Summary: The Christmas spirit is found in telling others about the lamb that came to be our sacrifice for sin and give us eternal life.
Intro. This time of year, many are in what is called the Christmas spirit. That means different things for different people. Many are searching for gifts, some enjoy decorating, some look forward to the fellowship of others, and some are all of the above. Some are the opposite, and despise the season and what it represents. Some sue to keep a nativity off of public land, denying the rights of most taxpayers that have no problem with the display. While in a socialist country, like Nicaragua, nativities are seen at public parks and buildings. Some retails stored do not want their employees saying “Merry Christmas”, but at the markets owned by Wal-mart, they have nativities. But I want to challenge you today, that most things we think of as the Christmas Spirit, is not that at all.
Christmas is not necessarily the exact time Jesus was born, but it is when we celebrate His birthday. The date is not as important as the fact of the event. But the Christmas Spirit is not necessarily the things we think of. If we would look at the first Christmas, we would find the real Spirit of Christmas.
I. The Willingness to Surrender - Luke 1
A. She was Clean - Luke 1:27-38
1. Pure in Her Standing Before God - vs. 28
Highly favoured - She had been made acceptable by God - Same as in: Ephesians 1:6 "To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved." She had not done this on her own! This is clear that she had been faithful by the Old Testament standards and was saved by Grace!
2. Pure in Her Dealings with Man - vs. 34
She knew that she had not been promiscuous, so how could she be expecting!
There was no question in her mind. Mary is the only woman in history to conceive a child supernaturally
3. Pure in her acceptance of God’s Will - vs. 37-38
- A Confirming Statement - vs. 37
- A Committed Surrender - vs. 38
B. She was Chosen - vs. 41 - 45
1. Blessed because of God’s Favor - vs. 42 She had been favored to bear God’s Son!
2. Blessed because of Her Faith - vs. 45
C. She was Clear in her Confession - Luke 1:47-48
1. Her Demonstration of Dependence - vs. 47 - God MY Savior
- A Powerful Source
- A Personal Savior
2. Her Description of Degradation - vs. 48
- Attention of Grace - “He hath regarded” - He sees me!
- Admission of Sin - Low estate - spiritual shame, leading one to perceive and lament his (moral) littleness and guilt . Jesus did not condone worship of Mary: Luke 11:27 " And it came to pass, as he spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto him, Blessed is the womb that bare thee, and the paps which thou hast sucked. 28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it."
3. Her Declaration of Divine Favor - From this time forward, because of God’s grace, she was known as blessed and happy. The word blessed is not to bless her in deity form, but rather to acknowledge her as being blessed of God and happy. Same word is used one other time in the Scriptures: James 5:11 " Behold, we count them happy which endure".
She was blessed of God and knew that eternity would know it. So that led to:
II. The Willingness to Sing - Luke 2:9-14
A. There was a Shining - The Shikinah Glory shone around the angels
The Evidence of God’s presence was shining.
By the way, the Shepherds were sore afraid, for if any of us face the Light of his Glory - We realize how low we really are! Woe is me! Gideon, Manoah (Samson’s father), Job, Isaiah, Simon Peter all fell before His glory and cried in confession of their own unworthiness.
B. There was a Song - Luke 2:13 - the word “praising” here means “to sing praises in honor to God”
1. It’s Content - Glory - The praise of Redeemed man to a Deserving God
2. It’s Continuing - both praising and saying means that they kept on singing praises over and over and over! He is worthy, even as a Baby! (Heb 13:15)
III. The Willingness to Seek - Shepherds
A. These knew how to be Faithful
1. Faithful in Duty - Abiding in the Fields - They were steadfast in the task
2. Faithful in Diligence - Keeping Watch - against predators or thieves
3. Faithful in Darkness - Watching by night! Anyone could watch in the day,