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Make This Christmas Special
Make This Christmas Special
Intro: I recently heard a Christmas song that really struck me. The words centered on the idea of having a Christmas to remember. As I thought on those words, I realized that there were many Christmas’s that I did not remember and in fact I was relieved that some of them were over. The pressure of buying all the stuff for everyone on the list and afraid that someone would be left out was just awful. Yet it was great to have everyone come over to the house but then there were times when some would not come, miffed over something, leaving a cloud hanging over the entire day. We always want things to go exactly right, everyone happy and doing the right thing, but people are people and that sometimes just does not happen.
So, I tried to remember as many Christmases as I could. I can remember one Christmas when I was just 7 or 8, I received a shinny new black bicycle. I have no idea what happened to the bike, but I do remember the thrill of seeing it on Christmas morning. As I thought on this it hit me how sad it was that Christmas was about things. For many Christmas lacks real meaning and just fades into the past with no lasting memories. They feel the pressure of finances, the strain of family relations and fail remember anything significant about any previous Christmas and miss the joy of really understanding why we are celebrating Christmas in the first place. Like many things that we do the reason for doing it gets lost over time, creatures of habit we repeat what we have always done in the past with no sense of purpose.
Perhaps we can make this Christmas one to remember for all the right reasons. Perhaps we can focus on the events that brought us to this point.
I. The Promise From God
1. Isa 7:14
Therefore, the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
This is not a general sign that could be twisted or viewed in many ways, but a specific statement.
A specific birth and a specific name,” Immanuel”.
2. Mic 5:2
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel;
The birth will take place in a specific place.
The child shall be ruler in Israel. This is obviously pointing to the Millennium when Christ will rule.
3. Isa 9:6
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
Again, the prophecy here was not fulfilled during Jesus time on earth prior to the crucifixion.
This is pointing to the Millennial when Christ is seated on the throne as
King and ruler over Israel.
4. Isa 60:6
They shall bring gold and incense; and they shall shew forth the praises of the Lord.
Again, we have specific statements that cannot be in question.
The wise men are called wise because they understood that they were in the presence of a king. They may not have fully understood what was happening, but they came to honor and worship this young child that would one day sit on the throne of Israel.
5. Jer. 31:15
15 Thus saith the Lord; A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not.
The destruction of the children was laid out by Jeremiah years before the event.
What a bitter experience, due to the sinful heart of one man. Herod trying to hold onto his power and failing to acknowledge God as the one who put him on the throne.
6. Hos 11:1
When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.
Joseph took Mary and the Baby Jesus to Egypt to escape the destruction of the children by Herod.
When Herod was dead God called Joseph back to Israel.
7. The prophets declared that he shall be called a Nazarene.
a. Jesus grew up in Nazareth.
b. Not the best place to live, a roman garrison was stationed there.
II. The Power of God-Luke 2:8
30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
Mary knew things would be difficult, even life threatening, but God can do all things.
While Mary believed God, it was a different story for the rest of her community. Who would believe that she was a virgin?
2. Luke 2:4
4 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:)
God handles all the circumstances needed to accomplish what He wants.
All we must do is follow the leading of the Lord and He will bring it to pass.
3. Luke 2:7
7 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.
Every detail was arranged by God
Joseph and Mary were led and protected by the Holy Spirit and accomplished exactly what the prophets declared.
4. Matt 2:11
11 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.
This took place about two years after the Jesus.
5. Matt 2:13
13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.
6. Matt 2:16
16Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.
7. Matt 2:17-18
Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying,
18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.
8. Matt 2:19-20
But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,
20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child's life.
9. Matt 2:23
23 And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, He shall be called a Nazarene.
III. The Purpose of God
1. Luke 19:10
10 For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
2. Rom 3:23
23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
3. Eph 2:8-9
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
4. Matt 7:14
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
5. John 14:6
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
6. Acts 4:12
12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Conclusion: If this Christmas is going to be one to remember we most certainly need to understand what Christmas means, why we have it and what we should do with it. What it means is simple, men were lost in their sin and needed a substitute to pay the penalty for their sin, and Jesus came to earth to provide the payment to God on our behalf. It is our chance to see, believe and accept the gift of God’s Son so that we can have our sins forgiven, receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, eternal life and the peace that passes all understanding. This Christmas, if you do not know Jesus in a personal way, open your heart and invite Him in and I guarantee you will always remember this Christmas. If you know the Lord as your Savior but have not been living for Him, now is the time commit to a life of submission and service. Jesus said if you love Me you will obey me!!! Let’s start the New Year with a new commitment, a new zeal a new focus and watch what the Lord will do.
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