Every year at Lancaster Baptist Church, we give “Christmas gifts to Jesus.” It’s an opportunity for us as a church to tangibly give to the Lord whose birthday we celebrate, and it’s a great way for children to be reminded of the real purpose of Christmas.
But the truth is, regardless of the gifts we present to Jesus at Christmas, Christmas really is all about His great gifts to us.
What are the Christmas gifts given from Jesus? (more…)
The intricacies of God’s timing in how and when Christ came to earth remind us that God does have a sovereign timetable and that it’s not always according to our timetable.
And yet, the passing of a year and beginning of a new year right after Christmas is a reminder to us that we want to do our best to align ourselves with the purposes of God and invest our best energy in fulfilling His will for us in the new year.
In this Growth Points video, I share a few thoughts on how you can use the week between Christmas and New Year’s to seek and prepare yourself to do God’s will.
(If you cannot see this email in your RSS reader or email, you can watch it here.)
For many of us, how we celebrate Christmas is fixed into our calendar—family traditions, group celebrations of all sorts, special church services, and scheduled times of Christmas outreach.
But there is another level to how we celebrate Christmas, and it has as much to do with our spirit as it does with our activities—although to a certain extent the one influences the other.
Tucked into three short verses of Luke 2, we catch a glimpse of someone who celebrated that first Christmas very well—Anna.
We don’t often think about Anna as part of the Christmas story. She’s not included in the typical children’s Christmas play. But she played a significant role in recognizing the deity of Christ and telling others of His arrival.
Notice these five qualities of her life from Luke 2:36–38: (more…)
One of the burdens of my heart over the years has been to see God’s people rooted in His Word—to, in addition to the preaching and teaching they receive at church, be daily encouraged, challenged, and nurtured through the pages of Scripture.
Over the past several years, I’ve published a daily email devotional, titled “Daily in the Word.” I’ve used different themes over the years, always with a goal to encourage Christians to spend time daily in God’s Word.
I’m excited to announce that beginning today, December 1, these devotions will take readers on a one-year journey through the Gospel of Luke—one passage at a time through this chronological account of the life of Christ. (more…)
Perhaps you, like me, have noticed that many people are more willing to come to church at Christmastime than at any other time. Sometimes it’s because they will come to see a friend or family member acting or singing in a Christmas program. Sometimes it’s because if they feel they should at least go to church for Christmas. Sometimes it’s because their heart is more tender to Christ in this season when we celebrate His birth.
Whatever the reason, I’m thankful they come and have the opportunity to hear the gospel. And I see three takeaways from this observation: (more…)