Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
25 December 2022
A very Happy and Blessed Christmas to everyone. The Christmas Day Service is at Bethel 10.30 – 11.15am
“The star; the Magi; the gold, the frankincense, the myrrh; all remind us of the birth of Jesus. So let us this Christmas, with all of our hearts, give Him all the glory, praise, and honour!”
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.”Luke 1:38
The vital importance of faith can be seen in this passage. To be sure, God does absolutely amazing and glorious works and deeds and likewise regarding His teachings and commandments but He also requires a response of faith from His people and those who will become His people.
I was once in a prayer meeting in India and when the prayers were in Hindi I would switch off and on this occasion I was thinking about a promise God had given to me a few years previous and started having doubts about it. No-one else knew what I was thinking but God did and He moved a prophetess to stand up and say very strongly, loudly, and passionately, (and in English!), “You must believe! Believe! Believe! Believe! Believe! Believe! You must believe!” And then she sat down and was silent. I got the message!
Here the angel Gabriel appears to Mary and tells her some remarkable things (that’s what God does – remarkable things!). Unlike Zechariah who previously responded in doubt to the angel Gabriel’s words, Mary asked for more enlightenment,
“How will this be … since I am a virgin?”Luke 1:34
Gabriel explained to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most-High will overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God”Luke 1:35
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.Luke 1:38
I once heard an evangelist (who saw remarkable fruit for his labours – literally millions saved; thousands upon thousands healed and numerous people set free from demon-possession) state that he was God’s third choice to go to Africa because the first two the Lord called refused to go! Wow! Again, it brings home how important it is to believe and respond in faith! Think of all those who responded in faith to bring about what we now refer to as the Christmas Story – Zechariah, Elizabeth, Mary, Joseph, Magi, the Shepherds (and all those they told, who then would have told others and so it goes on and on – Good-News spreads fast!), Simeon, Anna.
Add to these the prophets of old who spent time in the Presence of God and then spoke of events that would be fulfilled hundreds of years later! Think of the angels some of whom, e.g. Gabriel, stood in the immediate Presence of God and did His bidding as He willed. Think of John the Baptist, born 6 months before Jesus and who waited, and waited for God’s appointed time! Think of those who, unknowingly helped to bring about the purposes of God, e.g. Caesar Augustus and his census.
Think of all those who hardened their hearts to the Good-News: Herod, Archelaus, many in Jerusalem, the Scribes and the religious leaders. Let us be those who believe and worship Him, this Christmas, Amen!
Quote of the week
“The great God of heaven sends the gift of salvation to humans in a serene unadorned package of simplicity”
And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.Hebrews 11:6
Our Father in heaven, may we never tire of thanking You for the gift of Your beloved Son at Christmas. Thank You Jesus that You came. Thank You Holy Spirit for revealing all this to us, in the name of our blessed Lord and Saviour, Immanuel, Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, Jesus Christ, Amen!