Summary: When the Spirit takes control of us… 2 things will happen… 1)the dividends from Bethlehem will be pour out from this place; 2)money and resources for the continuing dividends of Christ will not be an issue… (Money matter pt 4)
Dividends From Bethlehem
Money Matters – part four
Show Sermon Spice Video, ‘The Prophecies’ (3:20)
Over 700 years before Christ came to the earth, 2 prophets Isaiah and Micah talked about that first Noel…
The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel--`God is with us.’ - Is 7:14 (NLT)
For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And the government will rest on his shoulders. These will be his royal titles: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. - Isaiah 9:6 (NLT)
But you, O Bethlehem…are only a small village in Judah. Yet a ruler of Israel will come from you, one whose origins are from the distant past. – Micah 5:2 (NLT)
Yesterday millions of people around the world celebrated Christmas. Think about it… All over the world, all over America, all over Georgia, all over Gwinnett County family and friends gathered in homes…
They ate lots of food (ham, turkey, roast, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, apple pie) They hung out, they laughed, they played… Family members caught up on stuff… They passed out and opened gifts.
YES – Christmas is a very big deal in a lot of homes around the world… AND – though it all took place just yesterday… I AM SURE – that in every home, there was a whole lot of planning and work that took place long before December 25th. I MEAN – I don’t think anyone here, woke up yesterday morning without any preparation and said, okay let’s have Christmas. Christmas takes planning…. AND – all of that planning and work is; unwrapped, out of the box and covering the floor in about 20 minutes…
AND LISTEN – just as Christmas 2004 took a lot of prior planning on your part to pull off (a least for moms…I know how most dads are, like me)… There was a lot of planning that went into Christmas 01.
UNDERSTAND – God did not wake up that first Noel 2,000 years ago and say, ‘hey I have an idea, let’s send Jesus to the earth to be born of woman.’ [Tim…] - long before God even created the world, long before He set the stars in place, long before He breathed the breathe of life into Adam & Eve… GOD - was planning for that first Christmas in Bethlehem. How do I know, because I’m smart! Just kidding… I know because the bible tells me so... YOU SEE - John in his revelation writes; the Lamb… was slain from the creation of the world... (Rev 13:8)
THAT MEANS – before God said, let there be light’ … HE KNEW – that one day He would be sending the true light into the world. Before the fall of man… GOD – had a plan to pick him back up.
YES – that first Christmas in Bethlehem took a lot of planning… PLANNING – that began long before Christmas…
IF – you have been reading the news this year… You’ve probably notice that there seems to be more talk than usual about putting Christ back in Christmas… AND - there also seems to be a lot more attacks against the true meaning of Christmas…Last Sunday the following article appeared in a Kentucky newspaper.
Political correctness has stepped in once again and to no surprise it is aimed at those who celebrate Christmas. Unbelievable. Some examples:
In Denver, a Christian float was banned from the annual Christmas parade. In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg refers to the tree at City Hall as “the holiday tree” instead of a Christmas tree and nativity scenes have been banned at some New York public schools. A New Jersey school canceled a field trip to see “A Christmas Carol.” Another outrageous attack occurred this week in New Port Richey, Fla., where officials banned Christmas trees from public buildings because they were considered religious symbols.
Government schools and libraries everywhere are banning Christmas Trees and carols, and a Kirkland, Washington high-school principal even nixed a showing of Dicken’s classic “A Christmas Carol.” His reason -- Tiny Tim’s celebratory prayer, “God bless us, everyone.”
A Kansas newspaper actually ran a correction for referring to the “Community Tree” at Wichita’s “Winterfest” as -- gasp -- a “Christmas Tree.”
YES – the true meaning of Christmas is under attack… AND – I think it always will be… BECAUSE – darkness has always hated light.
NEVERTHELESS – I think that putting Christ back in Christmas is a great idea… AFTER ALL - it only makes sense… I MEAN - where did Christmas come from any way? Taking Christ out of Christ and still celebrating it… would be like celebrating New years day but not talking about the past year or the upcoming year… Realizing this absurdity is why so many today prefer to say happy holidays and holiday tree… It’s crazy….