COME AND WORSHIP HIM
1. Dearly Beloved, this is the time of the year when most of us get into the Spirit of Christmas. One of the things that I love to do, is hear the different views that children have about Christmas and the antics that they get up to.
2. There was this Sunday School teacher who was telling her class that Jesus was just like any other baby, and said: “Mary fed Him, and rocked Him and sang to Him, and bathed Him and changed His diapers..” Every little mouth dropped open when the teacher made mention of His diaper needing to be changed until finally one little girl told the teacher: “Don’t you think that’s kind of personal3. Before a Christmas pageant a small boy portraying the innkeeper in Bethlehem was instructed to turn away Mary and Joseph from his inn. The boy, however, felt so badly for them that he said, “There’s no room at the inn, but would you like to come in for a drink?”
4. And with the rising costs of insurance in the state of Florida, I came across this question, and I want to pose it to you today. “Why was Jesus born in a stable? Because Joseph and Mary had a HMO health insurance plan. ?”(Taken from Holy Hilarity)
5. Ok enough merriment! NO WAY! Christmas is about laughter and merriment. Have you ever considered why there is so much merriment at this time of the year, and yet it can really be a time of pain and suffering for many, and it shouldn’t be. It all depends on our focus.
6. This is the time that has been set aside by mankind to honor the coming to earth of God in the flesh. There are many who would make this a time of argument, just because they want to get religious and pious, and in fact make their religion out of arguing and their being right regardless of the truth. There are many who argue that this is not the right time, and we should not honor a certain day and so on and so forth, and I can hear their listeners groaning.
7. I agree, we should not worship this day, it is wrong to worship a day, or a month, or a time period. Beloved, I do not worship a day, or anything else, and I am not so bound up in imprisoning religion that I am going to force my stupidity upon someone else, and so take their focus of the real and true God, Jesus Christ. Like the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 2:2, we must preach and focus only on the Lord Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.
8. Beloved of Jesus, do not allow anyone to anyone, or anything to get your focus off Jesus and onto some ridiculous law which in itself becomes a god. WHO DO YOU KNOW? WHO DO YOU KNOW? WHO DO YOU KNOW? I am FREE in Christ Jesus. Get off my back, and take the regulations back to where they came from the GATES OF HELL.
9. Beloved of Jesus, this is the best time of the year for me. Each and every day, I worship the Creator for his coming to earth, for His adult life of perfection, for His death, burial and resurrection. Very rarely do I take time to focus on WHAT GOD DESIRED AND BECAME FOR ME.
10. At this time of the year, let us focus on what God ordained for Himself, and what He became for us. ISA 9:6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. ISA 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.
11. Beloved, this is the time of the year, when we focus on the gift that God has given to us. On that night so many years ago, the Almighty, Most Powerful, Infinite, Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Creator God, laid all this aside and became half a human Chromosome, bonding himself with the Chromosome of a human woman, Mary, and so began growing into a human being. Nine months He grew into human form within the womb of a woman, His creation, and all because He desired to give us the gift of eternal life with Him.
12. Paul explains this quite adequately in PHP 2:6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, PHP 2:7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.
13. This is what all the Heavenly excitement has been about throughout the ages. God, in Love, gave up everything, and put Himself in the hands of His evil creation. This is what the prophets foresaw and foretold throughout history, until that day when the time was right, and God sent His messengers ahead to proclaim that it was going to happen.
14. The Glory of God is the evidence of His Love for You. You see at Christmas time, we focus on the fact that God became flesh and dwelt amongst us. Beloved, there is a saying: “Tell me that you love me with your words, and I will show you that I love you by what I do.”
15. This week, I want to look at our response to this gift from God. There are many different ways that we can respond to the Grace of God, and today, we are going to look at some of these ways.
Transition: Beloved of Jesus, there are many different personalities in this world, and on top of that there are many who are hurting and exasperated, and for these Jesus is the answer. There are also however, those who are just ignorant, self absorbed and have no desire to know any different.
