The Birth of Jesus

December 25, 2022 00:43:49
The Birth of Jesus
Covenant Words
The Birth of Jesus

Dec 25 2022 | 00:43:49

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Luke 2

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Episode Transcript

WEBVTT 1 00:00:00.000 --> 00:00:03.799 Thank you for bringing to us good news of of comfort and joy, even 2 00:00:03.839 --> 00:00:08.160 great joy. Um. We thank you that this news delivered to the shepherds 3 00:00:08.160 --> 00:00:11.279 has come to us as well. And we asked that as we hear the 4 00:00:11.320 --> 00:00:15.640 reading and preaching of your word, that you would allow us to hear with 5 00:00:15.919 --> 00:00:21.120 with open ears, ears that are ready to receive and know that you are 6 00:00:21.199 --> 00:00:27.359 God, and that you have brought a salvation into your world, that indeed 7 00:00:27.600 --> 00:00:33.119 is saving um that lifts us up and brings us peace. Lord. We 8 00:00:33.159 --> 00:00:37.840 asked that you would help us to be submissive to your word, to stand 9 00:00:37.880 --> 00:00:43.399 ready to hear and to receive, to treasure and enjoy. Lord, we 10 00:00:43.479 --> 00:00:46.679 asked that you would bless your word to us, and we pray this in 11 00:00:46.799 --> 00:00:53.479 Jesus name. Amend. Please remain standing if you're able, and let's turn 12 00:00:53.520 --> 00:01:08.200 our attention to Luke chapter two. Luke chapter two, MM, I'll be 13 00:01:08.239 --> 00:01:23.840 reading verses one through one. M. Let's hear God's word this morning. 14 00:01:25.200 --> 00:01:29.400 In those days, a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world 15 00:01:29.480 --> 00:01:34.040 should be registered. This was the first registration when Queerness was governor of Syria, 16 00:01:36.079 --> 00:01:38.159 and all went to be registered, each to his own town. And 17 00:01:38.239 --> 00:01:42.159 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth to Judea, 18 00:01:42.560 --> 00:01:48.480 to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was at 19 00:01:48.480 --> 00:01:52.599 the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, 20 00:01:52.879 --> 00:01:57.079 who is with child. And while they were there, the time came for 21 00:01:57.159 --> 00:02:01.120 her to give birth, and she gave birth to her firstborn son, and 22 00:02:01.200 --> 00:02:07.120 wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was 23 00:02:07.159 --> 00:02:12.120 no place for them in the inn. And in the same region there were 24 00:02:12.120 --> 00:02:15.400 shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their flock by night. And the 25 00:02:15.479 --> 00:02:20.680 Angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone 26 00:02:20.719 --> 00:02:25.360 around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the Angel said 27 00:02:25.400 --> 00:02:29.960 to them, fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of 28 00:02:29.960 --> 00:02:35.120 great joy that will be for all people, all the people foreigunto you, 29 00:02:35.479 --> 00:02:39.280 is born this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ 30 00:02:39.520 --> 00:02:44.360 the Lord. And this will be a sign for you. You will find 31 00:02:44.400 --> 00:02:49.360 a baby, wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger. And suddenly 32 00:02:49.400 --> 00:02:53.800 there was with the malt with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host, 33 00:02:53.919 --> 00:02:59.520 praising God and saying glory to God and the Highest and on earth peace among 34 00:02:59.599 --> 00:03:04.439 those with whom He is pleased. When the angels went away from them into 35 00:03:04.479 --> 00:03:07.439 heaven, the shepherds said to one another, let us go over to Bethlehem 36 00:03:07.719 --> 00:03:12.520 and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to 37 00:03:12.639 --> 00:03:16.680 us. And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the baby 38 00:03:17.159 --> 00:03:22.479 lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the 39 00:03:22.560 --> 00:03:27.639 saying that was told that had been told them concerning this child. And all 40 00:03:27.639 --> 00:03:32.680 who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up 41 00:03:32.719 --> 00:03:38.000 all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, 42 00:03:38.080 --> 00:03:43.719 glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen as it had been 43 00:03:43.759 --> 00:03:46.479 told them. And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, 44 00:03:46.599 --> 00:03:51.520 he was called Jesus, the name given by the Angel before he was 45 00:03:51.560 --> 00:04:00.080 conceived in the womb. Praise be to God. You may be seated m 46 00:04:06.800 --> 00:04:24.160 M. Can you imagine being out in the field a regular cold night, 47 00:04:24.800 --> 00:04:30.680 and then all of a sudden an angel appears. Can you imagine after seeing 48 00:04:30.720 --> 00:04:35.839 that angel and hearing a word a great multitude of the heavenly host appearing and 49 00:04:35.959 --> 00:04:44.120 singing, what an amazing, amazing thing, and bringing on top of that 50 00:04:44.800 --> 00:04:49.079 really really good news, good news of great joy um. They say, 51 00:04:49.519 --> 00:04:56.959 they say news has a way of affecting us. A lot of times when 52 00:04:56.959 --> 00:05:00.680 somebody says I have news, the first thing we want to know is is 53 00:05:00.680 --> 00:05:03.439 it good or bad? Right? Or somebody says I have two pieces of 54 00:05:03.480 --> 00:05:06.600 good news. Right, were saying is it good or bad? Tell me 55 00:05:06.639 --> 00:05:12.120 the bad news first or the good news first? Right, This news, 56 00:05:12.120 --> 00:05:15.120 when we received news, it has a way of affecting us, of changing 57 00:05:15.240 --> 00:05:18.879 us. Several years ago, when we were looking for a new home and 58 