Speaker: Don Guthrie
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"Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken for all the inhabited earth. (2) This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. (3) And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. (4) Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, (5) in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. (6) While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. (7) And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room in the inn. (8) In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. (9) And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them; and they were terribly frightened. (10) But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; (11) for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. (12) This will be a sign for you; you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger. (13) And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, (14) 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased' " (Luke 2:1-14).
The Bible compares Jesus to a light. "People walking in darkness saw a great light" (Matthew 4:16). Not physical darkness, MORAL.
No coincidence. The Christmas story is set at night.
A DARK world. Then and now. Caesar Augustus. New taxes.
Into this DARK world came a LIGHT. Dark sky, bright angels. The contrast is the message.
Successful people think differently. "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he" (Proverbs 23:7).
"This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it, for then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have success" (Joshua 1:8).
What do Angels know? What explains their brilliant, confident strength? Why are they so happy?
--God is First
Glory to God in the highest. The highest place (heaven). The highest measure (full heart and enthusiasm).
Angels don't compete with God. They praise Him.
Paul and Silas in prison. Acts 16.
--Jesus is Lord
Savior, Christ, Lord.
"If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved" (Romans 10:9).
--Peace is Possible
"People with whom He is pleased" (v. 14). Particular sub-set of the human race. A remnant.
"The Lord knows who are His" (2 Timothy 2:19).
"My peace I leave you: not as the world gives, do I give to you"
Steps are required. It isn't ALL in your mind. Has to be in your feet, as well. YOU will find a baby. . .
Christmas Eve. The Christ candle.