Christmas Greetings from Israel, where our Savior, Jesus the Messiah was born!
My wife Lydia and I are here as part of GOD TV’s ongoing global outreach from and into this land, and we want to share the joy of knowing Jesus with you this Christmas season.
I am actually writing this from Jerusalem and I am only a few minutes from Bethlehem where the whole world changed 2000 years ago… Being here in the Land of the Bible certainly gets one thinking…
Do you ever wish that you could insert yourself into a Bible story? I do! And as we celebrate the birthday of the Messiah, I’m drawn to those shepherds in Bethlehem. Just imagine… you are working hard, watching over your sheep, and all of a sudden you have the most amazing encounter with God. They were ordinary people, just like you and me, and God chose to reveal His glory to them just as He can impart His presence to you and your family this Christmas.
I want to share something about these sheep. They were being raised at Migdal Eder or the Tower of the Flock and were no ordinary lambs. They were for the Temple sacrifices and the one-year old lambs were meant for Passover—which pointed so clearly to our Savior. It was no coincidence that God arranged things so that Miriam and Joseph, though from the Galilee, would be in Bethlehem for the birth of the “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29)
Migdal Eder is where Jacob buried his precious Rachel. “So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). Over her tomb Jacob set up a pillar, and to this day that pillar marks Rachel’s tomb. Israel moved on again and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder.” (Genesis. 35:19-21)
The prophet Micah speaks of this special place, hinting that the Messiah would be born there. “As for you, watchtower of the flock (Migdal Eder), stronghold of Daughter Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to Daughter Jerusalem.” (Micah 4:8)
What a fulfillment of Scripture… Now let’s get back to those shepherds watching over the flock that evening. Can you imagine? For them, it was not a special night. They were just doing what they do every night, with no special expectations. But suddenly…
“An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’.” (Luke 2:9-12)
Imagine being there! And suddenly the presence of God fills the sky. You’re chosen to not only shepherd the Lord’s flock for the Temple, but to oversee the birth of the last sacrifice for sin! The angel tells you that the Messiah has come into the world. You feel fear, joy, terror and excitement. You begin to cry—or maybe laugh uncontrollably. And then…
“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests’.” (v. 13-14)
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests’
Oh, to be there! To hear this great announcement. I know that, unlike them, we have the presence of God with us in these earthen vessels or human bodies. But still, how amazing it would have been to hear of the coming of Messiah, witness this heavenly choir and then go to Bethlehem to witness His first moments on earth. Yes, they went to see Yeshua (Jesus).
“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about’.”
What they still did not understand was that his name, Yeshua, was connected to His mission. Yeshua means salvation and the longer form, Yehoshua, means Yahweh is salvation. He would live a perfect life and then through His body make atonement for us all.
Through Him we have forgiveness of sins—even eternal life. We have good news to share with all men.
There is something so special about a baby being born, as Lydia and I have recently experienced with the birth of two granddaughters in the space of a week. It’s such a joy to see God bless our family and we know He has great blessing in store for you and your loved ones!
This Christmas season take some time to mediate of the birth of Messiah—how Jesus humbled Himself more than any other man, leaving the comforts of Heaven and the Father’s right hand to come to earth and not only live as a man, but allow Himself to be mocked, ridiculed and crucified by the very ones He loved; the ones He came to save.
And when you are thinking what you can get Jesus for His birthday, I can tell you that He simply wants more souls—more people saved from their sins, worshiping Him with one voice, declaring the glory of God. Through your special Christmas gift to GOD TV we can reach more people all over the globe with the life-saving message of Jesus. We want what He wants—more souls! Let’s stand together and continue to be Media Missionaries, reaching out to the world through television and the Internet.
Please, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, consider making a special donation to GOD TV to mark the occasion. Your partnership will directly give 1 billion people across nearly 200 nations access to the Good News of Jesus Christ. There is no better present that you could give someone this Christmas. Also, why not consider setting up a monthly gift to GOD TV to start in the New Year? Monthly donations make a huge difference to our ministry and allow us to continue expanding our reach across the world. What a way to start 2019, committing to increase your sphere of influence by playing your part in sharing the Gospel via media.
Thank you for your continued partnership. Lydia and I, our family and the GOD TV team pray for you and your loved ones. Have a blessed Christmas and walk in God’s favor throughout 2019.
In His name,
President and CEO of GOD TV