LUKE 2

32 Messages

 

 Luke 2, Matthew 2

THE JOYS OF CHRISTMAS

 

We feel the stress of getting ready for Christmas, but Christmas is a time of joy.

We let the attitudes and actions of others bother us, but Christmas is a time of joy.

We get frustrated with long lines at the stores and the incompetence of store personnel, but Christmas is a time of joy.

We get upset with ourselves when we don’t do what we know we should do, and do things that we shouldn’t do, but Christmas is a time of joy!

 

The Bible is very clear that Christmas is a time of joy.  I want us to see Bible characters who had joy on that first Christmas.

 

THE ANGELS HAD THE JOY OF REVEALING

 

As you know, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary.  Joseph was Jesus’ step-father. 

She wrapped Jesus is swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.  There was no room in the inn.

 

Luke 2: 8 – Out on a hillside outside of Bethlehem, shepherds were doing a traditional duty.  They were keeping watch over their flocks.

 

Vs. 9 – An angel appearing out of nowhere would have been startling enough.  But you can imagine the intense light that must have shone round about him, probably lighting up the night sky. The shepherds were terrified.

 

Vs. 10 – The angel brings to them good tidings of great joy.

               If the good tidings had just been for the shepherds or for the people of Israel, it would have still been good tidings of great joy. 

But this message of joy is for the whole world, including you, me, America, and the people of every tongue and nation.

 

Vs. 11 – Notice that the shepherds are told that Jesus was born to them.  He was born for their benefit!

He was born in the “City of David”, David’s home town, Bethlehem.

He was born to be the Savior.  That’s exactly what He did when he died on the cross to pay the debt you owe God for your sins.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of Him as Savior Isaiah 53:3-6.

 

Not only was he born to be the Savior but He was “Christ, the Lord”   

 

Jesus was the promised Messiah, “the anointed one” who was promised in the Old Testament.

Jesus was and is “the Lord”.  He has the authority and power to reign.

 

Vs. 12 – The babe would be tightly wrapped in long strips of cloth called “swaddling clothes”.  He would also be found lying in a manger. As a servant of God, I am sure that it was sheer joy for this angel to reveal this great news.  This was God’s plan, and the angel would rejoice in the plan of God.

 

Vss. 13-14 – As if the message of one angel needed confirmation, and I think because the angels could not remain silent, an angel host filled the sky giving praise to God.

 

THE SHEPHERDS HAD THE JOY OF RECEIVING

 

Vs. 15- 16 

The shepherds decided to do the logical thing.

They decided to go and see this child.

They received the news from the angel as truth and acted on it. They believed what they were told.

 

And they found things to be just as the angels had reported.

You have been told the story of Christmas.

Do you accept the story of Christmas as true?

 

More important, have you received the Lord Jesus as your Savior?  Have you trusted in Him as your forgiveness of sin and your only hope for Heaven? John 1:12, Romans 5:1

 

Vs. 20 – Notice the great joy that led to glorifying and praising God for what they had seen and heard.   

They experienced the joy that was a result of receiving the message of the Angel by faith.

 

THE SHEPHERDS AND ANNA HAD THE JOY OF REPORTING

 

Vss. 17-18 – The shepherds could not keep silent.

They had seen a miracle.

They had seen God’s Anointed One for themselves.

They had something to report and they did.

 

Vss. 36-38 – A very old woman named Anna saw the Lord Jesus and praised God. And she told those who were waiting for the coming of God’s Messiah.

 

Do you think that it was a chore for the shepherds or Anna to report what they’d seen and heard?

Do you think they grumbled about their obligation to share the good news with others?

Do you think that they were afraid of what the ones hearing their message would think or say?

Of course the answer to these questions is a resounding “no”.

Anna and shepherds were so joyful about their own experience that they wanted to report to others!

You realize that one of your obligations as a Christian is to be a “reporter” of the good news about Jesus. Mark 16:1, 1 Peter 3:15

 

We fail to consider witnessing as a joy and a privilege.   

It should be a joy to tell people what has happened to us.

It should be a joy to tell people that there is only one way to Heaven, and you can tell them what it is.

It should be a joy to represent as an ambassador for the one who has done so much for us.

2 Corinthians 5:20  

 

MARY HAD THE JOY OF REFLECTING

 

Luke 2:19 - But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

 

Do you reflect on your joys?

Do you remember with a joy a kindness that was shown you long ago?

Do you remember with joy a past or current friendship?   

Do you reflect on the joys that your children have given you?

Do you reflect on the joys of many years of marriage.

 

Mary thought on all the events of Christmas.

She pondered them. She remembered them.

In fact, I personally believe that Luke’s account of the Christmas story probably came from Mary herself.

She was able to share many years later because she had pondered them in her heart.

 

Have you discovered the joy of reflecting in a Spiritual sense?

The more you memorize and meditate upon Scripture the more joy you will have.

 

And the more you reflect on the Christmas story and what it means to you, the more joy you will have. Jeremiah 15:16

 

THE WISE MEN HAD THE JOY OF RECIPROCATING

  

Matthew 2:1-12 tells the story of the Wise Men who came to visit Jesus.

These mystical men of the east came bearing gifts.

In appreciation for the birth of “The King of the Jews” they brought gifts.

They brought four gifts.

Yes, four!

They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.

But they also brought the gift of worship.

Matthew 2:11 says they …fell down and worshipped him. 

 

Their worship for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was the best gift of all.

Do you appreciate what Jesus has done for you?

 

You could never fully reciprocate for what He has done, but there are some things you can do. These things will bring joy.

 

·        Joyfully take the time to worship Him.

·        Joyfully help someone else in need in His name.

·        Joyfully continue to support His church and His missionaries.

 

Christmas is a time of joy.

Bible characters had joy at Christmas.

 

THE ANGELS HAD THE JOY OF REVEALING

THE SHEPHERDS HAD THE JOY OF RECEIVING

THE SHEPHERDS AND ANNA HAD THE JOY OF REPORTING

MARY HAD THE JOY OF REFLECTING

THE WISE MEN HAD THE JOY OF RECIPROCATING

 

 

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Luke 2:1-13

JESUS CAME

 

JESUS CAME IN DAYS OF STRESS – Vss. 1-3

JESUS CAME IN FULFILLMENT OF SCRIPTURE – Vss. 4-7

JESUS CAME FOR LOWLY SERVANTS – Vss. 8-9

JESUS CAME TO BRING A SONG – Vss. 10, 12-13

JESUS CAME TO GIVE SALVATION – Vs. 11

 

 

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Luke 2:1-20

BLESSED EVENT

 

AN EVENT THAT MOVED KINGDOMS – Vss. 1-5

AN EVENT THAT HAPPENED QUIETLY – Vss. 6-7

AN EVENT THAT WAS ANNOUNCED BY ANGELS – Vss. 8-9, 13-14

AN EVENT THAT CHANGED HISTORY – Vss. 10-11

AN EVENT THAT WAS WITNESSED BY COMMON MEN – Vss. 15-20

 

 

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Luke 2:1-20

GOD’S MAGIC MOMENT

 

GOD’S INFLUENCE – Vss. 1-5

GOD’S INVOLVEMENT – Vss. 6-7

GOD’S INFORMATION – Vss. 8-14

GOD’S INQUIRERS – Vss. 15-20

 

 

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Luke 2:1-20

BETHLEHEM VISITORS

These people visited Bethlehem the first Christmas night.

