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December 19, 2021 1:00 am
Welcome to this Times Square church 2021 Christmas special with Carter Conlin, my brother, my sister, you and I have to learn to let Christ be Christ in us. Now this is the light that is promised us in our time of darkness and is not going to come with grandeur sometimes is going to come in a stable. Don't be looking for something bigger than what God is already giving.
I hope this makes sense to the people of Israel were anticipating the incredible promise by God one day in the future. God would send them a Messiah, the Savior of the world would be a great light to them as they walked in the darkness but the darkness did not comprehend the light. The people were expecting something completely different. They look bigger than life conquering hero but what they missed was the small baby born on Christmas Day and as Carter points out in today's message.
Many people today don't see the plan of God in their life because it may appear too small to ordinary they are doing the same thing. The people of Israel. Their day. Let's join Carter now with Christmas. You are light in the darkness in this particular message to be deeply challenged hopefully encouraged to take the pathway to God is set for your feet before you receive it with joy, intellect, dislike of Christ committee are hard and it made it with a new understanding, and in a brand-new way that will give you courage and conviction to face your days that are ahead of you in a way that may be.
You never saw how the power of God can work in your life to be looking at Isaiah chapter 9. Then Luke chapter 2 then John chapter 1 and after we read those three scriptures and Mitty commented on just a little bit then were going to be asking some questions and looking at how the answers to those questions really really are relevant to your life in the my life beginning at Isaiah chapter 900 started verse two and go right through to verse seven, this incredible promise of God that the people of God of that time they lived that they agreed that it was there. Hope it was their future. They were they were promised a Messiah.
This was the raison d'Ítre of the people of Israel at this time.
They were obviously from time to time and in great distress and trouble. They were always surrounded by enemies and attacked and there seemed to be every weapon of Hallet come against them to try to push them away from their purpose, just like you and I experience from time to time, but in this case it was constant it was actual threat of life and death was upon these people. But here's the promise as they heard it. Isaiah chapter 9 verse two.
The people walked in darkness have seen a great light, the coming of the Messiah was coming to be a momentous thing in their mind was going to burn like the brightness of the sun, those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death upon them. A light has shined. You have multiplied the nation and increased its joy. They rejoice before you.
According to the joy of harvest as men rejoice when they divide the spoil for you broken the yoke of his burden.
The staff of his oppressor. The rod of his oppressor as in the day of Midian. Every warriors sandal from the noisy battle in garments rolled in blood will be used for burning and fuel of fire under us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government will be upon his shoulder and his name shall be called wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of peace of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward. Even forevermore the seal of the Lord of hosts will perform this. So here's how the people of Israel. In many cases the courts would've seen this is going to be this great visitation of God. It's going to cause the nation to be multiplied. Were going to be given more than we could ever hope to possess in our own strength, our joy is going to increase were going to rejoice. Just as in the days of harvest resets. Plenty were going to be able to divide the spoil as we rejoice among each other. The yoke in the cents off every oppressive power that's tried to dominate the people of God is going to be broken just as in the day of Midian, you member the story of Gideon. For example, one when the Midianites were caused by God to actually turn their swords against one another and the destroyed themselves in a sense and all Israel had to do is just obey God and declare his victory every warriors sandal from the noisy battle in garments rolled in blood will be used for burning and fuel of fire they would've looked and said our enemies are going to be so destroyed that were just going to be spending a season just burning their armaments really use their weapons of war for fuel to heat our homes and then it was on this is from Dawson child is more see the hint was there but you know there's there's so much bigness before Perspex. You know that that everybody kind of crafts an image.
What this is going to look like and though we do that right you do that I do that, we kept an image of what our lives are going to look like when the Spirit of God comes upon us and and how is going to start working through us in and what our home in life is going to look like in verse six. The hint is there friend was a child is born is not a Messiah coming in a chariot with thousands and 10,000s of angels that that will happen one day he will return with an army. According to Jude in the New Testament, but in the beginning. A child is born, unto us a son is given, the government will be upon his shoulder.
