Holman Christian Standard Bible
The Dedication to Theophilus
1 Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, 2 just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. 3 It also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, 4 so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.
Gabriel Predicts John’s Birth
5 In the days of King Herod of Judea, there was a priest of Abijah’s division named Zechariah. His wife was from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 Both were righteous in God’s sight, living without blame according to all the commands and requirements of the Lord. 7 But they had no children because Elizabeth could not conceive, and both of them were well along in years.
8 When his division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 it happened that he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and burn incense. 10 At the hour of incense the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. 11 An angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing to the right of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and overcome with fear. 13 But the angel said to him:
Do not be afraid, Zechariah,
because your prayer has been heard.
Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son,
and you will name him John.
14 There will be joy and delight for you,
and many will rejoice at his birth.
15 For he will be great in the sight of the Lord
and will never drink wine or beer.
He will be filled with the Holy Spirit
while still in his mother’s womb.
16 He will turn many of the sons of Israel
to the Lord their God.
17 And he will go before Him
in the spirit and power of Elijah,
to turn the hearts of fathers
to their children,
and the disobedient
to the understanding of the righteous,
to make ready for the Lord a prepared people.
18 “How can I know this?” Zechariah asked the angel. “For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years.”
19 The angel answered him, “I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and I was sent to speak to you and tell you this good news. 20 Now listen! You will become silent and unable to speak until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their proper time.”
21 Meanwhile, the people were waiting for Zechariah, amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. 22 When he did come out, he could not speak to them. Then they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He kept making signs to them and remained speechless. 23 When the days of his ministry were completed, he went back home.
24 After these days his wife Elizabeth conceived and kept herself in seclusion for five months. She said, 25 “The Lord has done this for me. He has looked with favor in these days to take away my disgrace among the people.”
Gabriel Predicts Jesus’ Birth
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Rejoice, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her:
Do not be afraid, Mary,
for you have found favor with God.
31 Now listen:
You will conceive and give birth to a son,
and you will call His name Jesus.
32 He will be great
and will be called the Son of the Most High,
and the Lord God will give Him
the throne of His father David.
33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever,
and His kingdom will have no end.
34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not been intimate with a man?”
35 The angel replied to her:
“The Holy Spirit will come upon you,
and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.
Therefore, the holy One to be born
will be called the Son of God.
36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
38 “I am the Lord’s slave,” said Mary. “May it be done to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her.
Mary’s Visit to Elizabeth
39 In those days Mary set out and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judah 40 where she entered Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. 41 When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped inside her, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she exclaimed with a loud cry:
“You are the most blessed of women,
and your child will be blessed!
43 How could this happen to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For you see, when the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the baby leaped for joy inside me! 45 She who has believed is blessed because what was spoken to her by the Lord will be fulfilled!”
46 And Mary said:
My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
47 and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior,
48 because He has looked with favor
on the humble condition of His slave.
Surely, from now on all generations
will call me blessed,
49 because the Mighty One
has done great things for me,
and His name is holy.
50 His mercy is from generation to generation
on those who fear Him.
51 He has done a mighty deed with His arm;
He has scattered the proud
because of the thoughts of their hearts;
52 He has toppled the mighty from their thrones
and exalted the lowly.
53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things
and sent the rich away empty.
54 He has helped His servant Israel,
mindful of His mercy,
55 just as He spoke to our ancestors,
to Abraham and his descendants forever.
56 And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.
The Birth and Naming of John
57 Now the time had come for Elizabeth to give birth, and she had a son. 58 Then her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown her His great mercy, and they rejoiced with her.
59 When they came to circumcise the child on the eighth day, they were going to name him Zechariah, after his father. 60 But his mother responded, “No! He will be called John.”
61 Then they said to her, “None of your relatives has that name.” 62 So they motioned to his father to find out what he wanted him to be called. 63 He asked for a writing tablet and wrote:
HIS NAME IS JOHN.
And they were all amazed. 64 Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. 65 Fear came on all those who lived around them, and all these things were being talked about throughout the hill country of Judea. 66 All who heard about him took it to heart, saying, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the Lord’s hand was with him.
