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First Songs of Christmas - Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman
The Truth Network Radio
November 20, 2021 1:00 am

First Songs of Christmas - Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth

Building Relationships / Dr. Gary Chapman

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November 20, 2021 1:00 am

You know the holiday tunes White Christmas and Jingle Bells, but do you know the first songs of Christmas? Author, speaker and radio host, Nancy Demoss Wolgemuth joins Dr. Gary Chapman to uncover the timeless truths found in the very first Christmas songs as spoken by Mary, Elizabeth, the angels—and more!

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Today on Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, the songs of the first Christmas, no matter how fractured and messed up and imploding our world may be we lift our eyes up and we see the wonders of Christ coming to this earth, our hearts also going to well up and break into the same kinds of songs that we see these precious early New Testament friends worshiping the Lord with that first welcome relationship. Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times best seller.

"The 5 Love Languages" beloved author, speaker and radio Moscow argument helps us return to the first songs of Christmas lift our hearts, we got her speaking at her work on the program revive our hearts are featured resource just in time for a meaningful reason is a new devotional based on chapters 1 to its goal the first songs Christmas 31 day advent devotional. Find out more about the website. Five love languages.com Gary Christmas is only what month a few days away from now and I think this conversation is going be a great preparation for the celebration cruise all of us look forward to Christmas and even non-Christians look forward to Christmas because of family relationships and that sort of thing.

So I'm hoping that our conversation today is going to stimulate folks to look at the real meaning of Christmas. To celebrate, and in a different way than we normally look at because we will be discussing some of the songs of Christmas are all excited about this interview with let me introduce Nancy Demoss Waukomis. She has touched the lives of millions of women through revive our hearts and true woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love for Christ and his word is infectious. It permeates her online outreaches conference messages books into daily syndicated radio program survivor hearts seeking him her books have sold millions of copies and their reaching people around the world. She and her husband Robert live in Michigan are featured resource. As I mentioned is her latest the first songs of Christmas 31 day advent devotional.

Find out more at 5lovelanguages.com welcome back to Building Relationships. Thank you Gary so grateful for you and Chris and Andrea and all the Lord is using you to do to invest in relationships of God's people with each other and with him is privilege to be with you again really begin with your assessment of what the pandemic is done to worship in celebrations like Christmas. What are you saying in the last year so yeah me just start by saying that some people are going to say why we Artie talking about Christmas, but it's not too soon to start thinking because the pandemic and a lot of what is happened the turmoil in our world.

Over the last couple of years has really left us losing our equilibrium. One thing is that it's hard to be together. Robert and I were just talking this morning and trying to make flight plans to be with family at Christmas and were not sure it's going to be possible. There's so much people we become fragmented distracted so much anxiety and when we are together. There's a lot of contention because of disagreements in a hard time on relationships and I think that's why we need the hope and the promises, and even the joy that the Christmas story brings to our lives as it did the first Christmas so it still can today enjoy Christmas music go to the world. Hark the Herald Angels saying, but the songs you want us to consider are a lot older than those songs right they are and I love those ones you just mentioned, and even older ones like, oh,, Manuel.

One of the earliest Christmas carols in the Christian faith. But the Scripture gives us a hymnal with even older songs of Christmas called him the first songs of Christmas because they were songs that were sang or spoken in the events surrounding the first coming of Christ to this earth, we find them in the gospel of Luke chapters 1 and two to my very favorite chapters not only Christmas time, but year round because there's something dramatic, something extraordinary, something long-awaited light piercing the darkness of this world and it comes with a song into a world that for 400 years prior to the New Testament, had not heard anything from God. God was silent and now he sends into this world. His son, and the coming of Christ to this earth is accompanied by hands and carols and songs of praise and those of been preserved for us in the Scripture so they were not only for people of that era. There songs for us today so these biblical songs are different, but a lot of the holiday music on the radio and in the moles today at Christmas time. My guess is there are many who've never considered these biblical songs gather some a lot of fun songs, cheerful songs that come with this season, but the ones of Scripture get to the point that relate to that first coming of Christ, the birth of Christ and they are so rich they are timeless. They speak to our world today. Much as I did as much or more as they did to the era that Roman empire era in which those first believers in Christ led himself yet nothing wrong with some of these other just find celebratory songs, but all of the riches and how our hearts need these beautiful scriptural songs that we find in the gospel of Luke. So take us back to Luke and the songs that you found in the first two chapters to songs and to discover new single elder five or six, depending on how you count them, but we have Elizabeth on older woman who sings a song's this is poetry. This is in the in the genre of song and we have a younger woman, Mary. Maybe just a young teenage girl who speaks the song that we've come to know as the Magnificat. My soul magnifies the Lord. That's where that term comes from and then we have Zechariah song.

