Summary: The shepherds were excited to go see the baby Jesus. Have we lost our enthusiasm for what God is doing in the world?
COULDN'T WAIT: The shepherds were eager to go see what God was doing.
- Luke 2:15-16.
- Consider for a moment the eagerness, curiosity, and enthusiasm of the shepherds. They’re genuinely excited to go look into what God is doing.
- They were deeply affected by the good news.
- I want to talk for a while this morning about our enthusiasm for the good news – or our lack thereof.
WHICH IS THE GOSPEL LIKE: Is what God is doing in the world more like broccoli or chocolate-chip cheesecake?
- Over here we have some broccoli. Nutritious, blah broccoli. (I know some of you like broccoli, but that doesn’t make any sense to me!) Yes, it is a good idea to eat it, but we are certainly not excited to have to do so. If we eat it at all, it would just be out of duty.
- Over here we have my favorite dessert that my wife makes me: chocolate-chip cheesecake. (Again, I know some of you don’t like cheesecake, but that doesn’t make any sense to me!) You don’t have ask me twice to enjoy a piece. When I hear that there is some in the fridge, I can’t wait to get to the fridge. I don’t eat it because I have to – I eat it because I want to!
- Many of us see the gospel like broccoli. Yes, it’s necessary. Sure, it’s healthy for me. But it’s not exciting. It’s not enjoyable. And it’s certainly nothing to be eager about – it’s something you do because it has to be done.
- But here in this passage we have the shepherds running to see what God is up to. What if that’s not an isolated instance, but a clear picture of the type of thing that God is doing in the world?
- Look with me in Matthew 13:44-46.
- Here we see Jesus sharing two stories that tell us what He thinks about the Kingdom of God. In both cases, what’s emphasized is the incredible opportunity. They can’t believe their good fortune at being able to be a part of this! It’s the type of news that you would run to with eagerness.
- That doesn’t sound at all like a broccoli experience.
- Not just salvation, but the ongoing experience.
- Do we see walking with God as an exciting opportunity or a tedious necessity?
- Salvation is amazing – that God would forgive us through Jesus’ cross. But walking with God is amazing too.
- What are some ways that the gospel is like chocolate-chip cheesecake?
a. God answers our prayers.
- We get tangible evidence of a God working on our behalf as He answers our prayers.
b. God changes our hearts to be more like Him and less like the muck of sin.
- “You mean there is a way I can have victory over this sin that’s dragging me down? Sign me up!”
c. We get to participate in God transforming lives with forgiveness and grace.
- We get to see people’s hearts moved with the powerful impact of God’s mercy.
FOUR THINGS THAT KILL OUR EXCITEMENT:
1. I would run to look, but God doesn’t do big stuff anymore.
- Matthew 9:29.
- Some will respond, “Yeah, I’d run too if I got to see the newly-born Son of God! But God isn’t doing big miracles anymore.”
- The amazing moves of God that we read about in the Bible are ancient history. Does God do great things anymore?
- Yes, He does. He is still the same God doing miracles.
- Often we don’t see it because we are faithless.
- In Matthew 9:29, we see a representative statement for what Jesus had to say about faith. “According to your faith will it be done for you.” The amount of faith we have determines the size of the move of God that we see.
- We are content with what we have. We are confident that we can answer our own prayers most of the time. We never pray for things that require God to show up or it will fail.
- To see big answers we need to believe we serve a big God. Our expectation of an answer from God is a major factor in seeing the answer from God.
- God is still doing miracles.
2. I would run to look, but why would God want me there?
- Luke 10:21.
- There are other people who believe that God does still do big things today, but not for them. Why would God want me to know about the good news? Why would God want me to be there?
- We live in an age where mental illness is perhaps more prominent than it’s ever been. There are many reasons for that (and we’ll leave those to another time). But depression and a lack of self-worth seem to be everywhere.