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Luke 2:1-20 HOW TO ASSEMBLE A RIGHT CHRISTMAS
Intro: Ill. The emphasis on getting Christmas right. We want it white and bright. We want the tree, the decorations, the lights, the eggnog and the presents. We want everyone to be happy. We want to be able to get and give plenty. We want peace and joy to abound.
In reality, Christmas often turns into a major hassle. You rush around and pushed for time. You spend money you don’t have for people you don’t like to acquire things they don’t even want or need. In our struggle to get it right, we often get it dead wrong and end up making ourselves and others miserable.
I believe God wants us to get it right. I believe that He is not so interested in our having a white Christmas as He is interested in our having a right Christmas. So, how can we have a right Christmas? What do we need to understand and change in our lives that will allow Christmas to be a time of blessing and wonder instead of being a time of stress and tension? This passage reveals some components of Christmas that are absolutely essential if we are to have a right Christmas.
These verses are like the instructions and bag of parts that come with that gift you bought your children. If that gift is going to function in the manner for which it was designed, all of the component parts are going to have to be in the right places. If anything is missing; if anything is left out, that item will not function properly. This passage points out all the components we need to Assemble A Right Christmas.
I. v. 1-20 YOU NEED THE RIGHT MASTER
· This is an amazing text. A Roman Emperor, living thousands of miles away, issues a decree and causes a poor carpenter and his pregnant wife to travel ninety miles from their home to the home of their ancestors. Certain shepherds just happen to be tending to their flocks on the hillsides just outside the very town the couple goes to. Angelic beings just happen to show up at the right place, at the right time, with the right message. These things didn’t just happen, they were the work of Sovereign God accomplishing His eternal plan.
· Christmas can be a boom or a bust and you won’t care as long as you know Who is in control of your life. You can get everything you could possibly want and still be miserable if you don’t know Him. Or, you could get nothing at all and experience true joy just because you know the Lord.
· When you are in a faith relationship with Almighty God, and you know that He is directing your paths, (Psa. 37:23; Job 23:10; Rom. 8:28), you can rejoice in the face of whatever life throws at you. When you have the right Master, you are on the road to having a right Christmas. Do you have the right Master?
II. v. 7 YOU NEED THE RIGHT MIRACLE
· The true essence of Christmas is not trees or tinsel; gifts or glitter; it’s not even family or friends. The true essence of Christmas is found in verse 7. The true essence of Christmas is the birth of a baby. Not just any baby, but a baby Who was and is God is human flesh.
· Ill. The incarnation and the implications of that miraculous event – Isa. 9:6; Isa. 7:14; John 1:1, 14; Phil. 2:5-8. When you get a handle on Who Jesus is, your whole concept of Christmas changes forever. It is about God becoming a man to die for sinners, 2 Cor. 5:21! (Ill. It’s not about ...; It is about ...)
III. v. 8-12 YOU NEED THE RIGHT MESSAGE
· Ill. The context of the shepherds and the angel. The shepherds were afraid, but the angel offered them a message of grace, peace, hope, blessing, joy and salvation.
· It was a PERSONAL message, “unto you”. It was a POWERFUL message, “a Saviour”. It was a PROFOUND message, “which is Christ the Lord”. It was a POINTED message, “this shall be a sign unto you...”
· That ought to be our message all through the year. God help us to go and tell a lost and dying world about a living, loving Saviour Who can give them grace, peace, hope, blessing joy and salvation. Do you know the real meaning of Christmas? Is that the message others receive as they watch you live your life? Do you believe the message? Are you sharing the message?
IV. v. 13-14 YOU NEED THE RIGHT MOTIVE
· Ill. The context of the vast multitude of angels. (Ill. Literally stretched from horizon to horizon.) When they opened their mouths to speak, they sought to glorify God. Their only mission and motive that night was to exalt God Almighty for the great work He had accomplished. (Ill. What they didn’t say!)
· When Christmas ceases to be about what you can get or how much you and give and it starts being about how you can glorify God, you are on your way to having a right Christmas. What matters the most to you this Christmas? Bringing glory to God, or keeping all the Christmas traditions? Finding yourself before Him in praise and worship, driving yourself crazy trying to get it all done? Rejoicing in what He has done for you, or complaining about how hard things are this year?
· A right Christmas keeps the focus on God Almighty. A right Christmas will being us to a place of worship!
V. v. 15-20 YOU NEED THE RIGHT MINISTRY
· Ill. The context – The shepherds heard the message and they heeded it. They went to Bethlehem and they found Jesus. They believed what they heard and what they saw and they left Him to share Him with everyone they met. That is a great way to demonstrate how much you love Him this Christmas!
· The MANDATE of the Gospel is a message worth sharing – 1 Cor. 15:3-4; Rom. 5:8; Rom. 1:16; Rom. 10:9, 13. The MANDATE of the Gospel is one of “come and see”, John 1:39, then “go and tell”, Mark 5:19. The MIRACLE of the Gospel is that it eternally changes all who head it and heed it. Ill. The shepherds. It changes lives here, 2 Cor. 5:17; John 3:3, 7, and it changes lives hereafter, Rom 6:23; Eph. 2:8-9.
· We could do no better this Christmas than to share the good news of the Gospel with someone who does not know Jesus. There is no greater gift that we could give!
Conc: Are you assembling a right Christmas? If not, lay your hands on the components we have mentioned and get to it! Are you saved? If not, come to Jesus and let Him give you the best Christmas you ever had!