I. SOME WANT TO PROFIT FROM HIM.
A. Some Focused On Their Profits.
1. LK 2:1 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to his own town to register. LK 2:4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
2. In the Scriptures, we see an interesting development taking place. Caesar wanted taxes, and could not tax those who he had no knowledge of, and so he orders a census to find out who is there and how much tax they must pay. He orders Mary and Joseph to go and be registered.
3. I know that he had no knowledge of the birth that was about to happen, but many others did, they got it right. Many people at that time period were going to benefit from this census. Those who had hotels, those who sold food, those who provided services. It was a great time for the merchants, and like every good merchants, they took financial advantage of the time of the birth of the Christ Child.
B. Some Still Focus On Their Profits.
1. The story has not changed. Government and Merchants still view this time of the year as the time to make big money. It is against Christmas that profits and losses are recorded in the retail industry.
2. Beloved, there are many who get into the Christmas spirit, by going shopping, and they thrive for the shopping experience, and the spending of vast quantities of money. This is what Christmas has become for many people, especially in America.
3. Many are not interested in Christ, who this time of the year is set aside for, but don’t want to lose the profits, and so they call it happy holidays, which is totally asinine, as holidays is a contraction of two words. Holy and Days. It is Christ who makes days holy.
II. SOME TRY TO IGNORE HIM.
LK 2:6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
A. Some Were Ignorant On That Night.
1. Here we have the Son of God being carried by a young girl, and they are traveling a long distance, on the order of the Emperor Caesar, and we can imagine his soldiers and governors ordering them to make the long three day journey.
2. They did not know what was going on. They had no love for others. They were totally ignorant of the fact that their Creator was about to born on this earth because of His love for them.
3. Even though throughout time, God had shared with them that He was going to do this. They were still ignorant. (Incidentally, the birth of the Lord, was not limited to the writings of the Jews, but was in other literature also. Hence the foreign wise men knowing of it.) Many were just ignorant what was happening.
4. Beloved, many today are still ignorant, because they do not take the time to find out the truth, and many great and wonderful things are happening right in front of them, and they are missing out on all of it.
B. Some Just Couldn’t Be Bothered.
1. Another thing I want you to see in this Scripture that we just read, was that not only were many ignorant, but also many just could not be bothered. We are told that there was no room for them in the inn, or the inns. People could see a young woman needing to rest and have a baby, but they could not be bothered.
2. One person, finally gave them room amongst the animals in his stable. With this all going on, right under their noses, no one could be bothered. But that was prophesied. ISA 53:2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.
3. Many today, see what is going on, they see the glory of God right in front of them, and their laziness and selfishness make them shrug their shoulders and turn away. They just could not be bothered. It is too far to drive, it is the only time I have on Sunday, I am too tired, I just could not be bothered about Jesus.
C. Some Deny That It Happened.
1. There was so much prophetic evidence leading up to the event. The place of the happening, the evidence of a virgin, the evidence that He would be of lowly birth, the evidence that He would be of the line of David. The evidence of the star.
2. Many even though faced with all the evidence still turned their backs on Him and pretend that it did not happen. Many will convince themselves that there is no God in the flesh, in order to appease their evil desires. No God, no sin.
3. Beloved, many still deny His existence today, and will one day pay the price for turning their backs upon the Christ Child. He was quite humble and a harmless babe then and a sacrificial Lamb, but one day, He is going to return as a Lion of Judah, and those who turned away from Him will bear the brunt of His fury.
III. SOME WANT TO DESTROY HIM.
A. Some Wanted To Destroy Him Then.
1. MT 2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. 5 "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: 6 " `But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ " 7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
2. Herod was not interested in worshipping this Christ Child. No, being an instrument of the devil, he wanted to kill God. He had to destroy Him, and his black heart was disturbed.
