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Luke 2:1-10 NKJV And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.
“The angel said to them, ‘Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10 RSV).
We live in a day in which there is much bad news. With the internet and twenty-four-hour news channels, we are made aware of every crisis around the world on a minute-by-minute basis. Wars, crime, economic disasters, political corruption, personal scandals, and natural disasters contribute to the avalanche of bad news with which we are assaulted every day.
A part of the appeal of Christmas is that it is a message of good news about God.
- Christmas reveals to us the God above and behind the world in which we live.
- Christmas reveals God in the world in the person of Jesus Christ.
- Christmas reveals that God is for the world.
If we miss the good news of Christmas, we have missed the main point, for “the angel said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! For I am here with good news for you’ ” (Luke 2:10 GNT).
I. The good news of Christmas is that our God is the living God.
God is a rewarder
Hebrews 11:6 NKJV But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
He works. God has an orderly procedure in which he is at work in the world and in the hearts of those who trust him.
Romans 8:28-29 NKJV And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.
Our God is personal. Jesus reveals this dramatically.
John 1:14 NKJV And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:18 NKJV No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
Matthew 17:1-8 NKJV Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as the light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, let us make here three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!” And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their faces and were greatly afraid. But Jesus came and touched them and said, “Arise, and do not be afraid.” When they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
In his glorious transfiguration experience, the deity of Jesus Christ shone through the veil of his humanity. The disciples saw his deity in his humanity. Jesus came to reveal that God is more than just an impersonal power behind the universe. He is the personal God who relates to us as a loving Father to needy children.
John 14:9 NKJV Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
If you want see and know God, then look into the face of the Christ who came as a baby on that first Christmas morning.
God is love.
I John 4:7 NKJV Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
God’s love for people is unmerited.
Romans 5:8 NKJV But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- God has loved us in the past.
- God loves us in the present.
- God always will love us.
His love for us is not determined by our attractiveness or performance.
God’s love is all inclusive. The children’s chorus says, “Red and yellow, black and white, all are precious in his sight.” No person is so high or so low that he or she is not an object of God’s love.
God’s love is liberating. He sets us free from passions and emotions that would destroy us.
God’s love is personal
John 3:16 NKJV For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
For this verse, to be really meaningful, we need to put ourselves right in the middle of it. Instead of reading, “God so loved the world,” read it “God so loved [your name] that he gave his only Son, that if [your name] believes in him [your name] will have eternal life.” Personalize God’s great love for you.
Christ’s coming to earth, living, dying, rising from the dead, ascending to heaven, and interceding for us assure us that God loves us.
III. The good news of Christmas is that our God has provided us a leader.
Christ came to be our Savior from sin and the Lord of our lives. For him to be both Savior and Lord, it is necessary that we let him be our leader.
Jesus Christ wants to lead you out of all that is destructive, evil, and wasteful. He wants to lead you out of that which is nonproductive and disappointing into that which will be most productive and satisfying.
Jesus wants to lead you into the abundant life of peace with God and into a right relationship with others. In the Bible, people begin their existence in the garden of Eden. The last book of the Bible pictures people in the paradise of God. The Christ who came at Christmas wants to lead you into that heavenly way of life in the here and now as well as in the hereafter.
Jesus Christ wants to lead you through the uncertainty of the present and the complexity of the future.
Psalms 23:1-6 NKJV The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.
The psalmist was greatly comforted by the assurance that the Good Shepherd would lead him through the valley of the shadow of death (Ps. 23:4). The message of Christmas is that Christ wants to lead you through your dark and dangerous valleys.
Jesus Christ wants to lead you to the highest and best possible manhood and womanhood. He wants to lead you up to the highest quality of life in your home, in your work, and in your personal achievements.
Between now and the end our Lord wants to lead you upward to that which is highest and best for you and for those about you. He is a competent, compassionate, and consistent leader. You can always trust him to lead you in the right way.
Have you really heard the good news of Christmas? How are you responding to it? Make this your best Christmas ever by believing the good news and receiving Christ as Savior and Lord.