Episode 302: Christmas Special with Nicole Mendoza
This special Christmas broadcast, we celebrate what Christmas is all about. You’ll hear from some of our youth as well as Joshua Sosso (intro and closing), Nicole Mendoza (message and poem), and Coby Randal (song: O Holy Night). God bless you!
hello thank you for tuning in and Merry Christmas from us here at Freedom Fellowship Church and sons of God International I’m Joshua saw so and you are listening to the prophetic voice of our time so as many of you know me and the Pastor Chris have been in the Philippines for the past couple weeks and we’re actually coming back in we’ll have just landed in this week just in time for Christmas so that’s really exciting but in the meantime we have a really special show for you this weekend on the weekend of Christmas and you’re gonna be hearing from one of our youth ministers nicole mendoza and she’s going to be talking a bit about the meaning of christmas why it’s so significant in addition you’re gonna hear from some of our youth here a freedom foster church and what they have to say about what Christmas means to them why it’s significant to them so it’s going to be really exciting and I hope that you all enjoy it so without further ado here’s Nicole Mendoza Merry Christmas everyone I hope you’re having a wonderful time with friends and family and if you’re still on the road I pray you’ll be able to arrive home quickly my name is Nicole and I’m a youth minister here at Freedom Fellowship Church Pastor Chris offered me the opportunity to share with all of you today for this Christmas special and I’m excited for all the Lord is bringing forth as we approach the end of the year Christmas can be one of those holidays that we gloss over the meaning of every year we know that Jesus is the reason for the season but at the same time this day has become so commercialized and for some gift-giving can feel more like an obligation than anything else firstly as pastor Chris has shared before if the world wants to commercialise Christmas then by all means we should support it they’ll be just as excited as we are the season rolls around maybe for different reasons but we may as well boost the economy while we’re at it right all that aside I hope to encourage you with gifts as more than just a material exchange gift giving has deep roots in Christmas tradition and as with anything else when we lose sight of why it began in the first place it can become merely gestures and powerless words so what do we mean when we say Jesus is the reason for the season why do we exchange gifts with each other in celebration of his birth here on the earth to start let’s go back to why gift-giving is so important in the first place we know that gifts have been a part of the human interaction for thousands of years it is an act that creates a connection and encourages you to think of others and what is important to them we see this in Genesis 4 3 to 4 in the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord and Abel also brought an offering fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock the Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering in this way both Cain and Abel paid homage to the Lord and expressed their love and honor for him through offerings gifts can be used as a physical symbol of a personal relationship or for a desire to strengthen that relationship and whether we realize it or not that symbol can carry with it our perceived value of that relationship when we move down to verse 5 we learned that on Cain and his offering God did not look with favor if we read further back in Scripture we see that when God made all of creation he acknowledged that it was good or in other words that it was his best he created man and gave him life to produce from the work of his hands and when Cain’s less than best gift was offered as a token of that relationship between creation and creator it was no surprise that it was less than honorable now I want to make a distinction between altruism and gift-giving with the former there no expectation of return because it is charitable and another form of giving altogether in most cases though gift-giving creates an underlying expectation for a certain amount of reciprocity this of course doesn’t mean that each gift creates an expectation for monetary payment for that gift because that would negate the idea of gift-giving in the first place when we look at it on a grander scale within biblical times in recent history whenever one nation offers a gift to another nation it establishes a relationship between them and creates an expectation for that gift to be paid in an equal way whether through an agreement of peace or a gift offered in return it can be shown to offer respect honor or even as a way to emulate God and how gracious he is with us there is also a certain prestige that comes with giving gifts within certain cultures people in their family could gain respect by the size or show of how much they could give and that idea is a familiar one in mark 12:41 244 Jesus talks about this kind of prestige when he points out the rich giving out of their wealth and the poor widow who gives all she has to live on and therefore has given the most of all there is no doubt that a gift creates a sort of debt for the recipient as an old latin saying goes i give because i expect you to give something back it is probably this perspective of gift-giving that we shy away from but the value of the act or being a recipient of the gift isn’t something we should deny ourselves when giving is reciprocated the indebtedness that is taken shifts back and forth between two parties which ultimately creates a perpetuating gratitude that only strengthens the bond between them surely there is some give-and-take but just as Christ gives freely with only the betterment of the relationship in mind so we must give without the betterment