Summary: This looks at the way God has tried to draw us to Himself throughou the ages and finally sends the ultimate gift of Himself.

The Christmas Story

Matt 21:33

- Pray

- I want to tell you a Christmas Story, but it’s probably not a Christmas story that you have heard at Christmas

- But it is truly the Christmas Story

- I want to first review the story…to make you aware of the story…it is a parable that Jesus told

- Parables are stories with a spiritual meaning, stories about real people and circumstances

- Stories that people can relate to and hopefully understand

- This particular parable is a story about a vineyard

- I want to take this story and apply it to you and me in what it means to us today

- Read Matt 21:33-34

- The owner had leased the land, made an agreement with the tenants, and now he is trying to collect what is due in rent

- Now verse 35 tells us that the tenants seized the servants; beat one, killed one, and stoned the third

- Now this vineyard owner is probably much more patient than you and I would be.

- Verse 36 said he sent another group of servants but they did the same thing to them.

- Then finally, in verse 37, he sent his son to them saying, "Surely they will respect my son."

- But verse 38-39 says (READ IT)

- So they didn’t respect the son either

- Look at verse 40

- Look what the audience says in verse 41 to the vineyard’s question.

- So here are the main things that are involved in the story

- You have an owner, it’s his land, and he chooses to build on his land a vineyard

- Then you have fruit…he expects as the owner to get a return…

- I will get to the application in just a minute but understand that…

- Land owners expect good stewardship and to get a return on their land

- That’s just the way it is…that’s the way good businessmen operate

- Then you have servants, they come and are mistreated and all they were there to do is collect for the owner

- Then you had the son…the land owner said they haven’t listened to my servants, surely they will listen to my son

- Even if they don’t love him…surely they will respect him because he is my son

- And certainly they won’t hurt him…so he sends his son…then they say that if they kill the son…the vineyard will be theirs

- So they drag him out and they kill him

- So now we see the miserable end…but the question is asked, ’What will the landowner do to the tenants for this travesty?

- The listener’s responded by saying, "these wretched men will be brought to a wretched end."

- Now this is going to be a short message so listen quick…cause I’m going to apply this…it’s Christmas and this is what Christmas is

- You see, God is the owner…

1. God owns you

- Go with me to Col 1:16 (DON’T READ YET)

- God is the owner…you are not an accident…you are His workmanship

- You are not your mother’s and father’s idea…you are God’s idea

- He created you…Ashley, it says in Jeremiah before you were ever formed God designed you and He wrote your members in His book

- And each and everyone of us is created by God, owned by God, and there for God

- Col 1:16 says, "For by him all things were created…"

- Paul then goes on to explain what all things encompass

- I would think all things is all things…but Paul wants you to understand how big all things is

- …things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible…

- All things that are large enough to see and even the things that are so tiny we can’t see.

- …whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities…all (say ALL) things were created by Him (but listen to these last words) and for Him

- Each of us was created by Him and For Him…He has ownership over us as the creator

- In Rev 4:11 Song we used to sing "Thou art worthy O Lord, because Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are created…

- So the first thing to understand, we are owned by God, WE are the vineyard

- We are His workmanship

- But then there is a day of stewardship and a day of accountability

- God desires fruit out of our lives…He doesn’t make junk

- There is not a one of us here that He didn’t make…with value and purpose

- Go with me to Eph 2:10 (Don’t READ YET)

- God made all of us and He expects, desires, looks for fruit

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