KEYWORDS: lord, christmas, jesus, god, day, praise

Merry Christmas

David Berg

—MODecember 24, 1976DFONO.638

© Copyrighted November 1977 by the Children of God

1. THANK YOU LORD FOR HOW YOU'VE KEPT US SAFELY THROUGH ANOTHER YEAR, to another birthday of Yours, thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! Praise You Lord for all Your help, for the strength and health to be here tonight, and provision for every need. Thank You for a beautiful day, Lord, in a beautiful place with all these beautiful people, a beautiful life, Lord‚ thank You Jesus!

2. AMEN‚ BLESS US AND HAVE THY WAY, THY WILL BE DONE IN OUR LITTLE TIME OF FELLOWSHIP TOGETHER, and accomplish Thy purpose, Lord.—That which is important as well as the sweetness of the fellowship and the love and the renewal of love, the precious times which bind us together in Thy Love. Thank You Jesus!

3. THANK YOU LORD WE'RE STILL AROUND in spite of the Devil and all his demons and all of our enemies, thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! (Sings: )

How firm a foundation,

Ye saints of the Lord‚

Is laid for your faith

In His excellent Word!

What more can He say

Than to you He hath said,

To you who for refuge

To Jesus have fled?

To you who for refuge

To Jesus have fled!

Fear not, I am with thee;

O be not dismayed‚

For I am thy God,

And I'll still give thee aid;

I'll strengthen thee, help thee

And cause thee to stand,

Upheld by My gracious,

Omnipotent hand,

Upheld by My gracious,

Omnipotent hand.

There's one more verse which made me think of that song but I don't remember how it starts, but Lord, You can bring it back.

That soul that on Jesus

Hath leaned for repose

He will not, He will not

Desert to his foes.

That soul though all Hell

Should endeavor to shake

He'll never, no never‚

No never forsake!

He'll never, no never,

No never forsake!

Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Amen, Lord, speak to us, Lord, have Thy way and lead us in Thy paths.

4. AMEN LORD, USE THY CHILDREN, SPEAK TO US TONIGHT, LORD. Have thy way in this sweet fellowship together. You're not dead, Lord, You're still alive, You still speak.

5. YOU'RE A LIVING GOD, A SPEAKING GOD!—One who still loves His children‚ who still speaks to them. Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus!

6. HIS WORD SAYS‚ "STIR UP THE GIFT OF GOD WHICH IS IN THEE" (2Tim.1:6), and "neglect not the gift that was given thee" (1Tim.4:14). Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Praise You Jesus! Amen, amen, amen, amen, amen, amen!

7. HE DOESN'T JUST HAVE TO SPEAK THROUGH ME, Amen?—Neglect not, stir up, praise God!—He can speak through you, any one of you. As Peter said in the day of Pentecost,

8. "IN THE LAST DAYS I WILL POUR OUT OF MY SPIRIT UPON ALL FLESH: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams." (Ac.2:17.) Hallelujah! Thank You Lord! Amen? Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy. Praise God!

9. GOD CAN SPEAK THROUGH ANY ONE OF YOUthank You Lord. If You have something You want to say, Lord, to any one of us, we wait to hear from You, Lord, in Jesus' name. Thank You Lord! Praise You Lord! Thank You Jesus! Amen. Thank You Jesus! He's trying to talk through you. Hallelujah‚ Lord, anything You want to say to us further? Is the Lord trying to speak through you?

10. IN THE EARLY DAYS OF OUR CLUB IN CALIFORNIA MANY OF THE CHILDREN WERE ANOINTED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD, many had many wonderful gifts of the Spirit, and they "spake with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance"—there were those who interpreted, there were those who prophesied. And some of you who were there are here today, so I know you have the gifts, so you are without excuse.

11. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU LET THE LORD SPEAK THROUGH YOU? I have to do it all the time for your sake. Don't you let Him speak through you for your little family's sake, your little Colony's sake?

