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God did not raise our Lord Jesus as His Son. He raised Him as our substitute. This means that we are all in that raising, and are today seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father (Eph 2:6) from my family to yours! Because Jesus came down to earth and willingly laid down His life for us at the cross, today, we get to enjoy every good thing He died for us to have. He is the reason why we can find rest, peace, and hope in every season of life. If you’re feeling alone or going through a difficult season right now, know that Jesus—Emmanuel—is with you always and desires for you to draw from His abundant grace and supply. God did not raise our Lord Jesus as His Son. He raised Him as our substitute. This means that we are all in that raising, and are today seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father (Eph 2:6)! We cannot attain justification through our own efforts. The work will always be incomplete when it’s through our own provision and efforts. But God’s work of justifying us is perfect, complete, and eternal. The provision of our justification through Christ is God’s gift to us! “. . . and was raised up because of our being declared righteous.” —Romans 4:25b YLT If we were not declared righteous by God, Jesus would still be in the grave. At the cross, Jesus died in our place, so that we can take His place. When He died, our old man died with Him. And when He rose again on the third day, we were resurrected with Him! Today, God sees us in Christ and as Christ. And Jesus’ resurrection is proof that today, we are acquitted and righteous. This gift of righteousness is proof that God is for you! Proof #4: God desires for you to know His love personally and intimately (The descent of the Holy Spirit) The descent of the Holy Spirit is a sign that Christ has been accepted. We need to understand that Christ’s finished work was accepted because He represents us at the Father’s right hand today (Eph 2:6). Just like how our constituent representatives represent us in parliament, our Lord Jesus represents us before God. He is there at the Father’s right hand for us, because God is for us! “Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.” —Acts 2:33 NKJV The Holy Spirit was sent not because of our good works but because of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus. It’s all based on the work of our Lord Jesus. We are saved because He died on the cross for us, justified because He rose from the dead. And we have the Holy Spirit because Jesus has been glorified at the Father’s right hand! “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” —Acts 2:1–11 NKJV “from every nation under heaven” — Even though the day of Pentecost was a Jewish feast, there were many other proselytes who came to celebrate. “in his own language” — The Greek translation for the word “language” is “dialektos” which also means “dialect”. One’s dialect is also one’s mother tongue, the language that we first hear in our infant years when our parents express their love for us. When the Holy Spirit came to announce the glad tidings of accomplished redemption, He did not confine Himself to one language. When God gave the Ten Commandments to the children of Israel, He only gave it to them in one language, Hebrew. Contrastingly, when God wanted to announce the Good News of forgiveness through Jesus, He sent the Holy Spirit to speak in the language of everyone’s mother tongue. God did this intentionally because He wants us to understand how much He loves us and that He is for us, and not against us. “how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? . . . we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” — When God gave the law, it was about the works of man. But when He announced grace, it’s about the wonderful works of God. It’s all about what Jesus did, and not what we can do. Our part is just to receive this gift from God. This is what Christmas is about, the wonderful gift of our Lord Jesus Christ! THE LANGUAGE OF GRACE PROCLAIMS THE WONDERFUL WORKS OF GOD. Salvation Prayer “Heavenly Father, I thank You for Your love for me. A love that never lets me go, a love that kept on loving me in spite of all my sins, in spite of all of my failures, in spite of all my mistakes. Even when I didn’t love myself, You loved me. Thank You, thank You for the gift of Your Son, my Lord Jesus Christ, who died on that cross and became chargeable for all my sins and all my guilt. Thank You that You raised Him from the dead when I was declared righteous in your eyes, because that work is a perfect work. All my sins have been put away. I thank You, Jesus Christ is now my Lord and my Savior. Thank You Father, from now on, I am greatly blessed, highly favored, and deeply loved. And I'll face the future with You and You for me. In Jesus’ name, Amen. Closing Prayer “This coming week, the Lord bless you with the blessings of favor everywhere you go, with the blessings of wisdom, knowing how to flow with God, with the blessings of protection for you and your loved ones, from all harm, danger, and from all the power of the evil one. The Lord favors you, favors you and your children, favors you and your spouse, favors you throughout this week. May you find yourself enjoying the goodness of God, running smack-dab into the unexpected blessing of God, knowing that your life will never be the same, because you’re stepping into a brand new year where God brings you to a higher level. And the Lord lifts up His countenance, smiles on you, and grants to you and your loved ones, His Shalom peace. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.” OWN THE WORD (Life Application) “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” —Romans 8:31 NKJV Many of us are often excited to usher in the new year. But perhaps for some of us, thoughts about what the near year might be has left us feeling unsettled or even fearful . . . Possible recession, ongoing war, challenges that we have been facing for a while . . . You might be left wondering “How am I going to face the new year?” If that’s you, meditate on this thought throughout the week: God is for me. Beloved, God loves you and is for you. If your Heavenly Father is on your side, nothing can be against you! Even if what you see in the natural might make you feel otherwise, know that your Heavenly Father will be with you every step of the way, to guide you, help you, and provide for you. As we prepare our hearts for the upcoming year, let’s shift our eyes to focus on the unceasing love of our Father, who is always for us. Know that you’re stepping into the new year victorious because Christ has already paid the price for you to reign in this life (Rom. 5:17)!

