New Hope In The Lord
       International Ministries

Office Hours: M-F 9:30am-5:00pm
PO Box 418 Valhalla,
New York, USA 10595              Phone: (914) 948-4481


                                                                             December 2019
Dear saints,

“Joy to the world!”

Do you remember the song, “And so this is Christmas … and what have you done?” I was reminded of the lyrics as I thought, how odd it was to hear the melody, “Joy to the World!”, as a car commercial intro. Then again, it was part of the over-sized decorations in a restaurant. Christmas trees and ornaments are up in many places and now that Black Friday sales are behind us, the year-end advertising blitz is on. ‘This is the time when we ask ourselves, what gifts can we give to our loved ones? And what gifts can we give to ourselves? After all, you have been nice, haven’t you? Go ahead and reward yourself, isn’t that what the holiday season is all about? You deserve it!’ Or, at least that’s what the advertisers say. Isn’t this why you work hard all year, so you can enjoy the holidays? But haven’t you been down this road before, where you spend too much, indulge too much, eat too much? Then January rolls around and the bills come due. The mirror shows added pounds and the attempt to find fulfillment in the things of this world has failed.

The Christmas holiday was meant for another purpose: to celebrate the coming of our Lord. This is the time to “Tell of His glory among the nations, His wonderful deeds among all the peoples” (Psalm 96:3). This is the time for us to tell what the angel spoke to Mary: “thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:31-33). Mary responded by saying, “My soul doth magnify the Lord, And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour” (Luke 1:46-47). From this beginning, we sing songs, we give gifts, and we gather to give thanks to the Lord.

As you prepare your heart for the real reason for Christmas, there is another song that asks:

Do you see what I see? Wise men from East of Jerusalem had studied prophecy and were expecting the birth of a king to rule Israel and as they saw a star appear, they journeyed, “Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). No one in Israel understood, so they followed the star and “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh” (Matthew 2:10-11). Today, we give gifts to each other as a way of showing appreciation for those we love.

Do you hear what I hear? Shepherds were in the field tending their flock when an angel appeared “And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). As the angel finished his announcement, the heavens opened “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, Good will toward men” (Luke 2:13-14). Today, we enjoy singing and praising God, looking for the day of Christ's return.

Do you know what I know? God sent Jesus Christ into the world that we could be saved. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:16-17). Jesus went around doing good and healing, demonstrating the heart of God for his people. Jesus lived, and gave his life for our sin, and rose from the dead. Now he sits at the right hand of the Father.

We have already received the greatest gift of all through Jesus Christ: forgiveness and eternal life. Prepare yourself, see how God has changed lives at Take what you know and tell people that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:3). Lift your heart, lift your voice, and tell of the goodness of God: “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, And make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, And a great King above all gods” (Psalm 95:1-3).

Serving Our King Together,

Eric Ross for Rev. Joseph

Please make your tax-deductible check to: The Master’s Hand Christian Fellowship, c/o of the above address.