By Rev. Bill Woods
1 At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.
2 (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)
3 All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.
4 And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.
5 He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.
6 And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born.
7 She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Paying taxes isn’t something we like to do, but this time God orchestrated it.
– This time it was a miracle because God moved a whole nation to get Mary to Bethlehem so prophecy could be fulfilled at Jesus birth.!
Augustus wasn’t a man of God and didn’t know he was helping complete God’s prophecy made 750 years earlier.
God often uses evil men to carry out His purpose.
– He did to chasten Israel.
– To crucify Jesus.
– That’s what He did here.
The Birth — Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
If people who have trouble with the virgin birth would check a little closer, they’d see everything about the supernatural Christ is supernatural.
His beginning (as a man) was supernaturally ordained:
Galatians 4:4 — But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.
His body ordained:
Hebrews 10:5 — That is why, when Christ came into the world, he said to God, “You did not want animal sacrifices or sin offerings. But you have given me a body to offer.”
– Talk about Designer Genes!
His Blood ordained — 1 Peter 1:19-20 — It was the precious blood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. God chose him as your ransom long before the world began, but he has now revealed him to you in these last days.
His purpose was ordained to get the job done! — Hebrews 9:26 — If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.
His family was ordained
- Every human being is predestined to be adopted into God’s Family and share Heaven with God and His angels.
- Even though God predetermined that we should be with Him in His Kingdom, it’s up to us as individuals to accept His Gift.
- The arrangements were made but Satan threw a monkey wrench into the plan when he tempted Eve and Adam to sin — God then had to make Salvation available to us by our choice.
- Each of us has been chosen to share in God’s Family but as Free-moral agents we have the power to choose God or not to choose God.
We have 2 grandchildren that, at the moment, have opted to reject their mom and her family.
- They’ve listened to and bought into lies told by their biological dad and at this moment are living outside of the blessings belonging to our family.
- Because of their choices they’ve missed out on birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, and aren’t even listed as beneficiaries to inherit what should rightfully be theirs when we die.
- They’ve made the choice! Our family desperately wants them to come back into the fold!
In the same way, Satan has told lies that have alienated God’s children from Him.
- He wants them to come back to Him, but it’s their choice as individuals whether they do or don’t.
- This rebellious rejection of God is causing sinners to miss the inheritance God has for them.
Ephesians 1:4-7—Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins.
Because the Wages of Sin is Death and we’re born sinners, God had to redeem us unto Himself.
- Not one person on earth could be good enough to earn Heaven — only a man with no sin of His own could achieve that by dying in our place — MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Jesus is God — He alone could atone for the sins of the world population!
- His Atonement is universal and is offered to every man, woman, and child, but we must choose to accept this wonderful gift!
- We must choose personally — nobody can choose for us.
How was this Gift delivered?
- You’d think something this important would be with a lot of fanfare and folderol.
- This Gift was delivered in the most humble way — so even the poorest could know they were included.
THE MANGER — Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
Things haven’t changed! THERE’S STILL NO ROOM FOR JESUS!
Jesus desires a relationship with His Creation but the coldness of the world crowds Him out.
– The world has no room for JESUS!
The parents at the Mesa grade school made a fuss over Silent Night and The Little Drummer Boy being included in the children’s Christmas program.
- The dad made the most fuss. He said, “This is neither the time nor the place.”
- What are we celebrating? I wonder if their children are going to receive gifts to celebrate this Holiday that starts with the Name of Christ!
Most homes crowd Him out! — Luke 9:58 — But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
- Jesus can certainly identify with the homeless people.
- He wants to give you a home in Heaven!
HAVE YOU LET HIM IN YOUR HOME?
- When we lost our home in 2008, I had to retrieve mail sent to the old house because the address change hadn’t been fixed yet — the father of the man who took our house said, “There is such a spirit of peace in this house, I understand a minister used to live here!”
Jesus wasn’t welcome in His own Synagogue:
Luke 4:28 — And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath, and rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.
When He announced who He was the people in the synagogue were furious.
- Jesus isn’t welcome in most churches today.
Matthew 7:21-23 — “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.
On judgment day many will say to me, ‘Lord! Lord! We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.’ But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.’
Jesus isn’t welcome in our Society
Luke 2:7 — She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.
