Merry Christmas to all our readers!
We at the Encouraging Word, thank you for your support this year and continue to covet your prayers for the ministry next year. We hope to have several Bible studies available by spring. The 24th of December will be our last blog for the year, as we focus on our families this Christmas season. The blogs will resume January 7th. In the meantime, carve out time for the Word of God in your life daily and may the Lord’s blessings be on you all.
May the Lord richly bless each and every one of you.
Linda, Tiffany and Debbie
We offer you a shortened version of the Christmas story, broken down into 9 parts. If anyone would like to read it on Christmas with your family and friends.
- Luke 1:26-32
26 God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, 27 to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David. 28 Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!”
- Luke 1:30-32, 38
“Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God! 31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. 38 Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
3. Luke 2:1-5
1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. 3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. 4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea. 5 He took with him Mary, his fiancé, who was now obviously pregnant.
- Luke 2:6-7
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. 7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
- Luke 2:8-12
8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
- Luke 2:13-15
13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” 15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
- Luke 2:16 & 20
16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.
- Matthew 2:1,2,5
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, 2 “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,”
- Matthew 2:9-11
9 After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! 11 They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for sending your Son into the world to save us from our sins, and to rescue us from an eternity of darkness and loneliness without you. We rejoice today in remembering the birth of our Savior. For you O Lord are high and lifted up, and worthy of all of our praise and thanksgiving. We love you Lord. Amen.