00:05:18.959 --> 00:05:24.519 having trouble finding one, one day we found one that became our current home, 59 00:05:24.959 --> 00:05:28.319 And as soon as we realize that this is the place we would want 60 00:05:28.319 --> 00:05:31.040 to live, there was a lot of talk, right, thinking about how 61 00:05:31.040 --> 00:05:33.319 it would happen, what it would like to be, what it would be 62 00:05:33.399 --> 00:05:38.560 like to to live there, and once the home was actually secured, even 63 00:05:38.560 --> 00:05:42.399 more right, we were thinking about painting and who's going to sleep in what 64 00:05:42.600 --> 00:05:46.120 room? And all of these things are our lives, and thinking about our 65 00:05:46.160 --> 00:05:50.600 lives these these things changed before we ever moved into the home, just the 66 00:05:50.639 --> 00:05:57.959 news that we would have this place to live. We go through a lot 67 00:05:58.040 --> 00:06:03.519 of life like this. We received these these this information um sometimes very external 68 00:06:03.639 --> 00:06:08.879 or far away from us that still impacts us, and sometimes very close. 69 00:06:10.000 --> 00:06:14.439 Sometimes they may be things on the other side of the world or very close 70 00:06:14.519 --> 00:06:19.040 to home. Getting engaged, getting a new pet, a death in the 71 00:06:19.120 --> 00:06:23.959 family, a diagnosis of a health problem. These things, all of a 72 00:06:23.959 --> 00:06:27.360 sudden, they change us, and they change not only how are planning, 73 00:06:27.439 --> 00:06:31.920 but are thinking as well, our decision making, what we spend our time 74 00:06:32.000 --> 00:06:39.360 on, how we make how we um prioritize things, how we make decisions, 75 00:06:39.480 --> 00:06:43.800 and and all the rest. Well. Today, what we have in 76 00:06:43.800 --> 00:06:50.040 our text is God delivering to us the biggest news that you will ever receive. 77 00:06:51.360 --> 00:06:56.240 And I don't mean that in any kind of hyperbolic way. It really 78 00:06:56.399 --> 00:07:00.360 is the biggest news that you will ever receive. Some of these other things 79 00:07:00.399 --> 00:07:04.079 that I mentioned, getting married, a new pet, a death in the 80 00:07:04.160 --> 00:07:09.680 family, these kind of things, those are very big, but they're not 81 00:07:09.800 --> 00:07:16.160 as big as this. I'll explain why. When we received this news, 82 00:07:16.240 --> 00:07:21.240 the biggest news that you or anyone will ever receive. It's worth thinking about 83 00:07:21.720 --> 00:07:26.000 how do you respond to that, how we ought to respond to that, 84 00:07:26.040 --> 00:07:30.839 and if we are responding to that well. And I want to pay attention 85 00:07:30.879 --> 00:07:35.519 particularly to Mary's response and the shepherd's response. This morning. We read in 86 00:07:35.839 --> 00:07:42.600 in verse nineteen that Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her 87 00:07:42.639 --> 00:07:46.959 heart. We read that the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all 88 00:07:46.959 --> 00:07:55.560 that they had heard and seen as it had been told to them. Before 89 00:07:55.600 --> 00:07:59.279 we think about those reactions, let's first think about the word itself. What 90 00:07:59.439 --> 00:08:01.160 is it that they heard? What is it the news that they heard? 91 00:08:01.199 --> 00:08:05.839 What is it? What is the news that you just heard this morning? 92 00:08:05.879 --> 00:08:11.199 Because it's the same, right, like Mary, like the shepherds, Um, 93 00:08:11.199 --> 00:08:13.800 we have received a word this morning. They're different from us, of 94 00:08:13.839 --> 00:08:18.759 course, Um there many centuries ago. Um, they are in a different 95 00:08:18.800 --> 00:08:24.399 time and in a different place. But we read in this text exactly what 96 00:08:24.600 --> 00:08:28.639 those shepherds heard, and it's interesting in a way, we're very similar to 97 00:08:28.720 --> 00:08:33.679 Mary. In this way. Mary wasn't in the fields, right, Mary 98 00:08:33.879 --> 00:08:39.720 was in Bethlehem. Mary wasn't out with the shepherds and Joseph with her, 99 00:08:39.799 --> 00:08:43.480 out with the shepherds. Um, No, the Angel came to these shepherds 100 00:08:45.000 --> 00:08:48.759 revealed that message. Then the shepherds went to Mary and Joseph and said, 101 00:08:48.159 --> 00:08:52.039 this is what we just heard. This is, by the way, how 102 00:08:52.080 --> 00:08:58.080 the Gospel always spreads. God tells it, he reveals it. He reveals 103 00:08:58.120 --> 00:09:03.000 this good news to someone, and then that someone just takes what they have 104 00:09:03.519 --> 00:09:07.000 and tells it to another person, over and over. Throughout the scriptures and 105 00:09:07.039 --> 00:09:13.960 in your own lives, you've seen that happened that way. Now it's worth 106 00:09:15.039 --> 00:09:20.879 noting that any word from God is no small thing. Before we consider the 107 00:09:20.919 --> 00:09:24.879 message itself, just spark on that for a second. It is a word 108 00:09:26.639 --> 00:09:33.399 from God that these angels deliver, that the shepherds receive and then share with 109 00:09:33.480 --> 00:09:41.639 Mary and Joseph, and now is recorded by Luke for us a word from 110 00:09:41.720 --> 00:09:48.840 God. Now, people go through all kinds of gyrations to get God's word, 111 00:09:48.960 --> 00:09:54.240 to know and have some sort of understanding of something beyond this world, 112 00:09:54.000 --> 00:10:01.279 to have access to the spiritual realm, higher power, that force that is 113 00:10:01.600 --> 00:10:09.559 around us that people feel and recognize that is God. Witchcraft and sorcery, 114 00:10:09.559 --> 00:10:15.240 prayer walks and vision quests, decoding ancient documents, paying lots of money to 115 00:10:15.519 --> 00:10:22.360 people on TV naval gazing, looking deep into our souls to try to catch 116 00:10:22.480 --> 00:10:28.039 some sort of glimpse of the divine. Ultimately, all these places are like 117 00:10:28.320 --> 00:10:33.960 looking into a well. You look down and it's just dark, dark, 118 00:10:35.120 --> 00:10:39.960 dark, And we strive and we look and we try, we try so 119 00:10:41.080 --> 00:10:46.639 hard. But that's how what these shepherds did. They're just watching their sheep. 