HUMBLE PARENTS – Vss. 1-5

HOLY BABY – Vss. 6-7

HAPPY ANGELS – Vss. 8-14

HOPEFUL SHEPHERDS – Vss. 15-20

 

 

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Luke 2:1-20

GOD'S TOOLS

 

It is amazing how God will use different people to accomplish his purposes.  When God uses a person, he is a tool in God's hand.

 

GOD USED A SOVEREIGN - Vss. 1-3

Caesar Augustus decided to register everyone for another round of taxes.

Joseph went to Bethlehem, and Jesus was born in the right town, so that prophecy would be fulfilled. Micah 5:2

 

GOD USED HIS SAINTS - Vss. 4-5

A saint is a person who has trusted in Christ. Mary and Joseph were used of God to raise and protect His Son.

 

GOD USED HIS SON - Vs. 7

Jesus came to be the Savior of the world. John 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

GOD USED SUPERNATURAL BEINGS - Vss. 8-14

They were used to announce the birth of God's Son and to shout God's praise.

 

GOD USED SHEPHERDS - Vss. 15-20

The shepherds went to visit the newborn child and to share with others what they had heard and seen.

 

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Luke 2:1-20

PERFECT!

 

GOD'S TIMING WAS PERFECT - Vss. 1-3

GOD'S PLACE WAS PERFECT - Vss. 4-7

GOD'S ANNOUNCEMENT WAS PERFECT - Vss. 8-14

GOD'S WELCOMING COMMITTEE WAS PERFECT - Vss. 15-20

 

 

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Luke 2:1-20

GOD AT WORK!

 

You have seen the signs next to construction sites and gas, electric, and telephone company vehicles. You have also seen them as you have traveled on the inter-state highways. The signs say, "Men at work!"  Next to Luke 2:1-20 we could place a sign, "God at work!"  In this passage God is at work in various ways, through various people.

 

CAESAR AUGUSTUS - GOD'S TOOL, Vss. 1-2

To get Mary and Joseph out of Nazareth and into Bethlehem at the right time, he used the decree of a Roman Emperor, calling for a registration for taxation.

 

STABLE IN BETHLEHM - GOD'S PLACE, Vss. 4-5, Micah 5:2

 

MARY AND JOSEPH - GOD'S SERVANTS, Vss. 6-7

By faith Mary accepted her duty as Mother to the Lord Jesus Christ. Luke 1:30-38

By faith Joseph accepted his role of guardian to our Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 1:18-25

 

THE ANGELS - GOD' MESSENGERS, Vss. 9-14

 

THE SHEPHERDS - GOD'S EXAMPLES, Vss. 15-20

 

Hearing, they believed. Vs. 15

Believing, they came. Vs. 16

Coming, they saw. Vs. 16

Seeing, they shared. Vss. 17-18

Sharing, they praised. Vs. 20

 

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Luke 2:1-20

LET'S MEET THE ORIGINAL CAST!

 

Each year at this time there are countless Christmas programs. There have been many people who have played the parts of Mary and Joseph, angels, and shepherds. But we can't improve on the original cast of characters who played themselves one night almost 2,OOO years ago.

Let's meet them, and the roles they played.

 

GOD'S PERFECTED PLAN Vss. 1-3, 6-7

 

JOSEPH'S SUBMISSIVE SERVICE Vs. 4

 

THE ANGELS' PRAISING PROCLAMATION Vss. 8-14

 

THE SHEPHERDS' ENTHUSIASTIC EVANGELISM Vss. 15-18, 20

1. They heard.

2. They believed. Vss. 15-16

3. They shared. Vss. 17-18

4. They rejoiced Vs.20

 

MARY'S REFLECTIVE REMEMBRANCES Vs. 19

 

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Luke 2:1-20

DR. LUKE TALKS ABOUT CHRISTMAS

 

THE BABY ARRIVES 1-7

 

Luke 2:7 - And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

No room!

Some people have thought that a wicked innkeeper kept Jesus from having a room.  Actually Inns weren't very big, and it was a very busy time.  Caesar Augustus decreed that everyone had to go to their home town and register for a new round of taxes! If our government required us to do that, I'd have to go to Paterson, New Jersey!  Because people had to travel, the inns would have been busy. The people would have been busy! There was just no room at a busy time!

 

No room!

No room for Jesus in the inn was really no big deal. God had planned it that way.

God had planned for Jesus to be born in a stable.

God had planned for Jesus to be laid in a manger.

God had planned for him to be wrapped in swaddling clothes.

All of this made Him easily found by the shepherds who would visit.

 

No room for Jesus in the Inn - No big deal!

But if there is no room for Jesus in your heart, that's a big deal, and a big problem!

 

THE ANGELS ANNOUNCE 8-14

 

Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

When the angel said "unto you is born a Savior", he wasn't just talking to the shepherds! He was talking to you too!

 

"A Savior," you say, "Why do I need a Savior?"

Well, remember what you did, when you thought nobody was looking? God was looking.

 

And, remember those bitter unkind words you said when you were angry? God heard them.

 

And remember those off-color remarks you made to a choice friend? God heard those too!

 

What about those fantasies that were X-rated? Yep, God saw those too.

 

And what about the items that weren't very big, and weren't yours that became yours? God was there for that one too.

 

Fact is, we don't think much of our being sinners, but that doesn't change the fact that we are. And nobody is excluded. Romans 3:23

 

And by the way, God, as a righteous, holy, God, can not stand your sin! That's why Heaven is no place for you! You owe God, because you have broken His laws! Ezekiel 18:4 says, the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

 

Unto you a Savior was born. Jesus came to rescue you, save you from you sin.  "How did he do that," you ask. Very simply put, He did what you haven't done. He just lived a perfect life. He never sinned! Not once! So when it came to "pay back" time, Jesus owed God nothing.  Because He owed God nothing, He paid for your sins on the cross, because he had none of his own.

 

Hey you! Yes you! A savior is born. He was born to die for you!

