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Mary, Did You Know?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2021 3:00 am

Mary, Did You Know?

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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December 24, 2021 3:00 am

At Christmastime, we celebrate the babe in the manger. And for many people, even unbelievers, a baby is a comforting, sentimental image they’re comfortable with. But Jesus came with a mission. His mission was to give His life, so that we might live. He came to save sinners from their sin. And today on A NEW BEGINNING, Pastor Greg Laurie helps us reset our perspective on our celebration of Christ’s birth. We’ll see He wants to have a close, personal relationship with each of us.

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A New Beginning is the daily half-hour program hosted by Greg Laurie, pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Southern California. For over 30 years, Pastor Greg and Harvest Ministries have endeavored to know God and make Him known through media and large-scale evangelism. This podcast is supported by the generosity of our Harvest Partners.

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We are glad you're joining us for a new beginning with Greg Laurie, a podcast supported by harvest partners get more encouraging audio content.

When you subscribe to pastor Greg daily depots. Learn more and sign up@harvest.org why did Jesus come of the first Christmas answer so we could all get ourselves a new Roy Jesus love me all your heart.

Some people are content to leave the baby Jesus in the manger. Greg Laurie points out Jesus wants to live inside a shell of the Christmas song, let every heart prepare him room to prepare him room. Many people believers babies with comforting sentimental damage their comfortable Jesus came with the mission.

His mission was to give his life, he might live to save sinners from theirs today on Greg Laurie helps us reset our perspective celebration wants to have a close personal relationship. My message is very good. You know that we will look at Luke chapter 2 if you'd like to read along told the story before of a small boy who was writing a letter to God about Christmas presents.

He badly wanted and so he started his letter by saying, dear God, I have been good for six months now. We thought about it for a moment that I'm writing this to God.

I have to be truthful so I crossed out six input three months thought about that a little bit more crossed out three months aboard two weeks. Then he crossed that out. They walked over to the little manger scene. They got in the front room and took the little figurine of Mary and set it next to him and then began to write these words. Dear God, if you ever want to see your mother again I would revisit this beautiful story. I been preaching for many years.

I preach many many Christmas services over the years, but I have to tell you I never tire of this story.

Do you I never tire of it. I love to read it aloud to think about it. I love to contemplate its meaning, because I would like to focus on this story. I look at three main things that are message tonight.

Number one, when did Jesus come number two where did Jesus come to an number three, and most importantly, why did Jesus come so number one when did Jesus come. Jesus came at the right moment in human history the right moment.

The people were waiting. The Jewish people were praying they were saying Lord where is our Messiah and to make matters harder.

They had not heard from God for 400 long years, not a single profit, not a single angelic appearance, not a single miracle performed other waiting and waiting and waiting and I don't know about you but I don't like the way, how many of you were patient people by major razor again your patient depots.

A few of you. How many of you are inpatient people raising a lot more lumbar view.

John, one of you okay that's me. It would drag on the freeway and you see one person weaving in and out of the lanes that's that's me, that's me. When I'm in the market. I will try to size up the for shortest line to take a race to meet full that lines going a little faster.

Maybe I'll switch over. I'll even go to the 12 items or less like what I need more stuff and I'll be counting the number of items of the person in front of me. By the way as well.

I don't like the way that's why don't like to go to amusement park. We went to Disneyland and there would be huge crowds and it seems like whenever I went they would say to me you should have been here yesterday. It was like a ghost town while I'm always on the busy day and they have these little signs of the rides now work it'll say something along the lines up if you're standing here, you will be on this ride in one month right so I don't like to wait I'm impatient by nature. When I order a pizza and I bring a little Of it will be gone by the time I got home I might need some kind of oral surgery because they bring the roof of my mouth out in the process, but it doesn't matter because I don't like to wait. I remember when microwave first came into being, and I will not remember a time when we did not microwaves and that this is like a miracle.

It's like instead of waiting 30 minutes. I can open in three minutes. Now when I put something in the microwave. I like are you serious. Two more minutes. I have things to do, so I like to wait by nature. People were waiting a long time. And if you're a kid you can't wait until Christmas to open your present and if you're a parent you can't wait until this is all over with right well Godhead is perfect timing for the first Christmas. It was not an accident.

It was an appointment. Galatians 4 says when the time was just right, God sent forth his son born noblewoman made under the law, to redeem those that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children whereby we cry, Abba father. So everything was quiet on the home front, no prophets, no miracles know anything and suddenly boy appears Gabriel that would Gabriel shows up something big is going down because Gabriel is one of those high ranking angels. There's Gabriel and there's Michael by the way, Lucifer was a high ranking angel as well and so would Gabriel shows up. This is a big deal.

