Classic Christianity – Christmas P1 (12-21-20)
In this world, we can begin to see terrible events unfold. We can certainly see clearly this conflict between good and evil. The degree of that will depend, to some extent, what exposure you have to sources of information concerning current world events, for there is also so much fake news and misinformation.
Nevertheless, we tend to see these horrible things happening as something unusual, yet the Lord tells us that evildoers will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. We tend to forget what the Lord has told us, and can let ourselves be overcome with fear. But God tells us to keep our focus on Him, to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of. Of all people, we, as children of God, should hold out hope. We should testify of the hope we have within us. We should be full of joy and peace, as we allow God, who is living in us, to bear that fruit in our lives.
But we all need encouragement. We are instructed to meet with like-minded believers, and all the more so, as we see the time of the end of the age approaching. God knows our weaknesses, our frailty, our sin-indwelling flesh, and He wants to strengthen us for difficult days ahead. He tells us that as the days become more evil that the love of most will grow cold. He does not want us to be living in worry or fear or anxiety. He wants us to continue to walk in faith, to edify one another. Encourage one another daily, He says, so that no one is hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
So as this holiday season approaches, it is known as a season in which people will at least hear about Jesus. Yes, there are those, even among family, who think that is all fairy tales, but they will hear about Christ. What manner of life should we live? We have the option to choose to participate in the divine nature who lives in us. If you are born again, you have that choice. The lost do not. They need to see the work of God in our lives. They need to see the love that comes from God, and respond to that love. They need to know who this Jesus is.
Many may have heard that Jesus was born in a manger, born of a virgin, and about wise men who came to give gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh. To many they are neat little stories or a part of the Christmas tradition, of singing songs, exchanging gifts, or reading out of the book of Matthew to the little children, that story of the birth of Jesus. And that is wonderful to participate in and enjoy such wonderful time with family or friends.
Many people know that Jesus is God, which is certainly necessary and good to know. But knowing that, they still feel an emptiness inside. That is a symptom of a condition called spiritual death. Without the Spirit of God living in you, you are separated from a genuine relationship with the living God. There is a barrier between you and God. That barrier was caused by sin, that resulted in your death. The cause of your death, which is sin, was solved by the death of Christ Jesus on a cross. But as great as that is to know that your sins have already been forgiven, taken away from the eyes of God, and that even before you were born, you are still dead. Why? You do not have the Spirit of God living in you. That comes by receiving what Jesus came to give, His very life, His resurrected life to be placed in you. That life must be received by faith.
Religion has blinded so many people from the truth of what Jesus came to do. So much religious teaching is out there that is contrary to what Jesus told us in His word, in regards to what is necessary for us to have eternal life. His birth did not save us. His birth, supernatural birth through a virgin, is how he entered into this world.
God came to this earth in appearance as a man, not born in the nature of Adam, for that is where the sin nature is passed down. Jesus had to be born of a virgin. Jesus has always been God, never ceased to be God, and always will be God, but clothed Himself in an earth suit, in our humanity. He came so that He could lay His life down for us, to meet the requirements of the law for us, since it is impossible for us to ever obey the law perfectly, and perfection is required, and to pay the price required of sin, death on a cross, which is too great a price for us to pay.
So Jesus shed His blood on a cross in order that life could be given. His death on a cross took away the sins of the world from the eyes of God, something that the blood of bulls and goats could never do, nor any other sacrifice for that matter, whether a priest on an altar, or a Jew in the temple, or any other denomination with it’s religious tradition of sacrifice, in an attempt to make himself acceptable to God by what he does.
But Jesus was raised from the dead so that our real problem of spiritual death can be solved. The cross solved the problem of sin. But His life solves the problem of our death. Forgiveness cannot give life. Only He, through His resurrection, can give life. So Jesus was raised from the dead to give His life, His resurrected life, eternal life, to us as a gift to be received by faith. The same Holy Spirit that left all of mankind because of sin has to be placed back into mankind, and that happens only when someone, individually, one at a time, comes to Christ to receive what He came to give. He came to give you and me His resurrected life, the Holy Spirit to live in you and be in you forever. Will you receive that life today?