Have you claimed Him as your Savior?

 

THE SHEPHERDS ATTEND 15-20

 

Luke 2:15 - And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

 

The shepherds had just received a wonderful birth announcement from God.

His angels announced that His Son had been born!

These shepherds didn't just stay out in the field. They headed for Bethlehem, because they wanted to see the baby for themselves!

 

The problem with many people is that they are not like the shepherds. Oh they've heard about the birth of the Savior all their lives. They've heard about Jesus dying on the cross all their lives.

They've heard about Jesus' resurrection from the dead all their lives. But they've never bothered to see for themselves the reality of those truths.

 

They heard about the birth but haven't seen it for themselves.

They heard about the cross, but haven't seen it for themselves.

 

They heard about the resurrection, but haven't seen it for themselves.

 

What does seeing involve?

It involves faith.

What is faith? It is believing what God has said, and applying it to your own life.

 

The shepherds heard the message of Jesus' birth from the angels.

They believed what they were told.

They went to see Jesus by faith.

 

You have been told that the Son of God has been born.

You have been told that Jesus died so he could be your Savior.

You have been told that Jesus rose from the dead.

 

Come and see it by faith.

Believe that Jesus is the Son of God.

Believe that Jesus died for you and rose again.

See Jesus as your only way to Heaven and forgiveness for sin. Ephesians 2:8-9

 

THE BABY ARRIVES

THE ANGELS ANNOUNCE

THE SHEPHERDS ATTEND

 

An elaboration on a previously shared Sermon Seed

 

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Luke 2:1-20

THAT'S MARVELOUS!

 

THE MARVELOUS ACT OF GOD Vss. 1-7

THE MARVELOUS ANNOUNCEMENT BY THE ANGELS Vss. 8-14

THE MARVELOUS ACTIVITY OF THE SHEPHERDS Vss. 15-20

 

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Luke 2:1-20

GOD COMPLETES HIS PLAN

 

The birth of the Lord Jesus was a completion of God's plan that had been promised in the Old Testament (Isaiah 7:14, 9:6, Micah 5:2).

 

GOD'S PRODUCTION - Vss. 1-5

God had promised that Jesus would be born in Bethlehem. God used Caesar Augustus in order to get Joseph and Mary to the right place at the right time. God's timing is always perfect.

 

GOD'S PRESENT - Vss. 6-7

God's greatest gift to man was born! Isaiah 9:6, John 3:16

 

GOD'S PROCLAMATION - Vss. 8-14

Like any proud father, God made sure that the right people knew about the birth of His Son!

He used angels to tell the humble shepherds out on the hillside.

 

GOD'S PRESENTATION - Vss. 15-20

God presented the shepherds with a look at His baby boy. They spread the word!

 

 

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Luke 2:1-35

WHEN GOD INTERFERED!

 

We don't think of God interfering with our plans, but He often does.  And when God interferes with our plans, it means that He has a better plan.  So it is was in the lives of certain people involved in the Christmas Story.

 

AN INCONVENIENCE THAT FULFILLED PROPHECY - Vss. 1-7

I'm reasonably sure that Mary and Joseph were expecting the Baby Jesus to be born at home in Nazareth.  Then the inconvenience took place. Because of a governmental proclamation, Joseph had to register for taxation in Bethlehem.  The couple had the inconvenience of birth in a strange, uncomfortable place away for home. But out of that convenience came the fulfillment of prophecy from Micah 5:2.

 

AN INTERRUPTION THAT WAS A PRIVILEGE - Vss. 8-20

The shepherds were quietly doing their jobs, when they were interrupted with a scary appearance by an angel, and then a heavenly host of angels. They were interrupted, but had the privilege of being the first to see God's Son.

 

AN INTERLUDE (WAITING PERIOD) THAT BROUGHT PEACE - Vss. 21-35

Simeon was a godly man who was promised that he wouldn't die until he saw the Lord's Christ. Vss. 25-26

He had to wait. The wait was worth it, as we see in verses 29-35.

Luke 2:8-20

 

 

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Luke 2:8-20

SHEPHERDS' FAITH

 

There are many great people involved in the Christmas story (Elaborate on

God, the Holy Spirit, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Simeon,

Anna, angels etc.)

 

But there is a group of seemingly insignificant men to whom the Angels

appeared. These were the shepherds who watched their flocks by night. They

are especially important because they were men of faith. They show us some

great qualities of faith.

 

FAITH HEARS - Vss. 8-14

FAITH BELIEVES - The shepherds believed the message they received from God.

FAITH ACTS - Vss. 15-16

FAITH SHARES - Vss. 17-19

 

 

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Luke 2:8-20

SHEPHERDS' TALE

 

THE WATCH OF THE SHEPHERDS - Vs. 8

THE WORDS OF THE ANGELS - Vss. 9-14

THE WALK TO BETHLEHEM - Vss. 15-16

THE WITNESS FOR CHRIST - Vss. 17-19

THE WORSHIP OF GOD - Vs. 20

 

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LUKE 2:9-14

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

 

As we are have put most of the cleaning, running, shopping and wrapping behind us, it is indeed time to take inventory and ask ourselves, “Do we have the true spirit of Christmas?”  What good is Christmas if we haven’t entered into the true meaning of Christmas?

 

I believe that the Spirit of Christmas is reflected in the Words of the Angels in Luke 2:10-14 - And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

Based on this Scripture I would like to suggest to you that,

 

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF FAITH

 

Have you noticed how much faith was involved in the first Christmas?

·        Zacharias was disciplined by God because he didn’t believe the message that he would be the Father of John the Baptist.

·        Mary was visited by the Angel and told that she would be the mother of God’s Son.  It took faith for her to believe and accept this.

·        Joseph was told by God that his intended wife was pregnant through the work of God’s Holy Spirit. It took faith for Joseph to accept and believe that.

·        Simeon was told that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ.  That required faith.

·        The Wise Men followed a star by faith, looking for the Promised Messiah.

·        And the shepherds.  They received a message from angels that the Savior, Christ the Lord was born in Bethlehem.  They believed that by faith and went to see Him.

 

Listen again to the message of the Angel to the shepherds.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

The spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of faith.

You can’t truly enter into the Spirit of Christmas with out having faith that a Savior has been born, and that he’s your Savior.

 

You are a sinner who has broken God’s law.

You deserve eternal punishment.

But God in his love sent His sinless Son, to receive the punishment you should receive.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

The price for your sin has been paid.

It requires faith on your part to apply that payment for sin to your account.

You must accept Jesus as your Savior, as the one who paid for your sin. John 3:16 

If you haven’t entered into the true spirit of Christmas by trusting the Lord Jesus as your Savior, I beg you to do so this evening.   

