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Special Christmas Message: Don’t Be Afraid!

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 13, 2020 3:00 am

Special Christmas Message: Don’t Be Afraid!

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 13, 2020 3:00 am

In this Sunday morning episode, Pastor Greg Laurie delivers an encouraging message, just in time for the season. With so many issues striking fear in our hearts, we need the message of Christmas more than ever. And in “Don’t Be Afraid!” Pastor Greg offers us biblical reassurance from the Christmas story and gives us reason to take joy in Christ’s coming!


Shepherds were despised and mistrusted.

Read: Luke 2:8–16

The message of Christmas is, “Fear not and have joy!”

History would swing on the hinge of a door of a stable in Bethlehem.

It’s a big event in Heaven when someone comes to Christ.

Christmas is for everyone!

Jesus Christ is for everyone!

Everyone needs Jesus.

We don’t have to be afraid because Jesus has come!

Scriptures Referenced

1 Corinthians 1:27–31 MSG

Luke 2:17–20


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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the great glory podcast and my objective is to deliver hopefully compelling practical insights and faith culture and current events. From a biblical perspective to find out more about our ministry.

Just go to our website so thanks for joining me for this podcast, the title of my message for this Christmas season of 2020 is simply don't be afraid to those words. Sound familiar, there were given 2000 years ago to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night and by the way my tax seven to be looking out in a few moments is Luke chapter 2, but how relevant are those words for us today. Don't be afraid. People are so afraid right now.

I read recently on the New York Times website that the top fears of Americans at this moment in history, postelection and post-covert are as follows. Losing American democracy, getting sick with covert community changing for the worse facing eviction or becoming a violent crime victim. Still, we have our personal fears were afraid. What if I get sick.

What if a member of my family gets sick. One of my family falls apart.

One of my wife and I end up getting divorced so many things to frighten us, but here is the message of Christmas don't be afraid because we are told that God would send his son, and you would call his name Immanuel. And what is that mean it means God is with us and I want you to know where ever you are right now God is with you and God can come and live inside of you and be your savior in your Lord and I'll tell you how that can happen in just a few moments. But here's the thing coded this message originally come to it came to shepherds keeping watch over their flocks by night.

Now here's the problem with the Christmas story when we restate that there's no problem with the Christmas story. Let's just say the problem is in the way we see it today. We see it through a certain lens, I would sum it up this way. We've made Christmas to beautiful and we lost the raw power of the original story. For instance, we have taken the images of Mary and Joseph and the baby Jesus and so romanticize them there looking tranquility in the each other's faces.

They all have halos over there heads and of course baby Jesus as a little small halo we romanticize the wise men when they arrived there and coordinating colors getting of their camels holding up their gifts. The Bible does even say there were three wise men. By the way, it's is a broad three drifts. What if there were nine wise men and they just went in on the gifts together guys do that a lot.

You know, noble, we've taken the story and added so many layers of tradition to it.

I think that were missing what the story is really all about. And we've certainly romanticize the shepherds. Let me talk you about who the shepherds were in the first century. Let me start by saying these were not popular people. These were guys that were very low on the social ladder and fact, they were despised. They did the work that nobody else wanted to do these were guys I got out there and got their hands and feet dirty, they endured under their fingernails. So when they heard that some Savior was born in a manger, or in the barn they related to it because that's all they had their children out in the open air, but God can pick these people were on the bottom of the social ladder to be the first evangelist with the message that the Messiah had come. This gives hope.

Hope to ordinary people like you and me in first Corinthians 127 we read these words take a good look friends at who you were when God called you into this life. I don't see many of the brightest and the best among you know many influential not many. From high society families. Isn't it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women at the culture overlooks and exploits God chose nobodies to expose the hollow pretensions of the somebodies is in that true that's the way Jesus rolled that was his modus operandi. He was always going after the outcast, there is Jesus with the woman caught in the act of adultery there is. Jesus was that key is the tax collector who didn't have a friend in the little town he lived in known as Jericho. There is Jesus with another hurting person. That's why Christ was called the friend of sinners, so the profession of a shepherd was not even thought of as really all that legitimate. There were despised and mistrusted. They were thought it was people who were dishonest. In fact, the testimony of a shepherd was not even allowed in a court of law. So the Bible is will read the moment it says shepherds were keeping watch over their flocks by night that's romanticize in our minds. But if we were to updated it might be, and there were use cars salesman watching over their cars by night or we might read certain telemarketers were call the people at night. Not everyone's favorite people. But God chose the what happened. Now let me read to you from Luke chapter 2 verse eight that night. There were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared among them in the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them and they were terrified.

