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The True Power of the Christmas Story (with Cathe Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 19, 2020 3:00 am

The True Power of the Christmas Story (with Cathe Laurie)

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 19, 2020 3:00 am

In this episode, Pastor Greg Laurie takes an extended look at the account of the very first Christmas as recorded in Luke 2. With the help of Cathe Laurie, who takes part in reading the Christmas story, Pastor Greg underscores the true power and beauty in the circumstances of Christ's birth. 

He concludes, “The shadow of the cross lay over the beauty of the first Christmas night. . . . And that is why red is the color of Christmas. Not because Santa wears red, or because sometimes we wrap our gifts in red. Red is the color of Christmas because red is the color of the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross.”

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Everybody Greg Laurie here. You're listening to the 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 we had all of her grandchildren over last night.

Five of them. The cabbie could be an amazing meal. What was that creature grabbed the microphone told us about that crazy bacon you made what was that to be vacant so it II wanted till almost a feeding frenzy. I couldn't stop reading it almost felt like a drug out it I said I have to get this bacon out of my house, but you know was great time be with the grandkids and opening presents and all the fun things you know and then before they went to sleep like I retold them the Christmas story that you know which is so amazing to think about it in one of the books we've used in our home with our grandkids. Is is the Jesus story book Bible Vinnie Bieber heard of that squiggle book of words Sally Lloyd Jones very gifted writer from England originally takes these amazing Christmas stories and tells them in a way that kids can understand them. So here's a quote about commentaries like" I'm in a quote from a kids book because it helps you wrap your mind about it. Here's what Sally Lloyd Jones writes about the first Christmas quote the God who flung planets in this space and kept them from whirling around and around the garden made the universe with just one word, the one he could do anything at all was making himself small and coming down as a baby." The great, and so that's really what happened on the first Christmas. You know the Christmas season one of my favorite songs and are already mentioned it a few moments ago was Mary did you know incredible lyrics Mary did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water. Mary did you know that your baby boy would save our sons and daughters. Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new and I love this life. The child that you've delivered will soon deliver you. Great lyrics. Let's revisit that Christmas story again and so He's gonna read from Luke chapter 2 like to read a long letter, we are and it came to pass in those days the decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registering this census first took place when craving yes with the governing Syria so all went to be registering everyone to a Sun City and Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was at the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child, so it wise that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered 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 end, so this was written by Dr. Luke was a physician by trade.

He was a stickler for detail Luke was not one of the disciples a walk with Jesus. He came along a little bit later and sort of did a research project on this whole story. A presumably he interviewed people that were there. It's quite possibly interviewed Mary may be the wise men. Others wanting details and look not only was position. He was sort of a poet and he wrote beautifully in his description of the Christmas story as such an incredible ring to it. At almost a fairytale qualities I mentioned earlier then he puts the little details that help us pinpoint this historically.

He tells us that Caesar Augustus inquired Renee is ruling. Note Caesar Augustus was the first real Roman Emperor, and by that I mean all the power now was was in his hands are.

They have the Senate in Rome but but really Caesar was controlling everything.

Hence the term Augustus Caesar was originally the name of Julius Caesar, the first Emperor of Rome, but they took it then is a title so this particular Emperor called himself Augustus, which means the God so this guy thought he was a God. This is where Caesar worship began where you had to say Caesar is Lord. So it's an interesting thing to look at because historians believe that Caesar Augustus was around 5'7" by not denigrating a guy who is 5'7" but can I put it delicately is not that tall so it gives new meaning to the phrase Little Caesar right and the only recorded words we have from Caesar Augustus are simply pizza pizza. Now that's that's from a commercial, but the so the Lord talks the Lord touch this little do.

It was big in his own mind and used him to accomplish his purpose.

As you know we wouldn't even know the name of Caesar Augustus are quite Renee yes if it wasn't for the Christmas story, but in the day he was the most feared person on the face of the earth.

Caesar asked but of course no he just faded into the pages of history and but God needed some things.

They happen because Micah 52 said you Bethlehem though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you shall come forth.

One whose origins of been from everlasting. So the Lord was saying Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. Problem Mary and Joseph were Nazareth. Now he could've directed them there many ways, but the way he chose to do it was. There was this ruling that everyone needs to be taxable because I Mary and Joseph both trace their genealogy and ancestry back to David.

They went to the boyhood town of David member that was Bethlehem.

That's where David lived as well. It just reminds us that ultimately God is in control in a world figures come and go, dictators come and go Kings and Queens Presidents Prime Minister's but the Lord moves people the way that he wants to move them. Proverbs 21 once as the king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, he moves it.

