Summary: WE ARE ALWAYS PRESENTED WITH CHOICES IN OUR LIVES. WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THIS OR THAT? WHAT CAN WE DO NOW THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED? EVERY SITUATION INEVITABLY BRINGS CHOICES WITH IT. THE DIFFICULT PART IS DECIDING WHAT THE BEST CHOICE IS. AND A CLOSE
WHAT WE CAN AND SHOULD DO AFTER CHRISTMAS
Luke 2:15-22 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. 21 On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise him, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he had been conceived. 22 When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.
INTRODUCTION: WE ARE ALWAYS PRESENTED WITH CHOICES IN OUR LIVES. WHAT SHOULD WE DO ABOUT THIS OR THAT? WHAT CAN WE DO NOW THAT THIS HAS HAPPENED? EVERY SITUATION INEVITABLY BRINGS CHOICES WITH IT. THE DIFFICULT PART IS DECIDING WHAT THE BEST CHOICE IS. AND A CLOSE SECOND IS NAVIGATING OUR WAY THROUGH ALL OF THE CAN/COULD DO’S TO THE SHOULD/WILL DO. BECAUSE THERE ARE MANY OPTIONS AVAILABLE, YET FEW REAL ALTERNATIVES!
THERE IS A STORY TOLD OF A MAN WHO SAID HE WAS LOOKING FOR A ONE-ARMED LAWYER.
"A ONE-ARMED LAWYER?" ASKED HIS FRIEND, "HOW COME?" THE REPLY CAME QUICKLY, "I AM LOOKING FOR AN ATTORNEY WHO WON'T SAY, 'ON THE OTHER HAND; ON THE OTHER HAND.' "
Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations: Signs of the Times.
TRANSITION: CHOICES ARE INEVITABLE, ACTION IS PREFERABLE, ….
WE CAN GET EXCITED – LUKE 1:41
Luke 1:41 When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the baby leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit.
NOTICE THAT EXCITEMENT IS “CONTAGIOUS”
ELIZABETH HEARD MARY
ELIZABETH “PASSED” HER EXCITEMENT ALONG TO HER CHILD
THE PRE-BORN JOHN LEAPED WITH EXCITEMENT AND JOY
EXCITEMENT AND JOY ARE GOOD THINGS
NOTICE THAT THIS JOY AND EXCITEMENT IS SPECIAL
ELIZABETH IS FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
HER EMOTIONS AND JOY ARE CAPTURED IN THE ACTIVITY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
THIS IS TRULY SOMETHING SPECIAL – TO HAVE A DIVINE SENSE OF OR PURPOSE.
THIS IS SOMETHING THAT CAN AND SHOULD BE SHARED.
WE CAN PONDER WHAT WE SEE AND HEAR – LUKE 2:19
Luke 2:19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
AT THIS POINT I AM ASKING FOR A LITTLE LIBERTY HERE.
MARY OBVIOUSLY WAS INTIMATELY INVOLVED IN THE ACTIVITY OF THE LORD.
WHAT I AM FOCUSING ON IS THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO “PONDER” THE LORD!
THE WORD TREASURED MEANS TO REFLECT DEEPLY AND TO SAFELY STORE IN YOUR MIND.
TO PONDER MEANS TO MULL OVER AND SEEK TO UNDERSTAND AND INTERPRET.
ALTHOUGH MARY IS CERTAINLY THE EXCEPTION IN THIS AREA, MANY OF US GET CAUGHT UP IN TREASURING AND PONDERING JESUS.
WE COME TO CHURCH, HEAR A MESSAGE, OR READ SOMETHING IN GOOD CHRISTIAN LITERATURE AND THEN SPEND OUR TIME THINING AND KEEPING THESE THINGS IN OUR HEART!
OR, WE LOOK FOR DEEPER MEANING IN WHAT THE SCRIPTURE IS TELLING US – WE OVERTHINK THE ISSUE TO THE POINT OF INACTIVITY.
ONE OF THE GREATEST STRUGGLES IN THE CHRISTIAN LIFE IS LIVING AT AN ACTIVITY LEVEL EQUAL TO OUR BIBLICAL UNDERSTANDING LEVEL.
WE NEED TO BE ACTIVE ABOVE OUR LEVEL OF SPIRITUAL EDUCATION, NOT EDUCATED ABOVE OUR LEVEL ACTIVITY.
HOSEA SAYS IT THIS WAY -- Hosea 4:6 my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. "Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children.
GOD SAYS THAT PEOPLE ARE DESTROYED FOR LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
THEN GOD DEFINES WHAT KNOWLEDGE IS – LACK OF KNOWLEDGE IS IGNORING THE LAW OF GOD!
NOT DOING WHAT GOD HAS SAID WE ARE TO DO
WE NEED TO BE CAREFUL AS A CHURCH OR A FOLLOWER OF CHRIST THAT WE DO NOT SACRIFICE SERVICE FOR KNOWLEDGE!
WE CAN WORSHIP THE LORD – LUKE 2:20
Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
KIND OF INTERESTING NOTE HERE – WHERE WERE THE SHEPHERDS RETURNING?
THE OBVIOUS (YET OFTEN MISSED) ANSWER IS BACK TO THE SHEEP.
HERE IS A WONDERFUL PICTURE – THE SHEPHERDS WERE RETURNING TO THEIR PLACE OF EMPLOYMENT AFTER THEIR ENCOUNTER WITH CHRIST, AND THEY WERE GOING BACK PRAISING GOD. WHAT WOULD OUR WORLD BE LIKE IF WE CAME INTO OUR WORK ENVIRONMENT PRAISING GOD!