We read about Gabriel in the book of Daniel.

Gabriel describes himself as this angel that stand in the presence of God. Gabriel shows up and he comes to amending Zechariah's and tells him that he's going to give birth are not him. His wife actually let's get this right be a miracle for sure. He tells Zechariah said his wife Elizabeth is going to give birth to the forerunner of the Messiah was, of course, John the Baptist. So if the forerunner was close Messiah is coming and this is a big thing now, the whole Christmas story is starting to unfold the Christmas story starts with the tree not a Christmas tree, a family tree. Both look in Matthew's gospel story starts with the genealogy you see for the Jews.

The genealogy was a big deal. It was sort of like a resume so the first Christmas story does not begin with the words.

Once upon a time, but rather begins with so-and-so begot so-and-so and so-and-so begot so-and-so why is that because it's a factual historic event pinpointed in time. Yet the Christmas story has all the pageantry the path because the magic if you will, of the best fairytale we have shepherds bowing, Wiseman worshiping angels singing in a brilliant star but it's a real story Christmas starts in heaven and unfolds on earth.

Luke chapter 2 verse one it came to pass in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. This census first took place when Kari Rini is was governing Syria so all went to be registered every one to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called about the camp because he was of the house and lineage of David to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child. It was a while they were there, the days are completed for her to be delivered and she brought forth her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and they laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the end, so we Artie talked about when Jesus came he came at the right time. The time appointed in human history. It was not an accident.

It was an appointment now where did Jesus come to Willie came to the little town of Bethlehem artist story of a young boy whose father was away at war and he missed his dad horribly. So his mother would take him to photograph a large photograph of his father that was framed hanging in the hallway. Every day she would take them there to look at that photo of his dad one day the little boy said was mom mom would be great if dad could step out of that frame. That's exactly what happened at Christmas.

People were longing for a relationship with God and God stepped out of the frame if you will, and keen to walk among us, Caesar, and because this is mentioned, but he's just a passing figure and the most important story ever told. We wouldn't even know if Caesar Augustus were not for the Christmas story. But God wanted Mary and Joseph in Beth again because the Scripture said that for Messiah would come from my divide to you, Bethlehem, though you be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of you should come forth one whose origins of been from everlasting.

So here's Caesar Augustus, I told you up for Augustine's means of the gods. He thought he was God, but he wasn't a God at all, but he was a man that was going to be moved by God. And it's a reminder that God can move people in power.

If they're godly or not. If we voted for them or not. God is in control of Kings and Queens and emperors and pharaohs in prime ministers and presidents in Proverbs 21 one, says the king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the Lord, and he guides it wherever he wishes the Lord said okay Caesar, I want you to help me accomplish my purposes.

He gave this degree and now Mary and Joseph show up in Beth again what happens, we know the story well verse seven there was no room for them in the end no room in the end became prophetic of the reception did Jesus receive while he was under. Ironically, it was Jesus who said, I have many rooms for you, but there was no room for him.

He said I my father's house are many men since there were not so, I go to prepare a place for you. Jesus left his home in heaven so we could have a home in heaven. Jesus left his home in heaven to make a home in your heart Mr. Greg Laurie love the second half of this message just a moment, everybody Greg Laurie here encouraging you to join us as we give her what we call harvesting that home.

It's worse and it's a message of the word of God. You can watch it with your family and your front room where you can watch it on the go on your tablet on your phone or your computer. Take it with you think the word of God with you. Join us or harvested home harvest today on this special Christmas Eve edition. The program Pastor Greg is presenting his message called Mary did you know nomads in the story for a moment, here is the innkeeper we don't know anything about. We we always think of him so as some evil guys in the Bible doesn't protrude that way.

It does even identify any particular individual. Here's a thought.

What if it was a woman could have been. I don't know, was a man or a woman, but whoever answered the door there stands up for them. We sometimes called the holy family and if they look like they do in religious art. They had halos over their heads and probably a spotlight to be done of them as well little music swelling of the background, not at all. They look like any other poor couple and this man could find no room in the end though. Surely he could have rearranged a few people to accommodate and obviously very pregnant woman who was ready to give birth at any moment.

But he wouldn't do it.

I guess there was no money and that I don't really know what the reason was but instead of vilifying him.

I think in some ways he reminds me of a lot of us he was sort of preoccupied. He was too busy to take time to it.

