Summary: Most Christmas sermons tell the first half of the Christmas message-- eternal life, salvation. This sermon is about the other half-- abundant life.
The Other Half
Today I want to talk to you about something you might not expect
Pneumatic tires, shock absorbers, asphalt roads, and springs.
You might be asking yourself.. "What is he talking about, they didn't have pneumatic tires, shock absorbers or springs 3000 years ago!"
Well what I really want to talk about is…
The other half of the Christmas story
Now some of you are confused and some of you are thinking… here we go again… some strange idea from his weird mind.
What is the other half of the Christmas Story??
Well, what is the first half?
The first half is… For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Some of you are confused because you think that is the WHOLE Christmas story…. The baby in the manger.
Actually… the whole Christmas story can be summed up in two verses…
Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man has come to seek and save that which was lost
John 10:10 I have come that they might have life, and have it MORE ABUNDANTLY
The scripture tells us that the mission of Jesus was two-fold… but the church is guilty of telling one part and hardly ever mentioning the second part.
And that gives a skewed understanding of our faith… that it is just “pie in the sky, by and by.”
And people don’t think they need it now.
Like this picture… they think “I’ll worry about the pie in the sky later… right now I am much more interested in the ‘real’ things of this life.”
But listen… we do people a great disservice if we only talk about eternal life and leave out the other half… ABUNDANT life.
Abundant life is JUST AS IMPORTANT TO GOD AS ETERNAL LIFE
He sent His only Begotten son for BOTH
There are verses in the OT and NT that talk about the abundant life God wants to give us
In Malachi 3:10 God says, “I will open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
HOWEVER… Though God is gracious and generous and wants every one of us to have eternal and abundant life…
There are some requirements
To receive the ETERNAL LIFE… we must
And to receive the ABUNDANT LIFE there are some things we must do
But before I get there… I want to teach you a short bible history lesson
Back in the days of the biblical kings, and long, long before there were pneumatic tires, shocks and asphalt paved roads
Kings still had to travel throughout their kingdom for various reasons.
However, kings and queens were basically spoiled brats… accustomed to being pampered and having the soft life.
One of the times when they were not so comfortable was when they had to travel.
Because their carriages had NO pneumatic tires,
NO shock absorbers,
NO springs, and
NO smoothly paved asphalt roads.
Roads were dirt or cobblestone, and they required constant maintenance.
Over time the rains would wash the dirt out from under the stones and they would drop down and create potholes
Or the stones would break or crush and make a hole.
When it rained again there would be puddles, which would further destroy the road.
If neglected long enough, they would become quite rough.
They were alright for everyday use. People learned to ride or walk around the holes.
But when the King was coming… these roads would not do.
So, whenever he was about to travel he would send a herald ahead of him with the news of his corning and the warning to "Prepare the way" ... level up the road, fill in the ruts, cut down the bumps. Get the road ready for the king to pass.
Each person was responsible for a stretch of the road (usually right by their house) ... sort of like highway clean up today… except that in that day it was not voluntary.
If the road had a high place… which would shake the King like a speed bump… you were to bring take up the stones, level the spot and replace the stone, making it smooth.
If there was a low place… put dirt under the stone and make it smooth.
If this was not done… If your section of road was not prepared, you would be punished.
There is a story of a king who was riding through a town and the road had been prepared and smooth. But he came to one spot where the road had not been fixed and there was a large pothole. The king stopped the carriage, and called for the local officials. When they got there they discovered the section was assigned to a certain man. The man and his family were called for. When they got there the King decided to punish the man by having him lie in the hole while the carriage passed over. However, the man was too large and so his wife was placed in the hole. Unfortunately she too was too large. One by one his children were tried until one was the right size. The king ordered the driver to run over the hole and child. The weight of the carriage crushed his ribs. Luckily his lung was not punched and the child recovered.