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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Infant Jesus along with Mary and Joseph
"They shall call His name Jesus"

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"Why Jesus Came"

"Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Timothy 1:15).

I read a report this week that the majority of people in Britain no longer believe in the historical truth of the nativity story about the birth of Jesus.  All over the world Biblical truths are being mocked and ridiculed and sadly there are those in the visible church who feel we must compromise in disbelief to be accepted by the world. After all there are those who concede that the Creation record in Genesis is a legend, the Biblical miracles aren't real, and the Bible characters are myths. How long before the critical events in the life of our Savior; His birth, death, and resurrection are similarly ridiculed.  Of course they are already ridiculed on many fronts today.

And yet earnest believers gather all over the world to give focus to the real meaning of Christmas. We will sing, read Scripture, pray and hear the Christmas story. We gather as redeemed sinners to express our faith in the very heart of the Christmas story. "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."

The epistles give little emphasis regarding the birth of Christ.  Apart from the historical record in the narratives in Matthew and Luke, and the prophecies foretold centuries earlier, we have no other information on our Lord's birth.  It's not mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles or in the epistles with any detail.  There's simply no record of the early church celebrating Christ's birth as we do today.

But they certainly believed in it!  Paul introduces a saying that apparently was an early creedal statement of the primitive church. "Here is a trustworthy saying", literally a "faithful word."  This simple, easily memorized statement was perhaps used to teach and reinforce the faith in the earliest believers.  It was at the time and always will be absolutely trustworthy! 

Indeed it "deserves full acceptance."  Although most of the world's population has not accepted this truth; from its earliest declaration, to this day and throughout eternity it truly deserves full acceptance.  I have accepted this truth and hope each of you have as well.  It is the very heart of the Christmas message.  "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners."

Be encouraged today and Merry Christmas to all our readers,

Stephen & Brooksyne Weber

Daily Prayer:  Father, how grateful we are that Jesus came into this world to save sinners; to turn despair to hope, darkness to light, and death into life.  All that we have need of and presently rely on is abundance from Your generous Hand.  You are worthy of our trust and deserving of our fully surrendered life.  From the cradle to the cross Jesus is Lord of Heaven and Lord of earth.  We celebrate the birth of Your Son, Jesus, our Savior.  Amen.

Please note: Due to travel on Christmas Day we do not plan to prepare a Daily Encouragement message.  We expect to resume Friday, December 26.

A Few Photos From our Drive Yesterday
Lancaster County PA farm
In the course of our travels we take different routes when possible.
Yesterday we passed this colorful farm.

Amish schoolhouse
The Amish children were likely having a Christmas program at their school.  
Both Amish and non-Amish attend this annual event, thus the buggies, scooters and autos.

Amish open buggy
Though it was frigid yesterday a couple of warm-blooded plain folks rode "convertible style" in front of us.

Merry Christmas from the Webers

2008 Weber family Christmas photo
We would like to share our online Christmas newsletter that we prepared for our family and friends with all our readers.

Today's Suggested Music
and Supplemental Resources
(Click on the link to open and play. In some cases you may also need to click again to start the song.)

"O Holy Night"  (Audio)

"Silent Night"  (Audio)

"Mary, Sweet Mary"  (Audio)

Here's the story regarding British beliefs concerning Christmas referenced in the first paragraph of today's message.

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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.

Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."

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