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Summary: What happens to us when God comes near.

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God Comes Near Luke 1:26-38

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church Dec. 11, 2005

*Christmas is a time when God came near...

-And God comes near today.

*Joe McKeever told the story of a little girl named Rachel

-Like many preschoolers, Rachel had a problem waking up in the middle of the night, scared & crying... --The only thing that would sooth her fears was crawling into bed with her mom & dad.

*But Mom had to go out of town for a few days on business...

-That’s when Dad came up with a new solution:

-Rachel, I have an idea... -While Mom is away...

--Suppose I sleep in your room on the top bunk bed.

*She thought it was a great idea... -And that night, Rachel went to sleep on time.

*A couple of hours later, when her dad crawled into the top bunk, she was sound asleep... -And she slept like that all night.

*The next morning, Dad congratulated her on a full night’s sleep...

-It’s because you were in the room with me, she said.

*But how did you know I was there? Dad asked.

-You were asleep when I came in & you never woke up the whole night

*Rachel answered: -Because you said you would be there. (1)

*Church, Jesus said He would be here with us today...

-In Matt 18:20, He said:

--Where 2 or 3 are gathered together in My name,

I am there in the midst of them.’

*He is here today... -God comes near...

*And this part of the Christmas story helps us see why.

1. God comes near to reveal the divine dimension to you.

-(We see this in vs. 26-28...)

A. I wonder what Mary was doing before Gabriel got there...

*Maybe she had just finished her breakfast...

-Maybe she was making wedding plans or washing clothes or cooking supper

-Maybe she had just laid down for a good night’s sleep...

B. But God can turn ordinary days into extraordinary days.

*And that’s what He wants to do in your life.

-He wants to reveal the Divine dimension of life to you.

*Many people believe that the natural world is all there is...

-But if this was just a natural world...

-If all this world consisted of was just what we could see & smell & hear & taste & touch... -If it was just 70 or 90 or even 100 years & then the end...

--There would be no point in living at all...

C. But there is much more to life than meets the eye...

*And God comes near with amazing authority...

-Sometimes He sends His angels...

--But His Holy Spirit is always here with us...

D. And God comes near, just like He came to Mary...

-To expand your perspective... *To give you a new dream...

*To give you a God-sized dream...

*To give you a divine view of your destiny.

*What a difference that makes!

2. God comes near to reveal the divine dimension to you...

*And He comes near with an answer for your anxiety.

-(We can see this in vs. 29-30)

A. Mary was troubled...

*That word means she was greatly troubled, disturbed, agitated & alarmed...

-Who wouldn’t be if he saw an angel in all of his glory?

B. But the angel said: Fear not

*God had a good word for Mary...

-And God has a good word for your worried heart...

--He has an answer for your anxiety.

BI. James Michaelson is a Chr psychologist who tells about counseling a woman who felt lonely and abandoned...

*One day she was explaining how she felt...

-But James couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying...

--Bec a Scripture kept running through his mind: Ps 100:3

-It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.

*This verse had no apparent connection with her problem,

-But James couldn’t stop thinking about it.

*After she finished talking, she sat in silence waiting for a response...

-Dr. Michaelson didn’t know what to say other than to quote the verse...

--Although it might sound foolish since it seemed unrelated to her problem.

*Dr. Michaelson said:

-I think God wants you to know something...

-It is He who has made us & not we ourselves...

--Does that mean anything to you?

*The woman immediately broke down and cried...

-But after she composed herself, she explained:

-I didn’t tell you this, but my mother got pregnant with me before she was married.

-All my life I believed that I was a mistake... --An unplanned accident...

-And that God didn’t create me

*Now I know that God created me & that I’m not a mistake.

-I’ll never be the same again! (2)

C. God had a word for that woman...

*And God has an encouraging Word for you...

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