For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 ESV
Blessed Greetings in the Name of our Lord Jesus,
To the Lord God we give all praise and honor. For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given! As we now come to the season of celebrating the coming of our Lord Jesus, we do so with a heart of gratefulness.
Christ Jesus has been given! Given unto you; given unto all mankind by our Father God. John 3:16 reminds you and I today, ‘For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life’. Christ has been given for your salvation. Whoever believes in Him shall be saved. Saved from perishing, absent from the presence of God! With the context of Ephesians 2, we learn that by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.
As all God’s people once again celebrate Advent, you are called to give God praise for the hope, faith, joy and peace, that is only truly and confidently experienced in the fullness of God, as we believe upon Christ Jesus, Immanuel, God with us (Mt. 1:23)! I encourage you today, to not let the trappings of the season distract you from the true reason for this season. In the days ahead, although gathering together may look and feel different from years past, there will be the opportunities for meeting with friends and family. In whatever form your celebrations take on, whether in person, by virtual, by telephone or social media – let us be reminded to recognize why we set aside and dedicate this season unto the Lord. Our focus is not for the decorating, shopping, food, and the gift giving, even though each of these experiences bring a richness and completeness to the season. Our focus is to be for giving honor unto our Lord Jesus, for that which he and he alone gives to us. By His grace, you have been saved!
Rejoice today, Christ Jesus brings hope eternal (1Peter 1:3). In Him, faith is the assurance of that which is our hope, the conviction of that which has not yet been seen (Heb 11:1). He is our joy forevermore (Ps. 16:11). And in Him our everlasting peace is found (2Thess. 3:16).
May this season of celebrating the coming of our Lord, bring to you and your household, a praise for the goodness of your Father God, for the giving of His only begotten Son, Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Pastors Simeon & Marissa Strauser