12. EVERYDAY SHOULD BE A NEW DAY‚ A NEW EXPERIENCE‚ A NEW LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE LORD, praise the Lord? Why just live on yesterday's food, why not have something fresh everyday? We do‚ almost every day, don't we? Praise the Lord! Then we pass it on to you, but that's sort of second hand; you can hear from the Lord,

13. YOU CAN HEAR FROM GOD EVERYDAY, and you should be hearing from Him everyday. It doesn't have to be out loud, it doesn't have to be with an audible voice.

14. IT CAN JUST BE IN THAT STILL SMALL VOICE THAT YOU FEEL inside of you, sometimes it's not even words, just an impression that you have. God doesn't even have to communicate in words, He can just give you a feeling or a picture or an idea, amen? Thank You Lord. Have you heard from the Lord lately? You ought to be hearing everyday. Thank You Lord! He says,

15. "MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, and they follow Me," amen? (Jn.10:27.) "And a stranger they will not follow." (Jn.10:4.) Hallelujah, thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (Tongues:) Thank You Jesus!

16. "MANY ARE THE WORDS THAT I HAVE SPOKEN UNTO THEE through thy father, and many are the words that I have given unto thee through the kisses of David." Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! But where are the words that He's giving you directly?

17. I'VE BEEN THINKING A LOT ABOUT DYING LATELY and I've been wondering a lot about what you're going to do when I die, because I will some day. And you shouldn't wait until I die to hear from the Lord, you ought to be hearing His voice yourself everyday. Thank You Lord!

18. I KNOW GOD HAS RAISED UP SOME AMONG YOU TO BE PROPHETS. God has raised up some of us for that reason‚ but He wants you too to "stir up the gifts that are within you."

19. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU REALLY PRAYED IN THE SPIRIT? How long has it been since you prayed in another language which was not your own, which you never learned, but was a gift of the Spirit of God? How long has it been since you prayed in tongues? How long?

20. HOW LONG HAS IT BEEN SINCE YOU HEARD THE VOICE OF THE LORD YOURSELF, IN PERSON? How long since you have prophesied or interpreted for the benefit of His Children, passed on His message to them?

21. BELOVED, THAT'S HOW WE BEGAN, THAT'S HOW CHRIST'S CHURCH BEGAN on the Day of Pentecost, with a mighty outpouring of the Spirit of God in prayer (Acts 2), all with one accord in an upper chamber—here we are—we're in an upper chamber, I hope we're in one accord. And then they waited‚ what was it‚ ten days, before the Spirit was poured out upon them.

22. AND THEY ALL BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES AND PROPHESYING THE WONDROUS WORKS OF GOD, so that a great multitude assembled wondering what was going on. Well, I hope they don't hear us tonight, this is not exactly the place to assemble a multitude, but we're trying to be very very careful, cautious and prayerful and not disturb anybody. But you should be in tune with the Lord, amen? How long since you heard from the Lord, hmm?

23. BUT YOU SAY, I READ A MO LETTER EVERYDAY, SO I HEAR FROM THE LORD everyday. Well‚ that's nice‚ like reading the Bible or the recorded Words of the Lord, but it's wonderful to hear straight from the Horse's mouth, it's wonderful to hear straight from the Lord yourself, Amen?

24. DOES YOUR LITTLE HEAVENLY HOME GET TOGETHER FOR PRAYER SOME TIME EVERY DAY?—Pray together in the unity of the Spirit, pray in the Spirit, pray in the gifts of the Spirit and hear from the Lord?

25. YOU KNOW WE GET TOO BUSY SOMETIMES, we get too busy making bedroom slippers for God. We get so busy serving Him we forget to love Him.

26. HAVE ANY OF YOU BOYS EVER HAD YOUR WIFE GET SO BUSY SERVING YOU SHE FORGOT TO LOVE YOU? It happens. "Oh, I don't have time right now to make love, I've got to go do the washing, I've got to take care of the baby, I've got to do the dishes!" Don't forget, your mate is always first—that is‚ after the Lord and others and me!

27. THIS IS A FUNNY FAMILY! How many think this is the strangest family you've ever met? I never met a family like this before, the strangest I ever met!

