The brightest star in our sky is a man-made star.
I. IT CONFIRMED THE
A. They journeyed by faith.
B. We must journey by faith.
C. Those who launch out on faith deserve confirmation.
1. For them it was the star.
2. We see God s promise confirmed in nature, human nature, history, and experience.
II. IT POINTED THE WAY.
A. Sometimes the most difficult part of a journey is in the last few miles.
B. The star pointed the way for them.
C. Spiritually speaking, the star points the way for all mankind.
III. IT IDENTIFIED THE CHRIST.
A. The focus of their worship was the Person, not the star.
B. Our worship is never to be directed toward things, but toward the Creator of all things.
C. We do not worship objects, like the sacred stone of Islam.
D. Many things help identify Christ for us.
The value of Christmas is that it clears our eyes so that we may see
the star, and following it, find the Savior.
Help! Cried the baby bat in fright!
Turn on the dark;
I'm afraid of the light.
I. THE GREAT DARKNESS
A. The darkness of sin
B. The darkness of human failure
C. The darkness of death
II. THE GREAT LIGHT
A. The light of a personal Savior
B. The light of an endless joy
C. The light of an eternal life
III. THE LESSER LIGHTS
A. Men are like candles: some are cold and never lit;
some are twisted and melted but have felt the flame; some have burned down to the socket!
B. "Lives of great men all remind us we may make our lives sublime."
C. Christmas is the time to consider our example.
D. Do we spread spiritual light or spiritual darkness in the world?
A boy was in St. Paul's Cathedral in London, standing
before Holman Hunt's famous painting of Jesus as the light of the world.
You've seen reproductions of it: Jesus is standing at the door, knocking.
Finally the boy spoke: "Did He ever get in?"
You hear that all the time in the weeks before Christmas. "I'll be glad when it s over."
I. IT SHOWS US THE DISTRACTIONS OF CHRISTMAS.
A. The devil has diverted us from Christmas, not by denying it so much as by covering it up with tinsel and trappings.
B. We are distracted by money to be spent or money to be earned.
C. We are distracted by pleasure.
D. We are even distracted by family.
II. IT SHOWS US THE DISTORTIONS OF CHRISTMAS.
A. Receiving, not giving
B. Exchanging, not giving
C. Playing, not praying
D. Holiday, not holy day
III. IT SHOWS US THE FORGOTTEN DIMENSIONS OF
A. It really is a time for receiving for receiving spiritual gifts of grace and peace.
B. It really is a time for exchanging for exchanging our faith and loyalty for His forgiveness and love.
C. It really is a time for pleasure not the physical pleasures of food and drink and romance, but the spiritual pleasures
of prayer and worship and thanksgiving.
The food will run out, the tree will dry out, the candles will burn out, the presents will wear out, the lights will fade out, and the money will run out. Then, if we look back, perhaps we can see the real Christmas.
No longer Caesar's legions tramp the roads to Rome.
No more to Tyre or Babylon, proud kings come riding home.
The routes to Nineveh are dark. No couriers travel them.
Still the heart-star led-shall find the road to Bethlehem.
I. SOME CAME WITH HASTE (Luke 2:10).
A. The shepherds hurried along the road.
B. Contrast that with our Christmas rush!
1. Theirs was the haste of excitement, enthusiasm, faith, commitment.
2. They hurried to get to Christmas.
3. We hurry to get through Christmas.
II. SOME CAME WITH JOY (Luke 2:10).
A. Joy because God's Word was true
B. Joy because God's promise was fulfilled
C. Joy because the King had come
III. SOME CAME WITH VIOLENCE (Matthew 2:16).
A. It seems a shame--blood splattered on this lovely story.
B. Jesus came into a real world.
C. Violence seems worse at Christmastime.
IV. SOME CAME WITH DEVOTION (Matthew 2:2).
A. Worship was so important to them that they made a long journey.
B. How important is worship to you?
C. If worship is not as important as it ought to be, perhaps you need to understand the true identity of the One we
For some, the journey is short. For some, it is long. But all must travel the Bethlehem road.
I refer not to the Wise-men. ("We Three Kings of Orient are; bearing gifts, we traverse afar! ")
I. THE KING OF PEACE (Augustus Caesar)
A. John begins his Gospel in Heaven, Matthew in Eden, Luke in Rome.
B. Caesar called himself savior and son of God; and he brought peace to the world.
C. He moved men like pawns on a chessboard.
D. Yet within three centuries, Rome would belong not to Caesar, but to Christ.
II. THE KING OF VIOLENCE (Herod)
A. He was only a puppet king.
B. Everybody understood he was a puppet of the emperor. We know he was a puppet of the devil.
C. He killed his own sons. He did not hesitate to kill the sons at Bethlehem. If he could, he would have killed the Son
D. Ironically, his burial place is within sight of Jesus birthplace. Thousands go to Bethlehem, only a few to the
III. THE KING OF KINGS (Jesus)
A. The simple came. Those shepherds were not necessarily ignorant, but they were simple, uncomplicated,
unsophisticated men. How often does sophistication and culture keep people from Christ?