We will no longer be in the days of Christ the course of Rome was dominating the people of God and the they would've known this promise and said finally. Finally, when the Messiah comes the power of this dominant world philosophy: Rome is going to be broken and were going to be free and we will have a king was a wonderful Counselor, mighty God, to be the everlasting father, the Prince of peace and his government will have no end and we will be at peace. Finally, for ever and God has promised us the zeal of the Lord of hosts is going to perform this.
This is going to be a mighty a marvelous day this this is how the people of God of that they would've seen this. Now let's fast-forward to Luke chapter 221 the promise through Isaiah is actually comes to fruition.
In chapter 2 beginning of verse nine of Luke and, behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid, remember they were promised this great light is people walked in darkness have seen a great light. Suddenly the heavens are opened suddenly angels are shouting.
Suddenly there's hope in the air. Then the angel said to them verse 10 of chapter 2 of Luke. Do not be afraid, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, the promise was this incredible joy they were going have to call people for those born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. This will be the sign deal you will find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths lying in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace and goodwill towards men.
So here we see the actual fulfillment of the promise that God made through the prophet Isaiah. Now let's fast-forward again 30 years later, the man Jesus Christ appears on the scene is no longer a babe in the manger, but is now a fully grown man. He's 30 years of age and he's come to fulfill everything that was spoken through the prophet Isaiah and was revealed in Luke chapter 2, John says these words in the Gospel of John chapter 1 all things were made through him, beginning in verse three. Without him nothing was made that was made in him was life and the life was what the light the people sat in darkness, a great light, the member, the promise of Isaiah the people to sit and walk in darkness have seen a great light. So here is the light that was promised in him was life and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it is funny we can study the Scriptures for years and years and years.
But the problem is we craft view of what this is going to look like in our own minds, and we determined it has to be this way or can't be God and his suddenly this this incredible promise that has never failed its fully on course appears on the earth, and the darkness did not comprehend the light mother was a man sent from God whose name was John.
This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the light, that all through him might believe.
No John a course in verse eight is talking about. John says he was not that light, but he was sent to bear witness of that light.
Just as I am today to you I'm telling you that Jesus Christ is your light in your season of darkness, whatever that might be whatever challenge you face whatever life you're living whatever home you're in, whatever your family looks like whatever you did is having on the job. Jesus Christ is your light. He is the absolute fulfillment of everything you've ever longed for.
He was not the light but sent to bear witness of the light that was the true light which gives light to every man coming in to the world.
Verse 10 of John one says he was in the world and the world was made through him, and the world did not know him.
Now verse 11 he came to his own and his own did not receive him, but as many as received him, to them he gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in his name who were born, not of blood nor of the will of flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
When you look at this. It's just like you and I today we have all the witness of Scripture. Everything in the word of God is to every promise of God is fulfilled. How is it possible how is it possible I might be speaking to somebody today you been in church, maybe for years and years and years and years and he's come to you and have not received him, how did that happen with the people of God.
How is it happening even our generation today whether so many of the gods trying to reach is trying to bring light into the darkness and he's coming to them may be speaking to them in their sleep may be in their times of thought. I don't know how he's doing it, but is coming and is revealing himself but there's that there's a resistance in the human heart to receive the son of God, the promise of God to receive everything that God said he's going to those that are created in his image. Now let me give you some reasons why I feel that people are loath to receive him in Luke chapter 2 the promise of God. The kingdom was just too small, but still think we get the site that this is going to great light and is going to multiply the nation increase the joy this can be a destruction of enemies.
The oak is going to be broken. We can be burning the weapons of a hen is forever and we miss verse 600 talks. The child is born and we get it in the hearts of the promise of God's gotta be a lot bigger than this it's it's just too small.