28. DOES YOUR HOUSE HAVE A GOOD LITTLE PRAYER MEETING EVERY MORNING to start the day off right? You need it‚ or things just won't go right. Remember the story I told you in one of the Letters somewhere about how Martin Luther and Melancthon used to pray every morning for at least two hours before they began the day's work?

29. ONE MORNING MELANCTHON SAID TO LUTHER, "WE CAN'T PRAY SO LONG THIS MORNING, WE'VE GOT TOO MUCH TO DO!" Luther said, "Well, we've got to pray four hours this morning because we have so much to do!" Hmm? Hmm? Does that get any of you under conviction? I hope so, in case you haven't been doing it. Of course it says,

30. "PRAY WITHOUT CEASING," you can pray all the time. (1Th.5:17.) You can even pray while you're washing dishes and changing diapers and sweeping the floor and everything you're doing. You pray all the time of course, but,

31. YOU NEED ONE TIME OF REAL UNITED FELLOWSHIP AND PRAYER devoted strictly just to real fellowship and prayer. I've advocated this from the very beginning, it's in many Letters. It doesn't have to be two hours, but at least a half hour or so.

32. YOU NEED A TIME OF DEVOTIONS FIRST THING IN THE MORNING. Read a little Bible and maybe read a MO Letter and have prayer together.—Start the day off right, hear from the Lord.

33. HE'LL SOLVE A LOT OF THE PROBLEMS BEFORE THE DAY EVEN STARTS if you listen to what He has to say, amen? If you go plunging into all your problems and troubles and your work without stopping to talk to the Lord and get directions from your Commander-in-Chief, then you're going to be like a soldier who's trying to fight the war all on his own without listening to headquarters, with no organisation from his Chief. You need to have prayer and listen to the Lord.

34. SOME OF YOU ARE VERY CHRISTMASY I know‚ and you get very sentimental about Christmas, and that's why I wrote "Spirit Tree." I'm just sorry we didn't have copies of that to pass out. But you now have the books so you can read it.

35. WELL, GOD BLESS YOU, IT'S ALMOST CHRISTMAS, and this is the night when we...We don't know whether it was really the night when Jesus was born or not, but we know He was born some night and this is the night we celebrate it.—One night's as good as another.

36. I USED TO KNOW PREACHERS WHO ARGUED FOR HOURS ABOUT THE ACTUAL DATE OF JESUS' BIRTH!—What day of the week was He really born? Was it really December 25th?—and blah blah blah! Who the hell cares what day it was, what difference does it make?

37. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT HE WAS BORN, HE LIVED AND HE DIED FOR YOU AND ME AND HE ROSE again, so we could do the same. So if they just want to pick December 25th to celebrate His birthday, that's fine with me, I don't care whether it's the right one or not.—It doesn't make any difference as long as we celebrate it.

38. I THINK IT'S GOOD TO CELEBRATE IT. I used to be a fanatic.—Used to be? Have you had the latest Letters yet, I'm still a fanatic! Some people think I'm a sex maniac or something, well maybe I am. After all, God made it, why shouldn't I be crazy about sex!

39. I USED TO FORBID MY LITTLE FAMILY TO CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS because I heard some preachers say that Christmas trees are an old hangover from a Druid worship.—It was a pagan rite and it wasn't even Jesus' birthday, and all those things.

40. SO FOR ABOUT THREE OR FOUR YEARS I WOULDN'T LET MY POOR LITTLE KIDS HAVE A CHRISTMAS TREE. What a fanatic! Then one day they snuck one in on me and they had it up with a few little decorations, it was only a few feet high.

41. WE LIVED IN THIS LITTLE TRAILER and the inside was about twice as long as this table and not much wider‚ but it was my little house. I told somebody the other day and they could hardly believe that I lived in trailers, tents and caravans for 20 years, camped out, Gypsies! So I know what it's like to be poor.

42. I SAW THAT LITTLE TREE WITH ONLY ABOUT THREE BALLS ON ITwe were so poor we could hardly afford it—and one little string of tinsel and I think they bought one little string of lights, poor kids. I marched in one day after teaching school all day, a hard day at school, and saw that tree, and Mom came rushing up,

43. "WELL, IT'S JUST A LITTLE TREE!"—And they gave us the balls—all I bought was the lights!—And it's just for the children‚ it's only for the children!" And I said, "Well, there's not much I can do about it now, you've already got it!"

