Christmas is Love!

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:21 NIV

Reading: Matthew Chapter 1

The name of Jesus literally means “Savior”.  The angel was clear to Mary and Joseph when he said, Jesus will save His people from their sins, and not from the Roman rule and oppression, but from SIN.  The people of Israel at that time of history was ruled by the Roman government. And according to history, many of  the people suffered and were oppressed by the tyranny of the Roman rule. So many of the Jews or people of Israel were expecting and waiting for their Messiah, their Deliverer. They were expecting somebody that maybe like Moses or King David in the Old Testament who delivered the people of Israel from slavery and oppression. King David had fought many battles against the enemies of Israel- neighboring countries who tried to oppress them.  So, many of the people of Israel on Jesus time on earth were waiting for their Messiah, someone to deliver them from the oppression of the Roman rule.

However, from the start and the plan of God was to send Jesus to save His people from their sins- from the bondage of sins. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. The apostle John says, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! “ (John 1:29)

Marker for the birthplace of Jesus, Church of Nativity, Bethlehem


We may not be like the people of Israel in the past who were oppressed by foreign rule. However, many today are oppressed and in bondage to sin. Sin and evil has power over people’s lives. It is not easy to be released from the power of sin. No matter how much one tries, or do all the self-help and positive thinking, only Jesus has the power over sin and the evil one.

Only Jesus can save Israel and the people of the world from sin.

Christmas is love! For God so loved the people of the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him (Jesus) shall not perish, but will have eternal life (John 3:16).  

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you that You came us a humble baby to save us from our sins! I thank you for Your forgiveness and mercy. I praise You that you are the lamb that was slain and the only atonement for our sins. 

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Christmas is Hope!

The Church of Visitation, Israel. Mary visits Elizabeth, (Luke 1:39-45)

“Through the tender mercy of our God,
With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us.” 

A quote from Zacharias, Luke 1:78 (NKJV)

Have you ever believed for something, got disappointed, and lost hope? Here is a story of a man who had faith but lost hope – the story of Zacharias and Christmas from Luke chapter 1.

The young woman from Nazareth, Mary, received news from an angel of God that she would conceive a child who would be called Jesus, the Savior of the world (v. 26-35). The angel also told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was also expecting a baby. Elizabeth and her husband Zacharias were an older couple who had no child. Zacharias was a priest and lived in Judah (v. 5-6). An angel of God also told Zacharias that his wife would conceive a child (v. 13-14). The angel also told him the plans and purpose of God in the life of their coming son (v. 14-17). But Zacharias had difficulty believing that they would have a child since he and his wife were both old and past the age of bearing children (v. 18). The angel was grieved because of Zacharias’ unbelief, and he was struck with dumbness, unable to speak (v. 20). However, God still fulfilled His words and plans for the family.

Elizabeth conceived and gave birth to a son (v. 57). When the baby was about to be named, Zacharias was released from being mute. His first words were praise to God (v. 64). He was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke prophecy: 

“Blessed is the Lord God of Israel,
For He has visited and redeemed His people…” (v. 68-79)

Imagine that for nine months, Zacharias was unable to speak – perhaps not for punishment but to discipline him for his unbelief. Perhaps God did not want Zacharias to mess up the plan by speaking negative words. However, God used the nine months of silence to work in Zacharias’ heart and mind. In those nine months, perhaps the Holy Spirit reminded Zacharias of the words of God:

“As He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets,
Who have been since the world began…” (v. 70)

As a priest, he knew all the words of God – the Law of Moses and the Prophecies (v. 71-75).

He knew and perhaps memorized the prophecies about the coming of a Messiah, the Savior or Deliverer. In the book of Isaiah, which was written 700 years earlier, it says:

“The voice of one crying in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord;
Make straight in the desert
A highway for our God…’” Isaiah 40:3 (NKJV)

Zacharias knew all the words in the written Scriptures. However, he was not expecting that these prophecies would be fulfilled in his lifetime or that he and his family would play a part in their fulfillment. He was very surprised, and almost in disbelief, that he would see the fulfillment in his days!

Because God Elohim is a covenant-keeping God, He kept His words spoken through the prophets that He would bring deliverance, that the Messiah would come. Zacharias, though not expecting, became part of the fulfillment of the prophecy. His very own child was part of the fulfillment, as spoken in Isaiah 40:3, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness; prepare the way…”

“And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Highest;
For you will go before the face of the Lord to prepare His ways…” Luke 1:76 (NKJV)

For nine months of silence, Zacharias went back to studying the words of God. At the same time, the Holy Spirit worked in his heart despite his unbelief. Zacharias saw the fulfillment of God’s plan.

