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   Christmas - 2009 Christmas Celebration Service    
   Rev. Jaerock Lee
   Luke 2:13-14

Scripture Reading

Luke 2:13-14
"And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 'Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.'"


Merry Christmas!
Congratulations as we celebrate the birth of Jesus the Savior for all mankind!
On Christmas we commemorate and celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus who came down to the earth to save mankind.
Let's give big applause to offer glory and thanks to our Father God who loves us, though we were once sinners, and sent us His one and only Son, and to Jesus who abandoned the heavenly glories and came down to this earth.
As Christmas draws nearer every year, I am very excited.
My heart overflows with more joy than other times, and I feel the love of Father God within deep in my heart.
This is because I know the true meaning of Christmas.
I wish for all of you to understand true meaning of Christmas, and for you to overflow with joy and thanksgiving that springs up from deep within your heart.
And in the name of the Lord I pray for you to love God the Father and the Lord Jesus more and more.

[Main Message]

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Today God gave us a Christmas celebration message titled "Christmas."
God wants His children to understand true meaning of Christmas and celebrate it properly.
Today some news surveys tell us how much the meaning of Christmas has changed and been corrupted.
Many people consider Christmas as a holiday, a day of sharing gifts, or a day of receiving gifts from Santa Claus.
Even those who attend church are leaving the true meaning of Christmas behind them as they tend to be overwhelmed by the worldly trends.
The Jesus Christ, the Savior of all mankind, is being replaced by gifts, Santa, worldly pleasures and amusements.
As the world becomes imbued with these things, we as the children of God have to understand the true meaning of Christmas.
In addition, we should spread the meaning to as many people as possible.
We have to let the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, the real Person of Christmas to be lifted up above the nations and glorified.
What is the true meaning of Christmas?
First of all, Christmas is the (gift of) giving salvation to all mankind.
All men have been released from sins and can reach salvation through the birth of Jesus.
The day when each one accepts Jesus as the Savior and gains salvation may be different.
But, when Jesus put on a human form and came down to earth, the door to salvation for all mankind was opened.
For this reason, Christmas celebrates Jesus' birth as the day God gave salvation to mankind.
On this day all the people should take the greatest delight.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
Suppose a man has a great amount of debt and cannot solve the debts with his own abilities.
Furthermore, because of that debt not only he, but also his family members have to live miserable lives.
By the way, someone else paid off all his many debts on his behalf.
In addition, the person gave the poor man whatever was necessary for him to live.
If you could put yourself in his shoes, what would you do for the benevolent person who paid off your debts and provided all life's necessities for you?
If you just thanked him with a few words, is it thanks enough to give to him?
Or if you express your gratitude to him for years, can you perform the duty of men by doing so?
If you really know his grace and truly appreciate his grace, you will never forget it but give thanks to him until your last moment on earth.
You will try your best to repay the grace with as much sincerity as you are able.
This is the duty of men even in flesh.
As for us, through Jesus we have been really saved from eternal death, namely from falling into hell.
And we gained the heavenly citizenship with to live in Heaven happily forever.
If we really understand the grace of salvation, we have to continually give thanks not only on Christmas but for the other 364 days and every moment we have until the Lord comes again.
You should not revel in feasting, joining parties, and drinking in the midst worldly festivities on Christmas. You have to understand and feel deep within your heart how great, thankful, blessed, and joyous the grace of salvation is.
The birth of Jesus gave all men the blessing of salvation, the greatest joy that cannot be exchanged with anything else in the world.
I wish for you to enjoy the joy of salvation on the blessed Christmas.
When Jesus was born, quite a few people including the magi, shepherds and a few others noticed it and rejoiced over it in this world.
But it is totally different in the spiritual realm.
Luke 2:13-14 says, "And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."
I believe you are very well aware of this fact, so please bear in your mind Christmas is the day of salvation and the day of the greatest joy.
In the name of the Lord I pray that you may praise the Lord with the joy of salvation and magnify God the Father in the fullest measure!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The second meaning of Christmas is that God demonstrated His greatest love to human beings.
1 John 4:9-10 says, "By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."
God the Father sent His one and only Son to this earth in order to save sinners.
If Jesus had unified all the nations with physical power and ruled over them as their king like many historical figures, could He have saved sinners?
Or if He had gained tremendous possessions and become a wealthy man and given charity to the poor and the abandoned, could He save sinners by all that?

