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Marriage Awakening - Christmas

During the Christmas of 2004 I took the kids to see the Christmas Train in Dry Gulch USA.  I haven’t been there in about 10 years, but at least back then it was a really great trip for the family, especially for the younger kiddos.  I remember seeing the sights, the Christmas lights, riding the train, and sipping hot chocolate with the kids too.  My favorite memory of the entire trip is captured in the photo above.  Near the end of the adventure they gather everyone together for a special Christmas presentation.  They share a very sincere message of the Gospel that is sure to touch your heart.  It definitely touched my heart and that was a moment I have never forgotten.

We entered a room where people were singing Christmas carols and several of us were beginning to gather.  A few moments later they got the attention of all the children by asking them if anyone wanted to receive a totally free gift.  Of course all the children cheered, “Yes, I Do!” and that also included my children as well.  The next thing I know they are calling my youngest son to the stage to receive this gift they had just presented.  He was so excited that he was grinning from ear to ear as you can see in the photo.

As they continued, they shared a message about the true meaning of Christmas.  The volunteers spoke of how Jesus Christ came to earth to sacrifice Himself for our sin and offer every one of us a free gift of salvation.  All we had to do was repent from our sinful ways and receive that free gift just like a child would receive a free gift.  It was a remarkably simple message, yet so powerful.

Mark 10:13-16 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them.  When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”  And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

John 3:16-17  For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

The funny thing is I don’t even remember what was in the box that day, but the experience of that message has stayed with me ever since.  As a minister of the Gospel I’m very thankful to have experienced that moment many years ago.  I often think back on what happened so that I can be a better witness and share with others what Christ has done for us and the true meaning of what Christmas is all about.

Have you received your free gift from Christ?  If not, this season is the perfect opportunity to do so.  We encourage you to accept His free gift and once you do talk with someone about it!

 The Real Christmas Story

Luke 2:1-21  In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.  (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  And everyone went to their own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.  An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”  When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.  On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

 

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