Wednesday, December 19, 2007

THE CHRISTMAS STORY SUMMED UP IN ONE WORD

Matthew 1:18-25 "Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a publick example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins. Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us. Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS."

Introduction: I am going to read several passages today about the Christmas story. I want you to see if you can sum up the Christmas story with just one word.

Luke 1

A virgin is told that she had been chosen to be mother of the coming Lord. She submits to the will of God even though it will cost her of her reputation.

In the passage we read, Joseph willing marries Mary even the child she is carrying is not his child. He would have been within his legal right to divorce her or take her to the elders and have her put to death.

Matthew 2:1-12

We have the account of the wise men. They were supposed to report back to Herod the location of the Lord Jesus. But they were warned of the Lord to go back another way.

Matthew 2:13-14

Joseph is warned by the Lord in a dream to take the Lord Jesus and His mother to Egypt to escape from the wrath of Herod. He did this and the Lord Jesus lived as a young child up to adulthood.

Luke 2:1-17

We have the account of shepherds in their fields. They are given a preview to heaven’s choir. They are told where to find the baby. They were told to go to the stable. They went and were the first human messengers of the Lord Jesus.

What word would sum up the Christmas story? It would be the word- obedience.In each of these cases the person or group of persons were told once. They obeyed God the first time they were told. That needs to be repeated several times. They obeyed God the first time they were told. They obeyed God the first time they were told.

Delayed obedience could have cost the life of the Lord Jesus if Joseph decided to sleep in that night and leave the next day. The next day Herod had all the children and babies killed that were two years old and younger. But He obeyed.

Delayed obedience on the part of Mary and Joseph to go to be counted in the census. That is what the taxation was. It was so they knew how many they had in order to count them for tax revenue. Mary was in the last days of her pregnancy. Women are not supposed to travel in those days of pregnancy. If they put off the trip because they thought the taxation was wrong or because it was so late in Mary’s pregnancy, they would have been there so Jesus could be born in Bethlehem. If He had not been born in Bethlehem, then the scriptures would have been wrong and He could have been our Saviour. But they obeyed.

Delayed obedience on the part of the shepherds meant that there would have been any one that could rejoice over the birth of our Lord’s birth. They spread the news that the Lord had been born.

If the wise men had listened to Herod and went back to tell him where Jesus was, it would have spared the deaths of the children but could have hasten the death of our Lord Jesus. So every thing went according to God’s master plan. Obedience on the part of the humans involved showed their love and devotion to the Lord.

How does this relate to us?

There are times that we are given direction from the Lord. But we are rebellious and don’t want to obey. What is the penalty of this disobedience? What does not get done if we don’t obey? None of us know what the consequences of our disobedience.

I have said this next statement many times in this past year. In fact, you will hear it over and over again. “Do the right thing every time until the right thing is the normal thing.”

The first act of obedience that every one needs to do is being saved. The next act of obedience is surrender of our life to His will. What is the will of God for your life? I cannot answer that because it is as different as each of us is different. But there is one similarity. We can do all that the Lord wants to do for His glory. It may not be God’s will for you to be a preacher or a missionary but you ought to be willing to do so. But it comes down to the simple word- obey.

By: Mike Walls

1 comment:

Kristina said...

Welcome back to the blog world boys!!

Good post!