 

And I want to remind those of us who know Jesus as our Savior that he is also “Christ, the Lord”.  That is something you and I must accept by faith.  If Jesus is the Messiah, and if Jesus is Lord (and He is!), then we must accept that by faith and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.

  

Christian, by faith, let Jesus rule your life.

 

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF JOY

 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

 

God intended Christmas to be a time of joy.

If anybody should have the Spirit of joy at Christmas, it should be you and I who are Christians.

 

·        We should have joy remembering the birth of our Savior.

·        We should have joy practicing the presence of Jesus in our lives.

·        We should have joy sharing the precious message of salvation with friends and loved ones.

·        We should have the joy of knowing that one day we will be with Him for all eternity.

·        We should have the joy of looking for His return.

·        We should have the joy of allowing Him to lead and guide us.

 

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

 

Nehemiah 8:10 - …the joy of the Lord is your strength.

 

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF PEACE

   

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.     

 

The wish here is for peace on earth.

In one sense, right now, Jesus does not bring peace.

Those who share the Gospel often produce unrest in the hearers. That’s the conviction of the Holy Ghost.

And Jesus told his followers that they would be persecuted for His Sake.

 

But Jesus came to earth to bring peace to anyone and everyone who will accept it.  Jesus brought peace.

 

Sin produces separation between God and man.

Because of his sin, man is God’s enemy.

He shed His blood for us so that we can be declared right with God, or justified. Romans 5:9

  

When a person trusts Jesus as Savior and is declared right with God, he is no longer God’s enemy, but God’s child. John 1:12

 

When a person trusts Jesus as Savior, but he is no longer God’s enemy he has peace with God.   

Romans 5:1

 

But let’s me honest, although we are at peace with God, we often lack the peace of God.  We are often restless, up tight, bent out of shape, worried, and or anxious.  Why?

 

First of all, we lack peace because we fail to focus on God.

We focus on business instead of focusing on Jesus.

We focus on fun instead of focusing on Jesus.

We focus on our problems instead of focusing on Jesus.

But when we focus on Jesus everything else will fall into perspective and we will have peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

 

If you don’t focus on reading God’s Word you’re not focusd on Jesus.

If you don’t focus on meditating on Scripture, you’re not focused on Jesus.

If you don’t focus talking about the things of God, you’re not focused on Jesus.

If you don’t focus on prayer, you’re not focused on Jesus.

 

This leads to the second reason for a lack of peace. We fail to commit all our problems to the Lord in prayer. Philippians 4:6-7   

 

Christian to have the true spirit of Christmas, you must have peace.  Focus on the Lord and commit everything to Him in prayer.

 

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOOD WILL   

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.     

 

One of my favorite Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The star character is Ebenezer Scrooge, a skin flint old miser who claimed that Christmas was a “humbug”.

 

At the end of the story Scrooge is a changed man.  He then starts showing good will toward men by buying his employee Bob Cratchit a turkey, and generously sharing with people in need. He also raises Cratchit’s salary and he pays for medical attention for Tiny Tim.

   

And that’s generally our idea of good will towards men.

But for the Christian good will towards men goes further than that.

 

Yes, we are to do kind deeds to those in need. Galatians 6:10

  

Having good will towards men means ceasing from anger.

And good will towards men means forgiving others and not holding grudges against them.

 Ephesians 4:26-27, Ephesians 4:31-32

 

If you are unforgiving and/or bitter, you do not have the spirit of Christmas!   

 

And one more thing, “good will towards men” would include seeking the Spiritual well being or all, Christians and non-Christians alike.

 

A non-Christian can not be truly happy without Jesus.

A Christian can not be truly happy without walking and growing in Jesus. You can help each of them with your personal concern and input into their Spiritual well-being.

 

Make sure this Christmas that you have the spirit of Christmas.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF FAITH

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF JOY

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF PEACE

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOOD WILL   

 

 

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Luke 2:10-14

CHRISTMAS WISHES

 

Luke 2:10-14 - And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

 

THE WISH OF PRAISE

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.   

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

     

THE WISH OF PARDON

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

THE WISH OF PURSUIT (They were to go find Him!)

Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

 

THE WISH OF PEACE

and on earth peace

 

THE WISH OF PARTICIPATION

good will toward men.

 

 

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Luke 2:10-11

BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

 

Every once in a while you will look at a store window or display board, and find an announcement reading "It's a girl!", or "It's a boy!"

Other times we will hear an announcement on radio or TV announcing the birth of a child to a celebrity.  In the U.S.A. we recently enjoyed the announcement of the birth of 7 babies to one family.

 

When our Lord Jesus was born there was also an announcement made.

The birth of a very special person, the son of God, required a very special announcement.  Angels made the birth announcement to the shepherds near Bethlehem (Luke 2:8-9).

 

A PERSONAL BIRTH - "...good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you..." - The birth of the Lord Jesus was for every living being. It is through his birth and subsequent death that each and every person who believes on Him can have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

 

A PHYSICAL BIRTH - "...is born..."  - The Son of God literally had a physical birth.  He came to live among us. (Isaiah 7:14, Isaiah 9:6, John 1:14)

 

A PROVIDENTIAL BIRTH - "...a savior..." -  Man is a sinner, with no hope within himself. (Isaiah 64:6, Ezekiel 18:4, Romans 3:9-19, 23)

God provided His Son as our savior to die for us. (Romans 5:6-9, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

 

A PREEMINENT BIRTH - "...who is Christ the Lord..." - He is the promised "anointed one", the Christ, the Messiah.  He will one day reign over all the earth. (Isaiah 9:5, Isaiah 11:1-16, Micah 5:2)

 

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Luke 2:10-14

MESSAGE OF THE ANGELS

 

A PEACEFUL MESSAGE - "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy..."

A PERSONAL MESSAGE - "...for unto you..."

A PRACTICAL MESSAGE - "...is born...a savior, which is Christ the Lord."

A PRAISE WORTHY MESSAGE - Vss. 13-14

 

 

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Luke 2:11, Isaiah 9:6

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS

 

Luke 2:11 - For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 

PERSONAL GREETINGS

For unto you is born this day…

For unto us a child is born…a son is given…

 

PRESENT GREETINGS

For unto you is born this day

2 Corinthians 6:2, John 4:35

PROFOUND GREETINGS

For unto you is born this day… a Saviour

Isaiah 53:4-5, Hebrews 9:27-28

 

POWERFUL GREETINGS

Luke 2:11 -…a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

·       WONDERFUL – before birth, birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension, now, coming, kingdom

·       COUNSELOR – Hebrews 4:15-16

·       MIGHTY GOD – John 1:1-3

·       EVERLASTING FATHER – Revelation 1:18

·       PRINCE OF PEACE - John 14:27, John 16:33

 

 

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THE JOY BABY BRINGS

Luke 2:15-38, Matthew 2:1-4

 

I'm sure the birth of Jesus was a time of Joy for Mary and Joseph, and perhaps even a stranger or two who was staying at the Inn in Bethlehem.  But the birth of Jesus was also a time of joy for all mankind.  The angel said in Luke 2:10-11 - And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

 

 Some of the characters in the Christmas Story remind me that there are at least three types of joy concerning the birth of the Lord Jesus.

