by: Pastor Max Solbrekken
his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied,
saying blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath visited and redeemed
His people. (Luke 1:67-68)
is always a blessed time for our family. I will always have fond
memories of my childhood and so many Christmases since. And now that
all our children are grown and have families of their own, this glorious
special joy and goodness accompanies
this time of the year, as we spend extra time with friends and loved ones,
attend Church and meditate on God's grace which brought Jesus Christ into
common knowledge that December 25 is not the actual date of Christ’s
birth! That 'Blessed Morn' when God came down in human flesh to redeem us
from death, and reconcile us to God. The exact date is not important. The
truth is that He did come and His birth, life, death and resurrection are
all glorious realities!
word "Christmas" is taken from the words ‘Christ’ and
‘mass’ (a holy day or feast), a festival celebrating the birth of
Jesus Christ. When I think about Christ's birth and the great truths that
surrounded that event - together with the significance and the results of
His coming - the exact date and the name by which it is called, pale into
FORERUNNER OF THE LORD
prophets had foretold the Messiah’s First Advent. The faithful in Israel
had long awaited His coming. In the fullness of time, He arrived on the
scene as promised!
forerunner was the prophet John the Baptist! His parents received two
great miracles of healing, in order for John to be born.
Bible says: "Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy
wife Elizabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.
And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.
he shall be great in the sight of the Lord...And he shall go before Him in
the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the
children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a
people prepared for the Lord."
Zacharias asked: "Whereby shall I know this; for I am an old man, and
my wife well stricken in years. And the angel answering said unto him, I
am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto
thee, and to shew thee these GLAD TIDINGS. And, behold thou shalt be dumb,
and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed,
because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their
season". (Luke 1:11-20)
Zacharias did not fully believe the words of the angel, he became dumb for
nine months. Immediately after John’s birth, his tongue was loosed and
he prophesied saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for He hath
visited and redeemed His people". (Luke 1:67-68)
BE THE LORD GOD OF ISRAEL
was filled with the Holy Ghost, declaring "Blessed be the Lord God of
Israel". I join the heavenly choir and the multitude of blood washed
saints who have gone to their eternal reward, together with millions still
on earth, saying, "Blessed be the Lord!"
also join King David in blessing and praising the Lord: "Bless the
Lord, Oh my soul: and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name. Bless
the Lord, Oh my soul and forget not all His benefits; Who forgiveth all
thine iniquities; Who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life
from destruction; Who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender
mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is
renewed like the eagle's". (Ps. 103:1-5)
have so much to praise and thank the Lord for. His mercy and love endureth
forever! The Psalmist was constantly praising and blessing God for His
goodness and mercy. Many people have forgotten the benefits of Golgotha,
but the Psalmist didn't. He rejoiced in God’s blessings of forgiveness,
healing and protection.
David declares: "I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall
continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the Lord: the
humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. Oh magnify the Lord with me, and
let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, and
delivered me from all my fears". (Ps. 34:1-4)
WERE CONTINUALLY BLESSING AND PRAISING GOD
He led them out as far as to Bethany, and He lifted up His hands, and
blessed them. And it came to pass, while He blessed them, He parted from
them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped Him, and
returned to Jerusalem with great joy: And were continually in the temple,
praising and blessing God. Amen."
should all emulate the Early Church in praising and blessing God, for He
called the Lord "Blessed" for He hath visited and redeemed His
people! The Bible says "...and the people which shall be created
shall praise the Lord". (Ps. 102:18) Here is why we should praise God
more often: "For He hath looked down from the height of His
sanctuary: from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning
of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death". (Ps.
is impossible not to praise God, when you consider all the great things He
has done for us. He is constantly “looking out” for us in order to
meet our needs, protect, heal and bless us! Hallelujah!
WHOLE MULTITUDE BEGAN TO REJOICE AND PRAISE GOD WITH A LOUD VOICE
people ridicule us for praising God audibly in our church services. They
feel that is not proper. The only answer I have is Jesus’ reply to His
critics: "Ye do err: not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of
God". (Matt. 22:29)
who are well versed in the Scriptures do not make such foolish statements,
since the Bible abounds with accounts of joyous and enthusiastic praise
unto God. And those who have experienced God's grace and seen His power
demonstrated, will be more exuberant in their praise to Christ than those
who are only professors.
declared that those who "have been forgiven much will love
much". (Luke 7:47) He was annoyed that only one of the ten lepers
which He had cleansed returned to give thanks and praise to God.
people have failed to experience God's miracles since they do not believe
in His power. Therefore, they have nothing to praise God for. We, who have
experienced God's power, however, have much to praise Him for!
