Summary: Christmas sermon that looks at the "Fear Nots." surrounding the birth of Christ
Have No Fear. Jesus Brings Peace.
Intro: Compare Fear vs. Peace
I. Have no fear. God answers prayer. (Luke 1:13)
"Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John".
A. God answers prayers for the good of those who trust Him. (v. 14)
1. Zechariah was devoted to the service of God.
a. He served God in public.
b. He served God in private.
2. God hears the prayers of those who are faithful to Him.
a. God brought joy to Zechariah and Elizabeth.
3.Why does God not answer my prayers?
a. Are you obeying God in your works?
b. Are you obeying God in your heart?
B. God answers prayers for His own glory (v.17)
C.God answers prayers that have lost hope. (v. 18)
1. Zechariah’s answer indicates loss of hope.
2. What prayers have you lost hope in? Have no Fear.
D. Illus.: Atheist buying food for Christian:
There was a good Christian woman who lived next door to an athiest. Each day she would pray for this man to know the Lord, though he chastized her continually about her faith. One day, the athiest was walked past the womans window and over heard her praying for the Lord to provide her groceries for the month. She could not afford to buy them herself. The athiest concocted and scheme to fool this woman. He went out a purcahsed two full bags of groceries, sat them on her front porch, rang the doorbell and hid in the bushes. When the woman answered, she shouted "Praise the Lord! He has answered my prayers!" Just then, the athiest jumped out of the bushes and shouted, "Aha! You see. Your God didn’t get those groceries for you I bought them myself!" In response the woman looked to the heavens and said, "Hallelujah! Not only did my God provide for my groceries for this month, He made the devil pay for it, too!"
“God provided and satan paid for it!
II. Have no fear. God can do the impossible.
(Luke. 1:26-33, 37)
"Fear not, Mary:... the Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee:...For with God nothing shall be impossible".
A. God is working out His will around us.
1.Deism – Absent God.
a. New term to counteract deism.
2. “Immanuelism” –God with us. (Matt. 1:23)
B. God is working out His will in us. (v. 27)
1.Mary was right at the beginning of her life.
2. God didn’t take anything away from her.
C. God works in those who seem unworthy (v. 26)
“The message of Christmas is that God intrudes upon the weak and the vulnerable, and this is precisely the message that we so often miss. God does not come to that part of us that swaggers through life, confident in our self- sufficiency. God leaves his treasure in the broken fragmented places of our life. God comes to us in those rare moments when we are able to transcend our own selfishness long enough to really care about another human being.”
III. Have no fear. Jesus has come to save us.(Luke 2:8-14)
"And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings...which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord".
A. Salvation presentation
B. In 1981, a Minnesota radio station reported a story about a stolen car in California. Police were staging an intense search for the vehicle and the driver, even to the point of placing announcements on local radio stations to contact the thief.On the front seat of the stolen car sat a box of crackers that, unknown to the thief, were laced with poison. The car owner had intended to use the crackers as rat bait. Now the police and the owner of the VW Bug were more interested in apprehending the thief to save his life than to recover the car. So often when we run from God, we feel it is to escape his punishment. But what we are actually doing is eluding his rescue.
IV. Have no fear: God works as we step out in faith.
(Matt 1:18-21, 24)
"Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife:...Then Joseph ...did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him".
A. God’s will for us often goes against common sense.
1. Joseph thought he was doing the right thing. (v.18-19)
a.Joseph was dealing with “betrayal.”
2. God had different plans.(v. 20)
B. God wants us to be driven by His will, not our circumstance.
- Illus.: Icebergs in Greenland.
. Icebergs: big and small.