Summary: By faith, we rediscover the joy of putting trust in Jesus Christ.
• Oh my, it is December already!
• How many of you love the Christmas season?
• Last week Jerry started us off on a Christmas series entitled Behold!
• Today we will continue with that series as we will be spending our time together in Luke 2.
• Christmas is about gifts.
• We often laugh about the boring (like socks) or undesirable gifts (like ANDROID PHONES) that we receive this time of year, but every now and then, the gift of joy comes to us unexpectedly.
• God delights in surprising us.
• A well-loved scene in the film A Christmas Story shows Ralphie and his little brother Randy rushing downstairs on Christmas morning, where Ralphie opens a rabbit costume from his Aunt Clara.
• “He looks like a deranged Easter bunny,” declares his father.
• Only later, unexpectedly, does Ralphie receive his long-awaited Red Ryder air rifle (A Christmas Story, directed by Bob Clark (Beverly Hills: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1983).
• I STATED that Christmas is about gifts; however, not necessarily a Red Ryder air rifle, but rather, the gifts of God.
• Have you ever received that proverbial rabbit costume?
• What about that proverbial Red Ryder air gun?
• Christmas is about the greatest gift of all, the gift of salvation that is offered through Jesus!
• This is the greatest gift one can ever receive.
• Today as we work through the story of the birth of Jesus in Luke 2, we are going to make three observations concerning the gifts of God.
• Our God is so awesome, and what He has done for us awesome!
• Gifts from God are a wonderful thing, I pray that everyone I know will one day enjoy this wonderful gift.
• In our situation today, we need hope and we need joy!
• The BIG IDEA for the message today is, By faith, we rediscover the joy of putting trust in Jesus Christ.
• Let’s turn to Luke 2 together.
Luke 2:1–7 CSB
1 In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that the whole empire should be registered.
2 This first registration took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.
3 So everyone went to be registered, each to his own town.
4 Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family line of David,
5 to be registered along with Mary, who was engaged to him and was pregnant.
6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth.
7 Then she gave birth to her firstborn son, and she wrapped him tightly in cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.
I. Gifts of God are miraculous.
• Gifts from God are miraculous to us, but to God, it is just another day in the office.
• Throughout the Old Testament we read prophecy after prophecy concerning the coming Messiah.
• When one ponders the circumstances of the conception and the birth of Jesus, we just have to shake our heads in wonder.
• Mary was a virgin, yet she was pregnant.
• Joseph, the man she was what we would call engaged to, had every right to have her pay the price for getting pregnant without him.
• Joseph would have to deal with the shame of his wife to be, already being pregnant.
• God revealed many promises concerning the Messiah through the Prophets.
• God had promised that the Saviour would be a human, not an angel (Gen. 3:15; Heb. 2:16), and a Jew, not a Gentile (Gen. 12:1–3; Num. 24:17).
• He would be from the tribe of Judah (Gen. 49:10), and the family of David (2 Sam. 7:1–17), born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) in Bethlehem, the city of David (Micah 5:2).
• One of the things that needed to happen was for Mary and Joseph were some eighty miles away (in Nazareth. Luke 1:26) from the birthplace of the Messiah, and the time for Mary to give birth was fast approaching.
• For us, eighty miles is nothing, even if your wife is pregnant; however, in the days when this was happening, an eighty-mile trek with a woman who was close to giving birth was another story.
• I am sure Joseph and Mary would not have made that trip for no reason. For God, no problem.
• Augustus Caesar was ruling, but God was in charge, for He used Caesar’s edict to move Mary and Joseph eighty miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem to fulfill His Word.