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THE STORY OF
Intro: In 1865 the Pastor of
years later, in 1867, Phillip Brooks, put his pen to paper and wrote a very
special and very biblical song we sing each year at Christmas time. He wrote “O,
Little Town Of
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see thee lie!
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep the silent stars go by.
Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting Light;
The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary, and gathered all above,
While mortals sleep, the angels keep their watch of wondering love.
O morning stars together, proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King, and peace to men on earth!
O holy Child of Bethlehem, descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin, and enter in, be born in us today.
We hear the Christmas angels the great glad tidings tell;
O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel!
verses declare the heart of Christmas. It is a time of celebration, a time of
salvation and a time of contemplation. Long before Philip Brooks was even born,
the prophet Micah put his pen to paper and wrote something about the little
Story Of Bethlehem is a special story that needs to be told and retold
in the days in which we live. We are living in a day when the real story of the
birth of Jesus is lost amid trees, decorations, shopping and giving. Santa
Claus, Rudolph and Frosty have eclipsed Jesus as the reason for the season. We
need to remember that Christmas means more than a pile of shredded wrapping
paper and credit card bills. The story of Christmas is the story of a little
I. IT IS THE STORY OF
we think of
The town of
The name “
He is the One Who can take a barren life,
change it by His grace, and turn it into a fruitful life for His glory,
Bethlehem is first mentioned in Gen.
35:16-20. As Jacob and his family are journeying home to
Thank God the story doesn’t end with Jesus on a cross! He died and was buried, but He rose again on the third day, Matt. 28:1-6. He then ascended back in to Heaven and sat down at the right hand of God, where He ever lives to make intercession for you and me, Heb. 1:3; 8:1; 10:12. Jesus is our "Son of the Right Hand".)
One of the judges of ancient
The beautiful story of Ruth was played out in the town of
It was here in
It was the thought of a drink from the well at
H. Bethlehem was the focus of an amazing prophecy by the prophet Micah. That prophecy is the focus of our text today, Micah. 5:2.
J. Bethlehem was where the wise men found the child Jesus and offered Him their worship and their gifts, Matt. 2:1-12. Wise men still seek Him so that they can love Him and worship Him!
K. Bethlehem has a storied history! And, what a story it tells!
II. IT IS THE STORY OF A PLAN
When man sinned in
As the years went by, more and more of God’s
plan was revealed. When God saved His people out of their bondage in
Through the mouths of the prophets God gave insight into His plan. When Isaiah wrote about a virgin birth, Isa. 7:14, he was writing about the plan. When he told us about that child that was to be born, Isa. 9:6, he was writing about the plan. When he told us about the Messiah and the pain He would suffer, Isa. 53:1-6, he was writing about the plan.
Then Micah revealed the birth place of the
Messiah. He told us where the King would be born. He told us that the One Who
would fulfill the plan would come from the little town of
God’s plan is an old plan, Eph.
C. I praise God that He included me in His plan! Before you and I were even on the minds of our parents, God put us in His plan! He loved us before we were even born and had a plan in place to save us. He looked down through time and focused His love and grace on your life and mine. He sent His Son to die for us 2,000 years ago. Then, when we came into this world, He worked out all the details and the circumstances of our lives to bring us face to face with the Lord Jesus.
He made His plan. He worked His plan. He accomplished His plan. I do not understand everything there is to know about His plan. But, I praise God for it anyway!
III. IT IS THE STORY OF A PERSON
The story of
The story of
He was still 100% God. Yet, He became 100% man. He was as much God as if He had never been a man. And, He was as much man as if He had never been God! He was the God-Man. He experienced humanity in its fullness. He suffered, He got hungry, He got thirsty, He knew loneliness, He knew grief, He grew weary, He got tired, He slept, He wept, He was rejected, and He died. Yet, while He was absolutely human, He lived His entire life without committing a single sin! He didn’t sin just because He was good, though He was. He didn’t sin because He was God! He doesn’t ask us to explain it; He just expects us to believe it!
C. Let’s put this into context for just a moment.
· When Jesus was born, the Creator of the universe became instantly dependent upon His mother for His very life.
· The Bread of Life needed the milk His mother provided so that He could live!
· The One Who made the sun and caused its light to heat the earth needed His mother to wrap His body in swaddling cloths so that He might be warm.
· The One Who’s heart was so full of love for humanity that He left Heaven to come and die for sinners, needed to feel His mothers arms wrapped around Him for comfort.
· The One Who made it all, controls it all and owns it all, laid it all aside and became a helpless infant because He loved us so much.
ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for
your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich,”
D. Why did Jesus come to this world? Why would He willingly leave Heaven with all its glories to live in this sin-stained world? Why would He die for people who cared nothing for Him? Well, the Bible is filled with answers to those questions. I want to share a reason or two with you today.
1. To reveal the invisible God - Jn. 1:18; 14:9
2. To fulfill prophecy - Gen. 3:15
3. To make a sacrifice for our
sins - Heb. 2:9; Heb. 10:4, 5, 10, 12;
4. To reconcile man to God -
5. To provide an example for
6. To provide the believer with a high priest – Heb. 2:17; 3:1
7. To destroy the devil and his
works – Heb. 2:14;
8. To destroy the curse – Rom. 5:12
9. To heal the broken hearted –
To give abundant life –
To glorify the Father –
12. To comfort us as we travel toward Heaven – Heb. 4:15-16.
E. In the final analysis, Jesus came to this earth in the fashion that He did because He loved you and wanted to give His life a ransom for your sins. He came because He cares! He came because He wants to see you saved and in Heaven someday. He came because He loves you!
Conc: There is more to
As you think about what God did when He sent Jesus into this world to die for sinner, ask yourself a couple of questions.
1. Do I believe the story?
2. Have I ever trusted Jesus Christ and His death and resurrection for my soul’s salvation?
3. Am I as thankful for the story as I should be?
the Lord has spoken to you through the story of