120 00:10:48.200 --> 00:10:54.480 They're just out there doing nothing to get access to God. They're not 121 00:10:54.600 --> 00:11:00.639 climbing up to heaven. They're not doing some um magical thing. They're just 122 00:11:00.799 --> 00:11:09.600 doing their job. And the Lord reveals himself to them. He just reveals 123 00:11:09.679 --> 00:11:13.679 himself, and in this great way, the Lord sends his angel, and 124 00:11:13.720 --> 00:11:20.320 the Angel appears. We read in verse nine, the Angel appeared to them, 125 00:11:20.360 --> 00:11:28.480 the glory of the Lord shown around. They were filled with great fear 126 00:11:28.639 --> 00:11:33.399 of receiving this message. That's the first reaction we see. And coming into 127 00:11:33.879 --> 00:11:37.360 into close contacts with the Glory of the Lord, they don't say, oh, 128 00:11:37.399 --> 00:11:43.600 that's kind of interesting. They're filled with great fear, and so much 129 00:11:43.639 --> 00:11:46.360 so that the Angel has to tell them fear not, and he gives them 130 00:11:46.360 --> 00:11:52.559 a reason why I bring you good news of great joy that will be for 131 00:11:52.639 --> 00:12:01.039 all people. What's really remarkable is that this nest is that they received is 132 00:12:01.080 --> 00:12:07.360 the same message that we have received as well. This message that they heard 133 00:12:07.519 --> 00:12:13.120 out there in the field is exactly the same message that you've heard, plainly, 134 00:12:13.879 --> 00:12:20.039 openly, simply. So many people go on these treasure hunts right to 135 00:12:20.200 --> 00:12:24.480 find God and to hear his word, and he's just giving it to you. 136 00:12:24.840 --> 00:12:30.360 He's throwing it out to you. Just take it and receive it. 137 00:12:30.360 --> 00:12:35.480 It's a marvelous thing, and it ought to be treasured and and and we 138 00:12:35.519 --> 00:12:39.840 should be thankful for it. Now in hearing the word of God. What 139 00:12:39.960 --> 00:12:43.559 kind of word is it? I want to say two things. First, 140 00:12:43.639 --> 00:12:50.080 it is a world changing word, a world changing word. Notice the type 141 00:12:50.080 --> 00:12:52.360 of news that comes. First of all, it's good news. It's not 142 00:12:52.480 --> 00:12:58.639 bad news. Also, it's a promise, it's not a command. God 143 00:12:58.679 --> 00:13:05.159 doesn't come like he does on Mount Sinai and give ten commandments. Instead, 144 00:13:05.279 --> 00:13:11.840 he comes and he gives a promise. Fear not for behold, I bring 145 00:13:11.879 --> 00:13:16.720 you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. This 146 00:13:16.799 --> 00:13:20.279 is a different word than the word that was delivered to the people when He 147 00:13:20.320 --> 00:13:24.440 brought them out of Egypt. When God revealed his word there on Mount Sinai, 148 00:13:24.799 --> 00:13:33.159 everything was about fear. The people were trembling and shaking. When Moses 149 00:13:33.240 --> 00:13:37.320 came down from the mountain, his face shining with the glory of God, 150 00:13:37.360 --> 00:13:41.360 they said, put a veil over it. The Lord said, touch this 151 00:13:41.480 --> 00:13:48.639 mountain and you will die. That's not what's happening here. The Lord has 152 00:13:48.679 --> 00:13:54.360 revealed his law. He's condemned the whole world by it. Now he's revealing 153 00:13:54.440 --> 00:13:58.840 his gospel. He's revealing the promise that he will save us from our sins, 154 00:14:00.080 --> 00:14:05.639 will save us from our disobedience to that law that he commanded. Fear 155 00:14:05.720 --> 00:14:11.600 not for I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all 156 00:14:11.720 --> 00:14:20.120 people. This is world changing news. It is going to be for all 157 00:14:20.200 --> 00:14:22.960 people, no matter what place they are in, where they come from, 158 00:14:24.000 --> 00:14:28.639 what their background or their family is. It's for the whole world. And 159 00:14:28.679 --> 00:14:35.320 that news, in particular concerns this birth announcement, the birth of a child, 160 00:14:35.399 --> 00:14:39.120 a child that has already been promised multiple times in the Old Testament, 161 00:14:39.240 --> 00:14:46.840 and then to marry, and now to these shepherds here a very particular child, 162 00:14:48.279 --> 00:14:54.159 a very particular child in which prophecies and expectations throughout the whole history of 163 00:14:54.200 --> 00:14:58.440 the world are now being fulfilled. That's why I say this is the biggest 164 00:14:58.720 --> 00:15:05.759 great eightist news that anyone will ever hear, right, because no nothing else 165 00:15:05.799 --> 00:15:11.960 in the world comes even close to being that thing to which everything in history 166 00:15:13.360 --> 00:15:18.559 was pointing. Alright, Sometimes we have news events right in our news cycles 167 00:15:18.559 --> 00:15:22.759 where we're expecting something, right. Um, maybe elections, for example, 168 00:15:24.120 --> 00:15:28.080 we hear of this thing and that thing, and then there's primaries and then 169 00:15:28.120 --> 00:15:31.159 there's this and there's that, all leading to the great day when there is 170 00:15:31.200 --> 00:15:35.039 the election and then you have the results. Or maybe it's something else. 171 00:15:35.080 --> 00:15:37.960 Maybe it's a great winter storm that is coming. Um, not here yet 172 00:15:39.399 --> 00:15:43.240 but in other places. Right this that's coming, it's coming, it's coming, 173 00:15:43.240 --> 00:15:46.799 