Is that not us rushing about, so frantic, so stressed so irritated so agitated saying, we never hear the voice of God here was opportunity knocking here was the greatest moment in history for him by Jed. He didn't have time. You know we should take a lesson from the birds, the birds don't stress out the birds don't worry have a little bird feeder hanging in front of my kitchen.

But I watch the birds and there never stress I've ever seen a bird taking a value there. Just chill there, just relaxing Jesus. The look of the birds in a worry, why do you worry Muncy about poem written many years ago goes along these lines of the Robin of the sparrow, I should really like to know why these anxious human beings rush about a worry so so the Robin to the sparrow friend. I think that it must be that they have no heavenly father such as, cares for you and me birds don't panic when we can explore running around so busy and we can forget about God altogether. And I wonder how many of you feel that way right now.

Maybe you come here carrying a great burden. Maybe it's a burden of the sin that you been struggling with. Maybe it's the burden of physical pain. Maybe it's a bird. The problems in your family. Maybe it's a burden of grief, because there's a loved one that was with you last Christmas is not with you tonight and it hurts really bad were all collectively stressed out by covert for sure it's affected our families.

It's affected our economy it's affected our livelihood.

It's affected our churches and in some cases I think it's affected. Some people send any but here's what Jesus says to us, familiar birds come on to me all you that are labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest resume or translation puts it, are you tired, worn out, burned out on religion come to me and get away with me and your recovery your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. I like that translation. That's all we need to do. We need to come to him and lay those burdens down.

But this innkeeper he missed it all yet so much going on but he didn't have time really for God.

Let's review and then conclude when did Jesus, Jesus came when the time was just right right and schedule. Where did Jesus come to the candidate that they Still fulfill Bible prophecy.

Now the big question why did Jesus come on the first Christmas answer we could all get ourselves in debt right know he came to teach everyone how to be good, no, no, 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. This is why that baby was being born. He was born so we could be born again.

Jesus came to heal broken lives and to restore shattered hopes toward Christmas. We decorate our treatments.

But the real Christmas tree is not decorated in different colors with bulbs. The real Christmas tree was the tree that Christ died on the Bible says cursive is every man that hangs on a tree. He wanted died on the cross for our sins.

That's the ultimate Christmas treat and that's why red is the color of Christmas.

It's the color of Christmas because of the color of the blood that was shed by Jesus, and you know what I have a favorite drive a lot of favorite Christmas songs.

My favorite of all time is I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus that's us so no that's not it.

Jingle Bell Rock.

That's it. Know that Saturday wonderful Christmas time by Paul McCartney that might be my least Everett Christmas song and the one by Wam. That's really my least favorite this Christmas or whatever it's called, instead of whatever know my favorite one of my favorites is white Christmas and I like doing being Crosby sings it all catches 11 we know usually see a lot of white Christmas is here in California may be up in the mountains or other parts of the country that I love that idea of a white Christmas will will love the idea of snow gently falling well this I just pulled right on the Scripture Isaiah 118.

The Lord says come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are red like scarlet LB as white as snow. Red is the color of Christmas because that's the color of the blood of Jesus shed for us and we turn from our sin.

We will have a white Christmas because were white as snow.

Please please God says that he can make you was white as snow.

How the shedding of the blood of Jesus. When did Jesus come the time is just right. Where did Jesus come to the little town of Bethlehem to fulfill Bible prophecy. Why did Jesus come became to have a relationship with you again. Jesus left his home in heaven so you could have a home in heaven. Jesus left his home in heaven to make a home in your heart, so I have the choice and just like the innkeeper, he turned them away.

No room in the garden, the barn, go to the gay wow this down but you have an opportunity Jesus Christ.

He was born in the manger died of the cross rose from the dead is standing at the door of your life and he's knocking that you can be like the innkeeper internal way, no, no, go away. Don't bother me. You can say Lord come in. I love the Christmas song Park. The Herald Angels Sing.

Let every heart prepare him room you have to prepare him room and invite him in. Would you like Jesus Christ to come in your life right now. Would you like to cover fresh start. As you enter into a new year. We do like to put your past behind you become a new person on the inside. If so, I meant to give you an opportunity to do that as we close in prayer. If you don't know Jesus Christ or have the assurance that you go to heaven when you die, respond to this invitation as we pray now together. Okay, let's all bow our heads father, thank you for loving us. Thank you for sending your son Jesus on a rescue operation to planet Earth for us, Lord Jesus, thank you for coming.

