Sermon Reflection from December 24, 2022 | The Jesus Perspective
Pastor Alex and his friend Bryson worked in tandem to deliver a compelling recap of all the sermons delivered during the Advent season. His emphasis throughout the month has been that knowing Christ will lead us to live wisely and differently from the world. It was clearly evident in all 4 examples.
First, we saw the perspective of the Wise men as their story from Matthew 2:1-12 was read. The Wise men traveled a long distance in search of the child born ‘King of the Jews’. They gave their time to the search, resources and finally their gifts to the child. How are you like the Wise men? Do you seek to know Christ more fully by spending time in His Word? Do you use your resources to serve and help others? Do you give generously of what God has given you? Living wisely and differently involves giving generously of ourselves and our talents with a heart attitude of love and devotion to our Savior. Faith transforms our stingy, self-seeking hearts into ones filled with His love which spills out generously towards others.
Second, Pastor Alex read the Shepherd’s story from Luke 2:8-20. Bryson showed us reasons why God would have chosen the lowly shepherds to be the first to worship the Savior. Their place in society was not one that was elevated, but it was one of value. The Christ Child came to all people to save them from their sins. He was needed to restore the relationship with mankind that was broken by the sin actions in the Garden of Eden. His position on earth was lowly born but He was of extreme value and had a high place in heaven. Things are not always what they seem as God uses whom He desires to bring His message to the world. Living wisely in light of the shepherd’s example means one must listen and respond to the Good News from heaven. Their response was immediate and heartfelt as they moved quickly to find the babe and experience for themselves the joy of seeing their Savior. Have you encountered Jesus in a personal way? Has it lead you to embrace the good news and display true joy in your life? Faith transforms our unresponsive hearts into ones filled with joy and a desire to spread the good news of Christ.
The truths shown by Mary and Joseph’s part in this Christmas Story lead us to look at the ordinary in a different way. Both the Luke passage 1:30-35 and Matthew 1:18-25 show the encounter of the angel Gabriel with both Mary and Joseph. God chose ordinary people to bring His plan into being. They were devoted Jews but not kings, priests or landowners. By worldly standards they were just village people going about their lives serving God through their faith. God’s trust in them was a reflection of His love for them. How they were to serve Him was profound and challenging. Do you see yourself as one who can serve God? We can take a lesson from Mary and Joseph. Their faith and devotion to God allowed them to serve Him in an extra–ordinary way. Faith transforms our unwilling hearts into ones motivated by His love to do the incredible work He has planned for us.
Lastly, Bryson had us look at Jesus and the encounter he had as a babe of just 8 days old. Simeon’s story was read from Luke 2:25-35. The Lord had revealed to Simeon that he would see the Christ, Messiah before he died. What we learn from his story about living differently is that we need to let God reveal Himself in our lives passionately. Our zeal for God should be evident in what we say and do. Our love for Him involves our whole being. Simeon lived his life trusting in God’s promise to him that he would see the Messiah. He lived in faith, knowing God was a promise keeping God and would reveal the Messiah to him. When he was confronted with baby Jesus at his naming ceremony, Simeon knew this was the child who would save all mankind, both Jews and Gentiles. Faith transforms the doubting impatient heart into one filled with zealous passion for Him, belief in His promises and a desire to praise Him wholeheartedly.
What kind of a heart is God revealing to you today? Is your heart like the Wise men filled with His love spilling out generously towards others? Like the shepherds which is filled with joy and a desire to spread the good news of Christ? Like Mary and Joseph’s hearts which were motivated by His love to do the incredible work He has planned? Or maybe your heart is like Simeon’s filled with zeal, belief in His promises and a passionate desire to praise God? I pray that your heart is like all of the above seeking to love and serve our Savior which is Christ the Lord. He is with us now. Look to Him and grab hold of His truth. It will transform your heart and life so that you can live differently and wisely for Him each day in 2023!
By Linda Knight
This Christmas | The Jesus Perspective
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Sermon series, "This Christmas" Today Alex and Bryson teach the Christmas Story
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