44. BUT OH HOW IT GREW! And you know Deborah—that's why you're laughing so hard. My oldest daughter is about as Christmasy as you can get! She came home to London one Christmas about four or five years ago and before I knew it there was a Christmas tree downstairs covered with decorations and loaded with gifts this deep!

45. I WOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH IT WHATSOEVER and I said it's too much trouble, too much expense, too much work, and I don't believe in it. So she did it all by herself‚ poor girl, and landed sick in bed, she worked so hard. The last night she was up all night tying presents, poor girl.

46. BUT THAT'S SWEET FOR PEOPLE TO BE SO THOUGHTFUL OF OTHER PEOPLE and want to give people gifts and all that. I think that's nice‚ but please don't give me anything, because I can't think of anything I need.

47. IF YOU HAVE TO GIVE ME SOMETHING, JUST SEND ME THE MONEY YOU'D SPEND FOR THE GIFT. I think money is a great gift, as long as you've got it. The Lord supplies it‚ so thank the Lord.

48. WHEN I GIVE TO YOU I FIGURE THAT YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED. You know what you like and you know what you want and you know your size. I don't know why I should spend a lot of time shopping and trying to buy you something—which, after all, you can buy for yourself.

49. SO I TOLD THEM, "DON'T ANY OF YOU DARE BUY ME ANYTHING FOR CHRISTMAS!"—I got so fed up last Christmas with people buying me all kinds of things.—I gave most of it away to somebody else, stuff I didn't want and didn't need and didn't like.—Forgive me, you did buy me a lot of things I did use, God bless you, but it bothers me for people to buy me stuff when I don't really need it.

50. I'M USUALLY AGAINST CHRISTMAS PRESENTS! I really don't want you guys wasting a lot of money on buying each other Christmas presents and much less me when most of us have about all we need.

51. IF YOU DON'T HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED, FOR GOODNESS SAKE ASK your house father and mother and tell them what you need. "You have not because you ask not! Ask and ye shall receive!" If you don't have what you need, holler! We've got it, or we can get it. (Ja.4:2; Mt.7:7.)

52. IF YOU HAVEN'T GOT WHAT YOU NEED WE'LL GET IT. If we can't get it, we'll teach you how to get along without it! I told you that story already about the rich American who was visiting the poor missionary down in Mexico in his little poor hut.

53. SOME OF THESE RICH AMERICANS WHO DONATE A LOT TO THE MISSIONS think they're pretty big shots giving a lot of money—then they want to go down and take a tour and have you entertain them and sleep them and feed them overnight, when you can hardly afford it. This rich American came to spend the night to see how his little mission was getting along.

54. APPARENTLY HE HADN'T BEEN GIVING THEM VERY MUCH because the missionary said to him after he got settled for the night, "Now, if there's anything you need‚ just let us know‚ and we'll tell you how to get along without it." So that's the way we've done in this outfit for a good many years.

55. BUT THAT NIGHT I SAW THAT CHRISTMAS TREE AND I LOOKED AT IT AND THOUGHT ABOUT POOR DEBORAH sick in bed after she spent so much time on it. She was trying to make everybody happy, a good motive in a way, but that was too much on her, just too much.

56. I THOUGHT‚ "WELL THERE ARE A LOT EASIER WAYS TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY." And that was the night, practically in my sleep, that I got that little poem about "In the Spirit, in the Spirit!"

57. "YOU CAN HAVE YOUR CHRISTMAS BAUBLES AND YOUR MERRY CHRISTMAS TREE"—what's the rest? Have you heard it? (Family: "But all I want for Christmas is the Spirit wild and free!") Hallelujah! And that just kept coming and coming and coming‚ and now you've got it!

58. SO THAT'S THE WAY I FEEL ABOUT CHRISTMAS. But, I do think it is good that the world is almost compelled to celebrate Christmas.