67 Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied:
68 Praise the Lord, the God of Israel,
because He has visited
and provided redemption for His people.
69 He has raised up a horn of salvation for us
in the house of His servant David,
70 just as He spoke by the mouth
of His holy prophets in ancient times;
71 salvation from our enemies
and from the clutches of those who hate us.
72 He has dealt mercifully with our fathers
and remembered His holy covenant—
73 the oath that He swore to our father Abraham.
He has given us the privilege,
74 since we have been rescued
from our enemies’ clutches,
to serve Him without fear
75 in holiness and righteousness
in His presence all our days.
76 And child, you will be called
a prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare His ways,
77 to give His people knowledge of salvation
through the forgiveness of their sins.
78 Because of our God’s merciful compassion,
the Dawn from on high will visit us
79 to shine on those who live in darkness
and the shadow of death,
to guide our feet into the way of peace.
80 The child grew up and became spiritually strong, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel.
Chapter 2: The Birth of Jesus
In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered. 2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 And Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David, 5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. 7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn Son, and she wrapped Him snugly in cloth and laid Him in a feeding trough—because there was no room for them at the lodging place.
The Shepherds and the Angels
8 In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”
13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:
14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors!
15 When the angels had left them and returned to heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go straight to Bethlehem and see what has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
16 They hurried off and found both Mary and Joseph, and the baby who was lying in the feeding trough. 17 After seeing them, they reported the message they were told about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary was treasuring up all these things in her heart and meditating on them. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had seen and heard, just as they had been told.
The Circumcision and Presentation of Jesus
21 When the eight days were completed for His circumcision, He was named Jesus—the name given by the angel before He was conceived. 22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought Him up to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord: Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord: a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons).
Simeon’s Prophetic Praise
25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple complex. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for Him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took Him up in his arms, praised God, and said:
29 Now, Master,
You can dismiss Your slave in peace,
as You promised.
30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation.
31 You have prepared it
in the presence of all peoples—
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles
and glory to Your people Israel.
33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about Him. 34 Then Simeon blessed them and told His mother Mary: “Indeed, this child is destined to cause the fall and rise of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed— 35 and a sword will pierce your own soul—that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and was a widow for 84 years. She did not leave the temple complex, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. 38 At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about Him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
The Family’s Return to Nazareth
39 When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on Him.
In His Father’s House
41 Every year His parents traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover Festival. 42 When He was 12 years old, they went up according to the custom of the festival. 43 After those days were over, as they were returning, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but His parents did not know it. 44 Assuming He was in the traveling party, they went a day’s journey. Then they began looking for Him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for Him. 46 After three days, they found Him in the temple complex sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all those who heard Him were astounded at His understanding and His answers. 48 When His parents saw Him, they were astonished, and His mother said to Him, “Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for You.”
49 “Why were you searching for Me?” He asked them. “Didn’t you know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” 50 But they did not understand what He said to them.
In Favor with God and with People
51 Then He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them. His mother kept all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and with people.
Would you consider giving a Christmas gift to Wellspring? We’re raising funds for some media equipment needed for our ministry. Click here to make your secure, tax-deductible contribution.
T-shirt Fundraiser Event: If you missed getting one of our Christmas designs, be sure to check out all the other designs. We have some great Christian designs based on popular Scriptures that can be a testimony of your faith and a witness to the lost.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
Thank you for helping us grow!
#fundraiser #tshirt #WCM #teespring #spreadshop #Revelation21:5 #allthingsnew
All profits from these shops help support the work of this ministry. Thank you for supporting us. You can also support us with a year-end, tax-deductible contribution through Fundly. See the link below and thank you for helping us grow.
Would you consider giving a Christmas gift to Wellspring? We’re raising funds for some media equipment needed for our ministry. Click here to make your secure, tax-deductible contribution.