of ourselves in mind moreover there is giving which we experience as a gift in itself to give reinforces the value we’ve placed upon a relationship which allows us to show how much we care for another with something tangible and in the case of a child for example gifts are given from that same heart or can even be given to help steer them towards a certain interest or build them up in a certain way so in its purest form gifts are used to honor to create and to help grow a relationship with all that in mind let’s go back to the story of Christmas after Jesus was born Wiseman traveled to Bethlehem in Matthew 2:11 they entered the house and saw the child with his mother Mary and they bowed down and worshiped him then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold frankincense and myrrh these wise men felt it imperative to make the long journey in order to find Jesus and honor him with these gifts when we look at the significance of what they gave we can see why the first gift mentioned is gold which is a gift fit for kings and Jesus as the King of Kings was acknowledged early on by this outside party as exactly that moreover commentaries explain how gold was required in the building of the temple in Israel where the Holy of Holies was erected it should be noted that gold is incorruptible and does not rust and was described as having embodied the radiance of the Sun much like our Lord Jesus Christ frankincense was the second gift the Magi brought and was an acknowledgment of the priestly role of Jesus this gift was used as incense in the temple and was offered up with prayer and sacrifices to the Lord the final gift myrrh was used in embalming rituals a process used after death during the burial which alludes to the sacrificial death Jesus would endure on the cross for all the sins of mankind it’s also interesting to note that myrrh is a key ingredient in the sacred oil that imparted holiness it was used to sanctify the temple and the Ark of the Covenant among other artifacts in the temple and most importantly was also used to anoint and consecrate the high priest so even at a young age these gifts were given as a confirmation of who Jesus is recognizing him as a king and the Cornerstone anointing him for his ministry and preparing him for his sacrifice now with Jesus as our King our high priest and our Savior the beautiful part of all this is he doesn’t stop there but he continues to reciprocate these gifts back to us and through Christ giving up his life he gives us the gift of everlasting life for in Romans 8 1 2 2 it says that so now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus and because you belong to him the power of the life-giving spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death and with that life Jesus Commission’s us in Matthew 28:19 2:20 to go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything he has commanded he gives us the gift of peace as a priest in the order of Melchizedek granting us his Shalom or in other words his wholeness over every aspect of our lives as holy priest under him as the word says in 2nd Corinthians 5:18 - 19 and God has given us this task of reconciling people to him for God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself no longer counting people’s sins against them and he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation finally along with one of the gifts given to Jesus as one who has risen after defeating death itself as the king of all the earth he passes to each one of us power and authority in his name for God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and a sound mind as it says in 2nd Timothy 1:7 and that whatever we bind on earth shall be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven as it says in Matthew 18:18 and moreover in Luke 10:19 he has given us authority to tread on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the earth nothing shall hurt us these are amazing gifts that keep on giving however we must keep in mind that these gifts by their nature aren’t charitable they call for a form of reciprocity of action taken with an active faith and if you have not yet received these gifts I admonish you to accept Jesus into your heart today as the Lord and Savior of your life for as we grow as children of Christ he continues to empower us by building us up and steering us in a certain direction through gifts of the Spirit which in first Corinthians 12 8 to 10 says includes wisdom knowledge faith healing miracles prophecy discerning of spirits speaking in tongues and interpretation in tongues which gives us everything we need to do to enact his will in our lives and over our community 2nd Peter 1:3 says His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness and as we’ve mentioned many times during previous recordings of this broadcast there is a greatness about the season we are in so I encourage you to continue to walk in eager expectation unity and power with the Lord Jesus is the reason for the season so let us keep in mind his purposes behind it all and I pray for a special blessing upon you and your family this Christmas week and I ask for the Lord to continue to pour wisdom direction and revelation into your heart that you would be fully equipped for the year to come and to bring glory to his name may you receive all that the Lord has for you with plenty more to share and give and I pray all this in Jesus name Amen so I hope that you continue to dwell on the meaning of Christmas and the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ and like we said earlier we have a special broadcast for you today a few members of our youth are here to remind you about the true meaning of Christmas to encourage you and share in your joy for this season and we have two specials both a poem and a song to share with you to celebrate Christmas and the wonder of that holy night hi everyone my name