Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DECEMBER 25 - THREE POINTS OF CHRISTMAS


PART I – THE EXCITEMENT OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS

THE FORETOLD PROPHECY COMES TRUE...
 
Mic 5:2
 
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."
NIV
 
THE EXCITEMENT OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. FOR SOME OF US THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS WAS A LONG TIME AGO.

EVERYTHING WAS FRESH, YOU CALL LED ALL AND TOLD ALL BOUT THIS CHRIST THAT HAD BEEN SUPERNATURALLY BORN IN YOU.

FOR SOME THAT FIRST CHRISTMAS WAS 2, 5, 10, 15, 20 YEARS AGO.

THIS IS THE FIRST CHRISTMAS FOR MARY, JOSEPH, THE WISEMAN, THE SHEPHERDS. 

THE GREAT CELEBRATION OF CHRIST, THE FIRST CHRIST MAS, GIFTS ARE BROUGHT AND HE IS WORSHIPPED, GREAT FANFARE, GREAT EXCITEMENT
 
THEY ARE TELLING ALL....
WE HAVE PEOPLE COMING FROM ALL OVER TO WORSHIP

 - INTERESTING THE FIRST CHRISTMAS WAS US BRINGING GIFTS TO JESUS, GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND MIRH.....

WE HAVE THE TRADITION OF GIFTS, ASSOCIATED WITH THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST, BUT IT WAS TO JESUS WE BROUGHT GIFTS, NOT JESUS BRINGING GIFTS TO YOU AND I.

TODAY, MANY CHRISTIANS WILL BE MISSING FROM CHURCH, IN PROTEST, BECAUSE THEY ARE ANGRY.

ANGRY AT WHO?
ANGRY AT JESUS
ANGRY AT WHAT?

THAT HE HAS NOT BROUGHT THEM ENOUGH GIFTS.

SINNERS DONT REALLY DEAL WITH THIS ISSUE AT CHRISTMAS. THEY KNOW THEY'RE NOT LIVING RIGHT AND REALLY ARE NOT EXPECTING MUCH FROM GOD.

BUT CHRISTIANS, WHO HAVE FAITHFULLY SERVED GOD OR AT LEAST FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE SERVED GOD FEEL LIKE THEY HAVE SOME KIND OF RETRIBUTION AT CHRISTMAS.

AND WHEN THINGS ARE MEAGER, CHRISTIANS CAN GET A CHIP ON THEIR SHOULDER.

WHY DO WE HAVE SO LITTLE THIS CHRISTMAS... AFTER ALL..

WELL HEY, I REMEMBER PIONEERING, WHAT MORE SERVICE TO GO COULD I GIVE, AND THIS ONE YEAR WE HAD NOT ONE RED CENT FOR EVEN ONE GIFT AT CHRISTMAS.

JESUS, ITS CHRISTMAS, WHERE'S MY GIFTS, WHERE IS MY RETRIBUTION...

HOW HAS CHRISTMAS TURNED THAT IT IS NO LONGER ABOUT JESUS AND US BRINGING HIM GIFTS, BUT CHRISTMAS IS ABOUT ME, MY FAMILY AND JESUS BLESSING ME.
 
 
PART TWO
THE MONOTONY OF CHRISTMAS

WE KNOW THE WISEMEN WERE THERE, THE SHEPHERDS AND MANY OTHERS TO BRING JESUS GIFTS ON THE FIRST CHRISTMAS....

BUT WERE THEY THERE TO BRING JESUS GIFTS THE NEXT YEAR ON JESUS' BIRTHDAY?  HOW ABOUT ON THIS 3rd, 4th AND 5TH BIRTHDAY?

WHAT HAPPENED? HE IS AND WAS STILL THE MESSIAH AND CHRIST ON HIS TWO YEAR OLD BIRTHDAY AS HE WAS ON HIS FIRST BIRTHDAY.

DONT YOU THINK SOMEONE WOULD HAVE TRACKED JESUS DOWN TO HAVE ANOTHER CHRISTMAS, "CELEBRATE CHRIST?"

CAN CHRISTMAS GET OLD, CAN CELEBRATING CHRIST BECOME OLD?

AND HOW ABOUT 2013 YEARS LATER?

COMMON SENSE WOULD SAY.....I UNDERSTAND THE FIRST CHRISTMAS WE BROUGHT GIFTS TO JESUS....

BUT WE ARE NOW 2013 YEARS DOWN THE ROAD, LET'S BE REAL!!!

BUT WHAT DID THE WISEMAN BRING TO JESUS AS THEIR GIFTS?

THEY BROUGHT OF THEIR RESOURCES. SO TECHNICALLY, THEY DID NOT GO OUT AND BY JESUS GIFTS...

THE GIFTS THEY GAVE WERE OF THEIR OWN RESOURCES, THIS IS WHAT THEY HAD.

