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Christmas Devotionals: Day 17- Christmas, Julie Andrews, Awesome Parents, & Joy to the World

Christmas Devotionals: Day 17- Christmas, Julie Andrews, Awesome Parents, & Joy to the World

Christmas, Julie Andrews, Awesome Parents, and Joy to the World

“And the angel said to them, ‘Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.’” (Luke 2:10)

 

 

 

Sitting at my desk, writing thoughtfully, with Christmas music in the background, I was able to focus on the writing until Julie Andrews’ “Joy to the World”: “Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the….” I had stopped writing, was listening, and my mind was a million miles away (note to self: stop with the tunes when writing). As far back in my childhood as I can remember, my brother and I woke up to Andrews’ “Joy to the World” every Christmas morning. It was our official wake up call—Christmas had begun because Julie Andrews said so, and my parents had given her permission to say it.

“Joy to the World” is much more than a Christmas hymn—it’s celebrating the promised kingdom of God coming to earth (cf. 2 Sam 7) when the Messiah King will sit on a literal earthly throne. But for me, the song is also a reminder of how two parents taught their children about the Source of authentic joy: true joy is found in Him.

“Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…Joy to the…” Those echoes remind me of the vital principles my parents instilled in me from my youth. The same exhortations that Paul shared with the Philippians (“Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice,” 4:4), and that Nehemiah shared with his people (“the joy of the Lord is your strength,” 8:10).

I can’t hear Joy to the World without remembering those Christmas mornings when we would read Luke 2, thank the Lord for His kindness to us, and then spend time together sharing gifts. Thank you, Dad and Mom, and Merry Christmas.

“Joy to the world, the Lord is come. Let earth receive her king. Let every heart prepare Him room….”

Song’s over for now…back to writing…Merry Christmas, everyone!

 

Dr. Christopher Cone, President

Christmas Devotionals: Day 16- Check This Out!

Christmas Devotionals: Day 16- Check This Out!

Check This Out!

“But as he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him . . .” (Matthew 1:20)

 

 

 

The Christmas season is a wondrous time of year! Yet, perhaps this season you are not as festive or joyous as others because you are wondering how God is going to show up and reveal His saving power over a difficult situation in your life.

Let it be noted that before the splendor and beauty of the birth of Jesus occurred, it started out as a major crisis for Joseph. Matthew 1:18-19 begins the Christmas narrative with a young couple engaged to be married. But something terrible from Joseph’s perspective happened—Mary was pregnant and he was not the father!

As Joseph was devising a plan that could avert this crisis, something amazing happened. Matthew 1:20-21 says, “But as he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for H will save His people from their sins.’”

Notice the word behold. Matthew uses this particle as an indicator that something big is about to happen. It’s Matthew’s way of saying, “Check this out! You’re not going to believe what happens next!”

The event, that at first seemed so tragic to Joseph, was the Creator coming into the world to save the world from its sins! God was working through Joseph’s crisis for His purposes.

No matter how difficult your circumstances are this Christmas, seek the Lord and trust in His saving power. And when God shows up in an amazing way, may you begin your testimony of His working in your life with, “Check this out! You’re not going to believe how God showed up! It was amazing because He is amazing!”

 

Ian Bacon, Superintendent of Calvary University Academy (CO)

Merry Christmas from Calvary University!

Merry Christmas from Calvary University!

Weekly Portraits of Calvary Life

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.  And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.          Luke 2:6-7

And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.       John 1:14

Praise God for sending the Savior!  Merry Christmas!

Sara Klaassen

Alumni Relations Coordinator

Upcoming Calvary Events

J-Term                         Jan. 7-11

Start of Cycle 4          Jan. 14

Upcoming Men’s Basketball Games

January 5, 4:00 p.m. vs. Ecclesia at Home

January 11, 7:00 p.m. vs. Champion Christian at Home

Upcoming Women’s Basketball Games

January 5, 2:00 p.m. vs. Ecclesia at Home

January 11, 5:00 p.m. vs. Champion Christian at Home

Upcoming lux voces Performances

January 27, 10:45 a.m. at Abiding Faith Baptist Church & Mission in Kansas City, MO

Christmas Devotionals: Day 15- A Change of Heart

Christmas Devotionals: Day 15- A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” (John 3:17)

 

 

 

Christmas is our chance to move closer to those in crisis, not further away. A time to notice those who are normally ignored.

Leah, a manager in a marketing and sales firm, passed a homeless shelter on her way to work but always ignored the building and the people standing outside of it. “If they can stand outside and ask for food or money, then they should be able to stand in the unemployment line!”

