The holidays are great times for visiting with family and friends. We stay up later than normal, eat more than usual and we laugh a lot. These seasonal visits are enjoyed and documented with photos and video recordings, treasures that bring pleasure again later on.
The church play staged by our Sunday School children showing the manger scene reminded me of the visitors that came to the Christ child.
The shepherds heard the angelic announcement and came to worship Jesus. The wise men from the East followed the star until it stood over the one prophesied to be the king. The three men came into his presence to worship him as well.
Just as those visitors came to worship Jesus, I hope we continue to come together to worship him. In the midst of man's worries and work-a-day world, the best rest is to take time to worship the Lord.
The amazing truth of the Christmas story is that Jesus came to visit our world, born a babe in Bethlehem. He is Emmanuel, "God with us." The almighty God came to earth in human form (I Timothy 3:16).
He proclaimed his mission and ministry as fulfillment of an Old Testament prophecy described in Luke 4:18.
He came to "heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised." His desire is to make a difference to those caught up in human dilemmas.
At one point near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus wept over Jerusalem because they had missed the opportunity they had. They didn't know the day and visitation that were slipping by (Luke 19:41-44). The good part was that they did have a visit. The bad part was they were missing it.
A near miss of God's visit is recorded in the life of Jacob (Genesis 28).
He had left his family and was all alone. The sun set on his journey and he slept in the field, far from home. The darkness matched the loneliness he was feeling.
However, God had a divine visitation for him. In a dream, God promised Jacob, "I am with you."
Jacob awoke and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it." As a result of that visit, Jacob vowed to serve God.
There are times that are dark for us and we feel all alone. God's presence can visit us in those times and at all times to let us know he has not forgotten or forsaken us. Such visits are encouraging to us to remain faithful and obedient to his word.
There are visitation victories from the Lord Jesus awaiting every one of us. The power of his presence can provide peace.
The Christmas spirit can become the abiding spirit of God that dwells in us.
The same scriptural record that tells us Jesus came nearly two thousand years ago says that he is coming back again. Preparation for that great event can be ensured by numerous visits of God's spirit and his word in our lives.
Determine to start the new year in a different way. A visit from the Lord Jesus Christ can make all the difference in your life.
In Revelation 3:20 Jesus says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
Mitch Glover is pastor of Sterling United Penecostal Church on Swanson River Road. Sunday school is at 10 a.m. and Sunday worship is at 11 a.m.
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