Thank you for the great sacrifice you made to leave heaven to leave your home in heaven to make a home in our hearts and now I pray for any person herein, any person who's watching right now that they don't know you. If they don't have a relationship with you. We pray that this is the moment they believe.

We pray that this will be the moment they accept you into their life that this will be the moment they change your eternal address from a place called hell to a place called hell. Jesus name I pray for Greg Lord important prayer here on the special addition of a new beginning. And if you'd like to make a change today in your relationship with the Lord. Pastor Greg will help you in just a few moments before today's addition of a new beginning. Concludes Pastor Greg movies and TV programs about Jesus go back decades, yeah, but it seems they're more common now than ever before.

That's true. What you think.

That is, I think people have a real interest in the Bible and I think when you visualize it when you cast people to play parts and it's directed well and you add music and you know what you're doing. It can be a powerful way of getting people into the greatest stories ever told and I'll pretty much watch any dramatization of the Bible. I've seen some okay ones, I've seen some pretty good ones.

But we are offering you right now, which I think is that cream of the crop. I don't know if you've seen it yet, but if you haven't, you're going to see it now. It's a special series on the life of Jesus, called the chosen, it's directed by Dallas Jenkins. Dallas is the son of author Jerry Jenkins who wrote the left behind books and Dallas has got lightning in a bottle. Here he is just cast this series so perfectly. Peter and Andrew and Thomas and Marianne Nicodemus he's made these characters come to life. But his crowning achievement is the casting of actor Jonathan Rumi in the role of Jesus. I've seen many cinematic portrayals of Christ, of the years and I think this is the best I've ever seen. In fact, I was speaking with actor Jonathan Rumi, who plays the role of Jesus and told him how powerful his portrayal of Christ was in those scenes of the chosen come from from scene from spiritual death.

God loves the world's way that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life with that same God's peace and can perceive it for him. So I'm very excited to announce that here and harvest we are offering season one of this amazing series on the life of Jesus, called the chosen to you for your gift of any size is is not the perfect time to watch this with your children and I'm telling you, your kids are going to love it. My grandkids love it, you're gonna love in older people get 11 because it's done so well. The New Testament stories will come to life for you in a way like you've never seen before. So for your gift of any size to us here and harvest ministries for the month of December we want to send you the chosen. Some of you can give more some of you can't give as much, but whatever you send will be put to use to continue teaching the word of God is you cured here in a new beginning and giving people an opportunity to come into a relationship with Jesus Christ. That's right and it's the most strategic time of the year for that investment. Not only are there tax deduction benefits at the end of the year, but this is when we determine how far we can reach with the gospel in the coming 12 months and we have huge plans for 2022, including a large Crusade outreach and a film documenting the Jesus movement pray God sends another revival like the Jesus movement so your donation couldn't come at a better time and with your investment should ask for season one of the chosen on DVD you can donate online@harvest.org or write us at a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or call us at 1-800-821-3300. We can take your call anytime.

Again, dial 1-800-821-3300 pastor Greg you mentioned our need to come to Christ for forgiveness of sin in today's broadcast yeah maybe there's somebody listening would like to do that like to take that step maybe could help them with that right now, I'd be delighted to listen if you would like to accept Jesus Christ into your life right now. By that I mean if you would like your sins are forgiven and have the assurance that you will go to heaven when you die. Would you pray this prayer with me, Lord Jesus, I know that I'm a sinner but I think you for dying on the cross for my sin and rising again from the dead. I'm sorry for my sin, Lord, and I turn from it now and I put my faith in you to be my Savior, my Lord, my God, my friend. Thank you for loving me and calling me and accepting me in Jesus name I pray, amen.

Listen if you just pray that prayer in minutes. I want you to know on the authority of God's word that Jesus Christ has just come to take residence in your heart. The Bible says these things we write to the believe in the name of the son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life lesson we want to send you some resources that will help you grow spiritually. So here's David some details and let me say God bless you and welcome to the family of God. Yeah those resources pastor Greg just mentioned are all contained in what we call our new believers growth packet. It'll help you get started living for the Lord and will send it at no charge. So just ask for the new believers growth packet when you write a new beginning. Box 4000, Riverside, CA 92514 or you can call us anytime 24 seven at 1-800-821-3300.

That's 1-800-821-3300 or go online to harvest.for what next time after the holiday weekend. Dig into the most requested messages of the past year, our best of series kicks off next time.

Join us here a new beginning. Pastor and Bible teacher Greg Laurie and I knew beginning of the podcast, made possible by harvest partners, helping people everywhere know God if this show has impacted your life.

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