He was a priest and the husband of Elizabeth. So here we have two elderly Old Testament saints who are being given the privilege of seeing with their own eyes. This transition to the new covenant of grace and they speak songs that are glorious enemy of the Angels. One of the Angels and then a host of the Angels speaking or singing songs of praise and glory to God and then at the very end of Luke chapter 2 we have Simeon song another older saint who had waited and longed for the coming of Christ to earth and when his eyes beheld it he broke out in worship and I believe Gary that when our eyes behold who Christ is what he has done for us who he is to us and in our world today and what the redemptive story is all about the no matter what the news of the day. Maybe we lift our eyes up and we see the wonders of Christ coming to this earth, our hearts also going to well up and break into the same kinds of songs that we see these precious early New Testament friends worshiping the Lord with that first advent. I'm excited about digging into these songs measure to go sing some of them for us as well. That would not be recommended, but nobody's listening in on the mics not on.

I do love to sing and I think we shouldn't be concerned about having I think that's old people who had these first songs of Christmas. They probably had scratchy voice is still not been able to carry a tune so well, but their hearts were tuned to the wonders of God's grace and that's what makes these songs beautiful and it was it's what makes our singing of Christmas carols rooted in Scripture. It's what makes them beautiful no matter how off pitch or scratchy our voices may be this is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman. I guess today is author, speaker, radio host, Nancy Demoss Waterman, author of the first songs of Christmas, a 31 day Advent devotional. You can find out more. And here our program again at the website. Five love languages.com. Nancy is the host of revive our hearts. She's an accomplished pianist and author of a number of best-selling books. You can find out more about her ministry enter featured resource directors website. Five love languages.com live so your devotional is for the Advent season. What is advent and what does that word mean gather some faith traditions that use that word more than others.

Some of us it's a little bit of a scary word is are not as familiar with it, but the word just means to come.

The coming of Christ to this earth course we had his first advent, which is what we celebrate at Christmas. We anticipate the second coming of Christ when he returns to this earth that will be also in Advent. So, those Old Testament saints, looked forward to the Advent to the coming of Christ. Oh, O come Emmanuelle.

That was their heartbeat.

That was their heart. Christ will now as we sing our Christmas carols and hymns and as we read back to these first songs of Christmas in the gospel of Luke, we celebrate that Christ has come, the longing in the hopes of all the years have been fulfilled in Christ. So we celebrate that, and we do it with eyes of faith in a in a way that those early believers weren't able to do because this was all brand-new to them. So how can these first songs of Christmas preparers that are culture for this Advent season. Here's the thing we all know that this season from before Thanksgiving up through Christmas. Can leave us harried and exhausted and frustrated and we get out of our rhythms.

We get off our schedules where sometimes being with people that we are not as comfortable with that we may have maybe fractured relationships with. Christmas can be painful. I'm thinking of a couple of friends of mine who recently lost their husbands to covet and this Christmas is that I have a lot of pain associated with it. Some who will be alone. Some who will wish they were alone because maybe there with people that they struggles in the relationship. So through all of this as we look back to the Scripture and we read and ponder and meditate on these first songs of Christmas.

I believe God uses these to bring an infusion of perspective and hope and peace and grace we remember who we are who God is who Jesus is why he came, and we know all that, but sometimes you just get to hurried and so my goal and burden through this 31 day Advent devotional is to have just a little nugget a glimpse into one of these songs on each of those 31 days of the month of December and carrying us through the week after Christmas so that we all just get that you know we had this big high sugar high and everything else hi and then we get would plummet down into despair and anxiety. Once again, but to focus our hearts to set our hearts on Christ and his Advent and what that means for us to celebrate the gospel.

Jesus is God becoming man coming to this earth to deliver us from our sins. What could be more wonderful than that selfish yes we can have the parties and the sadness and the tears and laughter and the cookies and that whatever else is a part of your Christmas celebration at the heart the root of it all. My longing is that we would have a fresh encounter with Jesus, just for us but also for the people were around in our families and our neighborhoods.

I have neighbors who don't know Jesus and I'm longing to have some way this Christmas of shining for them the light of the gospel, the light of Christ. So just think if in the darkness and confusion and chaos of this crazy world right now and it's getting crazier us to say that in the midst of all that. What if we as the people of God could be filled in our hearts to overflowing with the joy and the wonder and the all of what these first singers of those first songs of Christmas experience. What a difference would that make NS and then around us and through us.

So let's look at Mary's song. What do these verses reveal about Mary's heart. Keep in mind that Mary was a young girl she probably couldn't reach probably wasn't literate, but she knew the word of God. She knew the Old Testament, she knew the promises of God. She had soaked in those promises because her song which is one of the longest songs found here in Luke one and two.

It's filled with references to Old Testament prophecies and promises, and she knew them and she knew that with the coming of Christ.

These promises were being fulfilled now for her to be a part of that for the angel to come and say not only is Jesus coming, the son of God. But you're going to carry this baby in your womb.

While this totally rearranged and upended any plans that Mary had for what to do that time of year it changed everything. I love how Mary in her song she worships the Lord my soul magnifies the Lord makes a big deal about him and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. And then if she goes to visit her cousin Elizabeth on the older woman with the younger woman. The songs continue to well up and pour out and Mary says essentially yes Lord, whatever you want. May it be to me according to your word. So here you have a woman of praise a woman of humility, a woman of faith, a woman who surrenders her own body, her plans, her ambitions, her romantic life. Her future marriage.

