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Cherish Christmas...and Christ
We’re looking back this Christmas. Many churches are lighting advent candles for the first time, seeking traditions in order to transcend recent events. On September 11, terrorists shattered souls and symbols of American, Christian, and Jewish culture. Their actions arose because they deem worthless what we value most. So, we are examining our values, our traditions, our families, our relationships with God, our loves, and our lives.
We’re also looking around this Christmas. We’re watching people react and respond. Circumstances are mixed, with some out of work, some doing a little better, some grieving, some feeling as though they should be grieving. Uncertainty prevails. We make our plans with an added "God willing."
Those who have faith are looking up this Christmas. We’re no longer taking Christmas for granted, families for granted, life for granted. We find ourselves being comforted by the lighted trees, decorated houses, packages coming in the mail, people coming home. We strengthen ourselves with the fact that Jesus is the same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
Testimonies encourage us, telling us that God is working in our midst. Someone rescues an animal. Another has a story about how God provided employment. A family shares how God enables them to keep their home--and food in the frig. Many continue to be healed. Souls continue to be saved. Pastors write to me from Pakistan, Mauritius, India, Madagascar, and from all over the USA to express their gratitude for our web site, www.marycraig.org. It blesses them and provides them with spiritual growth materials, free.
Orphans in Madagascar thank God for new mattresses, being provided by those giving to MCM. The homeless receive shelter through MCM giving. Women who opt for life and choose not to abort their babies receive assistance. Mission trips continue to be planned. Word is received that the Iron Gate along the Danube (one of our spiritual warfare targets) opened. Children receive gifts. Churches receive aid. The unchurched receive Bibles and the message of the gospel. The Spirit speaks to the churches and does not leave us in the dark.
Whether we’re looking back, looking around, or looking up, we have many reasons to rejoice this Christmas. God is still on the throne. Recent events cause us to cherish God and His Word, His Son, and His salvation even more. Consider:
God loved you so much that He sent His Son, Jesus, to redeem you. (Matthew 2.10, Luke 1.14, 2.10) God reigns, and His Word is truth. (Psalm 97; Psalm 119) God answers prayer. (John 16.24) His creation is good (Psalm 118), and He delights to prosper His people. (Ecclesiastes 7.14) God is merciful (Psalm 31) and gives good gifts. (Joel 2.23, Acts 14.17) God is a righteous Judge (Psalm 67) and you can willingly submit and obey joyfully. (Matthew 25.21) God saves. (Psalm 35.9, 40.16, Isaiah 61, Luke 10.20)
Because of who God is, every believer can serve the Lord with gladness (Psalm 100). Believers can rejoice when suffering persecution in the name of Christ (Matthew 5.12, 1 peter 4.13, 2 Corinthians 7.4). Believers live with the hope and knowledge that Jesus Christ is coming again in glory and great power. (Revelation 19.7) Therefore, believers can give, rejoicing. (1 Chronicles 29.9, 2 Corinthians 8.2)
Craighouse is a refuge center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA, for the spiritually wounded and orphaned of the Christian community. The atmosphere of grace experienced here affords a place of healing and hope. People come weekly from Palm Beach to Miami, from the Atlantic ocean-side to west Miramar, Florida. They come for the anointing. They come for the glory. They come because they are hungry for the presence of the Lord. They come to hear God and to be healed. They come hungry and with a desire to keep in step with the Spirit, something so desperately needed these days.
You are partners with me in the gospel. Your support makes it possible for MCM to minister to countless people all over the planet. Our extensive web site provides prayers and sermons, articles and news, for pastors and people everywhere. Our new prophetic perspective section grows more popular daily. Our online catalog enables Christians to find the materials they need to grow in the Christian life.
Your fellow servant,
P.S. When the wise men saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. When they found Jesus and Mary His mother, they fell down and worshiped Jesus. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts: gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. How about you?
Now gather thyself in troops, O daughter of troops:
He hath laid siege against us:
They shall smite the judge of Israel with a rod upon the cheek.
But you, Bethlehem Ephratah, though you be little
Among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall he come forth
Unto me that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been
Of old, from everlasting.
Therefore will he give them up, until the time that she which travails
Has brought forth: then the remnant of his brethren shall return
Unto the children of Israel. And he shall stand and feed in the
Strength of he LORD, in the majesty of the name of the LORD his God;
And they shall abide: for now shall he be great unto the ends of the earth.
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