Dear Ones,
Hope you are having a peaceful weekend as you prepare for Christmas. I spent much of yesterday in the kitchen and today I am going to clean and pack. We will be celebrating tomorrow by going to Church in Hackensack and then to Ann’s for Christmas dinner. We plan to be home for the Christmas service at our church at 4. May each of us have a fresh awareness of the wonderful gift given us in Jesus!
Devotions from Judy’s heart
We are all loved and wanted beyond what we can ever comprehend. Even the one who was raised in a home without earthly fatherly love can glory in the fact that he is eternally loved by a Heavenly Father who gave His all for him.

I was reading a devotional by Rick Renner on, who reminds us of the real meaning of Christmas. We first think of the manger and celebrate Jesus coming as a baby…but there is much more. We need to include the cross, for Jesus’ purpose in coming was to die for each of us that we might have salvation. Paul writes in Philippians 2 how Jesus humbled Himself and became obedient to the cross for that is why the Father sent him. Paul also says that Jesus was found in fashion as a man and Renner goes on to tell us that the Greek word for fashion is used to describe a king who for a brief time exchanged kingly robes for the clothing of a beggar. It was part of God’s plan for Jesus to do this and He willingly obeyed His Father and stepped down to earth and suffered the most excruciating death for us.

After reading this devotional I was left with a new awareness of Christmas and the tremendous gift given to me and all of mankind who will receive. Yes, Jesus came as a baby but ultimately to die for me and each of you reading this. I will close with the prayer by Renner:

Lord, I thank You for coming to earth so You could redeem me. When I think of the extent to which You were willing to go in order to save me, it makes me want to shout, to celebrate, and to cry with thankfulness. You love me so much, and I am so grateful for that love. Without You, I would still be lost and in sin. But because of everything You have done for me, today I am free; my life is blessed; Jesus is my Lord; Heaven is my home; and Satan has no right to control me. I will be eternally thankful to You for everything You did to save me                                                     I pray this in Jesus’ name!”

Challenge for today: Put a cross somewhere near the nativity as a reminder of the cost of Jesus coming to earth.