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Merry Christmas

red and green mistletoe decoration

Merry Christmas!

Annually, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. Christmas is a joyous holiday celebrated by both Christians and non-Christians alike!

Christmas season is truly the most joyful time of year, marked by festivities, gatherings with loved ones, and exchanging gifts and well wishes.

But what are we so joyful about during this time of year? From where do we obtain our desire to give gifts and show love to others?

Woman smiling at Christmas decorations

Let us rejoice over the true meaning of Christmas!

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

John 1:1-5

A Prophecy

 Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.”

But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!”

Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also? Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings.

(Isaiah 7:10-16)

 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”
Matthew 1:23
Matthew 1:23

The Birth of Jesus

Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And having come in, the angel said to her,

“Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. Then the angel said to her,

“Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

And the angel answered and said to her,

The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

(Luke 1:26-38)

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly. But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying,

“Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Nativity scene of birth of Christ

So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

(Matthew 1:18-25)

And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

close up of hanging an angel ornament on a Christmas tree

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them,

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

(Luke 2:1-20)

And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb.

(Luke 2:21)


News of the Prophecy Fulfilled

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’ ”

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.

(Matthew 2:1-12)

So when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own city, Nazareth. And the Child grew and became strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.

(Luke 2:39-40)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (NKJV)

Christ is The Fulfillment of Prophecy

Nevertheless the gloom will not be upon her who is distressed,
As when at first He lightly esteemed
The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
And afterward more heavily oppressed her,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
In Galilee of the Gentiles.

The people who walked in darkness
Have seen a great light;
Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death,
Upon them a light has shined.

You have multiplied the nation
And increased its joy;
They rejoice before You
According to the joy of harvest,
As men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

For You have broken the yoke of his burden
And the staff of his shoulder,
The rod of his oppressor,
As in the day of Midian.

For every warrior’s sandal from the noisy battle,
And garments rolled in blood,
Will be used for burning and fuel of fire.

For unto us a Child is born,
Unto us a Son is given;
And the government will be upon His shoulder.
And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

(Isaiah 9:1-8)


Behold The Christ

That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:9-13 (NKJV)

For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.

For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross.

(Colossians 1:9-20)


Why Celebrate Christmas?

The birth of Jesus Christ is God’s greatest gift to humanity. Through His Son, God has given us the opportunity to receive Salvation, that is eternal life.

When we celebrate Christmas, we remember God’s gift of redemption and everything that comes with it: life, joy, peace, love, and healing!

Learn more about Salvation through Jesus Christ:

Salvation

Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.

The Truth

Seize your wellbeing through bold confidence in the Truth. 3 John 2


Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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You Are What You Eat

assorted sliced fruits in white ceramic bowl

You Are What You Eat

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines the word “eat” as:

“To take in through the mouth as food: ingest, chew, and swallow in turn”

When people hear the word “eat”, we often think of consuming food. Notice that the definition of “eat” states to take in… as food. Not, to take in… food.

The word “as” is important in this definition. Merriam-Webster notes that the word “as” is used to introduce an example. In the definition of “eat,” food is merely provided as a point of reference. So, the definition implies that we can consume substances into our bodies beyond protein, carbohydrates, fat and water.

flat lay photography of vegetable salad on plate
Photo by Ella Olsson on Pexels.com

But what is food?

Merriam-Webster provides a definition of “food” as:

“Something that nourishes, sustains or supplies”

Therefore, eating involves taking in, ingesting, chewing, and swallowing something that nourishes, sustains or supplies.

We are Three-Part Beings: Spirit, Soul and Body.

You are a spirit, you have a soul, and you live in a physical body. The Bible addresses these three parts collectively and separately. The Bible often identifies your spirit as the “heart.”

For health, we must address each part of our being. We cannot neglect any part of our selves.

We feed our spirit, soul and body individually and collectively. There is physical food that we feed to our bodies, and spiritual food that we feed to our spirits and our souls.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, TPT
1 Thessalonians 5:23, TPT

Healthy food provides energy to the body, enhances the operation of the body’s complex systems, and strengthens its resilience against disease. Junk food has the opposite effect and contributes to the breaking down of the body over time.

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Thessalonians 5:23, NKJV

Both physical and spiritual nutrition are important, because we become what we eat. Your spiritual health sets the foundation for your physical health. It is difficult to maintain a healthy body with an unhealthy soul. An unhealthy soul will undermine your efforts to maintain a healthy body.

3 John 2, TPT
3 John 2, TPT

Beloved, I pray that in every way you may succeed and prosper and be in good health [physically], just as [I know] your soul prospers [spiritually].

3 John 2, AMP

We eat when we feel hungry and we drink when we feel thirsty. The food that we eat becomes part of us. It is compiled into our blood, bones, and tissues. If we do not eat or drink when we hunger, then eventually we will die.

Feed the soul.

The righteous eats to the satisfying of his soul, But the stomach of the wicked shall be in want.

Proverbs 13:25, NKJV

Pleasant words are like a honeycomb, Sweetness to the soul and health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24, NKJV

Jesus said, I am the bread of life.

Jesus offered himself as the spiritual food that gives eternal life and eternal satisfaction to all who eat (John 6).

48 “I am the Bread of Life [the Living Bread which gives and sustains life]. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the Bread that comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the Living Bread that came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread [believes in Me, accepts Me as Savior], he will live forever. And the Bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh (body).”

John 6:48-51, AMP

How can Jesus be the “bread of life?”

Jesus says that if you eat of Him as the bread from heaven, then you will not die. Feeding on Jesus by faith is necessary for eternal life, for temporal sustenance, and for temporal and eternal satisfaction.

