Summary: The marvelous gifts God gave to us on that first Christmas
(Based on a series by Paul Snoddy, Tri-Village Christian Church, Pataskala, OH)
SERIES: “GIFTS UNDER THE TREE”
TEXT: LUKE 2:8-20
TITLE: “PURPOSE – THE INDISPENSABLE GIFT”
INTRODUCTION: A. The head of an executive search firm in Chicago uses a simple question to disarm
job candidates. This experienced “head-hunter” has interviewed some of the most
poised and powerful leaders in the nation’s third largest city. His task is to cut
through their sophisticated exterior and find out how they reacted under pressure.
He asks them a few simple questions that they can answer easily. Then he
pauses and asks them one particular question that inevitably causes them to squirm,
clear their throats, stutter and stammer. He simply asks them, “What is your
primary purpose in life?”
B. It’s amazing to me that so many people are not sure of their purpose in life
1. Companies have mission statements that explain why they exist.
2. Many churches have mission statements that summarize their purpose for existing.
3. If organizations need a clearly defined purpose, how much more important is it for
individuals to have an understanding of their purpose?
4. Here are some very important questions that everyone needs to determine for their
a. Why are you here?
b. What are you trying to accomplish in life?
c. Where are you really going?
C. I believe that a lack of purpose is the reason we have so many ineffective
congregations and ineffective Christians
--Wandering around with a “hit or miss” mentality produce erratic results. You will
“miss” much more than you will “hit”.
1. Zig Ziglar: “We cannot make it as a wandering generality. We must be a
2. J. Wallace Hamilton: “Roads to nowhere are hard to build.”
D. Following Jesus Christ means that you have a direction and a purpose for your life
1. We’ve already looked at the gift of joy that was brought to the shepherds when
Jesus was born
2. As we look at that event again this morning, we need to see that Christmas means
that the gift of purpose made a big difference in the lives of those shepherds.
3. It can make a major difference in our lives, too, if we’ll just receive the gift of
4. Let’s see what we can learn about the gift of purpose from the shepherds.
E. Lk. 2:8-20 – “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch
over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the
Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not
be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in
the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a
sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.’ Suddenly
a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and
saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor
rests.’ When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one
another, ‘Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord
has told us about.’ So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who
was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning
what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the
shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in
her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they
had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
I. THEY RECEIVED GOD’S REVELATION
--v. 15 – When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let’s go to
Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.’”
A. The shepherds recognized that they had been the recipients of Divine revelation
--They accepted it and they received into their hearts
1. Human pride wants to discover truth on its own.
--It’s like a strong-willed child who says, “Mom, I’ll do it myself.”
2. Human beings want to reach up to God and find Him on their own
a. The problem is that finite man cannot discover an infinite God on his own.
--1 Cor. 1:21 – “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him,
God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”