Sunday, December 24, 2023
The birth stories in the first two chapters in the Gospels of Matthew  and Luke  share some of the "tremendous things" that God's "mighty arm"  has done in bringing Jesus to us on earth. While John  tells us the meaning of Jesus' coming as the ultimate Message or Word of God,  Matthew and Luke share some of the personal, intimate, mysterious, miraculous, and amazing details of Jesus' conception, birth, and deliverance from the attacks of Satan against Him through human and political powers like Herod. 
In truth, we don't know the exact day or date of Jesus' birth. We do know, however, the gritty, true-to-life, and true-to-political-reality nature of His birth stories in the gospels. Our response to God's gift in Jesus can take all sorts of paths, but at least two responses are necessary for genuine followers of Jesus; both of them are realized in two of Mary's reactions to carrying the Christ-child in her womb:
In this season of giving and celebrating, let's celebrate the great Giver of our greatest gift and the coming of Jesus to us as this gift. This gift is the ultimate defining relationship that should help us align every other relationship.
Praise You, O, God, for all the gifts You have lavished on me in Christ Jesus — adoption as Your child, salvation from all Satan intended to destroy me, daily provision for my needs, friendships and relationships with other believers, answers to my prayers, intervention in my messes to bring us to better places in my life, and the guarantee of an eternal home with You. Yes, dear Father, I recognize my list is much shorter than Your many ways of blessing me in Jesus, but please accept it as a heart that genuinely loves and appreciates You and longs to serve and honor You in daily life. I praise You for Your glorious, abundant, and overflowing grace! In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.
'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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