That's why the people of that day in Luke chapter 2 they knew the babe was born in a stable and that may be the shepherds were noisy in abroad. The Scripture does say that they told others what they had seen and not a lot of people just now that can't possibly be the Messiah. So we know the Scriptures and we know what God's going to do we know how he's going to do it. And this is just too small. We we can't envision Almighty God coming to us. This way just doesn't make sense, even though in Isaiah 6. It does say unto us a child is born in John chapter 1, when he came to his own and the Scripture tells us his own didn't receive him. Number Luke chapter 2 I think that in receiving many didn't.
Not all but many didn't receive because it was just too small.
He just didn't fit their interpretation of who God is and how God works and what God does and what what it will look like when God comes. But in John chapter 1 Isaiah 53 tells us exactly why he came to his own and his own didn't receive him.
It's just simply because he was too ordinary. Isaiah says in chapter 53, who has believed our report and to whom is the arm of the Lord been revealed. Another would say here we are God were talking about the reality that that this is going to be you. This is what you going to do on the earth. This is the formula going to take.
This is how you've come to deliver us. This is where the strength of God really is so and Isaiah says like who's going to believe this and who's going to have the revelation of the strength of God the arm of God needs a strength of God who's who's going to know this and gives the reason why he's asking the question of who's going to believe it. For he will grow up before him as a tender plant is a root out of dry ground is no former comeliness and when we see him there is no beauty that we should desire him is despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid as it were our faces from him. He was despised, and we did not esteem him and you know a lot of folks don't find their light.
Or maybe the light of God's willing to provide for them in the time of the darkness because the plan of God may be in their life seems to be too small and maybe their life just looks too ordinary now how would you today.
Do you find your calling to small to fit your perspective of what your victory and influence should, in Christ look like do you feel too ordinary. This is this a problem with a lot of people. God has come to he who he has sent his son, you will you will see multiplication you will increase in joy. You will rejoice.
You will divide the spoil leave the yoke of the oppressor will be broken. You will see incredible victories, but don't be looking for something bigger than what God has already given you as I hope this makes sense to you but a lot of people just feel what's going on in my life is just too small. Right now it it can't be God in my life is just too ordinary.
It's not possible that God is in this and the great victory that he would've given us or given me that I'm actually living in that victory and Christmas is a constant reminder that Jesus Christ is your light in the time of darkness that there's still this thing in the human heart that just wants to push it all away and to know if it is, God has to be bigger than this. If it is God. There has to be something supernatural going on in a way that is said that is very visible to the natural island and it is God's in my life. Why is my life so ordinary but the question I have for you today is can you see Jesus in the littleness and ordinary things of each day can you learn that his ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts, as a heavens are higher than the earth, so his thoughts are higher than our thoughts and his ways are higher than our ways and that just because it's come to you and what you think is a little way. It's not little in the sight of God and in the little Victor you think you have is a is much bigger than what you think you possess. You and I have got to get to the point where we realize that as the writer of the little town him says he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I have his own. His Holy Spirit through Christ now makes his dwelling in the inner parts of my physical body. I'm now the temple of all mighty God, and he speaks to me every day about who he is about what he's doing in my life and what I am is not ordinary. I have the presence of God inside this earthen vessel and if I can or will embrace and acknowledge the littleness of God and the ordinariness of God. This I find to be problematic in a lot of people there always discontent and more or less sitting in the shadows because their vision is it has to be bigger than this. It can be ordinary. It's gotta be extraordinary and because of that, the reality of Christ and who he is and what he does and how he chooses to do it. It's as if, when you search the Scriptures. It's as if he just he travels in the shadows. It is he says with that, the Scriptures, I resist the proud and I dwell with the meek and lowly in heart. He works in secret places he does things that those that are still given to being led by their own understanding the can't fully embrace and they can't fully understand. I thank God with all of my heart and I pray every morning I pray with some different people from the Times Square church and I just say God, would you help us today to be mindful of your presence in our lives in the ordinary interactions of every day when we go to a store that if we are open to you. You can speak to us about the burden of the heart may be the cashier this before us.
