"Double Blessing challenges us to reframe our perception of blessing, seeing God's gifts as opportunities for increased generosity." —Pastor Louie Giglio

Sermons

Summary: Those in the true ancient story of the first Christmas were forever altered by it and their lives centered around the One whom it is all about.

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER CHRISTMAS?

Matthew 2

MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT: 360 days till Christmas!

What happens after Christmas?

- sounds, lights, music of Christmas are over

- decorations put away in boxes/tubs in the garage/attic

- programs, company parties and gift exchanges completed

- memories captured in pictures, videos... all in storage, on FB,

InstagraM

* the hardest thing to part with after Christmas? HALLMARK

CHRISTMAS MOVIES! (Cry - LOL)

AND WE RETURN TO SAME work routines, school routines, school

routines & demands !!!!

What was it like for those involved in the true first Christmas?

- WISE MEN: months long journey back to the east; believers?

Influence their pagan cultures? Die for their new God, faith?

- SHEPHERDS: back to the care of 100's of smelly, needy sheep, 24/7

back to their last level status in society, disregarded yet necessary.

- BETHLEHEM: small town, pop. 1,000 - swelled to maybe 20,000

during the census - now sounds and looks empty, back to

normal life

but WHAT WAS IT LIKE AFTER CHRISTMAS FOR JOSEPH & MARY & JESUS??

Luke 2:39-40

- what happens in detail in Jesus’ earlier life wasn’t the emphasis

of Luke

- summarizes between Bethlehem birth and then step onto

manhood, baptism and public ministry

Matthew 2:13-23 - MORE DETAIL OF IMMEDIATELY AFTER

- Joseph: God directed him in dreams

Dream > receive Mary carrying Christ child

...Wise Men came worshiped the CHILD

...they live in Bethlehem until Jesus 1-2 yrs old

VV.13-18 Dream > go to Egypt

...ironic...once held Israel as slaves now protects their

Messiah

...FULFILLS Hosea 11:1 - happens next!

...Herod angry deceived by Wise Men...kills all Bethlehem

males 2 & under (total about 20)

...FULFILLS Jer. 31:15

VV. 19-20 Dream > go back to Israel

... V. 22 - Archeleaus > more insane than father - killed 3,000

- dad dies, divides kingdom into 3 parts among sons

- Jews hated him - revolted during Passover - kills 3,000 Jews

- poor ruler - Rome ousted him, exiled to France

...settles in Galilee, small town 70 mi. NE of Jerusalem

- independent spirit - small closely knit village

- near 2 major travel/trade routes (Jesus would have

seen all types of people)

- disliked by most Israelites > poor unimportant

“other side of the tracks”

..That reputation remained w/Jesus most of His life

.. Hometown later rejected Him - where He

proclaimed His divinity (almost killed Him then!)

***** V. 23 > NO direct mention of this in any OT

- “prophets” - mentioned in general sense in Is./Jer./Zech./Ps.

—> lowliness, humility, poor, rejected, despised,

victim of prejudice & racism

Observation > prophecies continued to be fulfilled in Jesus, even as a

baby and toddler!!!

Christmas wasn’t over, back to routines of before, to be repeated again in

12 months.

1. Life is to be forever altered by Christmas.

Their lives forever altered by it, or rather, by the living Christ of

Christmas = never to be the same

- we repeat what historically truly came to be

BUT Christmas should always alter our lives forever!

- not a thrill for a day or few days then back to the old life

BUT permanent relationship status w/Jesus as Lord

2. The center of our lives - every day - should be Jesus.

The center of their lives was forever Jesus, moment-by-moment.

- once you’ve seen Him, heard Him, learned from Him - it takes

you into a new direction.

SEE 1 JOHN 1:1-14

1 John 1:1-4 (NKJV)

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have

seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have

handled, concerning the Word of life . . . we declare to you, that you also

may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father

and with His Son Jesus Christ . . . that your joy may be full.”

[DISCIPLES: we were eyewitnesses of Him, changed by Him, and He will

do the same for you when you do too!]

** one way to look at what abiding in Jesus is(John 15), it is

keeping Him the center of your thoughts, decisions, beliefs,

actions, behavior, dreams, work, finances, generosity, service

and everything else.

3. His direction is what we should only follow and obey always.

- God’s choice of communication/direction w/Joseph: DREAMS

... dreams/angels instructions always aligned w/written word

(prophecies)

—> God will never direct you to do something contrary to

His written Word

- HIS WRITTEN WORD - primary tool of instruction & direction

...confirmed thro inner spirit (confidence - feel it), through the

local church/godly counsel of spiritual leadership/mentor,

prayer.

- May seem crazy, contrary to all you’ve ever know or been know to believe and say before Jesus - but

obey Him no matter the cost is all we are expected to do!

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