BOOKING NOW! Be a host site for the NEW God, Love & Marshmallow Wars Book Tour & Couples Conference:
This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
#GLMW #couplesevent #GLMWbook #intentionalmarriage #Godlymarriage
Looking for a keynote speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants. Today, Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
Or call us at 904.524.8073
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Christmas Items at Christian Book Distributors:
Here are a sample of items from CBD. We are an affiliate of CBD and receive an 8% commission on any product you purchase through these links which we then use to advance our ministry. If you need a Christian gift or looking for Christian Christmas decorations, go to CBD through any link below and search their website for books, Bibles, gifts, decor, and more.
|Expecting Christmas: Daily Readings for the Season of Joy||By Iron Stream Media||Ever wonder what could happen this Christmas if you were truly centered on Christ’s coming? Immerse yourself in this series of devotional readings to help fix your heart on the Savior. Encounter joy as the real reason for the hope within us that comes to fruition, and celebrate his birth anew! Reflection questions included. 127 pages, 4″ x 6.25″ softcover from New Hope.|
|Nativity Advent Wreath||By Wendy Wiinanen / Demdaco||Christmas Journey Collection Advent wreath in earthenware, 8″ x 2.5″ with space for four taper candles
|Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine||By Karen Hahn / Enesco Corporation||Holy Family figurine is designed by Karen Hahn for her Foundations Collection
|Lighted Silhouette Nativity Wreath||White wood nativity wreath with LED lighting, layered dimensional design||
|O Holy Night, Lighted Ceramic Decoration||Tabletop ceramic Christmas decoration, LED star, with gold lettered sentiment O Holy Night||
|The Case for Christmas: A Journalist Investigates the Identity of the Child in the Manger||By Lee Strobel / Zondervan||Who was in the manger that first Christmas morning? Some say he would become a great moral leader. Others, a social critic. Still others view Jesus as a profound philosopher, a rabbi, a feminist, a prophet, and more. Many are convinced he was the divine Son of God.
Who was he really? And how can you know for sure?
Consulting experts on the Bible, archaeology, and messianic prophecy, award-winning legal journalist Lee Strobel searches out the true identity of the child in the manger. If Jesus really was God in the flesh, then there ought to be credible evidence, including:
The Case for Christmas invites readers to consider why Christmas matters in the first place. Somewhere beyond the traditions of the holiday lies the truth. This little book is perfect as a gift or for use in ministry during the Christmas season or any other time of the year.
|A Baxter Family Christmas||By Karen Kingsbury / Howard Books||The Baxters always spend Christmas together. Each family member struggles with their father’s decision to invite the new owner of their sister’s heart to such a joyous occasion. They may miss out if they choose not to go. Forgiveness doesn’t come easy when it’s yourself you must forgive.|
|Maggie’s Christmas Miracle, DVD||By Karen Kingsbury / Hallmark||A single mom, Maggie tries to balance devotion to her son, Jordan, with her career. Then she meets Casey, a tutor who’s becoming more of a father figure to Jordan. With the help of faith and fate, will Maggie discover that anything is possible at Christmas—even finding happiness and love again? Based on the novel by Karen Kingsbury. English subtitles. Closed-captioned. Approx. 85 minutes.|
|Real Life Nativity Set, Complete Collection, 10.25-inch size||Traditional and elegant Real Life Nativity Complete set is truly lifelike in color, design, facial expression, and detail. Set includes 15 figures and lighted stable; figures range to 10.25″ tall.Mary kneels in loving adoration beside the Christ child and Joseph’s expression reflects love and joy. The baby Jesus can be held in Mary’s arms or swaddled in the manger. Kneeling Mary figure is 6″ tall; manger is 2.5″ high and baby Jesus figure is 2.75″ long.||Also included: shepherds and angel three-piece set, three kings with gifts of gold,frankincense, and myrrh; pedestal star; four animalsand lighted stable in which to display the Nativity Scene.
Crafted of resin, museum quality, heirloom nativity set in representation of the birth of Jesus Christ.
|Foundations, Nativity with Creche Set||Foundations Collection by Karen Hahn Nativity Set with light-up stable and seven figures. The snow-trimmed roof of the stable is inscribed with Bible verse quote For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior which is Christ the Lord And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.Each figurine is inscribed with Bible verses of the Christmas story from the gospels.|
|Nativity Set, Sparkle Frost, 11 Pieces, 5 Inches||Nativity Set 11 pieces, cast in resin, ranging to 5″ high.What makes this unique?||Full color figures; rich detail on all garments and accessories; each piece is coated with a permanent sparkle frost finish.