and then it happens. Right, these these big events where there's lots 174 00:15:46.840 --> 00:15:54.559 of anticipation doesn't compare to this. Ever since the first man and the first 175 00:15:54.720 --> 00:16:00.919 woman, we're here on earth. This expectation or people have been expecting this. 176 00:16:02.919 --> 00:16:07.200 When God promised to Eve that he would save them, that he would 177 00:16:07.240 --> 00:16:12.039 give her a son who would crush the head of the serpent, crush the 178 00:16:12.039 --> 00:16:17.240 head of the evil one, that he would save them and bring life and 179 00:16:17.399 --> 00:16:22.519 living, that she would be the mother of living, even after being promised 180 00:16:22.559 --> 00:16:29.840 death because of their disobedience that good word that was promised their way way back 181 00:16:29.879 --> 00:16:34.639 in Genesis and was repeated and opened up in various ways over and over and 182 00:16:34.720 --> 00:16:44.320 over again throughout the Bible. Now it's here. The time of fulfillment is 183 00:16:44.399 --> 00:16:48.279 at hand. This one born of a woman, Paul says, born under 184 00:16:48.320 --> 00:16:53.039 the law, who is fulfilling all things, and at that perfect time. 185 00:16:55.279 --> 00:16:59.919 Just a couple of prophecies to point you to Isaiah nine. For example, 186 00:17:00.000 --> 00:17:06.799 Isaiah nine, verse seven says this, of the increase of his government and 187 00:17:06.839 --> 00:17:11.319 of his peace and of peace, there will be no end on the throne 188 00:17:11.480 --> 00:17:18.039 of David and over his kingdom. To establish it and to uphold it with 189 00:17:18.200 --> 00:17:22.519 justice and with righteousness. From this time forth and forevermore, the zeal of 190 00:17:22.559 --> 00:17:30.480 the Lord of Hosts will do this. And another passage from Micah Micah chapter 191 00:17:30.599 --> 00:17:41.240 five, verse two. But you, oh Bethlehem, Fritha, you who 192 00:17:41.440 --> 00:17:45.960 are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come 193 00:17:45.039 --> 00:17:51.119 forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, who's coming forth 194 00:17:51.279 --> 00:17:57.079 is from of old, from ancient of days. These prophecies a long, 195 00:17:57.240 --> 00:18:03.559 long, long time ago are being fulfilled here in this moment. Prophecies which 196 00:18:03.559 --> 00:18:08.160 aren't just some random fact about where he might be born, but prophecies that 197 00:18:08.200 --> 00:18:14.480 are caught up in all of the history of God's redemption, Prophecies that are 198 00:18:14.519 --> 00:18:19.039 a part of the saving of his people from their sins and even the whole 199 00:18:19.039 --> 00:18:26.000 world. Prophecies which then are are retold and given to Mary. Remember in 200 00:18:26.119 --> 00:18:30.240 Luke chapter one we read that he he comes to Mary, and he he 201 00:18:30.359 --> 00:18:34.240 tells her what is going to happen. He explains to her and says, 202 00:18:34.519 --> 00:18:37.960 this is verse thirty one. And behold, you will conceive in your womb 203 00:18:38.240 --> 00:18:42.920 and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will 204 00:18:42.960 --> 00:18:47.200 be great and will be called Son of the Most High. And the Lord 205 00:18:47.240 --> 00:18:51.319 God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will 206 00:18:51.359 --> 00:18:55.519 reign over the House of Jacob forever and of his kingdom. There will be 207 00:18:55.599 --> 00:19:02.000 no end. Another prophecy. And in Marry response the angel and says, 208 00:19:02.119 --> 00:19:07.400 how will this be? Since I am a virgin? The Angel answered her, 209 00:19:07.440 --> 00:19:10.880 the Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most 210 00:19:10.960 --> 00:19:14.839 High will overshadow you. Therefore, the child to be born will be called 211 00:19:14.880 --> 00:19:27.440 Holy, the Son of God, God becoming man. There's no bigger news 212 00:19:27.920 --> 00:19:36.519 than that God becoming man to fulfill what man failed to fill fulfill in the 213 00:19:36.640 --> 00:19:41.240 very beginning. God becoming man, to save us from our sins, to 214 00:19:41.480 --> 00:19:45.480 conquer the debt, to conquer the devil, to conquer death, so that 215 00:19:45.519 --> 00:19:51.960 we might enjoy a resurrection from the dead and be citizens of an eternal, 216 00:19:52.000 --> 00:19:56.000 heavenly kingdom, with the Lord Jesus as the head of it all. There's 217 00:19:56.039 --> 00:20:02.960 no bigger news than that. And here the Angel in our back, in 218 00:20:03.039 --> 00:20:07.920 our passage in chapter two, he says that these things are fulfilled unto you, 219 00:20:07.160 --> 00:20:14.559 born this day in the city of David Bethlehem, a savior who is 220 00:20:14.680 --> 00:20:19.000 Christ, which is to say, who is the Messiah, the anointed One, 221 00:20:21.519 --> 00:20:27.960 the Lord. He identifies this child as God and is the one who 222 00:20:29.039 --> 00:20:34.480 had been prophesied and expected for a long long time. And it all happens. 223 00:20:37.000 --> 00:20:40.240 Mary doesn't wait nine months and then go, well, I guess it 224 00:20:40.279 --> 00:20:45.160 didn't work out. No, she conceives a child, though a virgin, 225 00:20:45.920 --> 00:20:53.559 bears a child, wraps him in actual cloths, lays him an actual manger. 226 00:20:55.759 --> 00:20:59.759 This word goes to these shepherds who then come and and in some ways 227 00:20:59.839 --> 00:21:04.680 un another prophecy. Right, you will go to beth Lehammon, You're going 228 00:21:04.720 --> 00:21:11.000 to see this another sign. God just keeps confirming and confirming and confirming. 