A Christmas to Remember

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S.O.A.P. – “Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer”

Do you believe God is “up close and personal” or “distant and uninterested” in the world?

Nevertheless, that time of darkness and despair will not go on forever. The land of Zebulun and Naphtali will be humbled, but there will be a time in the future when Galilee of the Gentiles, which lies along the road that runs between the Jordan and the sea, will be filled with glory.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light. For those who live in a land of deep darkness, a light will shine. You will enlarge the nation of Israel, and its people will rejoice. They will rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest and like warriors dividing the plunder. For you will break the yoke of their slavery and lift the heavy burden from their shoulders. You will break the oppressor’s rod, just as you did when you destroyed the army of Midian. The boots of the warrior and the uniforms bloodstained by war will all be burned. They will be fuel for the fire.

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen! Isaiah 9:1–7 NLT

Jesus came to take the heavy burdens of the world onto himself. What burdens are you still carrying—and are you going to let Jesus shoulder the weight so you can live free?

“His government and its peace will never end.” This is good news for citizens of Heaven. Does this give you hope beyond the tumultuous uncertainty of our world?

Lord, sin has marred this once-perfect universe. It has broken families, hurt hearts, and spoiled dreams. Yet in the middle of the mess, Jesus was born—perfect in every way. We did not deserve him…and we still don’t. But we humbly and gratefully submit to Jesus’ rule in our lives—and we thank you that his government and peace never ends!