The Joy of Christmas Has Some Amazing Sources
DATE: 16 Dec, 2001
PLACE: BBC Blarney
Introduction (Luke 1:13,143,19; 43,44; 47; 58; 2:10)
A. I’m taking a break from our study in Revelation of the seven churches, and turning our attention to the time of year we are in
B. When the Lord Jesus was born, there were two things of note:
1. First, there was a lot of busyness
a. The world was too busy to notice His arrival
b. The kings were too worried about their empires
c. The Inn-keepers were too worried about their guests
d. The government was too worried about their taxes and the economy
e. The world just had no time to take notice of an insignificant little baby being born in a barn!
f. So much “Bah humbug”
1) People had un-met expectations
2) Unreal pressures
3) Unbearable memories
2. Secondly, there was an amazing amount of joy and excitement for those who did take the time to notice
a. A whole lot of Shepherds
b. A sky full of angels
c. Some wise men from Babylon
d. Mary, Joseph themselves
A. Mary has just been told two things:
1. She is going to have the Messiah born to her
2. Her much older cousin, Elisabeth is also with her first child, and that boy will be somebody special too!
B. From that moment on, Mary’s life would never be the same!
C. I want to look at why!
Message – What’s All the Excitement About? (Luke 1:39-55)
A. Mary’s Haste (Lk 1:39,40) – not just “ more of the same”, but something has happened in her life that has sped it up, and she can’t contain herself (Eph 2:1)
1. Mary has discovered that a godly life pays off!
a. She stayed a virgin up to marriage! Part of the promise young girls make to God
b. She had developed her life so that she was known as a praying woman, instead of a complaining woman! AMEN! Prayer pays off better than complaining, and demanding your own way!
c. She was a Bible believing, and learned woman – not ignorant like Muslims keep their women
d. We need some folks who set out to live a GODLY life, and watch God honour and bless us for it
2. She has a godly man who stands with her by faith
a. Joseph sought to marry this godly women, not “live” with her – still is wicked and sinful, even today!
b. Discovers she is pregnant
c. Understands that it is unbelievably the promised Messiah (Cf Isa 7:14)
d. Decides to follow the Lord’s leading and marry her anyway, trusting God, and His promise to take good care of them as they follow – you can’t ask for anything better than that!
3. She seeks to be with another godly woman
a. The blessing of godly women
1) There is nothing sweeter than the fellowship of two people who love God, and want to just encourage each other to know God, love God, and live for God always!
2) No church is balanced without the women in love with the Lord Jesus, and His word
3) The devil targets the women big-time these days
b. The need for godly women
1) Greater today than at any time before
2) God is looking for GODLY women – women sold out for Jesus Christ
3) They are JUST as vital to reaching this world with the Gospel as GODLY men are!
c. The preparation of godly women
1) Not an accident
2) Through Discipleship – yes, WOMEN need to study and learn
3) Through sacrifice (Rom 12:1,2)
4) Through humility – taking second place – That’s God’s way!
5) Through patience – we all need to pray for godliness in not just our men, but in our ladies, and young girls and old alike!
4. Mary is excited because it all is starting to pay-off
a. Having a godly life
b. Having a godly husband
c. Having godly friends
d. Who wouldn’t be excited!?
B. Elisabeth’s Excitement (Lk 1:41-45)
1. Elisabeth has a miracle conception herself
a. She and her husband are an old couple
b. They have never been able to have children
c. And now, all of a sudden, they are going to have a boy
d. And an angel has told them he is the messenger of the Messiah
e. There are some real reasons to be excited
1) When you are useful to God – as Elisabeth was! She will be raising a man that will be truly great - Oh that Mom’s saw this great truth!
2) When your prayers are answered – nothing better! She and her husband had been praying for most of their lives, and here God was not just answering them, but giving them the second most important birth is all of history!
3) When your family is excited along with you – not alone
4) Pretty good huh?
2. She is open, yielded to the filling of the Holy Ghost
a. NOT Constantly depressed – filled with disappointments
b. NOT Contentious with her unbelieving husband – filled with disagreements
c. But, filled with the presence of Almighty God IN her life!
d. She has yearned, and begged for this, and here it came, so naturally
1) All because JESUS was there – not Mary
2) From this moment on, just the presence of Jesus would change the world – not Mary!
