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IT BEGAN WITH A WORD
The Christmas story is even more wonderous than what it appears on the surface. Although we can only shake our heads in amazement at the events experienced by the two couples we encounter in the Matthew and Luke accounts, there is more…much more!
The period in which these incredible events took place saw leaders and common people alike struggling through an era filled with war, political intrigue, hardship, and poverty. Even with the backdrop of wholesale chaos and uncertainty, God was quietly moving heaven and earth with certainty and precision as He readied the delivery of His long-awaited promise.
It is beyond our ability to even begin to comprehend the incredible logistics of how everything meshed together under God’s direction to bring about the incredible events we celebrate during this Christmas season! But what I hope we can take away from the discussion this morning are some insights into “God’s ways”! Scripture tells us that the children of Israel knew the acts of God, but Moses knew the ways of God. In these next few minutes, it is my fervent hope that the Holy Spirit will help me highlight a few “take-aways” from this watershed event in history that can move us toward becoming more acquainted with God’s ways. The degree to which that happens will bring increasing intimacy and joy in our relationship with the central character of the Christmas story.
#1 I know this is obvious but let me say it anyway…
The problems in the world in no way hinder God from making things turn out exactly as He said they would!
Jesus’ own words addressed that fact;
“These things I have spoken to you that in Me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
#2 The Lord draws people into His plans that most of us would never imagine Him choosing.
*the Magi…Heathen Arabs into Astrology?
*Zechariah and Elizabeth…old and virtually unknown.
*Mary… young, single and inexperienced.
*The shepherds…were the pretty unsavory crowd!
#3 Periods when the “silence is deafening” shouldn’t be taken to mean God has given up on us!
*400 years of silence
#4 The Lord can penetrate the heart of every single person on the planet with His message!
The Christmas story is especially instructive in this regard, considering the individuals He reached out to after His extended period of silence. In essence…No one is beyond His reach and social status is a non-issue!
* The Magi…Arab astrologers
* Zechariah and Elizabeth…old and disappointed
* Mary… preoccupied with her imminent marriage
*Local Shepherds…enduring the worst part of their year
#5 The incredible events that make up the Christmas story are arguably the centerpiece of human history! But what we don’t want to miss is that embedded in this amazing piece of history, are some essentials we need to live by going forward!
Central to this amazing event in history are some principles observed in the direct interactions between Heaven and Earth. As we observe the Lord embracing these common, people from various backgrounds, whose lives would literally change history, we should take special note of how God worked with these people in bringing Heaven’s will about.
These are a few of God’s ways on display;
* The Lord spoke few (but very impactful) words.
* The vast majority of the time they were heard in
moments of quiet solitude.
* Crowds and high emotion are absent in virtually
every setting in scripture where significant words were given to an individual.
* The words people received, tended to
motivate them to action regardless of the risks.
* Always remember, there is much happening
behind the scenes that only the “seekers” see
and things being revealed that only the “hearers”
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter,
But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
King Solomon, Proverbs 25:2