However, he pleases. It's been said, quote history swings on the kittens of the door of a stable Bethlehem and the Lord had a plan to fulfill. And so Mary and Joseph make their way to Bethlehem. Now obviously this is not what you want to do when you're nine months pregnant. This is a difficult journey that they're doing it. We always see Mary on the back of the donkey. The Bible doesn't say she was, but it's probably safe to assume that's how she made the journey, but a difficult journey dangerous journey, and thus he gets into town with Joseph and they're looking for a place to stay and there's no room and no room in the end was sort of indicative of the treatment. Jesus received when he walked on this earth in others an interesting statement that says that everybody went home to their house and then it says and Jesus went to the Mount of olives. Jesus effectively was homeless when he walked this earth that he would stay in the homes of people, but he just said as satin slept out under the stars and the Mount of olives letting here is the one who created heaven and earth, who said in his father's house are many mansions that left his home in heaven so we could have a home in heaven, but here in this earth. There was no room for him in the in and you know you you sort of think how could this be I mean there's a knock at the door and the innkeeper opens that we always think it's a guy. What if it was a girl.

It could have been a girl you know girls are perfect. Okay, and I bring this up because Cathy brought that up in the message that I never thought about what it was a girl there. It really doesn't matter if it was a metal woman but but here's the holy family of you women aren't Mary and Joseph now we see them in religious art.

They always have halos if two people came to my door with halos unless the men okay. Or maybe they sort of glowed in the dark. You know the background music is there, their music sorta swells a you can come and will. There was no background music.

There were no halos. They just would like to report people and in this innkeeper is not portrayed in the Bible we don't know his name or name is not portrayed as wicked.

He's just more portrayed upper grade is preoccupied well now you know I don't really have room in you don't seem to have any money but this is all ultimately part of God's plan for our Savior to be born in the most humble of settings, but at the same time. Boy did he miss out on an opportunity you want to talk about opportunity knocking God Almighty is about to enter the human race, and it can happen in your home or in your hotel or whatever his lodging was but he didn't have time. That's all a lot of people are right now even a Christmas so we just were so busy shopping for Christmas and in talking about Christmas and we can even go to church are we getting to take a moment to pray.

It's amazing how full our schedules are until crisis hits Mizner the incredible how quickly our schedule opens up all of a sudden Laura church were asking for prayer work ask you brother Christian brothers and sisters to stand with us but you need to make room for him because each of us is in innkeeper and we decide if there's room for Jesus, you know, the unit is your heart you decide, I don't mean by just asking him in, but I mean making time for him each and every day you opening the word of God in the morning then and praying in and being involved in church and and that's why we say to you, make harvest your homework here for you were here to help you because what part of the family and so here is Mary now ready to give birth to the very son of God, you know, I think one of the problems of Christmas as we made it to beautiful you know we we so so almost deprived it of its original meaning with our horse-drawn carriages and and you know sleigh bells in the night didn't snow gently falling in and all of the great things in chestnuts on an open fire and everything else we do is we we sorta strip the story of its real power. Even the nativity scene as we see it portrayed in Arctic. It's so pretty but it wasn't pretty.

It was pretty bad as what it was.

I mean who wants to give birth to a child in a bar. That's what a manger is probably a K and Jesus were probably laid there in the manger, which also go to been a feeding trough.

We put the food for the animals of their laying this precious newborn in that place and drop it to me. That does not diminish the story of Christmas. In fact, it enhances it to realize the great sacrifice that God made to come to this earth making himself small to be born in the most humble and difficult of circumstances.

Why because he loves us, and because he longs for a relationship with us. Listen to this. Jesus was born, so we could be born again. He came not so we would have an excuse to go into debt because of all the shopping we do not come so we could go to endless Christmas events and sing Christmas songs others nothing wrong with that, he did not come to teach everyone how to be good or to love our neighbors. So that's a good thing to do. To be blunt, he came to die an agonizing death and the ransom us from an eternal death sentence the shadow of the cross lay over the beauty of the first Christmas night.

Let me say that again the shadow of the cross lay over the beauty of the first Christmas night. It was there from the very beginning and so he did this for us and that is why red is the color of Christmas not because Santa wears red because sometimes we wrap our gifts and read the red is the color of Christmas because red is the color of the blood that Jesus shed for us on the cross so I think when you wear red and you wrap your gifts and read it's really a reflection of that. Even the point data or the doors of the Poinsettia. I don't know how to pronounce it but whatever you want to call that special flower of Christmas. It's red and and it's a reminder that Christmas is about a tree.

Yes, a family tree and not a Christmas tree to tree the Christ, because the Bible says curse.

It is every man that hangs on a tree and that's what he came to doing Brent voluntarily to that cross. He could've gotten out of the out of it. If he had chosen to be laid his life down for us.

Everybody Greg Laurie here. Thanks for listening to our podcast in the learn more about harvest ministries.

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