AND IF THAT IS THE CASE OF THE FIRST CHRISTMAS, THEN WE CAN ASSUME THAT THIS IS THE PRECEDENCE THAT HAS BEEN SET.

NO, WE CANNOT GO OUT AND BUY A GIFT FOR JESUS AND PUT IT UNDER THE TREE.

WE KNOW IF WE DID IT WOULD STILL BE THERE THE NEXT DAY.

BUT WE CAN GIVE JESUS IS THE SAME THE 3 WISEMEN GAVE...WE CAN GIVE OF OUR RESOURCES TO JESUS.

JESUS NEEDED THE RESOURCES THESE MEN HAD TO GO ON.

WHAT IS OUR GOLD, FRANKINCENSE AND myrrh

IT IS OUR RESOURCES

FAITHFULNESS, TALENTS & RESOURCES.

WE ARE THINKING OF SOMETHING GRAND TO GIVE JESUS, AND COMPLETELY OVERLOOK THE GREATEST GIFTS WE CAN GIVE HIM

I WAS PRAYING THE OTHER DAY AND WAS JUST FILLED WITH SUCH A SENSE OF GRATITUDE AND I THOUGHT, HOW CAN I REPAY, HOW CAN I SHOW JESUS...

AND THE ANSWER WAS, BE FAITHFUL. AND HOW CAN I BE FAITHFUL TO JESUS WHO ISNT HERE, BE FAITHFUL TO HIS CHURCH,

WHO IS HERE
WHO DOES NEED MY FAITHFULNESS 
WHO DOES NEED MY RESOURCES
WHO DOES NEED MY GIFTS


PART 3 "THE AFTERMATH OF CHRISTMAS"
 
AND SO JESUS IS BORN, THIS SAVIOUR, AT FIRST EVERYONE IS A BELEIVER
 
EVERYONE GETS HYPED UP, IT’S THE CELBREATION OF CHRIST, A MASS A CELEBRATION, CHRIST MAS
 
THIS IS THE GREAT CELEBRATION OF CHRIST, THE FIRST CHRIST MAS.

GIFTS OUR BROUGHT AND HE IS WORSHIPPED, GREAT FANFARE, GREAT EXCITEMENT AND THEN, AND THEN…..SOMEHOW, SOMEWAY AS WITH MANY PEOPLE IT ALL JUST FADES AWAY….
 
AFTER THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST
 
JESUS DISAPPEARS INTO OBSCURITY AND THE FANFARE DIES DOWN AND HE IS EASILY FORGOTTEN
 
YOU EVER THINK OF THAT?
 
THERE IS A GREAT CROWD OF PEOPLE AT THE BIRTH OF JESUS, WORSHIPPING, HE’S THE MESSIAH
 
….WE HAVE THE STAR OF BETHELHAM, WE HAVE THE 3 WISEMAN, SHEPHERDS, ETC...ETC...
  
WHAT HAPPENS TO JESUS AFTER THE FIRST CHRISTMAS?
 
HOW DOES ONE WHO WAS CELEBRATED SO GREATLY,....... DISAPPEAR SO EASILY?

WE PICK UP THE STORY ABOUT JESUS NOT AGAIN UNTIL HE’S .......... 12 YEARS OLD, IMAGINE.
 
WE READ ABOUT THIS IN LUKE.
 
Luke 2:41-52
 
41 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43 After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44 Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
 
 
WHAT HAPPENED TO ALL THE HYPE AND EXITEMENT OF THIS CHILD?

WHAT HAPPENED AFTER THIS CHRIST-MAS ???
 
WE HAVE THE CHRIST, HE IS THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROPEHCY, BORN IN BETHLEHAM, WORSHIPPED BY MANY AT HIS BIRTH
 
BUT HERE WE SEE HIM AT 12 YEARS OLD, HE’S A BOY THAT DOES NOT HAVE THE CROWDS ABOUT HIM ANYMORE,

THERE ARE NO CROWDS FOLLOWING HIM, HE’S TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ABOUT AFTER THAT CHRIST MAS, HE GROWS UP IN NAZARATEH AN OBSCURE BOY AND GETS LOST IN THE CROWD.

CONCERNING JESUS THEY SAID
 
Mark 6:2-3
"Where did this man get these things?" they asked. "What's this wisdom that has been given him, that he even does miracles! 3 Isn't this the carpenter? Isn't this Mary's son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren't his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him.
NIV
 
“WHO AM I???”   YOU’RE KIDDING, REMEMBER CHRISTMAS? 

REMEMBER THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM?

REMEMBER I WAS BORN IN THE MANGER, I WAS BORN IN BETHLEHAM, I WAS BORN OF THE LINE OF DAVID, KINGS, SHEPHERDS, THE WISEMAN WERE ALL THERE TO WORSHIP ME AT MY BIRTH, WHO AM I?
 
HAVE YOU NOT READ
Matt 2:1-2
2:1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
NIV
 
OH, THAT’S RIGHT, THAT WAS CHRISTMAS, THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW.

