Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
What's your Christmas story?| Justin J
This message was preached by Justin Jaykumar Y. Sam at Word of Grace Church on December 20th, 2015. To listen/download the audio please click here . To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
Year after year we celebrate Christmas. We change our decorations but certain things we retain- the star, carol, etc. Some things have been added- Santa, decorations, etc. Some have been deleted like shepherds.
So what is your story of Christmas? A Sunday school teacher got the kids to draw the Christmas scene. Some drew Mary and Jesus, shepherds, wisemen, etc. One boy’s drawing had an aeroplane with Mary and Jesus inside and a man with dark glasses was flying the plane. The teacher asked who it was and he said- that’s Pontius Pilot! We get our stories mixed up sometimes.
Q. So what are the main points?
1. Favour of God to mankind: Luke 1:28- the angle calls Mary the highly favoured one. In Eden God created Adam and Eve and then through disobedience, God and man parted ways. Sin cannot be in the presence of God. Man was driven away from the garden.
The birth of Jesus solves that problem. The son of God was called two things
a. Jesus- he shall save his people from their sins. Our greatest need at Christmas is not information, science, or entertainment. God sent a saviour because our greatest need is to be forgiven from sin.
b. Emmanuel- Matthew 1:23-God with us. Christmas story is God coming down for you and me. God not only wants to save us but also be king in our lives.
When Mary heard all of this, she wondered how this will be. Nothing is impossible with God.
2. Fear- the birth of Christ dispels fear. When Mary heard about the birth of Jesus, she wondered how this will be. Nothing is impossible with God.
In the 2 gospels we see the story recounted. For 40 years, there was silence between the Old Testament and New Testament. In the Christmas story we hear a lot of ‘fear not’s.
a. So we should “fear not” of the humanly impossible- because it is possible with god. The Angel came to the shepherds and ‘fear not’- this came in the context of salvation. Jesus came to liberate us.
b. ‘Fear not’ in the context of unanswered prayer- Zechariah and Elizabeth in Luke 1:8-11; they did not have children. If we have some unanswered prayer then take encouragement from this fear not. We see that people live in all kinds of fear- of failure, career, darkness, future, etc.
3. Worship- the birth of Jesus demands worship from us. This should be our response. The wisemen came all the way from the east and came to Jerusalem following the star. But Jerusalem did not know that a king was born. God revealed himself to us in a way we will understand. Our God is the king of kings. He will be a ruler who will shepherd his people.
Jesus’ birth is historic. Born during king Herod’s reign- a roman puppet. He was a wicked murderous king. The people hated him. Jesus was not a puppet or a wicked king. He is a loving king who will rule and shepherd. This is a wonderful combination.
Worship involves exceeding joy. It’s not dependent on what happened outside but what is going on inside. Worship is meeting your God. We are blessed we met with God this morning.
They knew that they would find Jesus because they carried gifts by faith. They trusted the vision they saw.
The wise men- God spoke to them in their language- they were astrologers. They understood.
Q. What do we bring to Jesus in our worship?
Jesus is our king, our high priest and our sacrifice. The wise men brought gifts that were symbolic and significant. Does our offering and worship befit our king?
King Herod was not genuine when he said he wanted to worship Jesus. He being king could not accept another king. If we are kings in our lives, we cannot accept Jesus’ kingship.
4. Directs us to witness- Luke 2- the shepherds were ordinary people who were not allowed to enter the city not the temple. But God chose to tell them. When they saw Jesus with their own eyes, they could not contain themselves. They had to share- they told the people that a saviour has been born.
The world is looking for someone who will deliver them. The birth of Jesus meant peace and goodwill toward men. Peace with God and one another. When we accept the sacrifice of Jesus it restores God and man and brings harmony.
This is what we share with people. They went and spread the good news to as many as they could. You and I are called to share our experience of Jesus.
So what is your story of Christmas? What is your experience?