What the Christmas Story Taught Me About the Holy Spirit

Have you ever wondered why the book of Luke is the only book in the Bible that describes Jesus’ birth? The whole Christmas story, the reason we have nativity scenes and church Christmas productions, is all because Luke decided to record Jesus’ birth. The whole thing is only two or three chapters long, but those chapters are very significant in how we think about Jesus and Christmas each year. The fact that only one book records this important event should cause us to ask why this story is significant. Did the other gospel authors not think it was that important? If that’s the case, then why did Luke choose to include it? We may not be able to answer these questions with certainty, but we can look at Luke’s account and how it differs from the others to see some important points. If you are like me, you have probably heard this story so many times, you almost don’t listen to it anymore. We become overly familiar with it, and it stops meaning anything to us. This, however, is a mistake. Let’s take a minute to look at this story with fresh eyes. I bet you’ll see something you never noticed before. This discovery could change the way you see Jesus and your own Christian life. Continue Reading...

The Top 4 Christmas Plot Twists in the Bible Story

God does the unexpected, not to keep us guessing and ensure his place as the omnipotent strategist but because we live with different expectations because of sin. Without the Spirit’s work in my life, I want to rule my own existence. If I had my way, I would be able to do whatever pleased me, whenever I felt like doing it. I would determine my fate; I would determine how I live my life. This is exactly what caused Adam and Eve to sin. They wanted to be like God and decide what they thought was best. Ever since, we’ve been both guided and blinded by the same desire. We can’t understand God’s plan. Without his work in our lives, his plan is foreign to us. We just can’t see it coming. Thankfully, he continues with his plan anyway. When he does, we get some pretty interesting twists; not because they’re random, but because we just can’t see them coming. Here’s my top 5 plot twists in the Bible story, God’s plan played out in human history. Continue Reading...

5 Times God’s People Needed Emmanuel

Have you ever read a story in the Bible and said, “What in the world did I just read?” You’re not alone. There’s a lot of crazy stuff recorded in the Bible. It would take a lot of time to describe it all. Suffice it to say, people in the history of God’s redemptive work did some pretty crazy things. And in all of these weird moments, I’m continually reminded of the need God’s people had for God to live with them. C.S. Lewis paints a vivid image of this when the children first come to Narnia in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s a land of eternal winter without Christmas, a land of suffering without relief in sight. It’s a land where all hope rests in the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy. Continue Reading...

The Hope of Christmas Future – Advent Week 2

It seems Christmas is most often a time of remembering. We remember Jesus’ birth; we remember how God came to dwell with man and bring salvation. We remember old times. We remember family members long gone, or gone only a little while. For some, Christmas brings nothing but sadness. For others it’s a time of celebration. God offers a message for those who mourn and those who celebrate. More than anything else, Christmas is a time to look forward. Christmas is where our present world meets the future God promised. Christmas is about the future. Continue Reading...