judah.

Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you,

one whose origins are from the distant past. Micah 5:2 (NLT)

That ruler was none other than Jesus Christ. His origins as we see from the Gospel of John are from the distant past. John tells us “He was in the beginning with God” (John 1:2).

Why would God bring His only Son into the world in a little village like Bethlehem? Perhaps it was to encourage those of us living in small towns to persevere and be faithful to Him.

Remember Jesus came from the family tree of King David. God had honored King David because he loved the Lord with all of his heart. We have all heard of the story of David and Goliath. David was just a boy, but he couldn’t stand to hear the giant Goliath making fun of Israel’s army. David went forward “in the name of the LORD,” killed the giant and gave all the glory to the LORD (1 Samuel 17).

Can God do something great in your little town? Absolutely! Be faithful to Him, give God the glory for your victories and be His servant no matter the circumstances. He has placed you where He wants you to be at this moment in time.

What was once an obscure little village became one of the most famous cities in the entire world. Songs are sung about it. People from far away places spend thousands of dollars to go and see it. All because of the faithfulness and devotion to God of a young shepherd boy and one of his descendants whose birthday we celebrate every December 25.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

They read about him in an old book. They had never met him, yet they brought him expensive gifts.

The Wisemen’s search was over. They had found the One they were looking for.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. 11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:10 - 11 (KJV)

Have you found the Christ of Christmas? If not continue seeking Him. If you search with all your heart He promises that you will find Him.

If you do know the Jesus about whom I am speaking then I would ask you this,

What did you get Him for His birthday this year?

These wisemen or astrologers that searched and found Jesus, brought him very expensive gifts. I’m sure that these came in handy for Mary and Joseph as the two new parents set about providing for the baby Jesus.

Yet those of us who have accepted Him as Savior and Lord have even more of a responsibility to give from our thankful hearts. What do we give?

Money to the local church that we see doing the Lord’s work.

Money to missionaries or other organizations that are being faithful to His call.

Even those that didn’t really know Jesus gave Him monetary gifts. What more can we give? What more does He desire?

The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit. You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God. Psalms 51:17 (NLT)

In other words, He wants us totally sold out to Him. This Christmas, give Christ the only present He really desires…YOU

Give Him ALL of you

  • Your wants, wishes and desires
  • Your problems, fears and phobias
  • Your talents, dreams and aspirations.

There is a great song called “Surrender” by Marc James that puts it this way:

I'm giving You my heart and all that is within;

I lay it all down for the sake of You my King.

I'm giving You my dreams, I'm laying down my rights,

I'm giving up my pride for the promise of new life.


And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

And I surrender

All to You, all to You.

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