Eating Jesus’ flesh and drinking His blood refer to believing in or taking possession of His death on the cross as your only hope for eternal life. When you believe in Jesus as your savior, then you will have eternal life.

Read More About Salvation

John 6:35, TPT
John 6:35, TPT

If there is living bread that gives life, then there must be food that gives death. Death can manifest in pain, sickness, disease, and fear. So, what spiritual food is causing death?

Genesis 2:16-17, NKJV
Genesis 2:16-17, NKJV

6 Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those who are bitter of heart. 7 Let him drink and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.

Proverbs 31:6-7, NKJV

We can eat any food we choose, but some foods help us while others harm us.

Before God created mankind in the book of Genesis, he created plants for us to eat for food. The Creator, who understands man’s every need, gave grains, fruits, and nuts for food, from which man could choose a balanced diet.

So God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of the entire earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;

Genesis 1:29, AMP
yellow banana fruit beside white and orange flowers
Photo by Eva Elijas on Pexels.com

Later, after the fall of man and after the flood, God stated that mankind can eat all moving, living things. Presumably, all animals.

3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you; I give you everything, as I gave you the green plants and vegetables. 4 But you shall not eat meat along with its life, that is, its blood.

Genesis 9:3-4, AMP

As illustrated in the book of Daniel, our nutrition has a direct impact on our appearance, health, and wisdom.

8 Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the king’s food or with the wine he drank. So he asked permission from the chief eunuch not to defile himself. 11 So Daniel said to the guard whom the chief eunuch had assigned to Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days. Let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then examine our appearance and the appearance of the young men who are eating the king’s food, and deal with your servants based on what you see.” 14 He agreed with them about this and tested them for ten days. 15 At the end of ten days they looked better and healthier than all the young men who were eating the king’s food. 16 So the guard continued to remove their food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.

Daniel 1:8,11-16, CSB

Many people assume that in the New Testament, the Bible advises that we can eat anything that we choose. However, we do not have a “free pass” to eat anything and everything, physically or spiritually.

All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1 Corinthians 6:12, NKJV

I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself. Still, to someone who considers a thing to be unclean, to that one it is unclean.

Romans 14:14, CSB

Our soul consumes what we watch, listen to, read, or discuss. Anything that distracts us from God is junk food for our souls. Our souls can crave junk food just as our physical bodies crave sugar, fat and salt. In the same way that we should resist eating junk food in order to maintain a healthy body, we should resist eating spiritual junk food in order to maintain a healthy soul.

photo of juicy burger on wooden surface
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on Pexels.com

When we feed harmful food to our souls, this can manifest into sickness, pain and other ailments in our physical bodies.

13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God” [for temptation does not originate from God, but from our own flaws]; for God cannot be tempted by [what is] evil, and He Himself tempts no one. 14 But each one is tempted when he is dragged away, enticed and baited [to commit sin] by his own [worldly] desire (lust, passion). 15 Then when the illicit desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin has run its course, it gives birth to death.

James 8:13-15, AMP

The media that we consume affects our health just as much as the physical food we eat. Media is considered entertainment. Note that the first part of entertainment is “enter.” When we consume media, we invite the contents to enter into our souls. Food for our soul is essentially what we watch, listen to, read, or discuss.

Examples of poisonous food for our souls can include engaging in gossip or watching violent, scary or traumatizing television. If we continue to consume poisonous food, then eventually this harmful intake will create sickness in our souls, manifesting as anger, anxiety, sleeplessness, depression, and other ailments.

Therefore, I remind you to rekindle the gift of God that is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

2 Timothy 1:6-7, CSB

God will restore us when we enter into his presence. He is the Healer.

28 “Are you weary, carrying a heavy burden? Come to me. I will refresh your life, for I am your oasis. 29 Simply join your life with mine. Learn my ways and you’ll discover that I’m gentle, humble, easy to please. You will find refreshment and rest in me. 30 For all that I require of you will be pleasant and easy to bear.”

Matthew 11:28-30, TPT

The secret to a healthy mind is the retention and meditation of Scripture. Those who feed their minds with quality literature, solid educational materials, truly relevant information, and regular Bible study become wise and sought-after leaders.

To be healthy, we must eat nutritious food often. Just as we must eat continuously to sustain our bodies, we must feed on the word of God and fellowship with Christ regularly to sustain our souls.

Philippians 4:8, AMP

This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.

Joshua 1:8, CSB

He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.

Psalm 107:20, NKJV
Matthew 6:32b, TPT

When we feed on Christ by faith, we become more like Him and enjoy a close relationship with him.

Feeding on Jesus by faith will:

  • Bring us eternal life
  • Restore our souls
  • Heal our physical bodies

The more you meditate on scripture and spend time in prayer, the healthier you will be. You are what you eat!


References

Amplified Bible (AMP). The Lockman Foundation (2015).

“as.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2022. https://www.merriam-webster.com (01 January 2022).

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers.

Cole, Steven J. “Lesson 36: What Are You Eating? (John 6:48-59).” Bible.org. 2013, November 24. https://bible.org/seriespage/lesson-36-what-are-you-eating-john-648-59.

“eat.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com (31 December 2021).

“food.” Merriam-Webster.com. 2021. https://www.merriam-webster.com (31 December 2021).

Jeremiah, David, Dr. “You Are What You Eat.” Oneplace.com. https://www.oneplace.com/ministries/turning-point/read/articles/you-are-what-you-eat-16995.html.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked TPT are from The Passion Translation®. Copyright © 2017, 2018, 2020 by Passion & Fire Ministries, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ThePassionTranslation.com.