229 00:21:11.920 --> 00:21:15.920 It's news that we can rely on. It's news that we can believe in. 230 00:21:15.680 --> 00:21:18.799 We don't have to doubt it and wonder if it's true because God keeps 231 00:21:19.119 --> 00:21:22.680 saying it over and over and fulfilling it, oh, and bringing it to 232 00:21:22.759 --> 00:21:32.599 fulfillment over and over and over. This is world changing news. Listen to 233 00:21:32.599 --> 00:21:37.200 one other verse here in Galacians four four, which I kind of paraphrased earlier, 234 00:21:37.200 --> 00:21:44.640 but I'd like to read it exactly. Glacians for four, Paul says, 235 00:21:44.720 --> 00:21:48.400 but when the fullness of time had come, I kind of think about 236 00:21:48.599 --> 00:21:55.559 pregnancy with that image, and the fullness of time right, like time itself 237 00:21:55.720 --> 00:22:00.960 is just ready to give forth to the thing that time is destined to do. 238 00:22:03.400 --> 00:22:07.400 When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his son, 239 00:22:07.319 --> 00:22:14.319 born of a woman, born under the law. Why to redeem those who 240 00:22:14.400 --> 00:22:22.240 were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And 241 00:22:22.319 --> 00:22:26.440 that brings us to this second point about this word. It's not just a 242 00:22:26.480 --> 00:22:34.119 world changing right cosmic moment, this single moment in time and the fullness of 243 00:22:34.200 --> 00:22:44.440 time at this huge meta level, but it affects us deeply and individually, 244 00:22:44.720 --> 00:22:51.599 every single one of us, for better or for worse. It affects us 245 00:22:51.640 --> 00:22:57.799 all. Paul says that he came for the redemption of sons so that we 246 00:22:57.920 --> 00:23:03.359 might receive a option as the children of God. This is life changing. 247 00:23:04.880 --> 00:23:10.880 God comes in the world not just to do this thing out there somewhere, 248 00:23:10.960 --> 00:23:15.720 but to change our hearts, to remove our idols, and to do it 249 00:23:15.759 --> 00:23:23.000 from ever for everyone. From kings like the Magi who come two shepherds out 250 00:23:23.000 --> 00:23:32.240 in the field good news of great joy for the world, and in people 251 00:23:32.279 --> 00:23:37.319 like Paul, we see that great change. People who before knowing Jesus, 252 00:23:37.359 --> 00:23:42.440 before trusting Jesus, were hard at work, living their lives, trying to 253 00:23:42.480 --> 00:23:48.240 do their best, but came to understand that their best wasn't even close, 254 00:23:48.559 --> 00:23:52.960 that our best is never good enough. That, as I said earlier, 255 00:23:53.000 --> 00:23:57.240 when Jesus comes into the world, he comes not to make good people a 256 00:23:57.279 --> 00:24:04.200 little bit better, to just increase our program of of works and of righteousness 257 00:24:06.119 --> 00:24:11.799 He comes to save us from our sins. If you know yourself as a 258 00:24:11.880 --> 00:24:18.799 sinner, if you know yourself as a person whose body gets sick and will 259 00:24:18.839 --> 00:24:22.240 one day die, If you know yourself as a person who is in a 260 00:24:22.319 --> 00:24:30.680 world that is backwards and twisted and broken and crooked, that fails all the 261 00:24:30.799 --> 00:24:34.279 time, and is full of vanity, then you are a person who is 262 00:24:34.319 --> 00:24:41.640 eligible for salvation. You are a person who ought to put your faith in 263 00:24:41.720 --> 00:24:47.240 the one who is the savior of the world, the Lord of the universe, 264 00:24:47.720 --> 00:24:52.720 and who has come to bring peace, peace in the world, peace 265 00:24:53.559 --> 00:25:03.440 in our hearts. When Jesus rules in a when Jesus um does his work, 266 00:25:03.519 --> 00:25:08.079 he subdues us to himself. He stops the clamor and the noise. 267 00:25:08.839 --> 00:25:18.480 He brings about healing, sanctification, growth, and righteousness. Love. This 268 00:25:18.559 --> 00:25:22.519 is what God does. This is what he has done, and he is 269 00:25:22.640 --> 00:25:27.480 now doing. As this word from the Shepherd's continues to travel throughout the world. 270 00:25:29.519 --> 00:25:32.440 A word that you have heard, a word that you can share just 271 00:25:32.559 --> 00:25:36.759 as easily as they did. You received exactly what they received this morning. 272 00:25:37.000 --> 00:25:41.519 You can go tell somebody exactly as they said to Mary, this is what 273 00:25:41.680 --> 00:25:48.319 happened this is what I heard, as simple as that. That's one of 274 00:25:48.319 --> 00:25:51.359 the reactions that we can have. And there are others that are that are 275 00:25:51.400 --> 00:25:53.720 worthy as well. And I want to think about that now as we close. 276 00:25:55.720 --> 00:26:00.079 When you receive the greatest and best news that has ever happened in the 277 00:26:00.240 --> 00:26:03.880 history of the world, and and your and and will ever happen in your 278 00:26:03.920 --> 00:26:08.400 whole life, what do you do with that? Well, there's lots of 279 00:26:08.440 --> 00:26:12.160 options, and we can look around in our own hearts, in our lives 280 00:26:12.200 --> 00:26:21.720 and sort of catalog different kinds of reactions. Some people hate it herod we 281 00:26:21.799 --> 00:26:25.279 will read as we continue to read, not right now, but if you 282 00:26:25.319 --> 00:26:30.319 continue to reading on, he goes and murders a bunch of children as a 283 00:26:30.359 --> 00:26:36.359 result of this news. That's how some people react. Wanting to hold on 284 00:26:36.559 --> 00:26:41.519 to their own kingdoms, whether they are big like his or are very small 285 00:26:41.559 --> 00:26:45.279 like many of ours, in our own personal lives, and the things we 286 00:26:45.359 --> 00:26:48.559 want to do in our projects, in our way, and the things we 287 00:26:48.640 --> 00:26:52.799 love and want to hang onto. And when we say no, I want 288 00:26:52.039 --> 00:26:59.759 my life to be my own and not his. We rebel and we fight, 289 00:27:00.960 --> 00:27:07.559 and we do awful, awful things. Other people are um just neglectful. 