THE HIDDEN SIDE OF CHRISTMAS...
There is a hidden side to Christmas that is rarely talked about. Yet, it is something that needs to be addressed. Christmas preparations can be quite stressful for some people. Because, instead of celebrating the birth of Jesus, they think of the pressure they would encounter at their family home. Or they remember the not-so-great memories they had experienced at past Christmas events. Some struggle with loneliness, depression or worse still, feelings of rejection or feeling unloved.
But this was not what God intended for people to experience when he gave us his son Jesus. How do I know? I know this because the Bible gives a clear illustration of Jesus’ humble life and why he came to earth in the first place. The Bible says in the book of Matthew that,
‘Jesus…will save his people from sins.’
In otherwords, Jesus came to save us all, not to make us feel worse. That is why the Bible made a point of this in the book of Romans which says,
‘There is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.’
Even the way Jesus came into the world is proof of his humble disposition and what he came to do for mankind. That is, to universally accept anyone who chooses to follow him. Jesus’ life was one of humility as he was the son of a humble carpenter, whose birth took place in a manger,
‘Because there was no room for them in the inn.’
You would think someone would give up their room for a woman in Labour, seeing it could be a matter of life or death. Yet, the Bible says ‘there was no room available for them.’ Imagine that! Does this sound familiar? Especially when you feel alone or feel like no one cares or appreciate you and you look around, but can’t seem to find anyone to give you a helping hand.
This was how Jesus came into the world. No one was willing to make a room available, so that Mary could give birth to her son, but look at Jesus now. This same Jesus came to earth to help you, me and anyone that is in need of support. This was why the Bible describes the birth of Jesus in the book of Luke as,
‘The good news that brings joy to all people.’
Which means that no matter what you are going through, Jesus’ coming to earth, was a good thing worth celebrating. His birth and death, shows how much value God places on us and it was that very value, that made him lay down the life of Jesus for us. Another way to describe God’s love for us can be found in the book of John when the bible says,
‘There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.’
So, it appears, God loves us so much that he considers us not just his creation, but his friends. And what do friends do for each other? They weather the storms of life together, so that their friends won’t be alone.
Want to know what kind of friend you have in Jesus? He is,
‘A friend (who) is always loyal and (like) a brother (who) was born to help (you) in time of need.’
The crux of the matter is this, whatever your circumstances, Jesus will always be there for you, if you allow him. How can you invite Jesus into your life? All you need to do is ask. The Bible says in the book of Romans that,
‘If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.’
And that, my friend, is all you need to do. If you don’t know what to say, you can say this little prayer to get you started.
Father God, I believe Jesus is Lord;
I believe he died for my sins;
And that you raised him from the dead;
To reconcile me back to you.
I ask you Jesus, to come into my life;
To help me and make me whole;
In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
If you said this prayer and would like to continue on this journey of knowing Jesus, you can find a local church near you or visit this website www.lookingforgod.com. It’s run by United Christian Broadcasters and they offer a wealth of useful information for new Christians. They also offer a daily devotional called ‘Word For Today’ which you can order for free to help you on your daily walk with God. You can also visit this blog (www.tribechrist.com/blog) if you find it useful.
Merry christmas everyone!
Christmas is a time to celebrate, reflect and be thankful for the love God showed us through the birth of his son Jesus.
Why we celebrate Christmas in a nutshell...
In the beginning, God created man, placed him in the Garden of Eden to live and to tend to it. He gave man everything he needed and told him he could eat freely from any tree in the Garden, except for this one tree. He called it 'the tree of knowledge of good and evil'. And told man, eating from the tree would simply lead to death.
Man failed to listen to God's warning and ate the fruit of the tree. Just like God warned, their eyes were opened and they became aware of what was ‘good and evil'. That act of disobedience was how sin entered into the world and man began to experience hardships and death. It led to the world's demise and caused a separation between God and man.
What God did for us through Jesus...