The angel reassured them, saying, fear not, or don't be afraid.

I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior. Yes, the Messiah, the Lord has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David, and you'll recognize them by this sign you'll find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth lying in a manger. Suddenly the angel was joined by a best host of others.

The armies of heaven, praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men with whom God is well pleased with the Angels Ed return from heaven, the shepherds said to one another. Let's go to Bethlehem let's see this thing that this happened and they scurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph, and there was the baby lying in a manger. Let's come back to these shepherds of Israel, they were living in frightening times.

Everyone was afraid why they were under the thumb of raw money saved. Another way they were under the iron fist of Rome Rome and establish what was known as Pax Romana under the rulership of Augustus Caesar, which it conquered most of the civilized world at that point so many Jewish people were wondering will the Romans ever leave our land again will we ever be free again will the Messiah ever, and suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, nowhere, but right on schedule appear these angels with this message. Don't be afraid. The Messiah has come, you know it's interesting whenever angels appeared the usually started with these words, don't be afraid.

You know why because when an angel appears you're generally pretty afraid angels are powerful, beautiful, magnificent spirit beings and so they usually started with those words, you know, someone said, I haven't researched this myself that the Bible says fear not, or don't be afraid 365 times. If that's true, that means that there's a fear not for every day of the year. So whatever your afraid of the message of the Lord is known be afraid. Fear not, is the message and also we have a message of great joy, fear not, and have joy. So that's really a big part of the Christmas message is that you can get rid of your fear and replace it with joy the condition of joy is to let go of your fear because God had come to the earth, born as a baby in Bethlehem in a small town called Bethlehem on a silent night. This is the most significant event in human history and by a large most people misted altogether starting with Rome. This is an event that we did shake the planet, we would mark human time based on the birth of Christ and yet most people in Rome didn't even see the significance of it. As far as Rome went as far as the Caesar. When this is just another person to tax and Caesar had a very high view of himself because we read in Scripture that a decree was sent out by Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed and actually Augustus means of the gods, so this particular Caesar believed he was a deity. There were statues erected throughout Rome and Roman territories of Caesar Augustus, and he was referred to as the Savior of the world. So it's ironic that this announcement of the Savior's birth is given, but this guy thinks he is the Savior of the world. Jerusalem miss this announcement as well.

Jerusalem was sort of like the New Yorker, the LA of their time.

What is it, what would they care about some birds happening in Bethlehem Bethlehem is not held in high regard member years ago I was preaching in central California and that we had some people come and visit us from Buttonwillow Buttonwillow.

There is born into this day in the city of Buttonwillow. Who cares about what happens in Buttonwillow.

Someone might say or you know I remember I was driving through North Carolina and I saw city called Marksville.

I thought minute by should have been born in any city it should've been Marksville. It was in monks will Marksville it wasn't Buttonwillow. It was death again, but this little of scarcity will play a key role in God's plan fact, Mica says you, Bethlehem, though you be little among the thousands of Judah.

Another which are a small town. No one really knows much about though you be little among the thousands of Judah get out of you shall come forth. One whose origins have been from ever lasting in Bethlehem itself misses significance of this event. The reason people went to Bethlehem or any city as they would go to the homeplace of their family and because Mary and Joseph were both descendents of David. They went to the home town of David, the first acutely the second king of Israel but Mary was just another pregnant woman in Bethlehem that night. There were other women probably ready to give birth. That's why all the ends were full, but as everyone would soon discover, this wasn't just any woman. This is the woman that God hand-picked to be the mother of the Messiah instrument said history would swing on the hinge of the door of his stable.