290 00:27:08.839 --> 00:27:14.720 And it may seem better in a way, right, just neglecting the 291 00:27:14.759 --> 00:27:21.880 news instead of uh, fighting against it, but it ends in basically the 292 00:27:21.920 --> 00:27:26.799 same result. It's a kind of passive aggressive rebellion, I guess, a 293 00:27:26.880 --> 00:27:33.359 rebellion that says I don't really care, not for me, not really important. 294 00:27:36.039 --> 00:27:40.240 How you say to the Angel of the Lord and a multitude of heavens. 295 00:27:40.279 --> 00:27:45.920 That is causing the shepherds to quake, to shake with fear, and 296 00:27:45.960 --> 00:27:51.720 go about proclaiming the good news of God. To stand there in the field 297 00:27:51.720 --> 00:27:57.920 with them and say, yeah, I got things to do. But we 298 00:27:59.000 --> 00:28:03.039 do do that. Sometimes times we get caught up in our own lives, 299 00:28:03.160 --> 00:28:08.519 and but these are our own lives. This is our life. We get 300 00:28:08.519 --> 00:28:15.640 caught up in distractions and our idols and our desires and the things that that 301 00:28:15.839 --> 00:28:21.440 say, no, why I'm more important right now? There's a third option, 302 00:28:21.480 --> 00:28:23.640 and we see it in Mary. We see it in the Shepherds. 303 00:28:25.279 --> 00:28:30.359 Let's focus on Mary as we begin to close. So we read in verse 304 00:28:30.480 --> 00:28:37.079 nineteen that she treasures up all these things and ponders them in her heart. 305 00:28:37.680 --> 00:28:41.400 What does it mean to treasure something? What does it mean to treasure a 306 00:28:41.519 --> 00:28:51.440 promise to treasure this news. How do you treasure news? Will you hold 307 00:28:51.480 --> 00:28:56.640 it close? You protect it, You think about it, You make sure 308 00:28:56.680 --> 00:29:00.640 that you understand it perfectly and that no one would steal it from you. 309 00:29:02.160 --> 00:29:06.839 As we read earlier, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking 310 00:29:06.880 --> 00:29:10.200 one to devour. The scriptures tell us he's a liar from the beginning. 311 00:29:11.039 --> 00:29:15.559 How will the devil steal good news from you? Or try to by lying 312 00:29:15.599 --> 00:29:19.599 to you, by telling you it's not really good, or it's not really 313 00:29:19.640 --> 00:29:26.440 important, by telling you that maybe it didn't really happen, or exceeding all 314 00:29:26.559 --> 00:29:32.799 kinds of doubt. Treasuring it means protecting it, holding close it. It 315 00:29:32.880 --> 00:29:38.680 also means sacrificing for it, being willing to to give up really everything for 316 00:29:38.759 --> 00:29:45.640 the sake of that word. Rather than fighting against it or neglecting it. 317 00:29:47.279 --> 00:29:51.519 We should hold it close to us in our hearts. We should prioritize it 318 00:29:51.920 --> 00:29:56.480 and consider it often, which leads to the second thing Mary does. She 319 00:29:56.640 --> 00:30:06.559 ponders it in her heart. She considers it's implications. She thinks about what 320 00:30:06.680 --> 00:30:11.400 it means for everything else, what resolutions perhaps, or what actions that she 321 00:30:11.759 --> 00:30:18.799 or others might commit. Themselves to in light of it. Just like the 322 00:30:18.880 --> 00:30:22.200 example of a house or a storm, once you receive the news, you 323 00:30:22.240 --> 00:30:26.119 think, Okay, what difference does this make? If I know that a 324 00:30:26.160 --> 00:30:32.480 big storm is coming and is going to going to barrel down and affect these 325 00:30:32.480 --> 00:30:36.400 things, You're going to spend time, right You're gonna ponder that, think 326 00:30:36.440 --> 00:30:41.839 about it, think about it's it's implications. Another word for this is meditation. 327 00:30:44.440 --> 00:30:49.079 Meditation is that internal work of turning something over and over and over. 328 00:30:49.720 --> 00:30:53.519 Now you all know what meditation is. You all know what pondering is, 329 00:30:53.839 --> 00:30:57.640 just as I do, because we do it all the time. Maybe for 330 00:30:57.680 --> 00:31:02.000 the last few weeks, you've been thinking about something you really really want to 331 00:31:02.000 --> 00:31:06.559 see under that tree, and you think about it over and over again, 332 00:31:06.559 --> 00:31:08.279 and you wonder what it's gonna be like and look like, and if it's 333 00:31:08.279 --> 00:31:11.000 gonna be there, and what you're gonna do with it when you get it. 334 00:31:11.880 --> 00:31:17.799 That's meditation, that's pondering. Or maybe there's been something you've been worried 335 00:31:17.839 --> 00:31:21.519 about, something in your life that you've been anxious about, and you keep 336 00:31:21.680 --> 00:31:25.240 turning it over and over and going what's going to happen? How am I 337 00:31:25.240 --> 00:31:27.400 going to do? That what's gonna work. When is it going to happen? 338 00:31:30.319 --> 00:31:38.279 This internal action that we do, pondering, meditation, it it's it's 339 00:31:38.400 --> 00:31:42.839 um. It can go good and bad directions, right, it can be 340 00:31:42.920 --> 00:31:48.200 something that's debilitating and crushing if we fix our hearts and our minds on something 341 00:31:48.240 --> 00:31:56.279 that is consuming us. Sometimes we ponder and meditate on the worst things, 342 00:31:56.279 --> 00:32:02.279 like sin or how to commit a sin. Proverbs speaks about the one who 343 00:32:02.480 --> 00:32:07.400 lays in his bed trying to figure out how he's going to do an evil 344 00:32:07.440 --> 00:32:15.279 thing. That's meditation, that's pondering. That's what we ought not to do 345 00:32:15.799 --> 00:32:20.240 in response to this good news. Instead, with good news, ought to 346 00:32:20.279 --> 00:32:28.000 replace everything and become number one and shed its life on on everything else. 347 00:32:29.000 --> 00:32:31.759 If you