 

THERE IS THE JOY OF PRIVILEGE - Luke 2:15-20

 

Some time you and I have the joy of knowing things first, or knowing them when nobody else knows.

The shepherds had the joy of privilege because they were the first to be told about the arrival of Jesus, The Messiah, The Savior of the world.  They were also privileged because they received their information from an angel and witnessed the sight and sounds of the angels as they proclaimed glory to God. Luke 2:13-14,

 

The Shepherds were also privileged to go and see the newborn babe and to share what they had seen with those around them.

 

I want you to think about the privileges that you have this Christmas that should bring you joy.

 

First of all you can count it privilege because you have been told about the birth of the Son of God.  Actually you have had the privilege of hearing more than just the birth of Christ.  You have been told about the life of Christ and the death of Christ for your sins.  You have been told how you can have a home in Heaven if you put your faith and trust in Christ.

 

Most of you have placed your faith and trust in Christ as your Savior.  You have a privilege that is greater than seeing the Savior.  You have the privilege of knowing and following him. You also have the privilege of Jesus knowing you and leading you. John 10:14, John 10:27-28,

 

Jesus also gives us the privilege of continual joy as we abide in Him and do as He says. John 15:11

 

And we have still another privilege.  We have the privilege of speaking for Jesus. Just as the shepherds shared their experiences concerning Jesus, we have the privilege of sharing our faith. Acts 1:8, 1 Peter 3:15

   

THE JOY OF PROMISE - Luke 2:21-38    

   

Some times we are joyful when people make promises.

We are more joyful when people keep their promises.

We are joyful when God makes promises to us.

We are especially joyful when God keeps His promises, and He always does.

 

In Jerusalem their lived a Godly man named Simeon.

Simeon was waiting for the consolation of Israel.

Simeon was looking forward to the day when God would keep His promise of sending the Messiah.

He was looking for God to send the one who would solve Israel's problems.

Simeon was waiting for the one of whom it was said in Isaiah 9:6

 

Simeon was given a promise through the Holy Spirit of God that he would not see death until he had seen the Lord's Christ, the Lord's anointed one.

 

The Spirit of God led Simeon to the temple on a day when Baby Jesus was there.  The Holy Spirit indicated to Simeon that this baby was the Messiah.

 

You can imagine Simeon's ecstatic joy as he took the baby into his arms and held the promise of God.

 

I love Simeon's statement in Luke 2:29-30, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word: [30] For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

 

Simeon's statement never fails to remind me that salvation is in a person.  Forgiveness for sin is in a person. Everlasting life is in a person.  Hope for eternity is in a person. Help for today is in a person. Simeon saw the salvation of God and it was a person. That person was the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

So many people struggle to be good so they can earn salvation. It doesn't work.

So many people give so much so they earn salvation. It doesn't work.

So many people work so hard so they can earn salvation. It doesn't work.

 

Salvation is not in what we do, it is in who we know.

Jesus has already died for your sins. Jesus has already paid for your sins.  If you know Jesus, you have seen and experienced God's salvation. Acts 4:12

 

There was another person in Jerusalem waiting for the Lord's Christ. Her name was Anna. She was a prophetess, and she was old.  She had been a widow for 84 years.  She was also waiting for the promise of God's Messiah, and after seeing Jesus.

 

After seeing Jesus, Anna told the others who were also waiting for the Messiah that He had arrived.

 

We Christians also have the joy of promise.

 

God promised a Savior, we have Him.

God promised peace, we have peace through Christ. Romans 5:1, John 14:27, Philippians 4:6-7

 

God promised healing from sin. We have that. Isaiah 53:5-6

 

God promised that Jesus would return and we look the fulfillment of that promise. Simeon was promised that He would not die until he saw the Lord's Christ.

 

We Christians are promised that whether living or dead, we will be part of the glorious appearing of the Lord Jesus for His followers. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

 

We too have the joy of seeing God keep His promises.

 

THE JOY OF PRESENTATION - Matthew 2:1-12   

 

You know the story of the Wise Men.

They came from far away to worship the Lord Jesus.

The Wise Men knew the joy of giving.

 

First of all the Wise Men knew the joy of presenting themselves to Jesus. When they came a long distance and placed themselves at His feet. This was an indication of their submission to Him.

 

Say, have you thought of what you're giving Jesus for Christmas this year?  You've thought of everyone else. It's His birthday. What are you giving Him?

 

May I suggest the best possible gift?  Give Him yourself. Romans 12:1

   

The wise men not only presented themselves, but they presented their worship.  They worshipped and adored the Lord Jesus.

 

That's another thing we can give Jesus our Worship. Revelation 4:11

The Wise Men also presented their resources.  They laid before Him the gifts of gold, frankincense, and Myrrh.

 

We too, can lay our resources before the feet of Jesus.

We can support our local church and the work of missions throughout the world.

But we can also lay before those abilities, those talents, those gifts that He's given to us.  And remember God loves a cheerful giver!   

 

THE JOY OF PRIVILEGE

THE JOY OF PROMISE

THE JOY OF PRESENTATION

 

 

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Luke 2:18-19 etc.

NEW TESTAMENT MOMS

 

THE ATTENTIVE MOM - Luke 2:18-19, 2:51, John 2:1-10

Mary observed her child and knew Him as well as anyone on this earth. She also remembered those things that he said and did.

 

An attentive Mom will be able to attend to the physical and spiritual needs of her children.

 

THE AMBITIOUS MOM - Matthew 20:20 -23

The mother of James and John was certainly ambitious for her children.

Many a child has been pushed too far by parents who wanted them to achieve more than the child was capable of or more than he desired to do.

 

THE ARTICULATE MOM (AND GRANDMOM) - 2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15

His Mother and Grandmother communicated faith and the scriptures to Timothy when Timothy was very young.  We need to articulate the Scriptures to our children as well.

 

THE ADOPTED MOM - Romans 16:13

The mother of Rufus was not Paul's literal mom.  She had acted towards him in a motherly way.  Praise God for those Godly older women who have "mothered" us when we needed it. Praise God when God allows you to nurture younger Christians as kind of an adopted mother.