We live in a strange world. We live in a world today where people like to criticize Jesus. I look back and say, what is there to criticize about this Jesus, a man who came to preach love to people. That is all He talked about is love.
6 The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.
What is there to criticize? Is this world against Christians, or is it against Christ? Who is against Christ? What are people thinking about? But, when you realize that in this world there is a conflict. There is the conflict between good and evil. That conflict has been going on since the garden of Eden.
2 Timothy 3:12-14
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it
As long as we are in this world, we are going to be living among that conflict, the conflict between people who want to walk in the newness of life serving Christ Jesus, or people who want to walk in the energy of their own flesh, serving nothing but their own desires. That is going to be taking place until the Lord comes back.
2 Peter 1:3-5
3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
But we have an option. We, as people, have an option. We have an option of whether we are going to continue in our thoughts and in our sins. We have an option as to whether we are going to continue to engage in habits and activities that we know are contrary to who we are in Christ, and activities that we know are contrary to what we know is good for us. Yet, we have a choice, don’t we? How many times do we make the wrong choice?
5 However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 6 David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the one to whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
8 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord will never count against them.”[Psalm 32:1,2]
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
But regardless of how often we make the wrong choice, there is always a new beginning for us. With Christ Jesus, there is always tomorrow, another day. But it is a day we can stand and say, “God, from this day forth, and as for me and my house, I am going to serve the Lord”.
15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
I do not care what my spouse, children or parents do, from this day forth, I am going to serve the Lord. That is an inner decision. It is courage. What is a man? That is a man. He is the man, someone who will stand up and believe in something, besides catering to their own flesh, who is able to say there is something more important in life than gratification. Yet we live for gratification.
11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. 12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope – the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ
We got options in this world today. We have options, unless we are lost, because as we have been sharing, we have the power of God living in us. We have Christ Jesus living in us. We are told that.
But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
1 Corinthians 2:16
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
We have the mind of Christ. If you got a mind like Christ’s, that is good news. We have the mind of Christ living in us. We are indwelt by God. We have been given everything that we need for life and godliness.
2 Peter 1:3
3 for His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Yet, folks, as people, we tend to put these things aside. We do not have any priorities. This room should be filled every Sunday. Why? Because we ought to go to church? No. Because God instructed us not to be unequally yoked from one another. God says there is a benefit to fellowshipping with other believers, especially believers of like mind.
23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another – and all the more as you see the Day approaching.
I have been in big churches. There was no like-mindedness in there because there was no mind in there, no one in there with the mind of Christ. But here, you have a place of people of like mind, that you can fellowship with and have communion with. Yet, we put priorities on everything else except doing what God says to do, and that is to be faithful, to be encouraging.
I could not help from thinking, when I was looking at all these decorations, looking at Greg at the back every week, and those running the cameras, and looking at Richard, and people doing the music. I could not look at me because I could not see me, not without a mirror. All of us volunteer. Not a paid staff in this building. We are paid for People to People work. If we did not have Metro, we would have the identical staff that we have. We volunteer our time. Why? Because we believe in this message. We believe in you. We believe that there is a need for local fellowship. It says so in the scriptures.
18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”
I laughingly, many times, at the end of this service, we wish everyone happy because that might be the last time I will see you. I do not put a guilt trip on people because you cannot be guilty unless you are guilty. Do you really believe what God said when He said, “Do no forsake the assembling of yourselves together”. Do you want to leave that out of scripture or do you believe God knew what He was talking about when He said that.