hear that a big storm is coming, for example, or if 348 00:32:31.799 --> 00:32:37.559 you hear that let's let's use a more positive example. Let's say you uh, 349 00:32:37.599 --> 00:32:42.920 your uh long lost uncle comes and tells you that for Christmas, you're 350 00:32:42.920 --> 00:32:49.640 gonna be getting three million dollars. That might change the way that you're worried 351 00:32:49.680 --> 00:32:54.039 about spending on a toothbrush. Right, the concerns that you have about this 352 00:32:54.119 --> 00:32:57.079 thing or that thing, all of a sudden, go oh, well, 353 00:32:57.079 --> 00:33:00.400 that's fine. We got that three million coming. We're gonna be fine, 354 00:33:00.359 --> 00:33:05.200 right. It sort of sheds this light on everything else that affects these other 355 00:33:05.640 --> 00:33:09.359 decisions. Well, this is not just monetary. This good news of great 356 00:33:09.440 --> 00:33:16.160 joy about Jesus is everything. Financial, emotional, spiritual relationships are communion with 357 00:33:16.240 --> 00:33:21.599 God, our our relationship with the world. Everything comes under this, which 358 00:33:21.640 --> 00:33:28.000 means there's a lot to ponder. There's a lot to meditate on. Think 359 00:33:28.039 --> 00:33:31.079 about it for a moment, ponder it for a moment with me. Ask 360 00:33:31.119 --> 00:33:38.160 yourself what might Mary have pondered in her heart in light of this news, 361 00:33:40.680 --> 00:33:45.799 the good news about Jesus. What could she have been thinking about? She 362 00:33:45.839 --> 00:33:51.519 could have thought about the attributes of God? What does this have to say 363 00:33:51.559 --> 00:33:55.440 about God? Knowing that God has just done this, announced this in this 364 00:33:55.559 --> 00:34:00.000 particular way, has brought forth this child and me? What does that tell 365 00:34:00.039 --> 00:34:06.319 me about him? What implications does that have for what I believe about him? 366 00:34:06.440 --> 00:34:10.519 Does it have anything to say about his goodness, or his graciousness, 367 00:34:10.880 --> 00:34:17.079 or his omnipotence or his faithfulness? Does it have anything to say about how 368 00:34:17.119 --> 00:34:23.280 we understand previous promises? Indeed, Mary could spend the rest of her life 369 00:34:23.519 --> 00:34:29.559 with only this information, going back through all of the Old Testament and thinking 370 00:34:29.639 --> 00:34:34.679 about all of it in light of this moment, and that would be enough. 371 00:34:35.880 --> 00:34:38.000 She could be busy with that for the rest of her life, just 372 00:34:38.000 --> 00:34:43.920 just doing that. How does each and every book of the Bible, all 373 00:34:44.000 --> 00:34:46.920 these promises and all these words lead up to this moment and this point? 374 00:34:47.239 --> 00:34:54.519 How do they connect? What is God doing? She could ponder the needs, 375 00:34:54.880 --> 00:35:01.880 the needs that she will have in light of this prom Miss Let's think 376 00:35:02.000 --> 00:35:07.400 really specifically about Mary. Imagine you were her. How are you going to 377 00:35:07.519 --> 00:35:15.360 raise this child? It's a lot of questions around that. At least I 378 00:35:15.400 --> 00:35:20.599 would have What are you gonna say? Most parents think about this right with 379 00:35:20.639 --> 00:35:23.280 their children. What books are we gonna buy? What toys are we gonna 380 00:35:23.320 --> 00:35:28.800 get? Where are they going to sleep? All of these things? What 381 00:35:28.920 --> 00:35:34.639 if you knew that your child was the savior of the world, how are 382 00:35:34.679 --> 00:35:39.480 you going to do that as a parent. I think one thing that she 383 00:35:39.599 --> 00:35:47.960 might have considered is a to pray a lot and trust God for help. 384 00:35:49.920 --> 00:35:52.400 He's the one, after all, who had given her this child. He's 385 00:35:52.480 --> 00:35:57.400 the one who had given her this promise. He is the one that would 386 00:35:57.400 --> 00:36:02.920 be faithful to help her to do her work. Okay, to pray prayers 387 00:36:04.000 --> 00:36:07.599 of for of of of petition to the Lord. Lord, Please help me, 388 00:36:07.719 --> 00:36:12.079 give me the strength, give me the wisdom, Help me to know 389 00:36:12.239 --> 00:36:16.639 how to distinguish lies from the truth. Help me to have opportunities to to 390 00:36:17.079 --> 00:36:28.320 um, to protect the truth, to live for the truth. I wonder 391 00:36:28.360 --> 00:36:34.480 how Mary pondered these things when she saw her son and the Savior on the 392 00:36:34.519 --> 00:36:42.480 cross. Good news of great joy. This is a time when a lot 393 00:36:42.519 --> 00:36:52.760 of people scattered, many of all of the Lord's um future apostles, leaving 394 00:36:52.840 --> 00:37:05.480 doubting running. There's a hard time. Satan would, no doubt, capitalize 395 00:37:05.480 --> 00:37:13.519 on these moments in his death. What then, is this really good news? 396 00:37:14.280 --> 00:37:21.960 See the Savior of the world pondering these things and and internalizing them and 397 00:37:22.039 --> 00:37:25.679 questioning, not questioning um, questioning them in the sense of trying to understand 398 00:37:25.760 --> 00:37:30.239 them. And sometimes, you know, I think that she, like all 399 00:37:30.280 --> 00:37:34.119 of us do, when we consider the things of the Lord. It doesn't 400 00:37:34.119 --> 00:37:37.360 mean we're always going to come to an answer, is it? Some of 401 00:37:37.360 --> 00:37:39.400 these things we're gonna say? I don't know how to be a good parent. 