No matter how great power and riches He had, He couldn't have become the savior for sinners with possessions, good will, and power.
Only when He became qualified according to the law of the spiritual world, could He save sinners.
The person qualified for the conditions for the Savior had to be hung on the wooden cross and shed His blood.
The wages of sin is death, and to be set free from death and gain eternal life requires the shedding of the blood that is identified with His life.
And to release sinners from the curse of the law saying, "The wages of sin is death" requires that He had to become a curse on their behalf and be hung on a tree and die on it for those sins.
Likewise, the person that is to become the Savior of all sinners had to completely sacrifice Himself and bear all sufferings.
God the Father knew all these things better than anybody else.
But God sent His greatly beloved Son Jesus to the earth as the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
It was not to let Him to become the emperor who would rule over the nations and enjoy riches and honors.
But God sent Jesus to take up all sacrifices and sufferings, and to pay for all penalties of sins on the behalf of sinners.
God the Father really and truly loves His one and only Son Jesus. But He doesn't love Jesus alone, but He also loves all mankind who are sinners.
He loved us to the point He exchanged the life of Jesus for our lives.
God the Father couldn't just watch human beings being born with original sin, living in sins and going the path to eternal death.
In His love He had to send His only begotten Son Jesus to this earth and permit Him to become the propitiation for the sins of sinners.
This amazing love of God the Father is well depicted in Romans 5:7-8.
It says, "For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Today how many people would readily and willingly surrender everything they possessed for the sake of others?
What if they should surrender everything not just for their family or loved ones, but for their enemies?
But God the Father gave up His only begotten Son for us who were the slaves to the enemy devil and hostile toward God.
He didn't love us only with words, but demonstrated His love with the sacrifice of giving up that which was of the greatest value to Him.
By this great love of God the Father Jesus was born on this earth, and the day to celebrate this truth is Christmas.
Therefore, on Christmas we have to feel and experience God's love deep within our hearts and love God more and more from the heart.
What can we give God the Father who unsparingly gave up His only begotten Son in order to save us from our sins?
What can we do for the Lord Jesus who came down to this earth according to the will of the Father and loved us to the point of sacrificing His life?
The very thing God the Father wants us to do above all else is to love Him from the center of our hearts and give that heart to Him.
If you love someone with a sincere heart, you will never commit the things that will cause him pain or suffering.
In the same way, he who loves God from the center of his heart never commits sins again.
It's because he knows very well how painful and heartbroken God is when he commits sins again.
If you really love someone, you will find and do whatever makes that person happy and joyful.
1 John 5:3 says, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome."
This verse is telling us exactly what the love for God is.
God showed His love for us through Jesus. In the same way, we should show our love for God not only with words and tongue but also with deeds and truth.
If you realize God's love from the heart and practice your love for Him, you will do the truth with faith and please God through such deeds.
So, the knowledge of the true meaning of Christmas is to realize God's love and to come to love Him.
In celebration of this Christmas, I pray in the name of the Lord all of you may feel in your heart how deep and great the love of God for us really is.
If you feel His love and offer your love to Him, He will feel inclined to be with you all the time.
He wants to draw you closer to His throne.
The third meaning of Christmas is that God leads as many true children of God into the kingdom of Heaven and shares love and joy with them forever and ever.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
The word "Heaven" is found nowhere in the Old Testament.
In the Old Testament it had not been necessary for heaven to take its completed form, so except for a few men of God who were lifted up into the Heavens alive, those who were saved entered into the Upper Grave.
Those who stayed at the Upper Grave entered into the outskirts of Paradise after Jesus completed His public ministry on earth and resurrected.
This is because even those who lived in Old Testament times could enter the kingdom of Heaven only through Jesus Christ.
It is just as recorded in John 14:6, "Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me."
God sent Jesus to the earth as the propitiation for our sins, and wants all men to be forgiven of their sins and enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
In the kingdom of Heaven there are no disease, no death, no suffering, no pain, and no sorrow.
There is no loneliness, tiredness, worry, anxiety, irritation, or fear at all.
But there are only happiness, joy, peace and love.
God wanted all men to enter this beautiful kingdom of Heaven.
And He wanted to share true and unchanging love with them forever.
God gave up His only begotten Son unsparingly in order to give us this good Heaven.
How vividly are you feeling this heart of God in your heart right now?
God gave us the beautiful kingdom of Heaven, but He didn't expect anything in return.
He opened the way for us to enter into the kingdom of Heaven by giving us His most beloved Son.
Jesus paid for the penalty of our sins so that He allowed for us to reach the beautiful kingdom of Heaven.
The kingdom of Heaven where we will dwell forever is so beautiful; it is beyond description.
God has prepared our heavenly dwelling place with the most beautiful and valuable things and wants to live us there ever and ever.
God prepared this wonderful kingdom of Heaven and is calling all people to enter there. So, when people depart from God and return to the world, how great the pain must be that His heart feels!
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
A mother cleans the house, cooks tasty food, sets the table and prepares many good things for her child who will return from far away.
When the child doesn't get home yet and it is late, the mother still has not had dinner and gets worried the food will cool down.
Finally the child returns. The child earnestly begins eating the food the mother has prepared.
Whenever the child eats food and swallows each spoon, a piece of rice, meat and vegetable taken is imbued with the mother's strong love and sincerity.
Can you sense how the mother feels while looking at the child eating?
This is like the heart of God the Father who has prepared the kingdom of Heaven.
God wishes His loving children will enter the kingdom of Heaven He has prepared with sincerity, and live there with joy and happiness forever. He also wants to share love with them.
So, He didn't spare His only begotten Son and has endured all sorrows and pains during the 6,000 year period of human cultivation.
If we understand the heart of God the Father, we should naturally come forth as the best children of God.
We should not be satisfied with only the fact that we will enter Heaven. But we should strive to move closer to God's throne; to give thanks for His grace and love forever; and to please His heart.
What do we have to do to become those children?
Hebrews 12:14 says, "Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord."
We have to cast away every form of evil, be faithful in all our aspects and become men of spirit.
On this Christmas, I ask you in the name of the Lord to come forth as God's true and perfect children who can accomplish whole spirit and dwell close with God the Father in New Jerusalem.


Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I have told you about the three true meanings in Christmas.
First, it is to give us salvation. Second it is that through Christmas God demonstrated His greatest love to mankind. Thirdly, it is to share the gifts of joy and love with His true children in the kingdom of Heaven forever.
The day when this precious and valuable gift was given us is Christmas.
How joyous and happy this day is! How much do we have to give thanks and glory to God?
If we had not been able to meet God, we would have been led to eternal death and been found as beings of no worth and no value.
But God met us first and gave us the valuable gift.
The gift can be given only by God.
I wish the love and grace of God the Father overflow in your heart.
May you accomplish whole spirit and bear the fruit of God's love and be a great joy to God, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I pray!

Merry Christmas!