December 11

Today's Bible Reading
     II Chronicles 11-12
     Revelation 2
     Zephaniah 3
     John 1
            “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God." (John 1:11-13)
            It was in 1932 on Christmas Eve when Robert McGimsey had attended a midnight church service in New York City, and was walking back to his one-room apartment. On the way, he passed the open doors of private clubs where people were shouting, swearing, and singing.  Others were so drunk, they had passed out on the sidewalk.
McGimsey thought, ''What a strange way to celebrate the birth of the most perfect Person who ever lived on this earth." That night, McGimsey wrote his thoughts on the back of an envelope. He wrote them like the spiritual he had loved growing up in the southern part of the United States.
            Sweet little Jesus boy, They made you be born in a manger;
            Sweet little Holy Child, Didn't know who You was. 
            Didn't know You 'd come to save us, Lord, To take our sins away.
            Our eyes was blind, we couldn't see, We didn't know who You was.
As you enter into the Christmas season, you must remind yourself once again, it is not about the busy department stores and the decorations. The season is not about the songs and the frivolous attitude of people; it is not about the food, the parties, the gifts, or the activities. It is, indeed, about the Sweet Little Jesus Boy, because He was God become Man. The Christmas celebration centers around the Incarnation. That simply means that God Himself moved to where the need is. God became Man in order for man to become like God. Our passage today is about the truth, the tragedy, and the triumph of Christmas.
            THE TRUTH - ''He came into His own . . .''
The Greek language here literally renders ''He came into His own things." Jesus Christ was the Creator of all the things on planet earth, so He indeed came into His own things. The prophets had all told us He was coming and, indeed, He did. The world was prepared for Him, geographically, politically, economically, morally, religiously, and in every other way. ''But when the fullnessofthetimehad come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons'' (Galatians 4 :4-5).
            THE TRAGEDY - ''. . .His own received Him not."
The best translation is He came into His own things, and His own people received Him not. All of us know that the Jewish people, the nation of Israel, rejected Christ as the Messiah. They suffer still today because they would not receive the Messiah meant for them.
            THE TRIUMPH - ''. . .but as many as received Him, to them He gave power to become the sons of God .. .''
During this Christmas season, when the world revels in drunkenness, and serve the god of Bacchus, as the world neglects the church that Christ died for, and as the world focuses on everything else, you place your focus on Jesus. May the Light of the world cause you to shine as a bright light in a dark world. Begin now to make this Christmas the best ever for you and yours.
I have discovered that refugees from the Lao Peoples Democratic Republic that have come to the United States have been open to the Christian Gospel. It is not that easy, however, in Laos. The church has grown despite persecutions but much of Laos is still un-evangelized. Christianity has not moved easily across the diverse ethno-linguistic boundaries, leaving many groups completely unreached. As you pray for Laos, pray especially for the Tai tribes that speak 15 different languages. There are only 200 Christians out of the one-half million people in the Tai.
''It is mine to obey His commands; it is not mine to direct His counsels. I am His servant, not His solicitor. I call upon Him and He will deliver me."
Charles Spurgeon