Summary: Experience God’s profound love this Christmas

December 23, 2007

John 3:16-17

A couple of years ago on America’s Funniest Home Videos, a young boy was shown on Christmas morning. He came down to see a large present beside the tree and ran over to tear it open to see what was inside. The paper went flying and suddenly he broke into a dance and jumped around the room saying, "Wow Just what I wanted I really love it. Wow " After awhile he went over to look at it again and said with a puzzled look on his face, "What is it?"

On that first Christmas the angels announced the birth of a new child. The heavens were opened and all the company of heaven broke into praise. Shepherds went racing to Bethlehem to see what it was all about. And for two thousand years we have been jumping up and down saying, "Just what I wanted! Exactly what I needed!"

But in the next breath we look again inside the stable and ask, "What is it?" We are puzzled by God’s gift.

Jesus mirrored God’s emotions over his lost children as he wept over Jerusalem. Luke tells us Jesus longed and wept for His people, crying out, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing" (Luke 13:34).

It was not easy for God to give us Christmas. It was not easy for Christ. It was not easy to keep loving and coming after a creation that continually rejected Him and His love. It was not easy when God realized what His Son would have to go through, especially the cross.

The Christmas story is not as cute as it is profound. A child born to die. A child destined for suffering, abuse and misunderstanding. A child whose life was in danger shortly after his birth. It is a story of a God who gave until it hurt — until He had nothing left to give.

What was it like for God’s Son to come into the world that we live in? We must remember, God did not make it easy on himself. It wasn’t easy to be the Savior of a world that did not want to be saved, and for the most part still does not. The world showed its distaste for a Savior from the very beginning. Give the world someone to talk to when they have problems. Give the world a wonderful story. Give it beautiful holidays, but don’t give it a Savior — a Savior that will actually save them from their real problem called sin. God’s gift of a Savior makes us face the truth about ourselves. It disturbs our egos to have someone accuse us of doing something wrong, and telling us that we need to be saved from our sins. Save our economy, save our nation, save our children, but don’t talk about saving us from our sin.

It’s amazing to realize that God knew what would happen and was still willing to place His Son at the mercy of our inhumanity. God realized there would be multitudes in every generation who would not believe or even care, and yet He was still willing to send His Son. And if you were the only one in all the world who would receive His gift, He would still have come just for you. It was an act of mercy which our hearts, minds and spirits have difficulty understanding.

Christ gave up his position and place in glory, so we could have Christmas. It began in a dirty manger and ended on a dirty wooden cross. He was born in a borrowed stable and was buried in a borrowed tomb. God became a refugee in the midst of his own creation.

God had a plan in mind. It was not a last minute plan which God hurriedly put in place because it looked as though things were going badly. From the very beginning God knew what He was doing.

JOHN 3:16-17

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

Explain what it means . . .

The call is to COME to God - - -

Come to me all who are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest. Matt 11.28

Prodigal son parable. Luke 15

Remain in me. John 15

Draw near to me and I will draw near to you. James 4:8

I stand at the door and knock, and if you open the door and let me in, I will come and eat with you and you with me. Rev. 3:20

If you have not come to God, now is the time to call on God as your Lord and Savior, Forgiver and Redeemer, Shepherd and Leader.

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