Journeying through the Christmas Story – Day 21

December 21

Isaiah 9:1-7

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;
they rejoice before you
    as people rejoice at the harvest,
as warriors rejoice
    when dividing the plunder.
For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,
    you have shattered
the yoke that burdens them,
    the bar across their shoulders,
    the rod of their oppressor.
Every warrior’s boot used in battle
    and every garment rolled in blood
will be destined for burning,
    will be fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the greatness of his government and peace
    there will be no end.
He will reign on David’s throne
    and over his kingdom,
establishing and upholding it
    with justice and righteousness
    from that time on and forever.
The zeal of the Lord Almighty
    will accomplish this.

The Holy Bible, New International Version® NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®

Devotional – Teresa Magallanes (Pinoy Celebrations Leader)

Do you wonder why we are putting up & turning Christmas lights on this time of the year? There is something about the lights on Christmas to celebrate the coming of Light into the world. Jesus said, “I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes and trusts in Me [as Savior—all those who anchor their hope in Me and rely on the truth of My message] will not continue to live in darkness.” -Jn 12:46 AMP

Light from darkness, God has turned on the light. There’s something about darkness that makes light much more appealing. Darkness has its way of putting tricks on us. We have to move from the World to the WORD & move from darkness to LIGHT. Those who do not move from the world to the Word get what they fear. Distress, disappointments & hunger. Their worlds eventually fall apart. If you look around the world today, the life of man tends to be the life of fear, violence & death.

Isaiah saw these scenarios in Chapter 8. Individuals live with relational hurt, sickness, fear & gloom. Chapter 9 is the Christmas prophecy. The people who have seen darkness have seen light. This is the imagery of Christmas into our darkness. Whether darkness was brought about by sin, sickness or relationship in your family. We have to entrust our lives to Him. Jesus is the light that shines in us. “In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” -Jn 1:4-5

At this time when Judah’s was in the height of its anguish. When Judah was in the height of its darkness. When Judah didn’t know where to go since their only alliance at this time has turned their back on them. That this prophecy has come into the picture. At your deepest & darkest point. When everything seems hopeless. The light to dispel that darkness is told.

Do not continue to sign treaty with anything but God, anyone but God. Don’t be like Ahaz who doesn’t trust the Lord & has a consistent history of running away from God & putting his trust in idols. Do not be like Ahaz who has set his alliance with the enemy hence the very thing he ran to for security ended up turning his back on him & afflicting him. Making the darkness in his nation even darker. (2 Chron 28:20). We have to trust God when darkness is rising, when gloom is rising, when fear & anguish is rising. Don’t let petty sins & spiritual compromises cast a shadow over your example. It is the love of Christ that compels to live above reproach. Let the light of Jesus shine brightly through you.

Today we encourage you to take a moment to enjoy this Christmas Song as a part of your worship.