In the applicant so this was big news in heaven and really no news at all on earth that happens a lot today and the day Rome was all that and a bag of chips Rome powerful Rome ruled by Caesar Augustus again. The man who thought he was a God, the man who thought he was a Savior of the world, you know, history tells us that he was small in stature, which means Caesar was a little do right so we can see he was little Caesar little would he know that pizza would be named after him pizza pizza right so we don't really think much of Caesar now, but he was a big deal and earth at that time, but this event was world changing. Here's another thing that's a big deal in heaven whenever a person puts her faith in Jesus Christ. The Bible says, actually Christ himself said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance, so every time someone says yes to Jesus there's a party in heaven that we might dismiss and say what all I care. Someone got religion. Oh no they didn't get religion. They found Christ and that's a big deal in heaven now. If you were going to announce this message, you would not have gone to the shepherds you would've gone well. Probably the Caesar himself make this announcement a Caesar get the word out, but instead the Lords effectively saying little Caesar your fire to the party is over. You're no longer the Savior of the world actually never were. You need to stand down because the real king has arrived, you might've told the high priest or some other person of influence. If we were announcing the message today. Let's get a PR firm and let's get the influencers out there that post about it on social media.

None of that. The Lord went to the lowest of the low, the shepherds and that brings up a really important point here Luke chapter 2 verse 10, I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. Listen to this Christmas is for everyone. Let me say that another one, Jesus Christ is for everyone no later in the narrative the wisemen appeared and I know this is going to upset some people. But the wise men were not present at the birth of Jesus. We read about them in the Gospel of Matthew and we read that they came to see the child not the newborn baby Jesus. And secondly, we read that they came to our house not a manger, so it's possible that the wisemen came maybe two years later. So if your nativity set has the shepherds and the wise men, you may want to take the wisemen out bring about two weeks later, it doesn't matter, but the point of it is simply this, look at the wisemen and the shepherds and compare them that the wisemen were the highest of the high that they were people from a foreign country there called the Magi root we get our word magician from it.

They were skilled in astronomy and astrology, and they were special counselors to the king, so they were men of great importance. They were very high that shepherds were very low. The wisemen were very wealthy that shepherds were dirt poor. The wisemen were educated the shepherds were uneducated and illiterate but yet they all seem did Jesus. And here's the point. Christ is for everyone.

Christmas is for everyone and everyone needs Jesus rich people need Jesus for people need Jesus middle income people need Jesus a business executives need Jesus. Blue-collar workers need Jesus. Men, women, Boys and Girls Club everybody needs Jesus, I love what it says here in verse 10.

Don't be afraid.

I bring you good news and great joy for all people. It's for you. You could just as easily say I bring great joy to Greg or put your name in there as well. You know it's a funny thing people have asked me over the years. Did someone tell you personal information about me because I felt in your message you were talking directly to me, and in fact you said things that nobody else knows to my wife talk to you. My answer is yes.

All of your wives have talked to me about you and I have all kinds of information.

I'm in a reveal right now known to.

I don't have any of that information. I think it's is the Lord speaking to people. 20 years ago I was giving a message and I came to the point where I was inviting people to believe in Jesus Christ and I said this I said friend have US Jesus to come in your life will as it turns out there was a guy in attendance whose name was friend Andy thought I was speaking directly to him and he ended up believing in Jesus, after that message, and he still walking with the Lord today. So hey friend, God baby speaking to you right now don't listen to this. The shepherds had a choice as to what to do. Look at verse 15 it says when the Angels return to Gavin, the shepherds said to each other. Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that happened to better choice. No question that this mind blowing experience of the radiant light in the angelic chorus singing glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth among men with whom God is well please and think it is Just hang out here and soak it in the minus symbol we can go there were not dressed appropriately and nobody wants shepherds around know they said let's go quickly and will and let's see this thing or are self and a lot of times we miss out on what God wants to do in our life because we don't respond appropriately, they render the stable.

We read in Luke chapter 2 verse 17 and seen him.

The shepherds told everyone what it happened and with the angel and said to them about this child and all who heard the shepherds story were astonished.

But Mary kept these things in her heart and thought about them often. But the shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all the had heard and seen, as it was told to them by the angel listen you of this, a message, you need to share this message to. Especially in this Christmas season, listen friend.

We all know people are really hurting this Christmas. Some of lost their jobs. Some are sick. Some have a loved one that is sick. Some are very depressed. As you know alcohol use.

Drug use is up dramatically calls to help wines or hotlines with people who are having suicidal thoughts are through the ceiling because people are are trapped in and with governors. I think in many cases enforcing draconian measures to keep everyone locked up is just feeding more to this depression and we need to tell people a Savior has been born. We need to tell people there's hope. We need to tell people to not be afraid and share this message just as the shepherds shared it. You know the Lord sent a star to the wisemen you know shepherds.

