For to us a child is born, to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon His shoulder,
and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Have you been anxiously awaiting a package to arrive on your doorstep? With all of the online purchasing these days, mishaps can happen with deliveries. We've already experienced several this season. Wrong packages delivered to us, and those that should be delivered to us end up at the the neighbor's. I'm so relieved when I get a message saying, "Your package was delivered."
Twenty-four years ago, a very special package was delivered one month early. After eight weeks of complete bed rest, this expectant mama was ready for the little bundle to arrive. Our daughter wanted to come into the world way before it was time. So, I was confined mostly to the bed with monitors, shots, and whatever we could do to hold off the delivery.
Finally, the appointed time of delivery arrived - December 14, 1994. We were praying for her to be five pounds. After a successful scheduled Cesarean, our precious 6 lb., 14 oz. bundle of joy greeted us and the world. Even my doctor was surprised at how much she weighed. We chalked it up to the steady stream of the tasty treats my friends brought through the front door.
The timing of our baby girl's delivery was early from a medical perspective, but from God's point of view, she arrived right on time.
Another baby was scheduled for delivery over 2000 years ago, and He also entered the world at just the right time. We don't know how much He weighed, but we know He came to carry the sin-weight of the world.
In the fullness of time, God sent His Son to be born. (Galatians 4:4) Not a moment too soon, or a fraction of a moment late. The birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord, was delivered at the Father's appointed, appropriate, and perfect time.
When God ordained His Son's delivery it was before time even began. And when the moment arrived for Mary to give birth, I'm sure Mary and Joseph were relieved, excited, scared, and overjoyed. In a humble stable, probably not the cleanest of delivery rooms, the Savior greeted the world. The world He created. The world He loved and came to be offered as the perfect sin sacrifice.
There He lay, God incarnate - packaged in human flesh, swaddled, safe and warm, lying in a manger filled with hay in the little town of Bethlehem.
The shepherds received the message via a multitude of heavenly hosts that "the package" they had been waiting for had arrived.
Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men (Luke 2:14, NKJV).
The Gift of Jesus was delivered for all people, past, present, and future. But all people have not believed. All people are not aware that the "package" they have been looking for has been delivered.
For those of us who have believed and received God's gift, we are called to be the Gift to everyone we meet. Through Christ we are to be...
The gift of love.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son... (John 3:16) God gave out of His endless love for His creation. God is love, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God, therefore, love one another. (1 John 4:7)
The gift of hope.
Because of His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead (1 Peter 1:3b). We have hope to press on through this life because Jesus is alive and will return to earth again to reign as King over all forever.
The gift of joy.
The angel said, "Don't be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people." (Luke 2:10, ESV) In Jesus we have received a joy so far beyond comprehension that we can't help but spill it onto those around us.
The gift of peace.
Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. (John 14:27) No matter the circumstances, with Jesus we can breathe. He's got us, and He will never let go. God has given us His peace. The peace He exudes eternally.
Be Jesus (the Gift) to a world in need of a Savior. Be Jesus (the Light) in a world filled with darkness and sin. Be Jesus to the world He loves and maybe because of you they will love Him back.
Be Jesus everyday, because you never know you could be the one God's appointed to deliver His Gift to someone's heart at just the right time.
My Pleasure, and Merry Christmas!
For our daughter's birthday, she requested her favorite - Spaghetti. So here's another easy recipe that tastes as if it was made from scratch.
Melanie's Special Spaghetti Sauce
Begin with a large jar of Prego Traditional Spaghetti Sauce and 1 lb. of ground beef. (I use a lean beef so there's not a lot of grease to drain off.)
Brown the ground beef in a frying pan. When just about all the pink is gone, sprinkle meat with garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking until all pink is gone.
Spray a crock-pot with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the temperature to Low. Pour in the jar of Prego sauce. Rinse out the jar with a small amount of water and pour excess sauce and water into the pot. Next, add about a 1/4 Cup of ketchup and an 1/8 of a Cup of sugar to the sauce. Stir.
Drain the browned ground beef, add it to the sauce and stir.
Cook on Low at least 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over cooked noodles. My family likes thin or Angel hair noodles. Top with Parmesan Cheese or shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!
You can also cook the sauce on the stove in a large pot. Cook on low to medium heat, simmer until hot, stirring occasionally.