Sunday, December 24, 2006

Four Miracles of Christmas: Part Four - The Miracle of Participation

Four Miracles of Christmas

Gtcotr/ss122406 Part Four – The Miracle of Participation

Key Scripture: 1 Timothy 1:12 ¶ And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry

December has been our month of miracles.

1. The Miracle of Incarnation

2. The Miracle of Reconciliation

3. The Miracle of Salvation

Today we look at the fourth miracle of Christmas:

The Miracle of Participation

The miracle of earthly involvement

From Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men, to the angels in heaven, God involves others in His plan. He is a: Whosoever will; He that hath an ear; Lest at any time kind of God. God always planned to include each one of us in the Miracle of Christmas.

Let’s look at the Christmas Story from the familiar book of:

Luke 2 NKJV

1 ¶ And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

4 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,

5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.

7 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.

8 ¶ Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

10 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.

11 "For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12 "And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger."

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us."

16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.

17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child.

18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

The Miracle of Participation

The miracle of earthly involvement – as stated earlier,

From Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and wise men, to the angels in heaven, God involves others in His plan. He always has and always will. God always plans to include you.

In fact it’s all about you! God made Christmas all about you.

The Christmas Story is retold in this manner by the Holy Spirit through the Apostle Paul’s second letter to the Church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 5 NJKV

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation,

19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.

21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

God has a plan

· His plan is that all men might hear the Good News by credible witness

· And having heard, that each one experience the Holy Spirit tugging on the heart to believe, embrace and endure.

He will succeed

· God will not be denied justice on the day of judgment

· Every person will have had a spiritual opportunity to accept God’s plan

We all have a chance to participate

· God reaches through people to people

· We are His arms extended, His love reaching out

God wants to involve you in His unfolding Christmas story.

Our key scripture indicates that God will enable the faithful and place them into the ministry. What ministry? The ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ …

… with the word and ministry of reconciliation – The Good News!, not the negative stuff.

The Christmas Story demands that we who have received the Good News Ambassador from Heaven, become Good News Ambassadors for Heaven.

Decide right now that you will tell someone the Good News this Christmas. Let’s all make this Christmas about the Christ Who came, born of the Virgin Mary in a stable manger in the town of Bethlehem over 2000 years ago and is coming again.

This Jesus the Incarnate; Jesus the Reconciler; Jesus the Savior wants to partner with us as we participate together in His Father’s plan.

What will be your answer? Will you participate?

Let God know your answer right now as we pray together.