Sunday, December 28, 2008

Messages From the Nativity

As 2008 comes to a close, do you have some things that need to be cleared up? You have taken down the Christmas things...put up the New Year things… broken your promise to loose some weight… tried to answer all the face book notes, email, and letters that have piled up in your in-box. You may have some unanswered questions that still need clarification. What messages have you left unanswered?

This morning, we will try and help with five messages of this season.

Overview: God used amazing events to communicate that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah who would be the Savior of the world. Today, we will be looking at five messages of the Nativity.

Message One.
God Promised Christ’s Arrival Throughout History.
The promise of the coming Savior appears like a thread running through the Old Testament, starting with a hint after the first recorded sin...MAN CHOSE TO DISOBEY GOD! The Promise came right after that, so-called FALL with a promise that the serpent (Satan) would be crushed by the seed of Eve. (Gen 3:15). The next promise came to Abraham when God told him that all the world would be blessed through his family line (Gen 12:3). A great, grandson of Abraham, Judah by name, was promised that an eternal rod of power would come from his family line (Gen 49:10). Over 1,000 years later, Kind David, the son of Jesse, came from that line to rule Israel.

The Promises go on. Isaiah prophesied that from him would come the ultimate king (Isa 11:1-5). Isaiah wrote that a virgin would bear Jesus (Isa 7:14) and that He would do miraculous things (Isa 35:5-6). A prophet named Micah wrote that this Promised one would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Zechariah accurately described His humble situation and betrayal (Zeck 9:6; 11:12-13). Isaiah vividly foretold the torturous death Jesus would die and why (Isa 53) and David told of Jesus’ resurrection (Ps 16:10).

This Message # One was told over many, many years and was found to be true in the Baby born in that stall in Bethlehem.

Message Two.
God Became a Man.
The most astounding message of the Nativity is that God became man. John tells us God became flesh and lived with us (John 1:14) show us the Way to His Heart. As one translation puts it: “He moved into the neighborhood.” Paul wrote: “God was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in Him.” (Col 1:19).

God just did not TELL us what He was like, God came to SHOW it and did so personally!

Message Three.
Angels Testified to Christ’s Coming.
The angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, not only to prepare her, a virgin, for bearing the Son of God, but to give her specific instructions concerning Him… The angel told her to name the Child “God Saves”--Jesus. That Jesus would be the Son of the Most High God, that God would give Him David’s throne, and that it would last forever! An angel told the step-father, Joseph, that the Child would be called Immanuel-- “God with us”. The angels told the shepherds the joyful news that was for ALL people everywhere, that THE Savior had been born--Jesus Christ the Lord.

Message Four.
Witnesses Proclaimed Christ the Messiah.
Eight days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph took him to the temple. Simeon, who had been promised he wouldn’t die before seeing the Lord’s Christ, said, “My eyes have seen Your salvation” (Luke 2:30-32). A prophetess, Anna, told everyone that Jesus was the Child they have been waiting for--looking for--to redeem Jerusalem (Luke 2:38). Still later, Wise Men from the East, Magi, followed a star that they knew meant that a King had been born. When they found that Child, they worshiped Him. The gifts they gave were gifts fit for a King (Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh) (Matt 2).

Message Five.
Christ Came for Our Salvation.
Jesus came to fulfill thousands of years of prophecy. He would be the One who not only represented God, but was God (John 1:1). When Adam and Eve sinned... all mankind was doomed to follow, so God knew we needed saving and He provided the only Savior that could take care of this mess! His only Son, Jesus. He sent Jesus to die in our place, forgive our sins, and conquered death once and for all time by coming alive again--beating the grave! (1 Cor 15:3-4). After Jesus rose from the dead, His Holy Spirit came to dwell within anyone who would put their trust in Christ to forgive their sins and give them new life in His Name (2 Cor 5:17).

What do these five points have to do with my life today? Can either one of them really effect how I live in 2009? These are not just cold facts, a shopping list to follow or disregard.

#1. These are very important things to consider as you make your mind up as to how you are to navigate through the next months and years of your life. This God thing is not just for the weak or just for those who can’t make it in the real world. Great thinking men and women all through history have been challenged by this Visitor from the right Hand of the Creator. Men like Inazo Nitobe, Kanzo Uchimura, Ayako Miura, William Clark, Robert Boyle, Blaise Pascal, Isaac Newton, and C.S. Lewis.

He is the God of History so we can find evidence of Him in History. It is His Story after all.

#2. Why is the one about Him being Human so weird for us? Maybe because we expect God to be just like us with our limited power and resources. The idea of Him becoming flesh is somewhat alarming. How can He defend Himself? How could He limit Himself into the body of a child: an open door to hurt and pain? It was so He could identify with us. Immanuel means “God with us.”

#3. Angels? Can they be real? Sounds so… fairy-tale after all. Why would this message be given to us from anyone like them? Ones who lived next to God, who know Him from the beginning of time.

With every court case, witnesses are needed to either collaborate with the verdict or contradict the evidence. The facts are in: Guilty of being TRUTH!

#4. Once people learn about this Promised One, they might have a few different responses. Call it off as foolishness. (The Bible says that only a fool says there is no God.) Let it ride for a while. A need to learn more-gain more knowledge (could be your downfall!) Or, be one of many around the World who will bow down & worship the King of kings, the Lord of lords!

#5. Christ came for our salvation! Born for YOU. Came from God’s side to give YOU new life in His Name. To grand you a complete pardon for your wrongs.

This Nativity is for you! All you need to do is receive the Best of all gifts! Talk to Him today . You might want to tell Him you don’t understand everything right now but you know He died for you! Tell Him you need Him. Seek Him and you will find Him!

Taken from a handout written by Johannah Reardon, associate editor of
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Get ready for 2009! Pray more, Read the Bible, love more, be active in the local Christian Community more. Sounds like "works" but it really DOES take some effort to grow up in Jesus. Please don't expect to be the one being feed all the time. Take a bold step and move out of your comfort zone. Ask your Pastor to use you. Better still, organize a group of people to take some project to completion. And while you are at it, pray for the leadership at your Church.
See you next year!