Summary: The birth and life of Jesus Christ serve as an example for us. His life is the reason for the season. Let us examine how he lived his life and do our best to follow him. He is our star and guiding light.
Sermon No. 9
FOLLOW THE STAR
By: Atty. Numeriano P. Galgo, Jr.
December 23, 2018
B. Overview of the message
The message this morning is about following the footsteps of Jesus. This is hard to do but by his grace we are more than conquerors. The birth and life of Jesus Christ serve as an example for us. His life is the reason for the season. Christmas should not simply be about gifts and material things. We can do better than that. Let us examine how he lived his life and do our best to follow him as long as we live so that our mindset will be like his. He is our star; he is our guiding light. We could never go wrong in following him. As long as we have him, we will always have a wonderful life and a blessed Christmas.
Our main verse is found in Philippians 2: 5-11. It says:
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore, God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Part II. Discussion
A. Emptied himself
God’s love for us is so great that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus. Jesus Christ is God but he emptied himself for our salvation. He emptied himself of his glory and privileges. Imagine for a second the nature, power and life of God. Imagine his splendor. Imagine his kingdom and the precious stones he walks on. Imagine the angels that surround him. Words can hardly describe it.
A president of a certain country enjoys a degree of power, influence and wealth. We are already amazed by it. A rich man enjoys a certain degree of fame, wealth and power. And we are amazed by it. Yet all the riches and power in the world combined could not compare to the glory and power of Jesus Christ.
Despite that, Jesus emptied himself. Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God but emptied himself. He left his heavenly glory and lived among us. He gave up the right to enjoy the rights of God. He sacrificed everything and freely became a human being who is limited in capacity. He was born in a manger. There was no room for him. How pitiful it was. From immense glory and importance, he was reduced to a homeless street child in a cold night. He could have arrived like a king with a grand entrance. But he did not. He had chosen the lowliest of places and status.
B. Entitlement or self-importance
How about us, can we empty ourselves for God and for others? It’s when we are empty that God can best work in us. Can we give up whatever little things we have to do His will? For us, it’s very hard. We are easily worried and threatened by the circumstances around us. It’s hard for us to let go of the things that we have. We even keep our very old and unused clothes, TV, refrigerator, cellphones, toys, books, vehicles, foods and many more. We hoard. Our houses can be a garbage dumpsite or a storage for junks!
Unlike Jesus, we feel entitled and we highly value self-importance. We want to be the first, to be acknowledged, to be served, to be feared, to be exalted in the public, to be the center of attraction, to have the best. Most of the time our humility is fake. If we are not treated the way we want to be treated, we get angry, insulted and vengeful. We value our earthly possessions and positions very much. Because of our status, we tend to discriminate others. We cannot allow that our neighbors have the latest edition of a videoke, car, shoes, cellphone, TV, watch or hair color! By nature, we cannot be contented.
Jesus lived a simple, inexpensive and fruitful way of life. His life was characterized by giving and service to others. That is why Christmas is a season of giving and love.
C. Following Jesus’ mindset
We cannot become a God like Jesus Christ. There is only one God. However, we can follow the examples of Jesus. He is our true model. We must look up to him and learn from him. This Christmas, we should not concern ourselves much about the material gifts that we will receive or give. Let us go beyond that for a change. Let us consider the most important thing in this season. Christmas is about Jesus and the life he lived and the sacrifices he made on the cross.