I do not want people here so we can say there were so many people here. I want you here because it is good for you. Do you always feel like it? I do not even always feel like it. Amy has to remind me sometimes, “You are the pastor”. Do I sometimes just would rather lay in bed and feed my flesh? Yes, of course. Who wouldn’t? Yet something inside you says to get up and go be with people. Do you realize it is an encouragement? How many of you are willing to be encouragers to the staff of People to People. When you are here and are fellowshipping and loving one another, you could not be a deeper encouragement to us. That is what keeps us going. It is like the story in the Old Testament, when Moses, when, as long as he could hold up his hands, the army was winning. As he got tired, he could not hold his hands up. He had people there to hold them up for him.
10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset.
That is what we need, people to hold your hands up. Why? Because of this baby Jesus, who was born in a manger, who was God in the flesh.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
Now, folks, we are not here to practice religion. I have been through religion. I have seen all of that that I want to see. Are we together on that? I have seen all of that stuff. It does not impress me at all. You cannot get me back in one of those churches if my life depended on it, as if I am disobeying God who says, “I need fellowship”. But to go back into that treadmill and into that phoniness, I got tired of it. I got tired of, “Hi there, sweetie. Bless your sweet heart.”, and then see them go out beating their children in the head. I want to be around sincere people. If you are sincerely in Christ, you should too.
1 Timothy 1:5
5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
2 Timothy 1:5
4 Recalling your tears, I long to see you, so that I may be filled with joy. 5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.
Those of you here, think about a decision, and that is a decision to start weighing your priorities. I had sometimes hear a person in business say, “I cannot do it because I got business”. If you had an appointment with someone in your business, between 12:00 and 1:00 o’clock on Sunday, and I say, “I want to get an appointment with you”, and I say, “12:00 o’clock”, what would you say? “I cannot do it. I got an appointment.” The same thing here. But you say, “I would lose a customer.” “No you won’t. Not if there is a God in heaven.” It is a matter of prioritizing what God wants you to do.
18 When Jesus saw the crowd around him, he gave orders to cross to the other side of the lake. 19 Then a teacher of the law came to him and said, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.”
20 Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
21 Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
22 But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.”
If we cannot do a simple thing like that, why do you think you will obey the other things we run into in life. So, I am asking us, from a biblical standpoint, to prioritize your life. Get some priorities in your life that make some sense. I am not talking about some hair-brained idea that I want you to do. I am talking about what God has called us to do. What is beneficial when you go do it and what is not beneficial when you do not do it. I am talking about stuff that is good for you. So get priorities in your life and keep it. Sometimes you do not want to do it. That is okay. You do it anyway. I do not like mowing my lawn. But if I didn’t, it will look pretty bad. Then my neighbors will have to come over and mow it.
28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’
29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.
30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.
31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“The first,” they answered.
Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.
There are a lot of things in life we don’t like to do sometimes. But again, make it a priority in your life. I am not saying this stuff so that we can have an accounting of nickels and noses. That is not the issue. I am saying these things so that we can come together as a group and praise our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as a group, every week. That is one day of the week, for a couple of hours. Do not tell me that we cannot work our priorities in. We have people that drive here every Sunday from Waco, TX. We have people who drive in from Austin, TX, about a 200 mile drive, to find a fellowship. Yet we have people who will not drive 15 minutes, saying that it is too far away. You are not walking, are you?
I heard all these silly excuses, and that is all they are, silly excuses. The whole issue is you have not prioritized your life. Get a handle on your life. I do not want life to run me. I want to run my life. The only way I can do that is to say, “This day, I am going to do this”.
When Amy and I were first married, Amy had never been a housewife before, but she prioritized her life. Every Monday we are going to have hamburgers. Every Tuesday you are going to have hamburgers. Every Wednesday you are going to have hamburgers. Prioritized. She knew a certain day was wash day. She was not saying I will wash later. I would be saying that, but not her.
Now, I am talking about my own weaknesses. I did have to force myself to be disciplined. Amy was always disciplined. Sometimes I thought she was bad for me because I did not want to get out of bad. She is good for me. Well, God prioritized His life, and thought it best for us that He left heaven for us.