is Makayla Farrell I’m in ninth grade and during Christmas I like to be able to see my family and we always have the best time hello my name is James Sasso and I am currently on my second year in college I have also helped with editing the prophetic voice of our time on several occasions and to me Christmas is about spending time together with family and just remembering the meaning behind it all hi I’m Erica and to me Christmas is about getting to spend time with loved ones and getting to show love to others hello everyone I’m drew Farrell I’m a senior and what Christmas means to me is that it’s a cause it’s the time of giving so God has given us plenty of gifts this past year and every year we get like new gifts the promises he’s given to us and once the New Year rolls around we’ll get even more gifts brand-new gifts so getting it being able to receive those gifts and look back at those gifts is what means the most to me I’d like to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year so what is Christmas this holiday cheer is it strong lights on houses that appear every year is it boughs decked with holly trees of glistening pine cookies or candy or gifts wrapped in twine is it the people the parties the tacky red sweater or a jolly old legend who makes the eve before better can you find it in malls or in parks on screens ringing through harmonies of nostalgic things perhaps it is there though yet again not quite perhaps it’s been seen amongst less elaborate sites like a man with so little in an old rustic shelter still his heart is so full and his love is unfettered it may be cold through the night but it’s warm in his home with his small little family he is never alone the wood may be creaky the floor hardest stone but in the arms of each other how their love has grown they think back to the promises they heard long ago before those words had any meaning that either could know for tellings of greatness were spoken of them on that night and a babe born of destiny a baby of light and from lands far away and the heavens on high all pause and marvel at the babe filled with great might for in their arms they hold a king a saviour of all the one who even men holds their lives in his palm the word become man the Living God in the earth who would come down to save them to prove all their worth though surrounded with gifts of fragrance myrrh and of gold the greatest gift of all was yet to be shown until 33 years later when the babe died for all man and cemented the fate he had long since planned and that man of so little he is you he is me to whom Jesus brought wholeness for all eternity so of you asked what is Christmas where can it be found it is not in a trinket it is not in a sound it is not in a gift you can buy in a store it’s already been purchased for all rich and poor it is love it is life it is peace it is joy it is grace and abundance it is bondage destroyed search deep in his stillness and you’ll see what it is the gift that is in you that is Christmas [Music] Holy Night the stars are brightly shining it is the other team’s saviors birth long lay the world in sin and error pining till he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth a thrill the weary soul rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn for on your knees Oh the Angels boy said oh no I do night when Christ was born truly it’s hard to love one another his law is love and his gospel in speech chains shall he break for the slave is our brother and in his name all oppression shall cease sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we let all within us praise His Holy Name though whole prayer his name forever he’s fun in blue fear for more profane here’s fine and go we [Applause] all on your knees oh hey the angel’s voices [Laughter] I do when Christ was born [Music] [Laughter] oh hear the angel Oh No [Applause] Devo night when Christ was born Oh my fever Oh horn edema Oh [Music] [Laughter] diva Oh [Music] horn I diva Wow that was a really great rendition of a holy night by a Coby Randall and you know we really do have such a great handful of a talent here at freedom foster Church and you you get to see a little glimpse of that here in this in this episode today so that’s really exciting but as you may have noticed we’re running out of time for this week we are so glad that you guys were willing to come in and listen to us this week and it’s really an exciting time in the coming weeks you’re gonna be hearing from Pastor Chris and possibly myself as well as we’re going to be recounting some of what happened in the Philippines while we were there so that’s going to be really exciting and in addition to that you know the prophetic gathering of the Saints is just you know next week so we are really excited pastor Chris has already been getting her notes together for that as well so that’s really exciting and we look forward to seeing many of you there as far as registration goes I think there is still some last-minute registration that’s available but you have to register as soon as possible and I mean as soon as possible if you want to go to the prophetic gathering of the Saints you need to do it as soon as possible you can go to our website and go to the events tab and you can pay online and register and find your spot that’s this is definitely not an event that you want to miss we’re gonna be holding a New Year’s Eve and God’s going to use it to usher in the new year 2018 and man 2017 it was it was really exciting it was a doozy there was so much that happened but I believe that 2018 is going to be even more miraculous more extraordinary than the last and you know that’s something that we have to live each and every day as Christians you know we’re going from glory to glory so again merry Christmas to all of you from all of us here at freedom Foster Church and sons I’ve got international and until next time god bless you