God so loved the world, that he wanted to make things right with man again. The Bible describes God’s love this way,
‘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.’ (John 3:16)
So, God sent his son Jesus to the earth in the form of a man, to experience everything man had experienced and to understand man alittle more. Hebrews 4:15 describes it this way,
‘For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.’ (Hebrews 4:15)
Since the consequences of man's sin was death, Jesus took on the consequences of man's sin (i.e. death) and he died on the cross for man. He even endured the harrowing pain and the humiliation that came with it for us. That selfless act of Jesus, was what reconciled us back to God. Isaiah 53:5 explained what Jesus did for us:
‘He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.'
And from that moment forward, God wiped away our sins. On the condition that, if anyone believes in what Jesus did for us, on that cross, God will not remember their sins. This was why JESUS said in John 14:6,
“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.”
And because of JESUS, instead of man dying without hope, as the Bible describes (below) in Genesis 3:17-19,
“Since you… ate from the tree
whose fruit I commanded you not to eat,
the ground is cursed because of you.
All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it.
It will grow thorns and thistles for you,
though you will eat of its grains.
By the sweat of your brow
will you have food to eat
until you return to the ground
from which you were made.
For you were made from dust
and to dust you will return.”
Now, when man dies and leaves the earth, man would live-on in eternity with God. And that is why, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, because he restored our relationship with the God who made us .So this year, whether you have a lavish or an intimate Christmas, do spare some thought for Jesus, thanking him for all he's done.
Have a merry Christmas everyone,
From my humble heart to yours!
Luv Kemi West xx
BE AN ENCOURAGER...
Encouragement is something we all need. Yet, it's something that is not practised enough. Here, I look at what it means to be an encourager and how we can fnd ways to encourage one enother. Hope you find it useful. Stay blessed.
WHY GOD USES IMPERFECT PEOPLE
There is a misconception about Christians being perfect but that is far from the reality of what it means to follow Christ. If anything, most Christians come to know Christ because of their imperfections, a fact the Bible never hid. A look through the generations of Bible leaders that did great works for the glory of God would show, they were flawed in one form or another and that is what I am discussing here. Hope you find it encouraging to know you don't have to be perfect to follow Christ. Stay Blessed.
Mama, today I celebrate you. You taught me and all your loved ones how to smile when life is far from perfect. Because of you, we've learned to smile a little bit more. Knowing that no matter how trying life gets, it won't crumble us. Mama, we've all come to the realisation that you were the love of our lives because you showed us what it truly meant to love unconditionally. Happy birthday Mama! Your baby girl, Princess Number 3 (Aka Kemi-kemeh).
Nothing beats a good old fashion book where you can turn the pages, fold the edges and make notes of things that grabs your your attention. The inspirational book I'm reading at present by author Anita Vincent certainly ticks all the boxes. A book I had the privilege of reviewing last year. It's been a great source of encouragement for me, especially in these challenging times. Feel free to browse through its pages on Amazon, you might just find it encouraging too.You will find it here: www.amazon.co.uk/Anita-Vincent/e/B08LNSWV4N/ref=aufs_dp_fta_dsk
THE TRUTH ABOUT GIVING
The act of giving is a classic Biblical concept that can never go out of fashion, because it is a basic human act. That is, to look for where there is a need and do whatever you can, however little, to help those in need. Now, giving comes in different forms and there is no one size fits all. Giving should be something we do willingly and should NEVER be done under obligation or duress. Here, I examine what the Bible says about giving and what it truly means to give. Hope it encourages you to help others. Stay Blessed and encouraged!
IS ANYTHING TOO DIFFICULT FOR GOD?
Every generation has it’s own problems and this generation is no different. Remember Daniel in the land of Babylon? Or Lot in the city of Sodom and Gomorrah? Or Israel in the land of Egypt? They all have a common thread running through them. That is, they all had God fighting their battles for them. It’s why Daniel survived the lion’s den, Why Lot outlived his city and why Israel escaped from Egypt.
Are you getting it? None of them had it easy, but God came through for them in the end. why? Because what they experienced was part of their life’s journey and what God used to show the world his sovereignty. So, remember when you are facing a seemingly impossible situation, that there is nothing too difficult for God to handle. Jeremiah chapter 32 verse 27 is a gentle reminder that there is nothing God can't do and confirmation that there is nothing beyond his reach. All we need to do, is trust him and commit all that concerns us to him. Then wait and watch him act on our behalf!
I'm Kemi West. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.