These are Jewish men, God spoke to them through angels.

The wisemen already mentioned to you the Magi the stargazers the astronomer astrologers, the Lord came to them in the way they would understand that he sends a star. Some believe it was the Shekinah glory of God in the sky. We don't know, but this star led them to where Jesus was how easily the wisemen could is at all mimics that's a long journey. You know from their location to where Jesus was was around a 400 mile journey of that would be a long journey today. Think about in the first century of you did on camel. It would take you 2 to 3 weeks. If you did, and on foot.

It would take much longer think it is that that's too much work. That's too difficult a journey know they found their way and they were rewarded.

Here's my point. Sometimes people will say we you know it it's very hard to find Jesus Christ it's very hard to come into this relationship with God. Let me give you a different view on that because sometimes people say you know I'm in the process of converting listen, you're either converted or you're not converted conversion doesn't take years. It doesn't take months. It doesn't take days, it doesn't even take hours can happen just like that in your life when you put your faith in Jesus Christ. And if you really want to know. Listen to this.

He will reveal himself to you. The Lord says in Scripture.

For those that seek me, they will find me at the search with all of their heart. I'm wondering if you will come to the one who was born in that manger so many years ago and believe in him you know Christmas is a time of giftgiving. I'm sure a lot of you are getting your gifts online right now. That's where most people are doing their shopping in your thinking the people you may have forgotten.

And so we think of giving the appropriate gift to another person.

We know that the wisemen brought their unusual gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, but I want you to think about the birth of Jesus is a time of the gift exchange. You trade your fear and worry for his peace and joy you change your sorrow for his joy. You trade your wrong fridges right you trade effectively tell or heaven mites.

It will Greg.

I'm still afraid or why should I not be afraid. Let's go back to that message. We have a Savior God would save them see they were hoping that someone would overthrow Rome. There were hoping for a militant Messiah to free them from their captivity.

But Jesus was not coming to overthrow Rome.

He was coming to die for the sins of the world, God would give them what they really needed there. A lot of people write nowhere. Very depressed there depressed because of the political season were in there depressed because they put too much hope and politics and politicians there depressed because their guy did not win. Others may be a lady because their guy did win. Give it some time. They'll be depressed as well because politics will not give us the ultimate answer. The reason I don't have to be afraid is because Christ is, Christ is been born, Christ is walk this earth. Christ is died on the cross and he is risen again from the dead, and you can come into relationship as well. So as I said that message some time ago friend you can believe in Jesus and it can happen for you right now I got a star led you to this program or an angel. But here you are. You're watching this and I want you to know that which you do in the next few moments could result in a headline in heaven.

And by that I mean if you choose to believe in Jesus Christ and ask him to forgive you of your sins. They'll be a shout of joy and glory.

As Jesus said there is joy in heaven over one sinner that comes to repentance. Let's remind ourselves of why Jesus came. Why was he born in that manger so we could have a holiday where we would exchange gifts and have parties and you know shop till we drop Nono he came to this earth to live a perfect life that die a perfect death, then to go to the cross and died for our sins and rise again from the dead three days later and now he offers to you the ultimate gift, the gift of eternal life, and if you will believe in him, you can be forgiven.

Are you afraid right now. Are you filled with anxiety right now with all the uncertainty in our world. Here's the message of the first Christmas. Don't be afraid, and instead, you can have great joy in a moment I'm going to extend an invitation for you to put your faith in Jesus Christ to forgive you of all of your sin. If you need Christ in your life. If you're not sure of your life is right with God. If you don't of the certainty that you go to heaven when you die, please respond to this invitation that I will extend out as we pray. Let's pray father I pray you'll speak to every person were ever they are and show them their need for Jesus.

Show them they need to believe in you.

Now we ask this in Jesus name, amen. Listen to this. If you want Jesus Christ to come into your life if you want to be forgiven of your sin if you want to know that when you die you will go to heaven. I want you to pray this prayer that I'm the lead you in right here right now. Again, as I pray you pray this prayer is pray these words Lord Jesus, I know I'm a sinner but I know that you're the Savior who was born in that manger who died in the cross, who rose again from the dead three days later the come in the my life. I choose to follow you from this moment forward as my Savior and Lord is my God and friend. Amen.

Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries. Please subscribe and consider supporting this show. Just go to and by the way, if you want to find out how to come into a personal relationship with God. Go to know that's key NOW

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