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Message

Christmas Eve
Miles McPherson - December 24, 2016

Message Recap

Thus far in this message series, we have learned that by God’s design, Jesus was born in a manger, in the nasty, stinky room of the house. He doesn’t want to come to our nice room, but the nasty one. He wants access to our fear, our gossip, our nasty thoughts, and all the junk our lives. 

We learned that when Herod the king heard there was another King born, got nervous because he knew he was not divinely appointed and feared that he was going to lose control. People reject God because they don’t want to give up control in their lives, but He has the best plans for us, and it is much better to release our own control and give it to Him to do His will.

Today we see that God had a plan in all that occurred in Jesus’ birth experience. So how will we respond? 

Then we read that when Joseph heard that the woman he was about to marry was pregnant, he wanted to put her away quietly with respect and not marry her, but God’s angel came and explained the miracle taking place and asked him to be a part of it. Everybody you you encounter has things that God is trying to do in their lives, so even though it may be difficult at times, He asks us to do our part in the miracle, loving, supporting, praying for them, or being involved however He leads. 

Today we see that God had a plan in all that occurred in Jesus’ birth experience. So how will we respond? 

1. It’s time for your to worship.

Imagine the wise men seeing the sign of star and traveling to worship the King of Kings lying lowly in a dirty manger!  They brought precious gifts to give him: gold for His kingship, frankincense to signify His priesthood (the bridge between man and God), and myrrh, which was used for embalming the dead. They may not have even realized this in the giving of myrrh, but Jesus was born to die for our sins. 

God wants to bring worship into your manger, into in the dirty part of your life. Don’t hold back any of your sin from God. It is a poison; allowing it to linger only hurts you. Tell God about your arrogance, your pride, your deceit, or whatever is lingering in your heart. Allow Him to clean it all out so that you can respond with worship, the natural response we experience when God’s holy nature is revealed to us. Honoring Him is the only hope you have for real and lasting peace. 

2. It’s time to escape.

Herod was so desperate to hold onto his kingship that he was willing to kill all the baby boys in his kingdom. So the angel appeared to Joseph and instructed him to flee to Egypt.

Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.” Matthew 2:13

Is there something in your life for which that you are trying to hold control?  You may be in bondage to that thing or to the need to maintain control of it, but God wants to set you free. Peace is always better than angst and anxiety. He wants to deliver you and give you peace, love, and unity where you currently have strife. God wants to help you, but you have to surrender control of your life to Him to experience what He has for you.

3. it’s time to do as the Spirit of God says.

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:20-21

God may tell you things that you don’t understand: to forgive people that you don’t want to forgive, or to give things away that you don’t want to give. How will you know God’s voice? God’s voice is still and small. It is peaceable, it furthers His kingdom, and it never contradicts the Bible. Have you ever woken up in the wee hours and felt an urge to get up and pray or read your Bible? That’s the Lord; it’s not you - you want to sleep! It is also consistent with the Bible, as we know Jesus often met with the Father in prayer in the early quiet hours.

Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. Matthew 1:24-25

Joseph had been prepared to quietly end his engagement when he learned that Mary was pregnant. He likely felt confused and scared about God’s plans when they were revealed by the angel, and yet he was obedient; he “did as the angel of the Lord commanded.” 

The integrity of your Christianity is wrapped up in one word: obedience. Loving God means obedience. It’s not about feeling good. You may not like everything God asks you to do, but obedience to His asking is the best sign of your love for Him. 

The reason Jesus was born was to live, die, pay for our sins, rise from the dead, and deliver salvation to all who believe. So now you need to make a decision: do you want to receive His gift? Will you give Him access to your manger and control of your life? Allow Him to bring life to the dead parts of your heart and light into darkness! 

This Message

Pastor Miles reviews the Nativity story to reveal the reason for Jesus' birth. Jesus was born to live, die, pay for our sins, rise from the dead, and deliver salvation to all who believe.

Message Resources

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