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If God loves you and me so much, that He gave his only begotten Son that whosoever would believe in Him would not perish but have everlasting life, why should we do less that what He asks of us?
2 Timothy 4:1-3
1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
You see, I want to be able to say to the world, through testimony or whatever it might be, concerning this hope that is within me. When I am out with people, I want to be available to give an account for this hope that is within me. Why? Because there is a hope within me.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
If you are in Christ Jesus, and I assume you are, do you fear death? I do not mean the fear of dying. I am talking about fear in the ultimate thing of death. For you shouldn’t, for when you believe that when you close your eyes for the last time, then you merely are absent from the body and present with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:54-56
54 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[Isaiah 25:8]
55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”[Hosea 13:14]
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
2 Corinthians 5:8 (NASB)
8 but we are of good courage and prefer rather to be absent from the body and to be at home with the Lord.
There is really nothing to fear with this. If that is true, is that worthy in conversation to say to people? Yes, it is.
I can remember the first heart attack I had. I have to laugh. If you asked me a question, “Bob, are you healthy?” “Yes, I am healthy as ever. Yes, I am healthy.” “Well, what is the evidence of your good health?” “I have had two heart attacks, prostate cancer and melanoma. I am healthy.” Do you know why those things do not bother me. They do not bother me. Like I told the doctor, who wanted to do open heart surgery on me. I told him at that time, “I am not having open heart surgery. I am having stints.” “Well, there is a place down there that if the splint does not go down just right, then you will die of cardiac arrest.” I told him, “Doctor, I cannot think of a better way to die than cardiac arrest. If I could choose how I leave this place, that would be it.” He thought I was crazy. I talked to Amy and thought she was crazy. The issue is that is truth. We have eternal life. We have assurance of salvation.
I talked to a gentleman I had not met with any length of time before, the father of a bride we were marrying a couple of weeks ago. One of the first things he said to me, “I have eternal life in Christ Jesus. I know where I am going when I die.” I understand that was not always the case. But something has happened to him. He got a hold of something. He is not afraid to say, “I have eternal life”. How are we going to reach people with this message of Jesus, if we have not had a change in our life. I do not care how big the change is, if you had a change in your heart, talk about it. Let people know. This is what Christ has done. This is what He has done, to know that you are saved, that God gave you a life called eternal life.
Recall the story of the man born blind, and Jesus, when he walked the earth, restored his sight. The man’s only words were, “I was blind, but now I see” and “If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”.
35 Jesus heard that they had put him out [of the synagogue], and upon finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 He answered by saying, “And who is He, Sir, that I may believe in Him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.” 38 And he said, “I believe, Lord.” And he worshiped Him.
You have an inheritance called an eternal inheritance. You have people in religion who want to get rid of that talk. You tell people you have eternal life, or that you have an eternal inheritance, then they are going to sin whether they know that or not. Why do you think Jesus went to a cross if people could stop sinning. Why do you think He went to a cross, to take away the sins of the world, if He thought there was some way you could stop sinning? No. He came to give you life, not just any life, but eternal life. Is that good news? Yes!
1 John 2:2 (NASB)
2 and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
This baby Jesus, who grew up, walked on this earth for over 33 years, went to a cross to take away the sins of the world. I know the semantics sometimes gets in the way. I know I should not be as critical as I am with it. But I get so tired of listening to these pastors, people I know on radio, talking about the atoning death of Christ Jesus. He did not come to atone for sin. The blood of bulls and goats atoned for sin.
The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. 3 But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
5 Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said:
“Sacrifice and offering you did not desire,
but a body you prepared for me;
6 with burnt offerings and sin offerings
you were not pleased.
7 Then I said, ‘Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—
I have come to do your will, my God.’”[Psalm 40:6-8]
He came to do something far greater than that. He came to take it away from the eyes of God, never to see it again. Do you understand that? He grabbed every sin that you and I will ever commit in this world and put it upon Himself and there He who knew no sin became sin for you so that you could become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21
21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!