There are gifting's of the spirit that you can allow to be operated through us.
If we are willing to look away from what we think things should look like and we let you just be God, and you become our light in the darkness of this present time the reliving my brother, my sister, you and I have to learn to let Christ be Christ in us. Now this is the light that he has promised us in our time of darkness and is not going to come with grandeur sometimes is going to come in a stable is not gonna come with an extraordinary looking ministry that everybody desires it just comes with an ordinary looking man that nobody else wants to look like. I mean it's just the reality of it, but it is still the plan of God. It is this marvelous, marvelous, marvelous, marvelous arm of God that I'm praying that will be released and revealed to you in a way this Christmas like you've never known. It starts with just saying Jesus, thank you for making me the way I am. I don't need to be anybody else you love me the way I am. When I open my heart to you. You came into my life. You became my God took up your boat in in the temple of my life and you were not offended at my ordinariness. So God help me not to be offended if you choose to operate through the ordinariness of my life and we help me not to consider anything too small a kind word to somebody in the corner store just a prayer that I had her up to you to give me strength to do something may be that II can't do in my and myself. Would you would you help me God not to consider any task in interaction.
Any conversation any any any reaching out with a cup of cold water to anybody. Would you help me to not get so caught up in largeness that I miss Christ may put it that way. That's exactly what happened. There were so caught up in the largeness of their God view that they actually missed the Savior when he came.
Think about that for a moment if it happened to them. It can happen to us and we get so caught up in the with our our view in others. If you are in my life. While it would look like this. My family would look like this I would have a job like this. I would have talents like this and is already there. The light of Christ is already in us, but we fail to recognize it. The light shined. The Scripture says, but the darkness didn't comprehend it. And darkness as is essentially everything that sets itself against the ways of God.
That's what darkness is, by definition, in a spiritual sense source of the courage in a sense to say Jesus I'm not offended at your littleness in a sense you came as a baby that doesn't affect me and thank you that in that you're showing me something showing me yes this gonna be a day coming when when all hell is going to be destroyed.
The devil is going to be cast into an eternal pit and then nation the nation my head I was going to be multiplied. Our joy is going to be increased and there's going to be a harvest from and to divide the spoil date, the yoke of our oppressors going to be broken as in the day of Midian. All of these weapons were going to be burned is going to be fuel for unto us a child is born, God Almighty. It starts there, would you help me not to be offended by that is, it is the key to not be offended when Jesus Christ appeared on the earth as a man 30 years of age into full-time ministry as it was the purpose of his life on the earth.
They were offended at him. The Scripture says it clearly they didn't think this is what God should look like, how God should act what God should do the because everybody had a view that really didn't fit in with scriptural reality. Let that not the us this Christmas. This Christmas let his light come into our hearts and becomes our strength in the darkness in which you and I have to face now and I thank God that nothing is too ordinary. If Christ is in it that every promise is ever made will be fulfilled. It doesn't all have to be right now.
Let's just start with the child in an ordinary man. So father just thank you Lord for the men, women and young people and children that are listening to this program today God and I just asked for that make this the best Christmas ever for so many of us God that we just finally finally opened the door and say Jesus come in were not offended at the way you choose to use our lives were not offended that the way you choose to be God in us and through us. Were not offended if our names are not known were not offended, my God, if you give us something small to do Lord help us to see you in everything, every day everywhere we go, speak to us speak to our hearts give us the quietness and confidence that you promise will be the portion of your people Lord we just want to say thank you you are so good you're so good in Jesus name. Listen to a song from CEDIA did a few years ago called her Christmas never ends is called silent night and as we sing it in your heart just going to the major and say thank you for coming to me the way you chose to do it. I yield all my thoughts to you asking my life. I hope you enjoy the song. Thank you for being with her will be. This is been the 2021 Christmas special with Carter, pastor of Times Square Church in New York City for all of us here in Times Square Church have a very Merry Christ filled Christmas