Summary: How do you treat the gift that God gave you?
LUKE 2:4And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. 8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.9And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
This is the greatest story ever told. God sending His only begotten son into our world....to redeem us, to save us, and to purchase us from the slavery to sin that were in. I used to think that the single most important event for christians was Jesus’ resurrection. Now I realize that everything Jesus did was equally important....the death, the resurrection, and yes, the very birth of our Lord and Saviour.
This was a MAJOR event. It had been foretold ages ago in the Old Testament. One place is Jeremiah 23:5-6 "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS." Written about 580 yrs before the birth of Christ.
But I want us to fully understand the importance of His birth. ZEC 6:12, 13 says "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both." Written about 500 BC
These are but two of the many scriptures that foretold Jesus’ coming. As we celebrate Jesus’ birthday today, I want us to give pause to not only the great sacrifice that Christ made for us on Calvary, but the love that He also showed for mankind in simply being born.
First off, let’s see how big a deal it was to the angels and other heavenly hosts when He was born. Look at vs 13 in our text.. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The angels understood the magnitude of what had just happened. They were so happy for the world that they praised God! They knew that the King of Kings was here to make a difference, to give hope, liberty, and freedom to the world....and they were VERY excited about it. What does the last part of vs 14 say? On earth, peace....good will toward men. That is what Christ came into this world to give us.....peace and goodwill.
These days right before Christmas we hear a lot of people talking about the "Spirit of Christmas." It is a very real thing that occurs this time of year...even in the world! People giving, finding joy and satisfaction in helping their fellow man. Everyone seems to be in a little better mood (except for those at Wal-Mart fighting over the last availible toy they wanted.) We even see news reports about people (here’s a concept) helping people, giving of theirselves. Families also, are making peace with each other this time of year, possible after not even speaking to each other for months because old "aunt so-and-so" really makes me mad! Ah, the Spirit of Christmas!
I submit to you today, this is simply the Spirit of Christ! To give, and to have peace on Earth. That is why He came to us in such a humble manner. If we allow the Holy Spirit control over our lives, He will give us that peace on earth....and goodwill towards men.