Sermons

Summary: Lessons we can learn from the animals associated with the Christmas Nativity

Introduction: Luke 2:7

1.The Christmas story is surrounded by greatness:

a)How about the astronomical witness of the star.

b)How about the angelic witness of the heavenly host.

c)How about the earthly parents of the King.

2.How about the role of animals at Jesus’ birth?

a)Animals also play a role in the greatest story ever told.

b)Being dumb, they could not sing of it or talk of it.

c)Nevertheless their role was very important.

2.How about the role animals play in our Christmas?

a)Where would Santa be without reindeer?

b)Where would a nativity scene be without stable animals?

c)How about the abombable snowman?

d)How about the Grinch?

e)Who did the angels appear to first? Shepherds and sheep.

f)How about the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas.”

3.Animals play a giant role in biblical truths.

a)The old Jewish sacrificial system.

b)Jesus is call “The Lamb of God.”

c)How about Jesus in the wilderness before his ministry started.

d)Noah was commanded to gather animals to save

(Mark 1:13 KJV) And he was there in the wilderness forty days,

tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.

e)Animals are greatly mentioned in the creation story.

Transitional Sentence:

Therefore, let us look at some lessons we can learn from the animals of Christmas.

[I] The animals of Christmas remind us that God desires service from you.

1. The example of a young donkey as carrier of the King.

(Luke 19:29-38 NKJV) And it came to pass, when He came near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mountain called Olivet, that He sent two of His disciples, (30) saying, "Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat. Loose it and bring it here.

(31) "And if anyone asks you, ’Why are you loosing it?’ thus you shall say to him, ’Because the Lord has need of it.’" (32) So those who were sent went their way and found it just as He had said to them. (33) But as they were loosing the colt, the owners of it said to them, "Why are you loosing the colt?" (34) And they said, "The Lord has need of him." (35) Then they brought him to Jesus. And they threw their own clothes on the colt, and they set Jesus on him. (36) And as He went, many spread their clothes on the road. (37) Then, as He was now drawing near the descent of the Mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen, (38) saying: " ’Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the LORD!’ Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!"

a)This Donkey was young and inexperienced.

b)The donkey was usable because he was the Lord’s choice not because of the donkey’s ability.

c)God desires service from us not because of ability, but because we are usable by His power and His strength.

d)Brother’s and sisters, our Lord has need of thee will you submit to Him today?

2. The example of Balaam and his donkey:

a) Balak was king of the Moabites. He feared Israel and God.

Balaam was a Mesopotamian prophet. Balak wanted the prophet Balaam to put a curse on God’s people so Balak could defeat them.

(Num 22:7 NKJV) So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak. God warned Balaam not to go and curse His people. Balaam went any way. (Numbers 22:23-35)

b)There are several points of interest in this passage.

1.The Donkey recognized God when Balaam did not.

2.The Donkey heeded to God when Balaam did not.

3.Man should have know better than the donkey but man’s greed and pride got in the way.

4.We must ask ourselves, “what is keeping me from obeying the Lord?” “What is hindering my service to the Lord?”

Doug Nichols, Bothell, Washington. Leadership, Vol. 15, no. 2.

While serving with Operation Mobilization in India in 1967, tuberculosis forced me into a sanitarium for several months. I did not yet speak the language, but I tried to give Christian literature written in their language to the patients, doctors, and nurses. Everyone politely refused. I sensed many weren't happy about a rich American (to them all Americans are rich) being in a free, government-run sanitarium. (They didn't know I was just as broke as they were!)

The first few nights I woke around 2:00 A.M. coughing. One morning during my coughing spell, I noticed one of the older and sicker patients across the aisle trying to get out of bed. He would sit up on the edge of the bed and try to stand, but in weakness would fall back into bed. I didn't understand what he was trying to do. He finally fell back into bed exhausted. I heard him crying softly.

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