Through God’s tender mercy, God restored Zacharias’ ability to speak. He was a changed man. During nine months of silence, he re-learned the words of God, believed in his heart, and learned to praise God from his heart. He learned to use his mouth to give praise and adoration to God.

Zacharias’ Praise! Luke 1: 68-79


Perhaps some of us are like Zacharias, we believe but may have lost hope after many years of waiting. This Christmas may our Lord God, who is faithful and true give you a renewed hope and faith that He will do what He says He will do.


Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth to give us a baby. Help us as we celebrate Christmas to have a renewed hope as we trust and wait on You.  

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Facts and Truth: Research and investigation

An Introduction to the history of Christmas.

“…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”             Luke 1:4 (NKJV)

“…but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.” John 20:31 (NKJV)

Reading: Luke 1: 1-4

As we approach Christmas, a very important holiday in the Christian tradition, we would like to share the story of how it all began. Christmas is not just about toys, gifts, and Santa Claus; it’s really about the coming of Jesus to the earth. It’s a story of love. Most religions claim their founders as men who became gods, but only Jesus is the God who became a man because of God’s great love to save people from sin. God knew there was no way people could reach Him and meet His standards, so He sent Jesus to reach down to us, His created beings.

Although I have not seen Jesus physically, I know He lives! His story of coming to earth from heaven as a baby, His life, death, and resurrection are true facts. The story of Jesus is not a myth, nor a legend, but a real story that was written in accurate and orderly narrative as shown in Luke 1:4, “…so that you might know how well-founded are the things about which you have been taught” (Complete Jewish Bible). To give a short introduction to the writer of the third Gospel in the New Testament, here is a brief background of Luke who did a thorough investigation and research of the life of Jesus.

Luke the writer of this Gospel was a highly educated person. According to tradition, Luke was a medical doctor, perhaps a personal physician of Paul. According to the Complete Jewish Bible (CJB), Theophilus was a high priest during or around the years 37-41 A.D. Theophilus may have been retired when Luke met him in A.D. 60. Other Bible scholars think Theophilus may have been a Roman official.

Luke was not around during the time of Jesus but had met some of His followers. He was taught by some of the followers of Jesus, like the Apostle Paul. Luke became a faithful companion of Paul in his missionary journeys, even during times of imprisonment. Paul, during his imprisonment and last days, wrote, “Only Luke is with me” 2 Timothy 4:11 (NKJV). Luke later wrote the book of Acts.

In his Gospel, Luke wrote an orderly narrative from eyewitnesses of the life of Jesus when He was still on earth. (See Luke 1:2.) Luke did a systematic investigation and research of the life of Jesus through the personal testimonies of the people who had personally seen and known Jesus. Perhaps Luke interviewed some of the original disciples of Jesus, some of His friends, relatives, and family members such as His mother and other followers. Perhaps Luke even talked to some of those who had received healings and miracles directly from Jesus when He was still on earth.

So, from “word of mouth” oral tradition, Luke carefully investigated and wrote down testimonies and stories from eyewitnesses and from those who received teachings from Jesus.

Even though Luke did not meet Jesus in person, Luke heard many amazing stories about Jesus including His miraculous birth, teachings, healings, and miracles. According to some Bible scholars, Luke was a Gentile who became a Jewish convert. As mentioned earlier, He wrote the account of Jesus’ life to address a prominent person named Theophilus – to know for certain, to believe and receive Jesus as the Messiah, the Deliverer.

“…that you may know the certainty of those things in which you were instructed.”                Luke 1:4 (NKJV)

Perhaps, Theophilus had already heard the Gospel of Jesus and was sincerely wanting to better understand who Jesus was. So, Luke took time to research, investigate, and write the story of Jesus from firsthand eyewitnesses.


God, in His providence, allowed Luke to write the account of Jesus’ life which was backed up by research, stories, and testimonies of eyewitnesses. It was written that we might believe Jesus is the Christ. (See John 20:31.) It was written and later translated into our language (English) so that we might understand. This was done at great cost. As we read in church history, some people risked their very lives and others lost their lives translating the Bible. They sacrificed their lives for these stories to be written, translated, and printed. Thus, we have a sure foundation for our faith in Jesus. Currently, after more than 2000 years, there are still Bible translators working diligently to get this story, the Gospel in other languages so that they may hear and know Him, Jesus, as Lord and Savior.

Prayer: Thank You Jesus for your gift of faith. Thank you for your providence in having your story written and translated into many languages, so that every person in every tribe and nation can know You and have a well-founded faith.

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