3. In fact we read about his real intent and darkness of his heart. MT 2:16 When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. 17 Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: 18 "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
4. Without mercy, He destroyed all those who might have been in the area, in his hunger to destroy God in the flesh.
B. Some Want To Destroy Him Today.
1. I was driving on US 1 the other day and noticed quite a few bumpers that had this bumper sticker on them; “Keep Christ In Christmas”. Now why should that bumper sticker even be necessary? Because times have not changed, and Christ once again is under attack.
2. There are many in this world who would like to destroy Christ, and remove Him from human existence altogether. Beloved, there are those who want to celebrate Kwanza, Hanukah and a host of other holidays, and I have no problem with that, but I do want to say that Christmas was established to celebrate the birth of Christ.
3. I do not advocate fighting for Christ, as Christ is able to defend Himself, and in fact as my bridegroom, is my defender, but I live in America, and I have a voice to protect my traditions, and so I will voice them. Why do people want to kill this Babe that came to save the world and offer them peace. It doesn’t make sense.
4. JN 3:19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.
IV. SOME WANT TO WORSHIP HIM.
A. The Shepherds Came To Worship Him.
1. LK 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
2. The lowliest of mankind, the simple Shepherds, uneducated, dirty, poor, smelling of sheep. They were the ones that would sacrifice their friends to God. They were called to come to the Stable to see the Great Shepherd that would care for His beloved sheep.
3. They were humble and came worshipped the tiny Baby, that was to be the Great Shepherd of all time. They went back to their lives, but now with hope, and they returned glorifying and praising God. This child had touched their lives as He desired to do and they worshipped Him.
B. The Kings Came To Worship Him.
1. MT 2:9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
2. The Magi, or kings, who were not Israelites, but from Babylon, Persia and North Africa, and were astrologers, recognized who this baby was. They recognized that He was The King of Kings, and worshipped him as such.
3. They brought Him gifts that were significant to His mission in life. Gold because He Is a King; Incense, because He is a Priest; and Myrrh because He is the one destined to die for the world, the Sacrifice.
C. The Righteous Worshiped Him.
1. LK 2:21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord" ), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: "a pair of doves or two young pigeons." 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: 29 "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all people, 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel."
2. Jesus Christ, was honored by the righteous and devout man, who knew that his righteousness was nothing in the sight of God, and that this baby was going to take away the sins of the world and so make all mankind righteous before God.
3. He worshiped this baby, who was God in the flesh, who had come not just for Israel, but also for all mankind.
D. The Prophetess Worshiped Him
1. LK 2:36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38 Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
2. This baby was worshipped and honored by the prophetess of Jerusalem, who spoke out and told all about the Christ Child, that He would redeem Jerusalem, and reunite man with God.
E. The Humble, Wise And Serving, Worship Him Today.
1. Friends, we have heard the evidence, and we gather around the manger today, and we have to ask ourselves the question, how do we respond to this Baby.
2. Do we act wisely and come in humility and service, worshiping this Baby, who is the Creator of heaven and earth. If we are wise, we will understand that we owe everything to this Baby who is our Savior.
3. We need to make Him our Lord, and the way that we do that is by humbling ourselves and submitting our lives to His will.
1. Beloved, if you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I wish to introduce you to Him. He is the Son of God who takes away our sins, and makes us whole again. It is only in Jesus Christ that you can find peace that passes all understanding.
2. You may spend all eternity, your health, money and sanity looking for peace, but I will tell you right now you can only find it in Jesus, who allows His favor to rest upon His own.
3. You can become one of His own today, by accepting the gift that He gives to us and proclaiming Him as your Lord and Savior. Ask Him today to come into your heart and make His residence there.
4. Beloved, if you are not living your life in step with the Holy Spirit, then you need to take that repentant step back and confess your sins. He is faithful and will forgive us all unrighteousness. Beloved, be covered in the Baptism of His Holy Spirit today.