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Grace Community International
Rev. John S. Mahon  |  Houston, Texas
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Lessons To Be Learned From Scriptural Advent Mediations #6 & 7
THURSDAY, JANUARY 01, 2015
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
You have been meditating not on the mythologies, speculations and traditions of men but rather the holy, eternal, inerrant written Word of God. As a result you may very well have come to view the revelation of God the Holy Spirit concerning the birth of Christ in an entirely new light. Now is a good time for reflection on lessons learned. Each day read the passage, reflect on the devotional thought and then, if doing this as a family, discuss your conclusions.

6. Do not be too quick to relegate the Word of God to the status of a children’s story.

Matthew 5:19
"Whoever then annuls one of the least of these commandments, and so teaches others, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever keeps and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Many of us have failed to do an in-depth study of the revelation of the birth of Christ simply because we have relegated it to the status of a children’s story. How vain is this approach to the Word of God. What other aspects of God’ Revelation have you glossed over as a children’s story? This is simply satan’s attempt at devaluing the Word of God and we should not succumb to it. One mental discipline you can begin to employ is to use the phrase “Revelation” or “Historical Revelation” in the place of “story” or “Bible story”. Instead of “What is your favorite Bible story?” which seems to relegate the Bible to the same level as any other “story”, “Which Historical Revelation is your favorite?”. Or instead of “I just love the Christmas story” why not, “I just love the Christmas Revelation”. Seek to elevate in both speech and action, the Word of God to it’s lofty position. It is not simply traditions and stories handed down over the centuries by the church but rather the holy, eternal, inerrant, written Word of God. What to teach in terms of the Christmas Revelation can present the teacher with a quandary of sorts. If he is to simply cover the birth of Christ, then that limits him to Matthew 1:25 and Luke 2:1 – 20. If the teacher decides to do this he rules out the mention of the Magi, the star, the angelic visits, the flight to Egypt and more. He is limited to the Manger and the shepherds. To include more one must begin to move beyond the night of Jesus’ actual birth and then one must find some arbitrary point at which to cut off the divine historical Revelation of the events surrounding the Birth of Christ. Far from being a simplistic event as depicted by so many manger scenes, children’s story books and Christmas plays, the divine Revelation in the Word of God concerning the birth of Christ is not one event but rather is comprised of Ten separate historical events…

I. Zacharias Visited By Angel
II. Zacharias, Elizabeth and John the Baptist
III. Mary Visited By The Angel
IV. The Immaculate Conception
V. Joseph’s Dream
VI. Mary and Elizabeth
VII. Birth, Shepherds, Angels and Manger
VIII. Temple Dedication
IX. Magi, Gifts and Home
X. Flight to Egypt and Return

The divine revelation, rather than reading like novel, actually presents us with a series of historical vignettes or incidents. Each true and divinely revealed but separated one from another by time. They can be approached as a series of one act plays. In fact they lend themselves readily to a Christmas pageant or “Drive Through” format and it is a shame that modern churches do not take advantage of this to present to the world the historically true revelation of the events surrounding the birth of Christ rather than settling for the traditional Christmas Cresh which has little to do with reality in terms of the historicity it represents. The world still waits for the church, the publisher, for the pageant which correctly presents the historical Revelation of the birth of Christ as presented by God the Holy Spirit through the eternal, inerrant, holy, written Word of God.

7. Separate what is worth fighting for from what is simply engrained in our culture.

Matthew 23:23-24
"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”

The sad fact is that the annual fight to keep “mangers” in the public parks, schools and courthouses are waged over a depiction which falls somewhere between superstitious and false. Are there aspects of the Christmas celebration which you hold dear, yet the Word of God does not? In our culture, Christmas is a major holiday but in the history of the church this has not been uniformly true. There is no evidence from the book of Acts that the early church kept or even knew the day of Christ’s birth. There is no evidence that first century Christians kept or even knew the date of Christ’s birth. During the age of the Puritans in England and especially during the rule of Oliver Cromwell the celebration of Christmas was banned as papist superstition. What we understand as the celebration of Christmas came about largely through the writings of Charles Dickens and his contemporaries as they sought to broaden the meaning of Christmas to include a general spirit of goodwill. Thus the phrase, “the spirit of Christmas” came to be employed. No doubt, were the celebration of Christmas in terms of a Holiday where days off from work are allotted, to be done away with, many Christians would fight, loose their jobs and perhaps go to jail. All this for something that is not commanded, mentioned or practiced in the Word of God. What if Christmas were dropped from the calendar, dropped from governments holiday schedule, would you see this as a violation of Scripture? What if Christmas were not celebrated as a secular shopping holiday but rather relegated to a special mid week worship service at your church. Would you view this as a loss of “the meaning of Christmas”? Even at this level the church would be hard put to make a Scriptural argument for a mandatory day of celebration in terms of the birth of Christ. There is certainly nothing wrong with celebrating the birth of Christ as an act of worship, but it is important to remember that the celebration of the birth of Christ as Holy Day on our calendar or as a Holiday is purely cultural and not a part of the divine commandants and revelation of Scripture. As dark days approach, Christians should be clearly aware of what is worth dying for and what is simply a cultural anomaly.

Category:  Oct. 2014 - Home

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December 30 Follow-up To Advent Study #5
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 30, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
We have just posted today's follow-up to the Christmas Advent Study series. Now is an excellent opportunity to continue the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, study and worship as a family. Just follow the link below to access this in...
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December 29 Follow-up To The Advent Study #4
MONDAY, DECEMBER 29, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
We have just posted today's follow-up to the Christmas Advent Study series. Now is an excellent opportunity to continue the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, study and worship as a family. Just follow the link below to access this in...
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December 28 Follow-up To The Advent Study #4
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
We have just posted today's follow-up to the Christmas Advent Study series. Now is an excellent opportunity to continue the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, study and worship as a family. Just follow the link below to access this in...
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December 27 - Follow-up To The Advent Study #2
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
We have just posted today's follow-up to the Christmas Advent Study series. Now is an excellent opportunity to continue the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, study and worship as a family. Just follow the link below to access this in...
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December 26 Post Advent Meditations
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
We have just posted today's follow-up to the Christmas Advent Study series. Now is an excellent opportunity to continue the spiritual discipline of daily Bible reading, study and worship as a family. Just follow the link below to access this in...
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December 25 Advent Study
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 25, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
These daily Advent studies are provided for your personal devotionals or for your daily family Advent devotionals during the evening meal. They are an excellent way to introduce daily Bible readings and discussions at the evening meal. Once...
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December 24 Advent Study
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
These daily Advent studies are provided for your personal devotionals or for your daily family Advent devotionals during the evening meal. They are an excellent way to introduce daily Bible readings and discussions at the evening meal. Once...
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December 23 Advent Study
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 23, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
These daily Advent studies are provided for your personal devotionals or for your daily family Advent devotionals during the evening meal. They are an excellent way to introduce daily Bible readings and discussions at the evening meal. Once...
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December 22 Advent Study
MONDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2014
Posted by: Grace Community International | more..
These daily Advent studies are provided for your personal devotionals or for your daily family Advent devotionals during the evening meal. They are an excellent way to introduce daily Bible readings and discussions at the evening meal. Once...
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