Set includes Holy Family, angel, three kings with gifts, and shepherd with sheep, plus three animals.
In the joy of holiday celebrations and family get-togethers, it’s easy to overlook the true meaning of our Christmas. The nativity set turns us to the arrival of the promised Savior, the Messiah, Emmanuel. God with us. In vivid imagery and detail, we see the Christ child in a stable, the Savior of the world has come.
|All is Calm All is Bright Pillow||Decorator Christmas pillow, 16″ x 16″||
|Prince Of Peace Table Runner||Prince of Peace Christmas table runner features chalkboard style design with Scripture verse in Christmas tree shaped typography. Cotton canvas runner; 12″ x 72″.His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, Price of Peace. Isaiah 9:6|
|Foundations, Holy Family LED Figure Figurine||Holy Family figurine is designed by Karen Hahn for her Foundations Collection||
|The Wonder of the Greatest Gift–An Interactive Family Celebration of Advent||A Family Advent Activity that can be used year after year!||Reclaim the wonder of Christmas as you open up this book and watch the tree pop-up! Every day of December, open the enclosed booklet and read your daily love letter from The Greatest Story ever told, right from our beginning in Genesis to our King’s coming under Bethlehem’s star. Know that His love has always, always, always been coming for you!
After the day’s reading, fling open the one of the 25 advent doors – and discover that day’s Biblical ornament to hang on your very own tree that will end up telling the grandest Gospel story, from the Beginning to Bethlehem!
|Waiting Here for You: An Advent Journey of Hope||By Louie Giglio / Thomas Nelson||This year, anticipate the busy season of Advent and Christmas with hope rather than dread. Join Passion conference founder and pastor Louie Giglio as you take hold of God’s great promise embodied in the 24-day countdown to Christ’s birth. Discover that waiting is not wasting when you’re waiting on the Lord. You’ll come away with peace and encouragement for your soul! 112 pages, paperback.|
|Merry Christmas Platter||Oval Merry Christmas platter with Bible verse quote from John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Creamy ivory ceramic platter is 12″ x 9″ with recessed center and raised beaded design border. A festive accent for your Christmas table or party, and on display it’s a timeless Christmas message of hope.||Upscale font design; snowflake accent trim. Dishwasher and microwave safe. You’ll want one for yourself, and what a meaningful Christmas gift to give.|
|Merry Christmas Pallet Art||Christmas wall art, pallet decor||
|Nativity Ornament||Christmas ornament in elegant marquise shape, is crafted of wood and beautifully displays the true story of Christmas, the birth of Christ in museum quality artwork and design. 5″ x 3.25″, with quote from Isaiah 9:6 Wonderful, Counselor….Prince of Peace. Artwork by Jon McNaughton.Trim the tree, or give as a meaningful Christmas gift. Flat wood ornament with Scripture verse.|
|Merry Christmas Door Mat||Seasonal doormat for Christmas||
|Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Confetti, Platter||By Lori Siebert / Demdaco|
|Joy to the World Light Box||By Carson Home Accents||Add warmth to your room decor with plug-in light box framed design
Little hearts will love the Fisher-Price ® Little People ® Nativity Set! Engage your toddler in the joy of celebrating the true meaning of Christmas with their own nativity set, complete with chubby, child-friendly figures and all the key characters that bring to life the story of Baby Jesus’ birth.
Celebrate the joy of Christmas with family-friendly Fisher-Price Nativity, an interactive playset that focuses on the first Christmas. Colorful, durable Little People include figures of Joseph, Mary and Baby Jesus, plus the Christmas angel, wise men, animals, accessories and a stable, with light-up Christmas star! Includes 18 pieces altogether. Push the sound button to hear Away in a Manger softly play. On/Off switch for sound and light is in the back; requires 3 AA batteries (not included).
Kids can enjoy assembling the characters and retelling the story all through December.
Trusted toy design from Fisher-Price to teach the best Christmas story ever, for children and toddlers, Sunday School and nursery, baby shower and early Christmas gift idea.
Recommended age for play is 12 months to 4 years.