The Best Gift

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I love Christmas! This is the day that we received the best gift ever.  Christmas is a time of God showing His great love for us. Christmas is when we celebrate the birth of the Christ Child. God sent His Son, Jesus, into the world to be born, who would later die for the sins of mankind. Always remember that Jesus is the reason we celebrate.

Luke 2:4-19 (NIV)

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.

 

 

Merry Christmas from Dr. Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

 

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas

 

References:

Gaventa, Beverly Roberts. The New Interpreter’s Bible: One-Volume Commentary. Abingdon Press, 2010.

Strong, James. The New Strong’s Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words. T. Nelson, 2001.

http://“Holiday (n.).” Index, http://www.etymonline.com/word/holiday.

Accountability

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There will always be those who will tell you what you want to hear. Webster’s definition of accountability refers to “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Everyone needs to be accountable to someone, even when it comes to spiritual matters.

Yes, we are responsible for our own actions and must give an account to God for our deeds. But God has also placed ministry leaders in the church in part for this purpose.  Pastors have a responsible to teach the truth to the people God has given them to shepherd. Not to lord over the people but to be an example. (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” A true shepherd will nurture, lead, and protect God’s people.

It is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth.  Everyone needs someone in their life who will be honest and not feed the ego. It maybe necessary to give people permission to speak truth into our lives. Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”

Just as the shepherd has a responsibility to the people, the people have a responsibility to submit to God’s designated authority. (Hebrews 13:17 NIV) “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Christians are to obey their leaders and submit to them, and the leader is accountable to God for how they care for God’s people.

It is important that we stay humble at the feet of Jesus. Correction may come through your spiritual leader, or a trusted friend depending on the situation you maybe dealing with. If someone really loves you they are willing to speak the truth in love even if it hurts. Correction given in love is better than insincere acts of affection.

Has anyone ever corrected you in love and it proved beneficial to you?

Evelyn Johnson-Taylor

To connect with Evelyn