3. She starts shouting – excitement will do that to you!
a. Just how blessed Mary is – and she was
1) Not blessed above all women, but among women
2) Blessed in being used of God
b. Just how blessed that baby is:
1) He is the Lord – Immanuel
2) Mary is the mother of our LORD
a) NOT the mother of GOD – blasphemy
b) Mary is the mother of the man-part of Jesus
c) The God part HAD NO BEGINNING
3) The man-part was such a blessing to have finally come
c. Just how blessed Elisabeth is
1) Most of us are not aware of how blessed we are
2) She recognises how blessed she is – even though not carrying the Messiah
d. Just how blessed Elisabeth’s baby is
1) He shall be called John the BAPTIST
2) He is at this moment filled with the Holy Ghost – just like his mother
a) The baby IN the womb is ALIVE and a human being
b) This baby is aware of the presence of Jesus
3) He will live a life for his younger cousin, Jesus, serving! What a blessing to live for, and serve the Lord!
4. It’s all because just ONE young lady believed God
a. Like Abraham and Sarah did
b. Like when a Mom and Dad believe God enough to train their kids the Bible way – it is a blessing!
c. Like when a Christian starts being a witness and lets his or her light shine – starts a wildfire!
d. I wonder if just ONE woman would get into their Bible so much and just start believing God
1) For their husband’s salvation
2) For their problems, and heartaches
3) For their wayward kid’s return, and salvation
4) For their pastor to be full of God’s Holy Spirit
5) For their friends and neighbours to get saved!
C. God’s Glory (Lk 1:46-55)
1. Mary takes none of the praise
a. Just as Peter didn’t
b. Nor did Paul accept ANY veneration
c. NO Christian should take honours that belong to God only
1) Title of Father, and his HOLINESS, etc
2) You’re the greatest – sports would crumble if people acted like Christians – giving all the glory to God
b) Parents backing them
c) Jesus being their reason for striving
d) Honouring Jesus being their goal
2. Mary “magnifies” only God
a. She was not proud of HERSELF, nor her accomplishments – her virginity, and her faith was not boasted about (Pr 27:2)
b. She praises, worships, exalts God
1) HE is Saviour – even of HERSELF – she was not sinless
2) HE cares (1:48) – regards the nobodies
3) HE has blessed her – and it is self evident
a) Not monetarily
b) But by miracles
(i) God’s might and power brought about the virgin birth
(ii) God’s HOLINESS directing her life
(iii) God’s MERCY on her instead of His justice
4) HE has therefore, ruined Satan’s plans (1:51)
a) Satan used a woman to bring in the curse - ruin the world
b) God uses another woman to bring in the cure - Jesus
5) HE has kept His promises (Cf Gen 3)
D. Our Benefit (Lk 1:56) - this excitement affects everyone around – not a passing fad, and it should never be relegated to only a seasonal kind of joy!
1. Mary stays around for 3 whole months with Elisabeth
a. I am so glad for our meetings
b. We need to store up as much of our fellowshipping, so that we can carry it with us throughout the week until we meet again
2. The extended family are amazed – affects them
a. These two pregnant women only talking about how good God is
b. These two cousins getting along as the best of friends
3. Affects all of heaven (2:8-14)
a. Look at the joy of heaven
b. If the world was too busy, the heavens would cry-out – GLORY TO GOD!
4. Affects the common folk – shepherds
5. Affects all believers, throughout all time!
a. That is, if we have the right scene in view
b. NOT some stupid Santy invading people’s homes, and eating all their biscuits, and ignoring half of the world’s children who will wake up on Christmas morning starving, and cold!
A. I look forward to this time of year
1. Not because I have lots of good memories OF Christmas pasts
2. But because I have the same Saviour as Mary, and the same experience of Elisabeth, and the same friends in church!
B. This is a time to get filled with the Holy Spirit
1. Instead of in debt
2. Or under pressure
3. Or filled with “mistletoe and wine!”
C. We need to make our Christmas a Christ honouring, God worshipping event
1. Church on Christmas day
2. A gift from everyone just for the Lord Jesus – offering – His birthday
3. Take time to take stock of what you already have
a. Your mate
b. This church
c. Your health
d. Heaven – that is, if you are saved