Summary: God’s love is accessible to every person on every rung of the social ladder.
5 Ways That God Shows He Loves You Series (Part 3 of 5)
He Meets Us Where We Are
Dec. 10, 2006 FBC, Chester Mike Fogerson, Pastor
A The message of the angels to the shepherds was that there was Good News! We like good news. We certainly don’t like bad news. A father came home from a very rugged day at work and said to his wife, "I’ve had a bad day. Please, if you have any bad news tonight, keep it to yourself." To which she replied, "O.K., NO bad news. Now for the good news. Remember our four children? Well, three of them didn’t break an arm today."
B In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 "This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased." 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, "Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us." 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them. Luke 2:8-20 (NASB)
1 God’s announcement of the child’s arrival to the shepherds showed His loving commitment to common folks (essence of the text in a sentence).
a God’s love is accessible to every person on every rung of the social ladder (essence of the sermon in a sentence).
b I pray you’ll follow the shepherds’ example on how to respond to God’s love (objective).
2 How are you responding to God’s extraordinary love for ordinary people like you? (Probing question)
a Let’s learn from the shepherds two responses how we should respond to God’s extraordinary love for ordinary people (transitional sentence).
I The shepherd’s first response was obedience.
A The shepherds were minding their own flock (their business) when God sent a message to them via an angel.
1 God’s inclusion of the shepherds adds an image of everyday people to the nativity picture.
a Shepherds were blue-collar workers, average jobs (no college degrees, pedigree), working-class.
b God’s love wasn’t just for the rich & famous (poor & nameless), priests & scribes (shepherds & seamstresses), high & mighty (humble & lowly).
2 God told these average Joes to go find what He was doing that day through a child in a manger, in the city of David. (Thought: the sign for the wise men was a star-that was their language; the sign for the shepherds was a manger-that was their language).
a The shepherds’ work made them ceremoniously unclean at the temple & because they’d be gone for weeks at a time they couldn’t be made clean.
b God told them, "Stop what you are doing. I know your reputation, unclean, dirty. I want you to go where I’m sending you!"
aa So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger "They came with a haste"-the first Christmas rush.
bb "Found their way"-they did as they were led by God. Obedience.
B God is still in love with ordinary (flawed, sinful, everyday) people like us!
1 The good news is that the love of God is for "all the people" But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people
a Your fame may be nothing more than that you wake up each day & pursue living in service to God.