God loved us so much that He sent His precious Son Jesus Christ to be born into this world so that we would be saved. God loves and cares for every single person in the world of every nation. Whether you are a man, a woman, a child or a baby God loves you and you are precious to Him. God became man to be like us in everything except that He was perfect and did no wrong because He loved us so much and wanted to be close to us and to save us. The King of Kings was truly humble and instead of being born in a luxurious palace He was born in poverty as seen in Luke 2:1-20 (KJV): "And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.  (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10 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. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 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. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."

Jesus was homeless when He was born and didn't even have a roof over His head, but was born in a stable. Yet when we celebrate his Birthday on 25th December, for most people Christmas has very little Christian significance but is a feast about materialism. People don't usually give a small gift that is an attention anymore, but spend hundreds of pounds on family and friends. People get stressed out, and it puts a lot of pressure on the people who don;t have much money, and parents who have demanding children. This takes us completely away from the real meaning of Christmas.

What is the real meaning of Christmas to you? Is it all about gifts you will receive or is it about love, friendship and sharing?

Do you believe that God loved you so much that He sent His own precious Son to die for your sins? Any parent knows how difficult it would be to sacrifice their own child for others.

Do you believe that Christmas gives you an opportunity to show how much you love God and each other? Do you reach out to those who are alone and invite them to lunch on Christmas day?

Jesus doesn't even prefer the Jews to the Gentiles, but loves everyone the same way and has no favourites. We become God’s children only through Jesus Christ as seen in John 3:16 (KJV): "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."

We become Jesus' mother, brother or sister when we do God's will, so now is the chance to do what Jesus says and spread His love as seen in Mark 3:31-35 (KJV): "There came then his brethren and his mother, and, standing without, sent unto him, calling him.  And the multitude sat about him, and they said unto him, 'Behold, thy mother and thy brethren without seek for thee.'  And he answered them, saying, 'Who is my mother, or my brethren?' And he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, 'Behold my mother and my brethren!' For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother."

God has no favourites as seen in Romans 2:11 (NKJV): "For there is no partiality with God."

When you believe in Jesus Christ and have given Him your life, you automatically become a child of God. You are so precious to God, and He longs for you to acknowledge His great love for you. See how every nation belongs to God in Isaiah 56:3-8 (KJV): "Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the Lord, speak, saying, The Lord hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.  For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant; Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the Lord, to serve him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant; Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people. The Lord God, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him."

In the following passages see how much God loves you and see His promises. 1 John 3:1(KJV): "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not."

Zephaniah 3:17 (KJV): "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

Psalm 86:15: "But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness."

Jeremiah 29:11: "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

Isaiah 43:1 (KJV): "...Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine."

It is so comforting to know that when we belong to Jesus we have a certainty that our place in Heaven is assured because He is preparing a place for us. John 14:2 (KJV): "In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

It is only when we truly belong to Jesus that we can be truly happy. May you be richly blessed this Christmas and experience Jesus' great love, peace, joy and happiness.

By Marie-Helene and Dominic Bradshaw