 

 

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Luke 2:21-35

SIMEON

 

INTRODUCTION - Vss. 21-24

 

A PROMISE - Vss. 25-26

A Godly man, Simeon was promised that he would not die until he saw the Messiah.

 

A PERSON - Vss. 27-33

Please note that God's salvation is found in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.

When Simeon saw God's salvation, he had seen Jesus. Vs. 30

 

A PROPHECY - Vss. 34-35

 

 

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Luke 2:25

DO I?

 

And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

 

DO I HAVE THE PURITY OF SIMEON? - just and devout,

 

DO I HAVE THE PATIENCE OF SIMEON? - waiting

 

DO I HAVE THE POWER OF SIMEON? - and the Holy Ghost was upon him.



************************************************************************************ ONLY ONE CHRISTMAS

Luke 2:25-31

 

People celebrate Christmas in different ways. Some of you will have big Christmas dinner at home. Others will go out to eat either to a restaurant or someone’s home. Some of you will open presents Christmas Eve, others will open them Christmas morning. Some will read the Christmas story. Some will have a real tree, while some will have an artificial tree. Some have no tree. Many will hang stockings and/or mistletoe. Some of you will Christmas carol and/or visit shut-ins.

 

However, how would you celebrate Christmas if it you only had one? That’s right. You would know in advance that say, this Christmas would be the only Christmas that you would ever celebrate?  In the Bible there is such a man. His name was Simeon, who was promised that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ, that is the Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ. Most of us believe that Simeon was an old man. After seeing the Lord Jesus he proclaimed, Now let thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word.

 

This can be said for Simeon: He was a man with only one Christmas, but he was a man who celebrated Christmas in a way that was honoring and pleasing to God. Simeon’s Christmas is a model of how you and I, who have more Christmases than he did, can and should celebrate.

 

SIMEON HAD A CHRISTMAS CHARACTER – Vss. 25-31

SIMEON HAD A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE – Vss. 32-35

We will examine Simeon’s Christmas Character and think about making it our own character.

Let’s set the scene from earlier verses in Luke 2.

 

Vss. 1-3 – Caesar Augustus, Roman Emperor, issued a decree that the whole world should be registered for taxation.

 

Vss. 4-5 – Joseph and Mary went together to be taxed in the city of Joseph’s ancestors, Bethlehem.

 

Vss. 6-7 – Mary had the Baby in a stable, and layed Him in the manger, because there was no room in the local inn.

 

Vss. 8-17 – Shepherds received the message of Jesus’ birth, made a visit, and told others.

 

Vs. 21 – Jesus was circumcised on the eighth day.

 

Vss. 22-24 – The wife was considered ceremonially impure for 40 days after the birth of a male child. She could not enter the temple. A sacrifice was to be offered. In this case, it was the sacrifice of a poorer person.

 

Also, Jesus was presented or dedicated in the temple, redeemed by a payment of 5 shekels.

 

Now Simeon enters the picture.

We do not know that he was a priest, or a Levite, or a scribe, or a ruler.

We only know that he was a godly man.

Very possible, he was what we would call a “layman”.

This reminds me that one does not have to have a bunch of degrees in the back of his name, or a title in front of his name to be used of God.

Be Godly! Serve Him faithfully, and God will use you.!

 

SIMEON HAD A CHRISTMAS CHARACTER – Vss. 25-31

 

Have you noticed how people get what we call “Christmas Spirit”?

 

People who are grouchy all year round manage to be jolly at Christmastime. People who are stingy all year round, find some generosity at Christmastime. People who never go to church show up on Christmas Eve.

 

Simeon had Christmas spirit, but I’d call it Christmas character. He didn’t just have it at Christmastime. He had it all year round. We should follow Simeon’s example. God would be pleased if you and I had Christmas Spirit or character 365 days a year.

 

Let’s analyze this character:

 

·        SIMEON WAS RIGHTEOUS

 

Luke 2:25 - And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

 

The word in the KJV is “just”. This means “righteous”.

 

A man who is righteous in the Bible is not sinless. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are sinless. Man is not.

 

A man who is righteous is a man who is first right with God. What better way to celebrate Christmas than to be right with the one who sponsors Christmas, God the Father.  He sponsored Christmas by sending His Son.

 

You probably realize that nobody is naturally righteous in God’s eyes. You probably realize that we’ve all failed God. Isaiah 64:6

 

It is only a person’s faith that makes a person righteous.

Four times in the Bible the statement is made, “The just shall live by faith.”

 

It is faith in Christ that saves. Romans 5:1

 

Those of us who have trusted Christ as Savior should not stop living righteously by faith.  The walk of faith is to be a daily experience. 2 Corinthians 5:7, Hebrews 11:6

 

SIMEON WAS RIGHTEOUS

·        SIMEON WAS DEVOUT

 

He was serious about his commitment to God.

He was reverent.

 

We need to practice the presence of our Savior, listening for Him, and talking to Him, 365 days a year, but especially around the celebration of His birthday.

 

We sing a great hymn, “In the Garden”.

However do we practice what we sing?

 

And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own;
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.

 

I think of being devout as practicing the presence of God in my life. The more I am cognizant of Christ’s presence in and through me, the more devout I will be.

 

SIMEON WAS RIGHTEOUS

SIMEON WAS DEVOUT

·        SIMEON WAS WAITING

 

Who was Simeon waiting for?

He was waiting for the “consolation of Israel”.

Who or what was that?

 

It is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

The prophecy in Daniel 9 concerning Israel’s Messiah was close to the time of fulfillment. Simeon evidently knew this. So, he was waiting for Israel’s Messiah.

 

Just as Simeon was waiting for the first coming of Jesus, the Messiah, we should be waiting for the second coming of Jesus the Messiah. John 14:2-3, Titus 2:11-13

 

·        SIMEON WAS HOLY SPIRIT CONTROLLED

 

and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

 

The Holy Ghost rested upon Simeon. Today, each child of God has the Holy Spirit living inside of him. John 14:16-17

 

Today we are to be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. Ephesians 5:18, Galatians 5:16

 

Luke 2:26 - And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

 

The Holy Ghost had told Simeon that death would not come until he, Simeon, had seen the Messiah.

Today God’s Holy Spirit has a teaching ministry.

As we study God’s Word, hear it preached and pray, the Holy Spirit will instruct us. John 16:13

 

Luke 2:27 - And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

 

God’s Holy Spirit guided Simeon to be in the right place at the right time and led him to the right child.

 

As we are guided by God we will be at the right place at the right time.

 

·        SIMEON WAS GRATEFUL  

 

Luke 2:28 - Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

 

He blessed God!

He showed his gratitude.

