Summary: If you want to grasp true joy during the Christmas season it is imperative that you catch the significance in how God showed love by giving Christ. God gave His Son and Christ came willingly—true expressions of sacrificial love.
Turn Your Bibles to Luke 2:1-7
Title: Christmas Love
Theme: The Love of God, Christ Given
Series: The Cast of Christmas
Listen as I read Luke 2:1-7, “In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. 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. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 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.” (Luke 2:1-7) Pray!
Introduction: There is so much that comes at us especially this time of the year. Before we know it Christmas day is here and it seems that we just did not get prepared to celebrate it as we had hoped. The world’s way of celebrating Christmas sometimes has a way of keeping us from enjoying the Lord Jesus’ birthday in spirit and truth. One of the best ways to grasp Christmas joy is to consider the lives of those who are closely connected with the physical birth of Christ.
Proposition: I would propose to you if you want to grasp true joy during the Christmas season it is imperative that you catch the significance in how God showed love by giving Christ. God gave His Son and Christ came willingly—true expressions of sacrificial love.
Interrogative Sentence: Just what is the significance in how God and Christ showed their love to us? John 3:16 says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. The Greek word for “believes” (pisteuo) means to put complete trust in, to have no doubt about or to be certain of. The application of this word as applied in John 3:16 is to have such a belief in Jesus Christ that how He lived and what He taught has a continued effect on how you live. (Practical Word Studies in the New Testament; The Complete Word Study of the New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains; The Greek-English Dictionary of the New Testament) Through this message, if you let Him, the Holy Spirit could help you find trust in the love of God and Christ and be certain about that love.
Transitional Sentence: The first truth that the Holy Spirit wants you to grasp from the written Word of God is the conditions into which God sent His Son, Jesus. The people who are the most blessed by the expression of love given by someone else are the people who understand the sacrifice made by the person showing that act of love.
Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of much Biblical prophecy, one incidence being what was spoken by Jacob. In Genesis 49:10 in the New American Standard Bible we read, “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet until Shiloh comes, and to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Jacob foresees and foretells. When he is dying God gives Jacob a look into the future and he gives support from his deathbed that not only is a blessing to his sons, but to all who become sons of God through adoption by faith in Jesus Christ.
When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem Israel was once again in need of a sign that the Great Deliverer, the child to be born according to what is written about Him had arrived. In keeping with the truth to be grasped today we must understand the spiritual condition of the people during the time when Christ was born. We must also understand the application it has for us today.
Judah was no longer ruled by one of its own kings. Judea was under the rule of a descendant of Esua, Herod the Great. The promised land was no longer in the hands of Israel; it was in the hands of a heathen power. The ruler was no longer God’s perfect plan for a ruler, but rather a bad ruler appointed by men who held the Jews captive.
Even the Temple was no longer cared for by ministers of God who could grasp the will of God, rather servants who were governed by fear of Roman oppressors.
According to Who’ Who in the Bible, Esau, represented that heart that is not serious about its relationship with God. He made frivolous decisions that had irreversible consequences. When Esau understood that it would be unpleasing to his parents to marry girls from certain family lines he deliberately went off and found a girl that his parents would not like and added her to his wives. (Genesis 28:6-9) In Hebrews 12:16 we read that he was a godless man and the Bible says that Esau lived a purposely rebellious life and there was no place in his heart for repentance. (Hebrews 12:17)