HE HATH VISITED AND REDEEMED HIS PEOPLE
A VISIT THAT WAS! When Heaven kissed the earth; when Divinity came into
contact with Humanity; when He who was perfect and Holy came to change the
imperfect and unholy! He who was rich became poor so that we might be made
rich! (2 Cor. 8:9)
A VISIT THAT WAS, when God came down to save sinners, heal the
sick, change the course of human lives, mend that which was broken and
make us all new! (1 John 3:8)
A VISIT THAT WAS, when God's only Son came to earth to redeem Adam's
fallen race, to meet the demands of Divine Justice and to sacrifice
Himself so that we might have life!
A VISIT! OH, WHAT A VISIT THAT WAS! (Isaiah 53:4-5)
can fully articulate the blessings of God toward those who accept His
unspeakable gift, who turn to Him in humility and brokenness? Words cannot
express the peace of mind, tranquility of soul and joy of heart that
floods the very being of those who accept this message for themselves,
appropriate His promises and believe the Word of God!
miracle of restored health and strength, the goodness, mercy, patience and
gentleness that comes to those who accept the Prince of Peace into their
lives and allow Him to work out His will in them, is beyond human
other message could ever be as joyous as that of the HEAVENLY VISITOR, Who
came from Glory to redeem fallen man; to buy back from Satan's control the
very souls and lives of the lost, hopeless and unregenerate.
other message could ever be as important as that of Christ's redeeming
work on the cross! The Good News of God's Salvation for confused,
bewildered and deceived mankind, is the ultimate of message and most
sublime of all truths! The Bible tells us to "shout it from the
housetops", which translates: "Let everyone know".
HIDE YOUR LIGHT OR COVER IT UP, BUT LET IT SHINE! LET PEOPLE KNOW THAT
JESUS LIVES ON THE INSIDE! LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT JESUS IS ALIVE AND
WILLING TO DELIVER THEM FROM EVERY SIN, TORMENT, OPPRESSION AND FEAR.
said, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every
creature." (Mark 16:15) The word gospel means the 'good news'.
The Good News is that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. (Luke
19:10) The Good News is that "Whosoever will call upon the Name of
the Lord shall be saved", (Acts 1:21) and that Jesus invites: "Come
unto Me, all ye who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you
rest". (Matt. 11:28)
words of Jesus is very good news: "Him that cometh to Me I shall
in no wise cast out". (John 6:37)
OTHER MESSAGE IS AS URGENT
Bible says, "The king's business requires haste" (1 Sam.
21:8) and Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. (Rev. 19:16)
said, "Say not ye, there are yet four months, and then cometh
harvest. Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields;
for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth
wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and
he that reapeth may rejoice together." (John 4:35-36)
Jesus declared, "I must work the works of Him that sent Me, while
it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work". (John 9:4)
IMPORTANT IT IS THAT WE APPROPRIATE GOD'S PROMISES FOR OURSELVES AND ALLOW
HIM TO MOVE IN OUR LIVES AS HE WISHES, SO WE CAN BECOME EFFECTIVE AS
WITNESSES TO A LOST, NEEDY, SICK AND CONFUSED WORLD
must go forth with the message of God's great love, mercy and peace. Let
us not slacken off in proclaiming to the unreached masses that Jesus
Christ came into this world to "seek and to save that which was
is imperative that we ‘lift up’ the bloodstained banner of the Cross,
knowing that there is only one way to Heaven and that Jesus Christ is that
way. May we constantly remind ourselves: "Only one life, it will soon
be past - only what's done for Christ will last".
am praying for you and your family at this beautiful time of the year.
Please pray for Donna and myself, our family and staff,
to be more effective in reaching multitudes with the gospel of Christ,
through our radio programs, printed materials and crusades across Canada
prayer is that we will all be fully awake, alert and aggressively building
His Kingdom, when He returns!
a safe, peaceful and contagiously joyous Christmas!
YOU MUST DO TO RECEIVE
GOD'S GIFT OF SALVATION
You must admit that you are a sinner
Bible says, "If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar,
and his word is not in us." (1 John 1:10)
all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23)
as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death
passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:" (Romans 5:12)
You must be willing to turn away from sin - to repent of your sins
said: "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
perish." (Luke 13:5)
the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men
every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30)
You must BELIEVE that JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR YOU, was buried, and rose
again from the dead.
God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
it thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in
thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved." (Romans 10:9)
God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John
You must INVITE JESUS into your life to become your personal Saviour.
whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."
with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth
confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10)
DO I INVITE JESUS CHRIST INTO MY LIFE?
to God, a prayer - from your heart. Tell Him that you are a
sinner and that you need forgiveness. Tell him that you believe
Jesus Christ died for your sins. Tell him that you are willing to
change, to turn away from sin. Ask Jesus Christ to come into your
heart and life and be your personal Saviour.
as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God,
even to them that believe on his name." (John 1:12)
if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new." (2 Corinthians 5:17)
you prayed and ask Jesus Christ into your heart - YOU HAVE NOW RECEIVED
THE GIFT OF SALVATION - YOU HAVE BECOME A CHILD OF GOD. God Bless