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Summary: The risen Christ should be the focus of Christmas and the command to follow Him the mission

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" Bethlehem’s baby, Calvary’s Christ "

John 1:14-29

IT’S VERY EASY FOR PREACHERS TO WALK ON THIS HOLY GROUND AND SPEAK ABOUT A BABY WRAPPED IN SWADDLING CLOTHES TUCKED AWAY IN A MANGER. WE AS PEOPLE HAVE NO PROBLEM CELEBRATING THE BIRTH OF A CHILD IN SOME FAR DISTANT LAND WITH A STAR SHINING OVER HIS BIRTHPLACE AND WISE MEN SADDLING THEIR CAMELS HUNDREDS OR MAYBE EVEN THOUSANDS OF MILES AWAY TO BEGIN A JOURNEY.

PROBLEM WE HAVE WITH JESUS IS IN WHO HE REALLY IS AND WHAT HE COMMANDS US TO DO. JESUS WAS GOD HIMSELF WRAPPED IN HUMAN FLESH AS VERSE FOURTEEN CLEARLY ILLUSTRATES…

" AND THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH, AND DWELT AMONG US AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF THE FATHER FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH."

FULLY MAN YET ALSO FULLY GOD ON EARTH AND HE WAS AWARE OF OUR EARLIEST BEGINNINGS BECAUSE HE CREATED THIS WORLD WE NOW LIVE IN.

GENESIS 1:3 AND GOD SAID LET THERE BE LIGHT AND THERE WAS LIGHT

GENESIS 1:26 AND GOD SAID LET US MAKE MAN IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS…

WE BEHELD HIS GLORY AS THE ONLY BEGOTTEN SON OF THE LIVING GOD AND HE WAS FULL OF GRACE AND OF TRUTH, YET HERE IS WHERE THE PROBLEM COMES IN BECAUSE IF WE THINK ABOUT JESUS AS HE IS INSTEAD OF HOW HE WAS THAT NIGHT SO LONG AGO, WE HAVE TO DECIDE WHETHER HE IS LORD OR NOT.

1. WE ARE MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE AND FIND IT MORE CONVENIENT TO KEEP HIM IN THE FORM OF A LITTLE BABY NESTLED AWAY IN A SMELLY OLD BARN UNABLE TO CARE FOR HIMSELF AND NEEDFUL OF THE THINGS WE GIVE HIM

2. CAN YOU TAKE A LITTLE BIT OF TRUTH THIS MORNING?

FIRST OF ALL IN ORDER FOR THE SHEPHERDS TO HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELDS TENDING THEIR SHEEP TO HEAR THE VOICES OF ANGELS SINGING, SCHOLARS KNOW THAT THE TIME WOULD HAVE TO BE AT LEAST THE FIRST PART OF APRIL OR EVEN LATER THAN THAT. THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN HOME IN DECEMBER, THE COLDEST PART OF THEIR YEAR. KIND OF DESTROYS THE THEORY OF DECEMBER 25TH DOESN’T IT?

THIS DATE WAS THE BEGINNING OF THE WINTER SOLSTICE OF PAGAN RELIGIONS WHO WORSHIPPED THE SUN GOD.

WHY DO YOU HAVE TO RUIN IT FOR US BROTHER MIKE? WHY? THERE’S A SIMPLE REASON I’M TELLING YOU ALL THIS TODAY MY FRIENDS. I AM TIRED OF PLAYING GAMES AT THE FOOT OF THE CROSS AND SIDE STEPPING THE TRUTH! HOW CAN WE LIVE IN ONE OF THE DARKEST TIMES OF HUMAN HISTORY AND CHRISTIANITY REFUSE TO SHINE A CLEAR LIGHT FOR THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST? HAVE WE FALLEN SO FAR THAT WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THE LIES TOLD TO US AND WE HAVE ALSO PERPETUATED ON OUR CHILDREN?

1. EVERY KID IN THIS BUILDING KNOWS ALL THERE IS TO KNOW ABOUT SANTA CLAUS, THE EASTER BUNNY AND THE TOOTH FAIRY AND THEY BELIEVE THAT THEY EXIST BECAUSE WE HAVE ASSURED THEM THEY DO.

2. MOST OF THE KIDS HERE TODAY CAN TELL ME AT LEAST SIX OF THE EIGHT TINY REINDEER DRIVING SANTA CLAUS AROUND BUT I BET YOU A NICKEL TO A DONUT THEY CAN’T TELL ME SIX OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES!

3. ONLY TIME WE’LL DILIGENTLY TELL THEM ABOUT JESUS IS WHEN WE CAN KEEP HIM IN A DIAPER WITHOUT THE POWER OF SPEECH AND EVEN THEN WE DON’T GIVE HIM THE POSITION OF HONOR HE DESERVES. NO, WE RESERVE THE HONORABLE POSITION FOR A FAT OLD GUY RIDING A SLEIGH PULLED BY EIGHT TINY REINDEER!


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