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Christmas Joy!

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Christmas Joy

Luke 2:8-14 (NKJV) 8Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!

The message of Christmas is:

Jesus came! It really happened!

Luke 1:1-4 (NIV) 1Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, 2just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. 3With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, 4so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.

He came to save all people; no matter where they’ve come from or what they’ve done.

Hebrews 2:11 (NIV) Both the one who makes people holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.

He forgives and cleanses the sin of all who receive him.

1 John 3:1-3 (NKJV) Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! … We know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

Isaiah 38:17 (NIV) He has cast our sins behind his back.

Psalm 103:12 (NKJV) As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

Micah 7:19 (CSB) You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.

How do I receive what Jesus offers?

1. Don’t give in to fear.

2. Learn to behold him.

If I believe in him, and if I submit to him, and if I receive him, I will have him.

3. Behold “the gospel” until the fear goes away.

Amazing Grace! how sweet the sound, That saved a wretch; like me! I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, And grace my fears relieved; How precious did that grace appear The hour I first believed!


Growing Deeper Together (Small Group Discussion Questions)

Use these points throughout the week as part of your quiet time, in your small group, or over coffee with a friend to help you apply what you learned in today’s message.

Read Luke 1:1-2:20. -How does the shepherds’ experience with the angels compare to that of Zechariah (1:8-9) and Mary (1:26-27)? -Out of all the people the angels could have visited, why did God send them to the shepherds? How does that relate to Mary’s song (1:46-55)? -God appeared to Zechariah, Mary, and the shepherds when they were just being themselves. What does that imply about what it means to be “spiritual”? How has God spoken to you in the ordinary flow of life? -What precious event has God done that you “treasure in your heart”?

Shane talked about the genealogy of Christ and how it is made up of everyday people with everyday issues. How does that speak to your heart about how God thinks about you? About how he can use you to his glory? About the value you have to him?

Review point #2. What does it mean to “have” God? Have you taken the first three steps in that sentence? Would you like to? Come to the Lounge after service to pray and talk with us. We’re here to celebrate with you!

Pastoral study references, attributions, & recommendations: Various Messages 1992-1996, by Tim Keller, Redeemer Church