Christian Universe TM
Tis The Season Of Joy, Hope, Peace and Love
December 28, 2008
Jesus ushered in an age of enlightenment. He brought light to those lost in the darkness of ignorance and sin. He hope to the hopeless and showed us the way of peace and love. We rejoice in that God saw fit to offer us eternal life. That life is in Jesus Christ.
Tis The Season Of Joy, Hope, Peace and Light
By Bernie Parsons
Presented to Globe church of Christ on 12-28-2008
Luke 1:76: “And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;
77: To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,
78: Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,
79: To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Luke 2:1: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
2: (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
3: And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
4: And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)
5: To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
6: And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
7: And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
8: And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9: And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10: And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11: For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12: And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13: And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”
Luke 2:25: “And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
26: And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.
27: And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,
28: Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
29: Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:
30: For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,
31: Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;
32: A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.”
We are in a season when people think, talk, and sing of joy, hope, peace, and love. I want to take advantage of this to speak of those particular things.
The angel announced to the shepherds that he was announcing good tidings of great joy to all of the people. The heavenly host announced that there would be peace on the earth, and good will toward men. Angels announced that the coming of Jesus into the world was to bring light to all, Jews and Gentiles alike. This light was the truth of God and His great love toward all of mankind. This light gives hope to those who are lost in darkness and brings the love of God into our world.
John 1:1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2: The same was in the beginning with God.
3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
4: In him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
It is no wonder that men and women everywhere have embraced the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is indeed the story of God’s love toward us. It gives us all hope. We know that God cares for us, and that we have the promise of life after this one ceases. God showed His goodwill toward mankind that He sent His son, Jesus, to us.
1 John 4:16: “And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
1 John 4:9: “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10: Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11: Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
12: No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.
13: Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.
14: And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.
15: Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
16: And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Many refer to the love that is manifested by so many people at this time of year as the spirit of Christmas. However, it is Spirit of God Almighty, and His son, Jesus. We need that spirit of love all year around. As Christians, that is our role.
Matthew 5:14: “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
15: Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.
16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
In that ancient time, the angel spoke of peace on the earth. God, through Jesus Christ, affords us a great peace.
Remember that we read earlier:
Luke 1:79: “To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Jesus came to guide us into the way of peace. We are to make peace with one another.
Mark 9:50: “Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his saltness, wherewith will ye season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.”
Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”
2 Corinthians 13:11: “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”
Jesus also brought peace in that He brought Jews and Gentiles together in one body.
Ephesians 2:13: “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14: For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15: Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16: And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17: And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18: For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.”
We have joy because God cares for us. We rejoice in His grace, mercy, and love.
John 15:9: “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.
11: These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12: This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”
We have joy because of the promise of eternal life in heaven with our Lord.
Luke 6:22: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.
23: Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.”
Romans 5:1: “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
2: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Romans 15:13: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
Romans 8:24: “For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25: But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”
We live in the hope of the resurrection to that eternal life. We believe, and because we believe, we have this hope.
1 Corinthians 15:19: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20: But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21: For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
This is what Jesus came to tell us. This is what gives us joy, hope, peace, and love. This is why His birth is today regarded as the dawn of these four things. That is why men and women the world over celebrate the birth of Jesus as a season of joy, hope, peace, and love. That season has never ended, and never shall.