The Holy Spirit of Christmas
Our world continues to be filled with nations that need a Savior, families that need redemption and individuals that need forgiveness of sins. The coming of Jesus into the world had immediate impact on those who were waiting. It started with spiritual people, relatives of Mary and Joseph, Zechariah a priest in the temple and his wife Elizabeth. They were part of God's plan to prepare the way.
Luke 1:39-45 (NIV)
At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah's home and greeted Elizabeth. When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. In a loud voice she exclaimed: "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the child you will bear! But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? As soon as the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!"
I love rereading the Scripture passages each year concerning the birth of Christ. The Lord reveals new truth in the details of the story as He teaches us more about Himself and what He has called us to do. Working with front line pastors and church planters in physically harsh and politically oppressive environments around the world has given me opportunity to see conditions very much like existed at the time of the birth of Christ. Sadly, much of the world is still waiting to hear the good news of Christ's coming. More than 1,000,000 villages are still waiting.
But village by village people are hearing the good news of Christ for the first time. Our ministry partners reached over 1000 new villages last year with the good news. What happens when people first hear the living Word of God? The same things are happening which occurred when Christ came into the Judean village of Elizabeth and Zechariah. People are being filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit! God is calling new believers into ministry!
Please pray for the parts of the parts of the world that are still waiting to hear the Christmas story for the very first time.