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Christmas 2011: receive your personal gifts of “peace and good will”!

18 December 2011 One Comment

Here we are, at the end of 2011, with another Christmas at the door, when most people are running around shopping and buying gifts for each other (as they usually do each year), but I wonder how many really stop to savor and cherish the beauty of this special event, which is celebrated throughout the whole world and is at the core of mankind’s history.

Just think, as we consider these last few days of 2011, we are not counting the years from the onset of a powerful nation or worldwide empire, or from man’s appearance on the earth, but from the birth of a “babe, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger” (Lk. 2:12) in the town of Bethlehem, an event which marked the beginning of a new era for mankind!

The birth happened in a “Silent Night, a Holy Night …”, and was witnessed only by a few “shepherds abiding in the field and keeping watch over their flock by night” (Lk. 2:8)! Yet, in that silence of the night, “a multitude of the heavenly host was praising God, and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace and good will toward men” (Lk. 2:13).

Are you personally partaking, here on earth, of that peace and good will toward you?

This is what God offers you at Christmas! If you knew the depth of what that means, you would not be wasting precious time in shopping malls, but you would stop by to see Jesus and receive your personal gifts of “peace and good will”!

Click here and listen to this song …

In the Bible, the word “peace” means much more than a simple state of mind. It often has a broader meaning, like what people in the Middle East wish each other, when they greet with either a “Shalom”, or “Salaam”, depending on their language or religion. Shalom Aleichem (“Well-being be upon you“) is the Hebrew expression used to greet others, and is similar to the Arabic greeting: Assalamu Alaikum. The appropriate response to such a greeting is “Upon you be well-being” (Aleichem shalom), actually wishing others not only peace, but wellness, wholeness and prosperity!

It sums up the best benediction you can desire from God:

“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you shalom” (Numbers 6:24-26).

In other words, when the angels proclaimed “peace and good will toward men” that night, God’s favor and blessings were offered to man as a gift, through the birth of baby Jesus.

Jesus is God’s ultimate Christmas gift to us! It offers us the favor and blessings of God, starting with the restoration of our personal relationship Him and continuing with a blessed and “abundant life” (John 10:10), not only in the world to come, but even here on earth! As it was proclaimed: “On earth peace and good will toward men” (Lk. 2:13).

What a Christmas gift! And it’s ours, if we can receive it! As I wrote last year at this time, we just need to “Stop running and make room for Christ!”

As you move into this next week, preparing for your Christmas party, I want to encourage you to take time to meditate upon the meaning of the “peace and good will toward men” that was proclaimed by the angels on the hills of Bethlehem and is being offered to you. There might be much more in it for you, than all the Christmas shopping you can do!

The best Christmas gift you can ever receive is what Jesus is offering you here and now: peace and good will toward you! Just open you heart and receive it. Repeat after me:

Jesus, thank you for your Christmas gift. I open my heart to You and receive it by faith. Please forgive all my sins and fill my life with Your peace and good will. Amen.

Merry Christmas!

Renato and Patrizia Amato

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We want to thank all those of you who have been praying for us and supporting our ministry of Healing Broken Hearts! The Lord has answered your prayers and we have now found a beautiful house by Lake Garda, where we will be moving at the beginning of the upcoming New Year 2012. The house has extra room for visitors and for those of you who would like to visit us there. You are welcome! Please continue to pray for us, that we can now find there, as we have here, those open to receive God’s healing balm of love.

Remember that “God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have showed toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister” (Heb. 6:10) to us with your prayers and support. If you would like to send a Christmas gift to support our ministry of Healing Broken Hearts, please click the Donate button on the right column of this site, or write to us so we can let you know how. Anything you give will be a seed that will reap great rewards and will be greatly appreciated. God bless you!

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One Comment »

  • Joseph Peck said:

    Hi Renato,

    Thank you for sharing this Christmas message. I know you and Patrizia routinely celebrate Christmas by being a serving people in your community and sharing God’s love with them.

    This Christmas I did something special and pulled away from all the busyness and commercialism of Christmas and went to Hilton Head SC to relax, write a book, and savor the beauty of creation. I’ve ridden by bike on the beach for 4 of the past 5 days.

    Blessings for a very Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    Joseph