My guest today is Dr. Phil Gigliotti. He is a retired medical doctor, teacher, speaker, and lover of the Messiah. He teaches the Jewishness of Scripture online at the Messianic LAMB Network as well as https://giftofgrace.podbean.com/. He also has class at Calvary Chapel of Cleveland. #OneinMessiah
We had a wonderful conversation about Phil’s amazing redemption story, and how the Lord led him to a Messianic congregation as a Gentile, and we talked a lot about Scripture. You won’t want to miss it!
For the month of December, you will see more posts than usual in your email. This month I wanted to celebrate Christ’s birth by getting some friends to share a story or posts this month.
I have six guest posts for the month of December. I hope you enjoy their stories as much as I did.
The first is Alexis Wohler. I hope you enjoy her post on focusing on Christ at CHRISTmas.
Christmas isn’t about buying gifts, seeing Santa, or putting up beautiful decorations to make your house look festive. It’s all about spending time with your friends and family and celebrating the true reason for the season- Jesus and His birth.
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”
John 1:14 NIV
Where’s your focus?
Our focus should not be on giving and buying gifts to impress the people we love. Our focus should be on sharing God’s love with the people around us. We can tell our kids the story of Jesus’ birth and how He was born in a manger and came to save us all. We should help the most important people in our lives realize that Jesus’ birth is the true reason to celebrate.
Jesus came to save all the world from sin, death, and the power of the devil. He is the main reason why we celebrate Christmas every year. @AlexisWohler #FocusingonChristatChristmas #Christmastime #ThisSideofHeaven
Our Father wants us to enjoy the time with our family and friends–not rushing back and forth trying to get the ingredients for the perfect meal or stressing ourselves out by trying to get every gift correct for each person. Rather, He wants us to be still in His presence and to be present with everyone we love on the holidays. He wants us to enjoy the holidays, not dread them every year.
We can embrace Christmas for what it really is, an amazing gift given to us by God. What an honor it is for us to celebrate Jesus’ birthday every year and to know what He came down to earth to do for us. We can thank Him for His love, devotion, and care for us every year. It is a privilege to gather with our loved ones, year after year, and be given another year of life.
There is so much to be thankful for each and every day, but especially on Christmas.
Thanking God for the ability to breathe, see, walk, and talk.
We can also thank God for giving us another day of life to be His witnesses to the next generation.
No matter what happens, we can continually thank God for another day and another year of life to celebrate His goodness in our lives by concentrating on Him all year round, not just when Christmas comes around. There is nothing more precious than family and there is no one who is more worth celebrating than Jesus. Let’s learn to celebrate Him and be grateful all year round, especially during this holiday season.
Lord, please help us focus on you and the gifts that you have given us. Help us remember you are the reason for the season. Thank you for everything that you have given us another year to celebrate with our friends and family.
Meet Alexis Wohler
She is a Christian writer with six years of experience. Alexis loves to talk to God in prayer and reading devotionals. She writes features, interviews, editorials, opinions, blogs, and devotionals. Alexis loves singing, watching her favorite movies and TV shows, and spending time with her family and friends.
Do you know the meaning of your name? My name, Stephanie, comes from the Greek word, stephanos which means crowned. Revelation 19:12 (ESV) says of Jesus:
“His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems [stephanos], and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.”
I really don’t like to be called anything but Stephanie, meaning I don’t like my name shortened. It ends up sounding like stuff or staph…who wants to be called staph?
In English we call the Son of God, Jesus. Messianic Jews call him Yeshua. In Matthew 1:21, an angel came to Joseph in a dream and told him the name for her son.
“She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
Yeshua means salvation. In Hebrew, we find his name written as Yeshuah. It is the word for salvation. We see this word many times in Scripture.
“But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation [yeshuah, Jesus].” Psalm 13:5 ESV.
“Behold, God is my salvation [yeshuah, Jesus]; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the LORD GOD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation [yeshuah, Jesus]. With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation [yeshuah, Jesus].” Isaiah 12:2-3 ESV.
There are many more: Exodus 15:2, Psalm 27:1, 62:1-2, Isaiah 49:6, 49:8, 62:11 Jonah 2:9…(Read this in a book called, The Rabbi, the Secret Message, and the Identity of the Messiah, by Carl Gallups, 2018.)
We often refer to the Father as God or Lord. God can be god as well when we are referring to a false god or idol. But, the Father has many names.
Jewish people call him Adonai, which means my Lords or Masters (yes, it is plural). They refuse (out of reverence) to call him Yahweh, which is a four-letter word in Hebrew: Yod Hey Vav Hey = YHVH. Our Bible translates this as LORD. Here is a cool video which explains this better. Please watch it.
Yahweh is also known as Jehovah. Jehovah means (I AM). In her book, To Know Him by Name, Kay Author explains Yahweh or Jehovah means, “I am that I am. I am the self-existent one. I am everything and anything you will ever need.” ( Multnomah Books, 1995, pg. 61).
Then there is his name,Elohim. This is a masculine, plural name as well. From my Bible study The Jewels of Hebrews, I wrote:
God is referred to as Elohim in Genesis 1–the account of creation. This name for God in the Hebrew language is אֱלֹהִים, and it consist of five consonants (read right to left). Hebrew is both a written and pictorial language. Each letter represents a picture or symbol adding to its meaning. The first letter of Elohim is an Aleph, or א. It illustrates an ox and stands for leader or father. The next consonant, depicted by a shepherd’s crook, is a Lamed or ל, and it symbolizes the Son or shepherd. The third character is a Hey or ה, and it portrays a man with his arms raised. It represents the Holy Spirit or revealer. The fourth consonant, signifying a mighty deed or life, is a Yod, or י, while the last letter is a Mem or מ, and suggests separation of the waters. This name for God is a plural, masculine word, and this one name contains the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit pictured as the mighty Creator. [i]
Names are important.
God knows your name, too. He knew it before you were born. He calls you by your name. You are a Somebody. You are known.