402 00:37:40.280 --> 00:37:45.480 I don't know what this crucifixion means I don't know how to understand this 403 00:37:45.639 --> 00:37:51.639 death, at least not yet. Sometimes the Lord reveals things in time. 404 00:37:52.599 --> 00:37:58.199 Sometimes the Lord shows us and makes us depend I want to say, makes 405 00:37:58.280 --> 00:38:07.000 us depend on him, makes us wait on him, makes us trust him 406 00:38:07.039 --> 00:38:13.639 and believe him. We can finish by saying that Mary could have also pondered 407 00:38:13.679 --> 00:38:16.280 the ways that she might respond. Right, how do you respond to this 408 00:38:17.440 --> 00:38:22.960 praising God, obedience to the Lord, faithfulness in her own walk, connecting 409 00:38:22.960 --> 00:38:28.800 it with other truths? What does this news say about uh nature, the 410 00:38:28.880 --> 00:38:34.960 nature of God, the Trinity? What is this reveal about men and angels? 411 00:38:34.960 --> 00:38:39.599 What is this news reveal about the expectations she should have now? And 412 00:38:39.639 --> 00:38:44.320 all of these questions, of course, except for maybe the very very specific 413 00:38:44.360 --> 00:38:49.000 ones, are questions that we can ask as well. Almost everything that I've 414 00:38:49.000 --> 00:38:52.360 said are things that we can ponder, that we can treasure, and certainly 415 00:38:52.920 --> 00:38:59.599 we ought to. And that's my encouragement to you as you come into the 416 00:38:59.639 --> 00:39:04.519 new year, as you have just heard, perhaps again to the praise and 417 00:39:04.559 --> 00:39:08.239 glory of God, the best news that you have ever heard and will ever 418 00:39:08.400 --> 00:39:17.719 hear. As you come into the new year, consider pondering in as many 419 00:39:17.800 --> 00:39:23.400 days as the Lord gives you. Consider it. Consider treasuring and pondering his 420 00:39:23.480 --> 00:39:35.599 word a lot, instead of fighting against it or neglecting it. Treasure it, 421 00:39:36.679 --> 00:39:42.199 hold it close, read it, consider it. Start by giving your 422 00:39:42.280 --> 00:39:46.880 heart to the Lord, devoting yourself to him, and knowing and believing what 423 00:39:46.960 --> 00:39:53.119 he says is true. Let this news be like a light that just shines 424 00:39:53.280 --> 00:39:59.719 on everything in your life. Has implications for every area and every aspect of 425 00:39:59.800 --> 00:40:05.320 every everything you do, every worry, every anxiety, every hope, every 426 00:40:05.440 --> 00:40:14.280 dream. Give it all to him. And then protect that treasure from the 427 00:40:14.440 --> 00:40:21.400 doubt and from lies by making use of that promise and by hearing it and 428 00:40:21.440 --> 00:40:29.760 reminding of yourself over and over again. Start with Sunday's. Start with Sundays. 429 00:40:29.840 --> 00:40:35.000 Let your life grow on the trellis of hearing God's word over and over 430 00:40:35.119 --> 00:40:40.679 again. Come ready eager to hear, to enjoy the fellowship with others, 431 00:40:40.719 --> 00:40:47.239 to be encouraged by that word in his work. And let your not just 432 00:40:47.320 --> 00:40:52.000 your weeks begin this way, but your days as well. From the moment 433 00:40:52.079 --> 00:41:00.840 you open your eyes, just spend five seconds giving acknowledge meant to the Lord. 434 00:41:00.760 --> 00:41:08.599 Boom, good morning, Lord, Let him be at the center of 435 00:41:08.760 --> 00:41:17.559 everything, treasure that word treasure, being with him, spend time daily acknowledging 436 00:41:17.679 --> 00:41:23.480 him, hearing and reading his word, meditating on it, praying on it. 437 00:41:24.400 --> 00:41:30.320 And as you do these things, it will result. And what we 438 00:41:30.360 --> 00:41:36.480 see with the shepherds the glorifying and praising of God. When God comes and 439 00:41:36.519 --> 00:41:39.840 brings this news into our heart, when he changes our hearts and makes them 440 00:41:39.880 --> 00:41:47.119 alive for him, it makes us new people. We glorify him, we 441 00:41:47.239 --> 00:41:53.000 praise him, we live for him. May this be true of us as 442 00:41:53.039 --> 00:41:59.559 He reveals his word in our lives, this good news of great joy about 443 00:41:59.639 --> 00:42:05.519 Jesus Us our savior. Let's pray our heavenly Father. We asked that you 444 00:42:05.559 --> 00:42:09.760 would give to us this word over and over and over again. This world 445 00:42:09.920 --> 00:42:15.559 is often cruel and deceptive. It it lures us in with all kinds of 446 00:42:15.599 --> 00:42:22.000 bait, which we are often ready to receive according to our flesh. We 447 00:42:22.079 --> 00:42:27.480 ask that you would protect us from this by giving to us your means of 448 00:42:27.519 --> 00:42:32.519 grace, particularly the word of God. Lord. We asked that your word 449 00:42:32.599 --> 00:42:36.960 would come to us, and that it would come to us with the authority 450 00:42:37.079 --> 00:42:40.519 of the of the Spirit, who would work in our lives and change us 451 00:42:40.519 --> 00:42:50.400 so that we might treasure and ponder and consider. And as we consider these 452 00:42:50.440 --> 00:42:54.920 things, as we consider what your word means for our understanding of you, 453 00:42:55.960 --> 00:43:00.480 what your word means for our understanding of ourselves, our world, our plans, 454 00:43:00.519 --> 00:43:05.079 our hopes, our fears. We asked that you would help us to 455 00:43:05.159 --> 00:43:12.239 commit ourselves to be solely devoted to You above all things. We asked that 456 00:43:12.280 --> 00:43:15.800 you would give us uh, that you would take away the fleshly nature and 457 00:43:15.840 --> 00:43:20.719 the hearts of stone, and give us hearts of flesh, that we might 458 00:43:20.840 --> 00:43:30.199 live for you, glorifying you and enjoying you now and forever. Thank you, 459 00:43:30.280 --> 00:43:35.440 Lord for the revelation of this word. Thank you for delivering it again 460 00:43:35.480 --> 00:43:39.440 to us today, that we might proclaim with all those who have gone before 461 00:43:39.559 --> 00:43:47.480 us that Jesus Christ is the Lord. We pray this in his name, Amen,

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