59. WE WERE EVEN IN ISRAEL AND THEY WERE CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS! Of course they called it "Hanukkah"—but there were the same Christmas lights. We saw a few trees and everybody was saying "Happy Hanukkah, happy Hanukkah!" They just can't get away from it, even in Israel!

60. I THINK IT'S GOOD THAT THE WHOLE WORLD IS ALMOST COMPELLED TO REMEMBER CHRIST'S BIRTHDAY, even though they spend too much money on it. That's the one time that even the atheists and the unbelievers and the sceptics and the anti-Christs and everything, it's the one time they celebrate something that's about faith and religion and Christ and the Bible, they celebrate it anyhow.

61. OF COURSE, THEY'VE GOT A NEW GOD CALLED SANTA CLAUS, and what he's got to do with it, I don't know. And where the tree came from‚ I don't know that either. But anyhow‚ they are remembering Jesus' birthday. Although it's a funny thing the way they do it.

62. INSTEAD OF GIVING PRESENTS TO JESUS FOR HIS BIRTHDAY, THEY GIVE THEM TO EACH OTHER! Now wouldn't it be funny if along comes my birthday on February 18th and you all decide to celebrate it by giving each other presents and never give me a thing? Please don't take that as a hint, I don't want anything!

63. I DON'T WANT ANYTHING, I DON'T NEED ANYTHING! Believe me! Thank you, if I need anything I'll let you know. I thought I passed the word around, didn't I Honey? Oh‚ bless your heart, if you bought me a Christmas present I love you anyway. I'll try to think of something to do with it.

64. BUT I AM THANKFUL THAT THE WORLD DOES REMEMBER CHRIST'S BIRTHDAY. I just wish that they would remember that that is what it is. But at least the world recognises the day and everybody celebrates it, it's one of the happiest days of the year.

65. WHEN THE BOYS ASKED, "SHALL WE PUT UP THE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS?" I said‚ "Of course, that's a testimony! Put up Christmas lights outside where everybody can see it, then you're reminding everybody it's Christmas and maybe they'll think about Jesus!"

66. THIS IS THE BEST CHRISTMAS I EVER HAD—ONLY ONE GIFT! You should have seen last Christmas, Christmas Eve! Yes sir, last Christmas, oh my! Well, we found a whole bunch of Christmas decorations down in our basement‚ so‚ Jewish as I am I hate to ever waste anything, so the boys went and got a Christmas tree. I'm glad they didn't chop it down because it's against the law.

67. SO PRAISE GOD AND THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT BEAUTIFUL GIFT, LORD. I hope that wasn't a luxury, but if it was, You promised that you'd not only give us our necessities, but You said if I delight myself in You You'd give me the desires of my heart, even the things I would like to have. So we ask Thee Lord to use it for Your glory, not only to keep me warm but whatever You want to use it for. (It was a warm cloak!)

68. WELL, MERRY CHRISTMAS! It's Christmas, hallelujah? Thank You Lord! Thank You Jesus! I wonder if we could think of an old Christmas carol that everybody could sing. (Everyone sings:)

O come all ye faithful‚ joyful and triumphant!

O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem.

Come and adore Him, born the King of angels.

O come let us adore Him, O come let us adore Him!

O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

69. IS YOUR HEART FULL OF THANKS GIVING? Thank Jesus, amen? Thank You Jesus! Praise You Lord! (Praises.) Anything else, Lord? Anything else, Lord? In Jesus' name‚ thank You for all Your blessings, thank You Jesus! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Amen, amen, amen. Amen, anything else you want to sing?

70. LORD, IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO SAY? Is there anything else the Lord wants to say through you? Is there anything you want to say, praise the Lord?

71. WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS THERE IS LIBERTY, FREEDOM! You have just as much right to be used of the Lord as I have, He can speak through you just as much as me. Well, maybe not as much, whew! Thank You Lord! Thank You Lord! Amen.

72. ISN'T IT WONDERFUL TO HAVE LOVE? How many of you have love?—When you have God you have love, because God is Love, amen?

73. ISN'T IT WONDERFUL TO KNOW JESUS? Isn't it wonderful to be saved? Isn't it wonderful to have God in your heart? Thank You Lord! GBY! HAPPY NEW YEAR!