This describes the confusion of the world.
- They don’t recognize the Gift of God that can bring Peace and Hope so they avoid Him.
All the prophets told the place, manner, and time of His birth.
- There was and is still no room.
But there was room in: In Pilate’s Hall! On Calvary’s Cross. In Joseph’s tomb!
But let’s go on with the rest of the story:
Luke 2:8-18 — That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others — the armies of heaven — praising God and saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished,
– They were favored by a visit from angels — glory shone about them.
– Imagine the thrill of seeing angels!
– God included these shepherds in this wonderful news showing God cares for the lowly and the humble.
They were Frightened!
- God’s mercy produces love and compassion.
- God’s glory always produces fright.
Isaiah 6 — “Woe is Me”
Acts 9 — Saul (Paul) fell to the ground
Revelation — John fell like a dead man.
Today, too many people take God too flippant and casual.
- We should approach Him with respect and reverence!
THE ANGEL’S MESSAGE
It was Simple and very understandable.
- People try to make the Plan of Salvation too difficult.
1 John 1:9 — But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.
The message stimulated the shepherds to action.
- They didn’t just continue to sit like bumps on a log.
- They got up and got busy — happily responding to the Gift God had just given them
Too many Christians think when they’re saved thats an end in itself.
- Not so! There should be a NO PARKING sign on the altar.
- When we’re saved, we should get busy for the Lord — the shepherds told everyone!
The message brought Satisfaction
- Nothing’s more satisfying than knowing your sins are forgiven and are under the Blood of Christ and that if you died right now you’d be with Him in Glory!
JESUS WAS BORN WHERE? AND WAS LAID IN WHAT?
- I ASK YOU, WAS THIS ANY WAY TO TREAT A KING?
HE WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM JUST LIKE THE PROPHETS SAID HE WOULD BE.
HE WAS LAID IN A HUMBLE MANGER SO YOU COULD KNOW HE’S AVAILABLE TO YOU!
HE DIDN’T STAY A BABY — HE GREW UP AND BECAME YOUR SAVIOR!
CLAIM THAT GIFT WITH ALL ITS BENEFITS OF SINS FORGIVEN, JOY, PEACE, AND ETERENAL LIFE!
There was a young man getting ready to go to college.
- He knew the vastness of the college campus he was to attend and thought he needed a car to make it to his classes on time.
- His classes were all over that huge campus and scheduled close together.
- Also he felt a car would help his social life.
He asked his dad to buy him a car he’d already picked out.
Dad said, “Come back this afternoon and we’ll talk about it.”
That afternoon he went to Dad’s office expecting to receive money for a car.
Instead, Dad handed him a book and said, “Son I want you read this book. It’ll help you in your college career.”
The son said, “But Dad, I really need the car right away.”
- Dad said, “After you read the book, we’ll discuss a car.”
Angrily, the son stomped out of the office, took the book home and threw it on the floor of his room.
He went to college without a car!
- At Christmas break he came home and asked his dad about a car.
- Dad answered, “Have you read the book?”
Talk about getting upset at the unreasonableness of his dad!
- All through 4 years of college, every time he came home he’d ask about a car.
- Each time the answer was, “Have you read the book?”
Finally, he graduated, got married and had a family of his own.
Years later he asked his dad just what was so important about that book?
Dad said, “Do you still have the book?”
- The now grown-up son said, “Yes, I kept it but have never read it!”
- Dad said, “Get it and open it.”
When the son opened the book, he found a check written for the amount of the car he’d wanted for college.
- The money was there all time, but he wouldn’t open the book to find it.
GOD HAS GIVEN US A WONDERFUL BOOK CONTAINING INFORMATION WE NEED FOR FORGIVENESS OF SIN, JOY AND PEACE THAT PASSES ALL UNDERSTANDING, AND ETERNAL LIFE.
- IT TELLS OF HIS WONDERFUL CHRISTMAS PLAN FOR ALL HIS CHILDREN!
HAVE YOU OPENED THE BOOK YET?
MERRY CHRISTMAS! OPEN THE BOOK AND FIND THE ANSWERS YOU NEED!
PODCAST WAS THAT ANY WAY TO TREAT A KING?
The updated version of Rev Bill Woods’ book “There Is Still Power In The Blood” will be available soon.