Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas For Everyone

I want to finish the story that I started last time, about the shepherds in the field. I am calling this story, “Any Moment” as a whole, because it reveals that God is always working, and that at any moment in your life you may be invited to become part of what He is doing.

This section is Christmas for Everyone. I almost called it the Mission Of Christmas, but coming from a missionary, that seemed cheesy. Let’s read.

(Luk 2:8) In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night.

(Luk 2:9) And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.

Read http://joe-holman.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-insights-6.html to get the story and feel of this moment. Now, look at what is said.

(Luk 2:10) But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

“Do not be afraid.” You don’t need to be afraid of this incredible, supernatural event that you are experiencing. This intersection of the invisible with the visible, of the supernatural with the natural, of the normal with the incredible…it is going to be a part of life.

You don’t need to be afraid. You are looking at me. Now listen to the message. I have your attention so that I can tell you something. I am nothing more than a big headline in the newspaper, a trailer to a movie, a cover to a book. My purpose is to point you to the message.

I bring you good news. Don’t we need good news? How often do you hear good news? War. Famine. Drought. Flood. Disaster. Divorce. Death. Illness. Sorrow. Sadness. Hurt. Murder. Theft. That is our news. It is what we hear and see everyday. It is what is talked about. Put yourself in the shepherd’s sandals. Their lives were harsh. Poverty, hunger, and fear were the norm. They were a defeated group in a conquered nation. They were the bottom of the food chain. They had nothing. Good news! Yes!

But notice something before we go on. “I bring you good news of great joy.” This wording is a phrase that basically means uncontainable. The other day, Denise cooked mashed potatoes. When I was helping her clean up, I eyed the amount of potatoes and then a container to put them in. I misjudged and sssqqquuuiiissshhhshsh ssppspslllattttt, the potatoes oozed out onto the counter when I put on the lid. (no problem, I cleaned them up with my finger). This is the idea in this verse. Squished potatoes…you can’t contain this joy in your little life. You may try to put a lid on it, but when the reality of what is happening hits you, the lid will pop off under pressure and others can taste the reality of the truth.

“I bring you good news of great joy….” Don’t miss this missionary verse. Missions began with the fall and is the heart of God. The very first declaration of the birth of Christ is a mission verse. Look at it.

“I bring you good news of great joy, WHICH WILL BE FOR ALL PEOPLE.”

Do you see that? Before the shepherds even knew what the news was, they were told that it was for everyone.

If there is a truth that we need to grab ahold of and live out in our lives it is this.

GOD DOES NOT BLESS US SO THAT WE WILL BE BLESSED.
HE BLESSES US SO THAT WE WILL BE A BLESSING.

God does not give you financial blessings so that you will merely have more money. He gives you financial blessings so that you can have and give money.

He does not give you spiritual gifts so that you are gifted. He gives you gifts to give to the body of Christ.

He does not give you anything so that you will have more of it than someone else. He gives you what you have so that you can be used by Him in the lives of other people. Yes you have it. That is the blessed part. Then you share some of it with others..that is the blessing part.

God was about to tell the shepherds the single most incredible truth of all creation. He prepared them by letting them know that this wasn’t a secret, it was an announcement. You see, there is no “Secret Of Living The Victorious Life”. It is a proclamation, not an encryption.

This truth is “will be for all people.”

It is for the addict and the beggar. It is for the gang banger and the prostitute. It is for the Republican and the Democrat. It is for the rich and the poor. It is for the white, black, yellow, red, and brown person. It is for the capitalist and the communist. It is for the upper class and the no class.

It is for everyone…not just you.

If you are not sharing God’s truth with others, then you really don’t understand it yourself.

(Luk 2:11) for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

What is the truth? “there has been born for you a Savior”. The Savior is for you, because you NEED a Savior. God did not send His Son for the abstract, out there world…He sent Him for YOU (and all the other yous in the world). YOUR Savior has been born.

He is Christ the Lord. God has sent His Son…the Lord, into the world to save you.

That is what Christmas is about. Recognizing our need for a Savior and accepting God’s gift of His Son. Then, helping others do the same thing.

God Himself stepped into time so that we could experience eternity.
God Himself became sin, so that we could have His righteousness.
God Himself came to us, so that we could come to Him.

This incredible truth is for YOU and ALL PEOPLE.

Merry Christmas!

Joe

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