God did not raise our Lord Jesus as His Son. He raised Him as our substitute. This means that we are all in that raising, and are today seated with Christ at the right hand of the Father (Eph 2:6) from my family to yours! Because Jesus came down to earth and willingly laid down His life for us at the cross, today, we get to enjoy every good thing He died for us to have. He is the reason why we can find rest, peace, and hope in every season of life. If you’re feeling alone or going through a difficult season right now, know that Jesus—Emmanuel—is with you always and desires for you to draw from His abundant grace and supply. We are praying for Jesus’ shalom peace and sweet presence to fill your hearts, homes and families this Christmas & New Year 2023. May you experience bountiful blessings everywhere in your life!

Sugeng Natal lan Taun Anyar 2023 saka kulawarga kanggo panjenengan! Amarga Gusti Yesus tumedhak ing bumi lan kanthi kersa masrahake nyawane kanggo kita ing kayu salib, dina iki, kita bisa ngrasakake kabeh perkara sing apik sing wis seda kanggo kita. Dheweke dadi sebab kenapa kita bisa nemu katentreman, katentreman, lan pangarep-arep ing saben mangsa urip. Yen panjenengan ngrasa dhewe utawa ngalami mangsa sing angel saiki, ngertia yen Yesus - Emmanuel - tansah nunggil karo panjenengan lan kepéngin supaya panjenengan bisa njupuk saka sih-rahmat lan pasokan sing limpah. Kita ndedonga kanggo tentrem-rahayu lan ngarsane Gusti Yesus sing manis kanggo ngebaki atimu, omah lan kulawarga ing Natal & Taun Anyar 2023 iki.

Selamat Natal & Tahun Baru 2023 dari keluarga kami ke keluarga Anda! Karena Yesus turun ke bumi dan dengan sukarela mengorbankan diri-Nya untuk kita di salib, hari ini, kita dapat menikmati setiap hal yang baik yang dia mati untuk kita miliki. Dia adalah alasan mengapa kita dapat menemukan ketenangan, damai, dan harapan di setiap musim dalam kehidupan. Jika Anda merasa sendiri atau mengalami musim yang sulit sekarang, ketahuilah bahwa Yesus - Emmanuel - selalu bersama Anda dan menginginkan Anda untuk menarik dari anugerah dan pasokan-Nya yang melimpah. Kami berdoa agar damai dan kehadiran yang manis Yesus mengisi hati, rumah, dan keluarga Anda pada Natal & Tahun Baru 2023. Semoga Anda mengalami berkat yang melimpah di setiap tempat dalam hidup Anda!

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