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As Christians we celebrate Christmas as the birth of Jesus the promised Messiah. Jesus came to bring hope, forgiveness and change the hearts of people. Christmas is about miracles of transformation.
When we talk about Jesus changing the hearts of people we are not talking about physical hearts. We’re talking about spiritual hearts—that involves our will and our total being as a person.
Heart transplants are increasingly more common today then several years ago. The first heart transplant was performed successfully by Dr. Christiaan Barnard. He transplanted a human heart into Dr. Philip Blaiberg. After the surgery, Dr. Barnard carried the ld heart in a plastic box and showed it to his patent. The two physicians sat in the hospital bed examining the scars and thickening of the dead useless heart. Dr. Barnard said, “Dr. Blaiberg, do you realize you are the first man in the history of humankind to sit and look at your own dead heart?”
Dr. Blaiberg received a new human heart to extend his life. Jesus came to transform the lives of people and give them a spiritual heart that will last for eternity.
When you understand the true meaning of Christmas it brings about a change in your heart and outlook on life. In the Christmas Carol Scrooge lived a miserable life of greed, but when he awoke from his sobering encounter with the ghosts of Christmas: past, present and future. Scrooge sees his empty, bitter life for what it is. He wants his life to change, so he humbled himself and retraced the steps of his offenses committed on Christmas Eve. As he did, he revealed a remarkable change of heart.
Scrooge declares: “I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the past, the present, and the future. The Spirits of all three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.
Scrooge’s life changes: instead of grasping now he is giving. Instead of being bitter, he is now loving. Instead of being indifferent to the needs of others, now he is caring. Scrooge’s life is transformed from humbug to hallelujah.
The birth of Jesus brought about many dramatic changes. We date our calendars AD and BC. - After the death of Christ and before the death of Christ.
People surrounding the birth of Christ experienced different transformations. From their experiences we learn several life principles to live by.
I. Don’t Give Up on Prayer.
From the experience of Zechariah and Elizabeth we learn the first life principle: “Don’t Give Up on Prayer.”
Zechariah a Priest and his wife Elizabeth were faithful followers of the Lord. They evidently had been praying all their married life to have a baby. To not have children in Old and New Testament times was to live in disgrace. To have a child was a demonstration of being blessed of the Lord. The more children the more blessed.
Now Zechariah and Elizabeth were older and beyond child bearing years. Down through the years they had faithfully prayed to have their own child, but so far no children. They were about ready to give up on praying for a child. They may have thought that it must not be God’s will for us to have children. They often would ask: “Why doesn’t’ God hear our prayer?”
Luke 1:11-25 gives the story that God did heart their prayer. God
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