He had seen the Lord’s salvation in a person, the Lord Jesus Christ.

   

He knew that God was faithful to Israel.

He knew that God was faithful to keep His promises.

He had much for which to be grateful, and knew it.

 

I fear that this is one part of the Christmas character that we often overlook.

We fail to say “thank you” to God and to praise Him.

We forget to be truly thankful for the gift of His Son at Christmastime.

 

But we also forget to be grateful year round. Things go wrong and we do not give thanks or worship. If we look around at what others are facing, very often we recognize God’s good hand upon us.

 

When we fail to look around and God continues to bless us, we often fail to recognize just how good God has been to us and we fail to say thank you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18  

 

·        SIMEON WAS SUBMISSIVE

 

Luke 2:29 - Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

 

The word “now” is stressed here. He was ready to go according to the plan of God. There were no complaints, no begging God for more time. He had seen what God had promised and he was satisfied.

 

Simeon recognized that God was his absolute owner. “Lord”

Think of yourself.

Can you say that God has rights of ownership in your life? Of course He does!

But do you admit it? Do you submit to it?

 

God owns you because of creation.

God owns you because of redemption. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

 

The best gift we can possibly give to God is to recognize and accept His ownership and absolute rule in our lives.

 

Simeon only had one Christmas.

But He celebrated it with a Christmas charcter.   

 

SIMEON WAS RIGHTEOUS

SIMEON WAS DEVOUT

SIMEON WAS WAITING

SIMEON WAS HOLY SPIRIT CONTROLLED

SIMEON WAS GRATEFUL

SIMEON WAS SUBMISSIVE

 

Let us follow His example and display a Christmas character all the year round.

 

 

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Luke 2:25-35

SIMEON, GOD’S REPRESENTATIVE

 

SIMEON WAS A GODLY PERSON – Vss. 25-26

SIMEON WAS A GODLY PERSON WHO RECEIVED A GODLY PROMISE – Vs. 26

SIMEON WAS A GODLY PERSON WHO RECEIVED A GODLY PROMISE, AND CELEBRATED WITH GODLY PRAISE – Vss. 27-32

 

SIMEON WAS A GODLY PERSON WHO RECEIVED A GODLY PROMISE, AND CELEBRATED WITH GODLY PRAISE AND MADE A GODLY PRONOUNCEMENT – Vss. 33-35

 

 

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Luke 2:25-35

ONE MAN'S CHRISTMAS

 

People celebrate Christmas in various ways. (Elaborate on the different ways people celebrate the holiday.)  There was one man who celebrated the first Christmas in a very fitting way. His name was Simeon.

 

HE WAS A GODLY MAN Vs. 25

HE HAD A GODLY MOTIVATION Vss. 26-27

The Spirit had told him he would not die until he had seen the Messiah.  Also, the Spirit guided him to the baby Jesus in the temple.

HE HAD A GODLY MESSAGE Vss. 28-35

 

 

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Luke 2:36-38

ANNA - TOO YOUNG TO RETIRE

 

An older congregation might appreciate this mother in the faith.  Although she had no children, she is a godly example to those who wish to "retire" from Christian service prematurely.

 

HER AGE - Vs. 36-37

She lived with a husband for seven years and had been a widow for 84 years!

Assuming that she married as a young teen, she had to be over a hundred!

 

HER ACTIVITY - Vs. 37

She did what she could to serve God.  She fasted and prayed!

Most older people can't do what they once could.  But every Christian can do something.

One of the ladies in our church is 93 years old and still showed up for the Ladies Missions

Society work day on Tuesday mornings.  She and a younger lady (only 80) paste pictures on blank place mats so they can be used in nursing homes for special occasions.  She's currently sidelined with a broken leg.

 

HER ASSOCIATIONS - Vs. 38

She spoke of Jesus to those who were looking for His coming.  In our old age, may our associations be with those who are looking for Jesus' Second Coming!

 

 

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Luke 2:36-38

ANNA

 

SHE SERVED FAITHFULLY - Vss. 36-37

 

SHE SAW JOYFULLY -  Vss. 38a

 

SHE SHARED SELECTIVELY Vs. 38b

Anna shared with those who had like faith.

 

Note: You might want to combine the messages about Simeon and Anna into one message.

 

 

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Luke 2:41-52

LESSONS FROM THE FIRST FAMILY

 

LESSONS FOR PARENTS

   1. Be Partners In Spiritual Things Vs. 41

       (Mary and Joseph both involved in Spiritual things.)

   2. Give your children Spiritual direction. Vs. 42

   3. Be concerned for well being of your children. Vss. 43-48

 

LESSONS FOR CHILDREN

   1. Devotion Vs. 46

   2, Submission Vs. 51

   3. Development  Vs. 52 (Mental, physical, Spiritual, Social)

 

LESSON FOR ALL - Be about your Father's business. Vs. 49

 

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Luke 2:41-52

JESUS, THE BUSINESSMAN

 

We normally do not think of Jesus as a businessman, although he was involved in carpentry work.

In reality, however, Jesus was a great businessman.  According to Vs. 49 He was concerned about His Father's business.

 

THE PLACE - Vss. 41-42 - The events took place in Jerusalem.  It was Passover.

 

THE PROBLEM - Vss.43-45 - Mary and Joseph left. Jesus didn't.

 

THE PRIORITY - Vss. 46-50 - The most important thing to the Lord Jesus was doing His Father's will.

 

THE POSITION - Vs. 51 - Luke makes it very clear that our Lord was not rebellious towards his earthly parents. He went back to Nazareth in a position of submission to his parents.

 

THE PROCESS - Vs. 52 - Jesus continued to grow:

1. Mentally - "wisdom"

2. Physically - "stature"

3. Spiritually - favor with God

4. Socially - favor with man

 

 

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Luke 2:41-52

ON THE GROW

 

We are talking about growth today. We love babies, but we are unhappy when they don't grow properly. We love baby Christians, but we are unhappy when they don't grow properly.

 

We are looking at the only incident recorded about Jesus' childhood.

The interesting thing we want to note tonight is that the Lord Jesus had to grow up just like the rest of us. Jesus was God at birth, but because He came as a human, He went through the growth process, just like us. The only difference is that He did it perfectly.

 

Vs. 40 - All that Luke tells us about Jesus' life from the time he was presented in the temple until He was twelve years old is found in this verse.

Luke tells us that his childhood was normal.

According to this verse Jesus grew physically, intellectually and spiritually. 

 

PARTNERSHIP IN SPIRITUAL THINGS - Vss. 41-42

 

Vs. 41 - At first, it was required that devout Jews would go to Jerusalem three times a year. By the time Mary and Joseph lived, once a year was required by custom. It was at Passover when Mary and Joseph made the prescribed trek.

