December, 2016 Archive

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 15

The Christmas Tree Tradition To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. —Revelation 2:7b This Christmas season, as in those gone by, it is commonplace to hear Christians condemn trees adorned with ornaments as idolatrous. The following passage from Jeremiah […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 14

Can Santa Claus Be Saved? The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.” —Luke 1:35 Believe it or not, even Santa can be saved! Far from being a dangerous […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 13

The Preeminent Christ [Jesus Christ] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. — Colossians 1:15 Not everyone who believes in the virgin birth account is committed to the essential that Jesus was conceived as God incarnate. Jehovah’s Witnesses, for example, hold that Jesus was created by God as the archangel […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 12

What Child Is This? When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?” Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 11

Did the Christ of Christmas Claim to Be God? I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! —Revelation 1:17b–18a When Jesus came to Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples the mother of all questions, “Who do you say I […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 10

One Person—Two Natures In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 9

Immanuel In Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form. —Colossians 2:9 The reason we rejoice at Christmas is that the Baby born to Mary and Joseph on the first Advent was no ordinary child. As Matthew records, this Baby was the ultimate fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy of Immanuel—“God with us” (Matthew […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 8

Tidings of Comfort and Joy For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 7

Census Considerations In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. — Luke 2:1–3 On the Dateline NBC’s “The Birth of Jesus” […]

The Heart of Christmas – Devotional – Day 6

Genealogies of the Babe of Bethlehem A record of the genealogy of Jesus Christ the son of David, the son of Abraham. —Matthew 1:1 Despite the wealth of evidence that supports the historical reliability of the Gospels, some scholars point to apparent inconsistencies as evidence of their unreliability. One of the most frequently cited contradictions […]