Summary: Every part of the Christmas story reveals a miracle. This message speaks to how the miracle impacts us.
“The Miracle of Christmas”
“SIGNS OF THE TIMES” – #1
* “Signs of the times”, who has ever heard the phrase? What does it make you think of? The second coming? Generally, but not necessarily. Candidly, the entirety of the Old Testament gave signs of the coming Messiah.
* We are beginning a 3 part series on Christmas which is the first coming, not the second. Let’s read our TEXT.
* This verse is very familiar and begins with ‘therefore’ which refers to the story of 3 Kings; Ahaz of Judah, Rezin of Aram and Pekah of Israel. King Rezin & King Pekah formed an alliance which made a powerful force and created a two against one situation. They were powerful & Judah was so afraid that King Ahaz reached out for help in the wrong place & it had LONG TERM affects. The Cliff notes are: When Pekah & Rezin joined forces against Ahaz, he become so afraid that he surrendered himself to the vicious and evil Assyrian King Tiglath-pileser. (2 Kgs 16) NOTE: you will never make a deal with the devil without paying a huge price. The cost is extremely high.
* In the midstz of his fear, Ahaz heard from God (Vs 3-13)
* I submit Ahaz was either incredibly brave, stupid, or ??!
* The verse says, “The Lord Himself will give sign.” Think about ‘signs.’ If you are a deer hunter the signs that are left by a deer indicates he’s been there, he’s close by, and quite likely he’ll be back. I suggest this is exactly God’s message for us in this Christmas season; He’s been here, He’s close by, and He’ll be back. A Miracle!
* Consider the Miracle of Christmas in 3 thoughts:
1) THE PEOPLE HE DESIGNATED - Nothing is more amazing to me than the cast he chose for that inaugural Christmas. The Christmas story begins to unfold in Luke 1. Never forget, “God’s word is living, powerful, and active which means we can learn many life lessons. The Angels are no real surprise, but does Mary, Joseph, and Shepherds surprise anyone but me? .
* We begin with the teenage girl, “Mary.” The scripture says, “The virgin will be with child.” This means she will conceive without benefit of a man. Talk about a miracle? A Sign? This is a sign of the nature and work of God.
* But why Mary? She was the epitome of all that God was looking for and still looks for today.
* God did NOT look over heaven to see who would come to earth to die for our sin, the plan of Jesus coming was the divine plan from before the foundations of the world. But the argument could be made that God looked over earth to see what girl would be best or who could be trusted with God’s son. The answer was Mary. While we know very little about Mary, what we do know is that she was young, betrothed, and virgin.
* As an aside, “True Love Waits” is not just an idea, a novel thought, or a national program, it is God’s word, is plan and His best. Sex outside of marriage is STILL sin and it doesn’t matter if you are engaged or divorced.
* Consider this: Quite likely God would not have used Mary had they become sexually immoral.
? This leads us to Joseph who was obviously an honorable man. Certainly, he had the right family tree. (David’s line) It seems he had the right stuff to raise the Christ child.
? How about the shepherds or better asked, “WHY, the smelly, dirty, lowly shepherd?” Why not tell the Kings, the leaders, or the religious? I submit that God knew the shepherds would listen and respond, they were not too busy, too proud, or too preoccupied to respond.
? Today, the Lord is still in the choosing people. Nothing is more miraculous than to know the God of all creation is calling us to be a part of Kingdom building. Calling you?
2) THE PLAN HE DESIGNED – God says not only will a “virgin conceive”, but she will “bear a son.” Today, knowing the gender of the unborn is common place, but this was before the ‘pictures.’ (I remember those days).
* In the plan & power of God, be reminded that God knows us even before we are “formed in the womb.” Consider this in human terms; the ‘father determines the gender of the baby,’ ‘baby receives much from the father,’ and in this case, ‘this conception and birth needed to be lacking explanation in human terms to be able to say, “it is finished”’. God’s plan for this miracle included;
* An Unusual Birth because it is like no other;