 

Notice that it was not just the custom of Joseph, nor just the custom of Mary. In fact the law was for the males to assemble, so she could have stayed home. They went together!

Mary and Joseph were not rich. There would have been the loss of income. There would have been the long journey, probably on foot. There would have been a need for someone to watch the other children. And Mary might have made some of these trips while pregnant. Yet they went together.

 

Too many church children in this country have witnessed a disparity between parents. Generally speaking one will do the training. One will do the going, one will to the leading in Spiritual things, while the other one just tags along or does absolutely nothing, or discourages the whole matter.

 

Genesis 2:24 - Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

 

Husband and wife should be one flesh emotionally, spiritually and physically.

Marriage is a partnership.  Genesis 2 also states that the woman is to be a helper to the man. Thinking of Spiritual things, this would imply that both husband and wife are to be involved, but the husband is to take the lead.

 

It is good that husbands and wives pray together, study the scriptures together and serve the Lord together.

 

Vs. 42 - Mary and Joseph's Spiritual partnership is seen in the raising of their son.

 

At age 12 Jesus was ready to go to the feast also. At around age 12 or 13, at puberty, a Jewish boy became personally committed to his religion. We think of it as Bah Mitzvah today.  Some Christian denominations offer confirmation.  The idea is the same. The child becomes personally responsible for his or her religious faith.

 

In the Jewish faith a boy became a "son of the covenant" or "son of the law."

Note that when Jesus was 12 his parents did not send Him to Jerusalem. They went as a family. The parents led by their own personal example. Psalm 92:13, Proverbs 22:6

We have children who are not as Spiritual as our Lord.

How much more do they need our direction and help?

No matter how old we are as parents, let's make sure that we have a partnership in Spiritual things, and that we strive to be the right example.

 

PROBLEM IN JERUSALEM - Vss. 43-45

 

Vs. 43 - I believe that Jesus now considered himself to be a "Child of the Law" or "Child of the Covenant". It was his own personal responsibility to seek out God's Word, and He did!

There should be a time when our children start to show Spiritual interest. We should encourage them! Let them strike out on their own in pursuit of the things of God.

 

Vs. 44 - You might ask, "How could parents be so irresponsible?"

             Well, first of all, Jesus probably never missed an

             appointment in His life. He was a compliant, obedient

             Son.

 

Secondly, the family would have traveled in a caravan. Family, friends and neighbors would have traveled together. Also, the custom was that the women and children traveled in front, and the men in the back. Jesus was at that age when he could have been with either group. Mom may have thought he was Dad, and Dad may have thought he was with Mom.

 

Vss. 45-46a - Jesus was missing for three days. The first day was

                     the trip out.

                     The second day was the trip back.

                     They found Him on the third day.

 

PRIORITIES IN FOCUS - Vss. 46-50

 

Vs. 46 - Jesus was found in the temple. He was not where the sacrifices were offered, but rather on a porch or in a room in the temple complex.

 

Jesus was meeting with the teachers of the law. Because this was a feast time, there was a good possibility of a great number of the noted teachers being there.

 

The method of learning for that day was for both teacher and student to ask and answer questions. This is what Jesus was involved in when his parents found him.

 

Vs. 47 - Of course this verse should not surprise us. Jesus was well advanced in his knowledge of God's law. His grasp of the law was amazing to the teachers of the law. Although Jesus was not yet the teacher, He showed His great potential.

 

Vss. 48 - You can imagine both the relief and the consternation of Mary and Joseph.  They were relieved that Jesus was found safe and sound. They were ticked off that Jesus had stayed behind and caused them so much grief.

 

Vs. 49 - Now Jesus shows us His priorities.

             Jesus always knew who He really was.

             Although He reverenced His earthly Father, His true

             Commitment was to His real Father. His commitment

             was to God, His Father!

 

Mary and Joseph should have known that Jesus was going to be about His Father's business, in His Father's house!

More than anything else, Jesus came to do the Father's will.

 

Hebrews 10:7 - Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

 

John 17:4 - I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.

 

Luke 22:42 - Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.

 

Jesus says, I must be about my Father's business.

To do the will of God was the most important priority of Jesus' life.

 

The priority of Jesus is His Father's house, His Father's business.

It is a must that He do what the Father wants Him to do!

 

Just think of what you and I will be saying if we say "I must be about my Father's business." Here are some suggestions.

 

I must pray.

I must read.

I must memorize.

I must meditate.

I must be filled with the Spirit.

I must attend.

I must share.

I must obey.

One of our greatest problems is that we don't feel compelled to do these things. That's how we get away from doing them.

 

When things are a must, they get done!

With God's help, let's make the right things a must in our lives.

I need to learn to say, you need to learn to say, "I MUST!"

 

Vs. 50 - His parents didn't understand.

             Had they had Him so long, that they forgot who He

             really was?

 

This lack of understanding was a problem people would have with Jesus all His life. Not even His disciples always understood His commitment to the Father.  They didn't always comprehend His "I musts!"

And friend, when our priority is to do our Father's business, there will be times when people will not under the "I musts" that the Father has given us to do.

 

PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT - Vss. 51-52

 

Vs. 51 - It is important to note, that although Jesus did express some independence in His commitment to His Heavenly Father, He did not become an impertinent twelve-year-old!

 

Luke quickly shows us that Jesus stayed in submission to His parents.  As kids and teens begin to express their Spiritual independence, we all remember that they are not to throw off all authority! Honor, obedience and respect are still to be given to parents.

 

There is a little aside in this verse. Note that Mary "kept all these sayings in her heart." Also look at Luke 2:19. - Read.

 

I believe that these remembrances of Jesus birth and early years came from Mary. Luke was an historian. I believe Luke did His homework. Mary, who remembered, shared what had happened.

Of course, all of this was under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who is the true author of the Scriptures.

 

Vs. 52 - Now we see that there was a normal process of development for our Lord. He grew in four areas that everyone of us should grow in.

 

HE GREW INTELLECTUALLY - wisdom

HE GREW PHYSICALLY - stature

HE  GREW SPIRITUALLY - favor with God

HE GREW SOCIALLY - favor with man

 

And we too, should grow in these areas:

 

Intellectually - Continuing to accrue the right kind of wisdom.

Physically - Taking care of our bodies.

Spiritually - Continuing to grow in grace and knowledge.

Socially - Making friends and being a good testimony.

 

PARTNERSHIP IN SPIRITUAL THINGS - Vss. 41-42

PROBLEM IN JERUSALEM - Vss. 43-45

PRIORITIES IN FOCUS - Vss. 46-50

PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT - Vss. 51-52

 

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