ALLOT OF CHRISTIANS DO FINE DURING TIMES OF EXCITEMENT, BUT WHEN THE EXCITEMENT WEARS OFF THE STUMBLE AND STRUGGLE.

SOME SEEM TO HAVE A HARD TIME SERVING GOD DURING THE MONOTONY OF LIFE.

BUT JESUS IS JUST AS MUCH JESUS IN THE HUM DRUM, DAY TO DAY AS HE IS IN THE EXCITING TIMES.

JESUS WOULD SAY TO THESE MEN... 
I AM STILL JESUS, I AM STILL THAT SAVIOUR, I AM STILL THAT DELIVERER THAT WAS PROPHESIED
 
AFTER THIS EVENT THAT WE READ ABOUT WHEN JESUS IS 12, ONCE AGAIN, JESUS SLIPS AWAY INTO OBSCURITY AND WE DON'T READ ABOUT HIM AGAIN UNTIL HE’S 3O.
 
Luke 3:23 
Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph,
NKJV
 
 
LET’S RECAP THIS STORY THEN, WE HAVE THE PROPEHCY OF MICAH
 
Mic 5:2
 
2 "But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times."
 
 
AND SO THIS CHILD IS BORN
 
WE HAVE THE FIRST CHRISTMAS
 
Matt 2:9-12
9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

 
AND WHAT STARTS OFF GREAT, WHAT STARTS OFF WITH GREAT PROMISE AND FANFARE, GREAT PROMISES, GREAT HOPES FOR ALL THE PEOPLE,
 
BUT WE KNOW SOME HOW,( THOUGH HARD TO BELIEVE)...... IT ALL FIZZLES AWAY
 
AND THIS REMINDS ME OF MANY CHRISTIANS, WHO START BUT NEVER FINISH

AT FIRST ITS ALL EXCITING, BUT ONCE THE EXCITEMENT WAERS OFF

AND YOU'VE BEEN TO CHURCH 8000 TIMES, YOU'VE DONE THAT CHRISTMAS CAROLING OUTREACH 999 TIMES THE EXCITEMENT CAN WITHER

 
WE’VE ALL SEEN THE GREAT CELEBRATION OF CHRIST, BOTH AT HIS BIRTH, IN OUR OWN CHRISTMAS’ AND IN THE LIVES OF CHRISTIANS 


YOU MUST KEEP THIS CELEBRATION OF CHRIST ALIVE IN YOUR HEART.

WHAT IS CHRISTMAS?
IT'S JESUS BEING SUPENAURALLY BORN IN MARY BY THE HOLY SPIRIT.

AND WHEN ALL THE FANFARE DIES DOWN MARY IS LEFT WITH JESUS TO DEVELOP THIS RELATIONSHIP WITH NO FANFRE.

WHEN THE EXCITEMENT FADES AND IT DOES, YOU MUST DEVLOP THAT RELATIONSHIP,

DONT LET JESUS DISAPPEAR FROM YOUR LIFE AFTER ALL THIS CELEBRATION

AND BRING HIM YOUR GIFTS.

YOUR FAITHFULNESS, YOUR TALENTS AND YOUR RESOURCES ARE YOUR GIFTS.
 

CONCLUSION….., JESUS MAY HAVE BEEN FORGOTTEN AFTER CHRISTMAS, BUT HE ALWAYS LIVED
 
 
WHEN JESUS TRIES TO FADE AWAY, INTO OBSCURITY, DON’T LET HIM..
 
Luke 24:28-32
 
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So he went in to stay with them.
 
 
BUT NONE OF THIS WOULD HAVE HAPPENED HAD THEY LET JESUS WALK OFF INTO OBSCURITY
 
 
WE’VE HAD OUR CHRISTMAS
 
BUT I CAUTION YOU THIS POINT ON,
 
DO NOT LET JESUS FADE AWAY INTO OBSCURITY
 
AFTER THE FANFARE, COME JANUARY, COME FEBRUARY JESUS MAY SEEM TO WONDER OFF, WONDER AWAY, DON’T LET HIM!
 
ITS UP TO YOU NOT TO LET HIM!

HE’S ALIVE, AND YOU MUST GO TO HIM, YOU MUST SEEK AFTER HIM.

JESUS WILL NOT ALWAYS FORCE HIMSELF UPON YOU, 

HE WILL ALLOW HIMSELF TO BECOME OBSCURE AND INSIGNIFICANT IN YOUR LIFE AND ALL THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST WILL ONE DAY HAVE NO SIGNIFICANCE

WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT, IT REALLY SEEMS IMPOSSIBLE, THAT JESUS WAS ABLE TO JUST FADE AWAY, BUT HE DID....

MAY THE CELEBRATION OF CHRIST "CHRIST-MAS" CONTINUE TO LIVE IN YOUR HEART, TOMORROW, THE DAY AFTER AND THROUGH OUT ALL THE NEXT YEAR!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!