One day as Leah was driving to work, her car quit—right in front of the homeless shelter! She got out and looked under the hood. A man walked up to her and asked if everything was okay. “No, thanks. I just need to call AAA for assistance” she said and began to use her cell phone only to discover she had no reception. “This has to be one of the worst days of my life!” she thought. The man asked if he could look under the hood; “Sure, be my guest.”

The man found the problem and the engine was soon running. Feeling very thankful, Leah asked the man his name. “Phil,” he responded. He went on to say that he had been homeless for several months and had been unable to find work or a place to live.

Leah asked if he fixed cars for a living; he replied that fixing cars was a hobby—he had a business degree in Marketing. (Leah was shocked!) Phil went on to say that he had been searching for donors for the homeless shelter—along with a job in marketing.

As Phil turned to walk back to the shelter, Leah called out, “I have a proposition: if you come and work for me in marketing, I’ll make sure that our company becomes a regular donor for the homeless shelter.”

Phil shook Leah’s hand, “Ma’am, you have a deal, this is the best Christmas gift ever.” Leah said to Phil, “And you helped me.” Leah’s whole outlook had changed, she asked God to forgive her for her judgmental attitude.

 

Dr. Germaine Washington, Chair Business Administration Department

Christmas Devotionals: Day 14- Fear Not!

Christmas Devotionals: Day 14- Fear Not!

Fear Not!

“The angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias . . .” (Luke 1:13)

 

 

 

What’s your favorite saying of the Christmas story? What the angel said to Mary, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women!” (Luke 1:28)? Or what the angel said to the Shepherds, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11)? Or to Joseph, “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).

But what about the “Fear Nots” of the Christmas story?

To Zechariah, the angel said, “Fear not!” (Luke 1:13). His fears about his future posterity would not happen—God would bless him with a son, John, to turn many of the hearts of the people back to God.

To Mary, the angel said, “Fear not!” (Luke 1:30). Her fear for her future as a woman would not happen—God would bless her with a son, Jesus, who would be the King to sit on David’s throne.

To Joseph, the angel said, “Fear not!” (Matthew 1:20). His fear for his future as a righteous man would not happen—God would bless him with a son who would be the Savior for the people.

To us, God is saying, “Fear not!” Our fears for our future do not have to happen—God has blessed us with His Son who is the way of salvation from all fears. “Fear not!” Christmas is about how Jesus came to give us life, and He will not betray us nor let us down. “Fear not!” God will protect us and encourage us. “Fear not!” God is in control and He will take care of us.

“Fear not!”—God’s message to us because of His Child born for us at Christmas!

 

Norm Baker, Adjunct Faculty, Bible & Theology Department

Christmas Devotionals: Day 13- Flight Simulators, Adam, & Biblical Authority

Christmas Devotionals: Day 13- Flight Simulators, Adam, & Biblical Authority

Flight Simulators, Adam, and Biblical Authority

“. . . those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:17)

 

 

 

I tore open the wrapping paper to reveal . . . a box of rocks. No, not a rock tumbler set. My mom had literally wrapped my childhood rock collection. Underneath it, however, I found a note: “We wanted to buy you a joystick, but we wanted you to pick it out.” The rocks were just there so I could open something. Flying a simulated fighter jet with my new joystick later that afternoon, I knew the givers of the re-gifted pebble pile had fulfilled their promise of a better gift.

God gave a gift like that. He used the first man, Adam, to foreshadow Jesus. Sadly, some scholars deny that Adam was a historical person, tossing him aside like a re-gifted rock box. Making Adam figurative, however, contradicts Paul’s comparison of Adam with Jesus. Adam’s sin brought death and condemnation to all, but Jesus brings righteousness to those who believe (Romans 5:15–18). Remove a real Adam from this passage, and Christmas becomes pointless. There is no need for a savior when there is no sin. God gave the first Adam the gift of life, but Adam brought death. Jesus, the last Adam, brings life from death—a perfect re-gift.

Challenging Adam’s historicity reveals a deeper problem, though: it questions biblical authority. Did God really say Adam had to be historical? Imagine me throwing my re-gifted rock collection across the room—clearly, a lack of trust in the gift’s source. The real rock collection pointed to a better (and equally real) gift of the joystick.

The Christmas season can sometimes get rocky—maybe unexpected tragedies past or present make it an emotional time, make it seem like a big pile of rocks. Where you place your trust matters. Will you toss the rocks or read God’s “note” to you and His “better gift”?

 

Thomas Crank, Director of the Clark Academic Center and Disability Support Services, Instructor of English