12 / 11 / 16
Luke 2 : 1 - 20
The true message of Christmas is not that Santa Claus is coming but that Christ has come! We are to be a Christ centered people. The meaning of our lives and hope is focused on the life, message, death, burial, resurrection and return of Jesus Christ. What will it take for you to get excited about the right things this holiday season? As we study Luke’s account of the night before Christmas, we will discover several things.
What does Christmas mean to you?
1. The Miraculous
There was the surprise that God’s only son would be born to a virgin named Mary. This is called the miraculous conception. There was the surprise that Jesus would be born in a stable. This symbolizes His identity with the most common among us or the least of these my brethren. There was the surprise that the announcement came to the shepherds who were viewed as non-significant people in life. These are hard working people who didn’t have a reputation to protect, an ax to grind, or a ladder to climb. I pray we will surprise our missionaries of HCC with our “Jesus First” Christmas offering. I pray you will be surprised by the love shared with you this week.
Has God done miraculous things in your life?
Does God sometimes act beyond our understanding?
2. The Joy
Verse 9 says the shepherds were terrified and later when they told the story the Bible said that all who heard it were amazed. (V 18) We have become so familiar with God that we often lose sight of His majesty and sovereignty. Fear is a negative emotion and is restricting. Godly fear and awe is a positive emotion that is liberating. Awe is the feeling of being overwhelmed by something and someone greater than ourselves. The shepherds were in awe when confronted with the glory of the Lord. There was joy because Jesus brought God to man. He brought salvation to all who would believe and receive. God came to us in Christ so that we could come to Him through Christ!
What joy has filled your soul?
What joy could you share that would encourage others this holiday season?
3. The Thankfulness
Verse 20 says, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.” What is our response to Christmas? Does Christmas make us mad, sad, or glad? The shepherds were filled with thankfulness because they were included in the wonders and glory of that first Christmas. I hope this holiday season we will be filled with thanksgiving for all of our blessings. The greatest blessing of all was that the Son of God came so that we might become the sons of God, then we like the shepherds, should be glorifying and praising God for all things we have seen and heard because of Christ in our lives. Joy to the world the Lord has come!
What can you thank Him for this holiday season?
Could your attitude of joy and thankfulness touch someone’s life?
Ask God to give you a joyful heart this Christmas season!