B. The strangers came the Wise-men. (What strange people Christianity attracts, and always has!)
C. Perhaps there were others who visited the infant Christ, but whose visits are not recorded. These show two
extremes: educated and uneducated; powerful and lowly; wealthy and poor; expected and unexpected.
Will you cast your lot with political power (Caesar), with Force (Herod), or with love and peace (Jesus)?
The author of Hebrews says that God spoke to us in His Son.
I. HOW DID HE SPEAK?
II. WHAT DID HE SAY?
A. "I Care."
B. "I can make you better than you are.
C. "I can forgive your sins."
D. "I can give you life eternal."
E. "I love you."
Jesus is God s beloved son. Hear ye Him.
God delights in surprising us. No event was more surprising than Jesus birth.
I. SUDDENLY--A SONG
A. A song of praise
B. A song of hope
C. A song of peace
D. A song of love
II. SUDDENLY A SON
A. He will reveal the Father's nature.
B. He will bear the Father's message.
C. He will do the Father's will.
III. SUDDENLY A SAVIOR
A. He saves us from our empty religion.
B. He saves us from ourselves.
C. He saves us from our sins.
So sing the song, know the Son, and let the Savior do His work in you.
The familiar poem highlights for us a lesser-known truth. In many ways, it was night before Christmas.
I. WE WERE IN THE DARK ABOUT MAN.
A. About his potential
B. About his destiny
II. WE WERE IN THE DARK ABOUT SIN.
A. Sin made His coming to earth necessary.
B. Sin tried to frustrate Him at every turn.
C. Finally sin tried to kill Him.
D. Theft and violence are more common at Christmas and touch us more deeply.
III. WE WERE IN THE DARK ABOUT GOD.
A. Christmas confirms His love for us.
B. Christmas confirms His grace.
C. Christmas confirms His power.
D. Christmas confirms His judgment.
These are the true Christmas lights, not the twinkling colored bulbs, but these shining truths.
When we see the words "Special Report" or "News Bulletin," we listen attentively because we know something of great importance has happened. No special report was more dramatic than the one delivered to the shepherds.
I. IT WAS SURPRISING NEWS.
II. IT WAS JOYOUS NEWS.
III. IT WAS UNIVERSAL NEWS.
IV. IT WAS PERSONAL NEWS.
V. IT WAS LIFE-CHANGING NEWS.
VI. IT WAS MUCH-NEEDED NEWS.
Only a few times in our lives will we hear news that will dramatically change the way we live. This is the greatest event in world history. You must tell it, and respond to it.
The immediate response of the shepherds to the angels message was Let s go . . . and see this thing which has come to pass." What did they see?
I. A HUMBLE BIRTH
A. Humble parents
B. Humble town
C. Humble surroundings
II. A HUMAN BIRTH
A. He came into the world in human form
B. He came to address the human condition
C. He came to share human problems
D. He came to show the human potential
III. A HOLY BIRTH
A. Foretold by prophets
B. Announced by angels
C. Prepared by the Father
Won't you go with the shepherds to see this birth? If you do, you, too, will leave rejoicing.
Some say the first Christmas tree in America was in 1847 in Wooster, Ohio; some in Reading, Pennsylvania, in 1804. Americans use 35,000,000 Christmas trees each year. There is also a Christmas tree in the Bible.
I. THE FAMILY TREE (Luke 3:23 ff)
A. Identified Him with us
B. Identified Him with prophecy
C. Identified Him with sin and sinners
II. THE CROSS TREE (Luke 2:10, 11)
A. Simeon saw it (Luke 2:34, 35).
B. Isaiah saw it (Isaiah 53:4-6, 9-12).
C. The Psalmist saw it (Psalm 22:1, 7-9, 14-18; Psalm 22:1).
III. THE LARGER TREE
The cross is superior to the cradle for these reasons:
A. It shows God's love more clearly.
B. It shows sin more starkly.
C. It shows grace more convincingly.
Every time you see one of those modern trees, think of these Biblical Christmas trees.
Everyone agrees that Christmas is a special time. What makes it special is the extraordinary one who came down to us. Everything about Him and His birth is special.
I. BORN INTO A SPECIAL FAMILY (Matthew 1:1-17)
A. A descendant of Abraham
B. A descendant of David
C. A descendant of sinners
D. A descendant of Gentiles
II. BORN TO SPECIAL PARENTS
A. Joseph (Matthew 1:18-25)
1. A righteous man
2. A compassionate man
B. Mary (Luke 1:28, 38)
1. A virtuous woman
2. A committed woman
III. BORN IN A SPECIAL WAY (Matthew 1:18; Luke
A. By a biological miracle
B. By a spiritual miracle
IV. BORN FOR A SPECIAL PURPOSE
A. To set up an eternal kingdom (Luke 1:31-33)
B. To save people from their sins (Matthew 1:21)
Why not let God's special Son do His special work