Is that good news? Is that worthy of praise? Is it worthy of celebration? I think so. That is what we have. But we get off on other stuff. I got a new car. I got a raise. I got a bonus. I got this. We are more thrilled with that than we are with His marvelous gift of eternal life. Why? Because we are humans. That is why we have to continually be renewing our minds.
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Now, as the children have already gone through their presentation, the details of the birth of Christ, there is no need, necessarily, in going through that. We know the details on that. We know that Joseph did not have intercourse with Mary until Jesus was born. That is told in the scriptures.
18 This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit.
Yet, you have huge denominations that teach that Mary was a virgin all her life. Where do they come up with this? Why do people tolerate it? They do not know what the scriptures say.
24 Jesus replied, “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?
But scripture lists Jesus’ brothers and sisters.
3 Isn’t this the carpenter? Isn’t this Mary’s son and the brother of James, Joseph, Judas and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him.
So Mary was not some kind of a freak that came along. She was a virgin girl, probably 15 years of age, who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit of God, not through the loins of Adam, as we were all born. If that was the case, then Jesus would have been born of a sin nature.
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man [Adam], and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned
We guys get the privilege of passing on that sin nature. So Mary was a unique young lady, but she was a virgin, at the conception of Jesus. After the birth of Jesus, it says that Jesus had brothers and he had sisters. She did not remain a virgin throughout her life, but only until Jesus was born.
We have allowed in Christianity, teaching to come in that is totally contrary to that. I do not mean to be hard on Catholics. I am not angry at Catholic people. I am angry at Catholic teaching for it is erroneous. It is based on tradition rather than the word of God. When you teach Mary is a virgin all her life, you are negating what scripture says in regard to the truth of that.
What I want us to do is this. As we look again at this marvelous birth of Christ Jesus, His birth was how He got here. It is how He became man, yet perfectly God in an earth suit. It says in scripture that Jesus found Himself in appearance as a man.
7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!
In an appearance as a man, but He is God. He was always God, always will be God and always has been God. That is God in an earth suit. I am an earth suit indwelt by God. He was God clothed in an earthsuit. There is a world of difference between the two, God and me. Only the flesh and sacrifice of God himself that was of such a consequence that it was capable of not covering sin, the blood of bulls and goats did that, atoned for sin, but capable of taking away your sins from the eyes of God, never to see it again.
Folks, sometimes people will say, “You cannot teach that.” Why not? “Because you are teaching that even the lost, their sins were taken away. Are you telling me that Hitler’sins were taken away? Are you telling me your sins were taken away?” Of course, they were. But he was not saved any more than you were not saved when your sins were taken away. We keep hearing and hearing and hearing, and we must get beyond this, that you are not saved by the cross. That is what prepared you for salvation. You are saved by the resurrected life of Christ.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
The emptiness that is inside of a lost man, that awareness that something is missing, that something is wrong inside, that does not come from being sinful. It comes from being lost, without the Spirit of God living in you. It comes from being dead spiritually. That is why Christ Jesus had to enter into my death with me in order that I could enter into His resurrected life with Him. Jesus Christ’ objective for you and me was not to get man out of hell into heaven but to get Himself out of heaven into you and me. That is where salvation took place.
All of this had to take place in the beginning, in the whole plan of God, at the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. But His birth is what enabled salvation to occur. There is no salvation at His birth. That is just how He got here, miraculously. But after He got here, what did he do? That is what saved you.
As we enter into this holiday season, attitudes toward giving. This is another thing we will study next week, the wise men. The wise men did not come in the manger. When the wisemen came, they came into a house. So they came later. Tradition has them all coming with the shepherds, but that did not occur in the scripture.
9 After they [Magi, or wisemen] had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
But they came with gifts. That is why we give gifts, I guess, today. Those gifts had significance to them. We will talk about that later.
But what did God want us to know about giving. It is more blessed to give than to receive. It is a wonderful thing, when lives have changed, where giving is a part of their life.
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
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