Everything is surrendered to God and that calls out to me today I'm a much older woman than Mary was to have the same God he's faithful to keep his promises. He has kept his covenant. He is shown his mercy to Mary's forefathers to Mary's generation to my forefathers and to my generation and for generations to come. He will always be faithful crowns us.

In truth, gives us hearts of praise and we respond in faith to as a yes Lord, whatever you want, however you want to use me.

That's what I'm here for. Just thinking about enlisting.

That's easy to what you are just saying. Comparing contrasting what Mary said may be unto me, Lord, when what happened in the garden. There's an echo of that song of Mary's in the heart of her son who was saying, not my will but yours be done. Is there yes and actually Mary and Eve are contrasting in so many respects because Eve in effect said I'll have it my way and Mary comes onto the scene and she says oh God, not my way, but your way You Have It Your Way, Lord not really believe Gary and Chris and Andrea that at any moment in our lives we are responding as Eve did.

Or as Mary did and sometimes were just, you know, balling apart, clenching her fists and digging in our heels and say no. I wanted my way. I know what I said but I want my way. We just don't believe him and we just go our own way, or we take the pathway of obedience and surrender in faith and we say with Mary Lord, whatever you want. That's what I want and you're right. That's what Jesus said when he went to the cross for our sakes, so we think that the cross and death, and surrender that the sleep this is hard, but in fact this is the pathway to redemption and beauty and goodness and all that we were created for. When we surrendered we say yes Lord, have it your way.

What what was Mary's life like at this time what you think she was so willing open to accept the Angels message you know I think Mary's life had to be grounded in the Old Testament Scriptures course we have old and new Testaments today but granted his ways and that Mary lived in Nazareth, which was a rugged harsh town. It was a center of travel and commerce, and there were a lot of roughhewn people around then and in those places in the Holy Roman Empire was we think of governments, and nations in the world today is being corrupted and like it's never been as bad. Actually, it has been as bad before the Roman era was a wicked era and she lived as a young Jewish girl surrounded by this Gentile pagan culture and even many of the Jews have forsaken the Lord, also think this just struck me a few minutes ago. As we were talking that it was Mary on that first Christmas in a makeshift birthing room, separated by miles. Her family from her friends from all those familiar from all that was comfortable and I know this Christmas, there will be those who are separated from family from friends for whom God has placed them in uncomfortable places and settings and if nothing else we all feel the encroachment of darkness and evil around us, but sin against that dark backdrop of Mary's era. Is this gem of her faith and her yes Lord, and why shouldn't and why couldn't that be you and me today. Set against the back drop of evil and sin, and travel problems in supply chain problems and empty shelves and all the things that are warning us about that are maybe getting worse. Probably getting worse, but against that backdrop, why shouldn't we as Christians be the ones who are magnifying the Lord exalting his name praising him worshiping him filled with joy in our hearts, not from what this world can give us. But from what the indwelling Christ gives us. That's why I love this woman.

I love how she speaks to us in our world today to talk about her willingness to accept what from a human perspective was impossible to have a baby and not the no man is involved in this.

It's it's a superhuman thing orders, mostly about her trust in God.

Well, she acknowledges that this is impossible. How can this be, and I've had a little bit of a similar conversation with the Lord many times over the years and I felt that he called me to something that seemed impossible when we started revolver hearts are going. I can't do this.

I can't do this and that's essentially what Mary was saying that I love what the angel said to her. The power of the most high. The Holy Spirit will come upon you and overshadow you. You're not the one he's going to do this, Mary is making yourself available to saying yes you're just surrendering your body and your future to the Lord.

He will do these great things and she says a sinner song he has done great things for me. So we come to the Lord in our heart, places, or I can't love that family member I can't. I can't raise this child for whom no textbook was ever written. I'm so sad I think of widows and in people who are alone and and for. I just can't press on suspense and era of such anxiety and depression and discouragement and the holidays can be a recipe for more of the same, but as we lift our eyes up to the Lord. He reminds us, I can do this I can do it in you I can do it through you.

I can do it for you that your power the power of the Holy Spirit.

Simon, our faith really, except that he gives us the faith to believe that he is real he is good he can be trusted, and I think that when we as believers live as believers, that that really makes a mark on our world.

They see that we don't have to cave to the pressures emotional and mental and and governmental and political and all the stuff that yes, it's very real.

We don't pretend like it's not happening but in the midst of that off. We have a source, a spring of joy and peace and grace that is only possible through Christ in us. Many of us face what seem to be impossible situations in life right on a rather regular basis. We do, and that's why love the songs there Scripture they're not just like made up songs.

This is inspired by the Holy Spirit. And as we focus on these words on the mighty one has done great things for me. His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him week as we soak in these words, which is what were doing this 31 day Advent devotional were soaking in. These were meditating, reflecting on the scriptural hymns and what it does is give us a fresh infusion of hope. The promises of God, the goodness and faithfulness of God, and we cling to that sometimes was just raw naked faith, saying, Lord, this seems impossible, but through you. All things are possible and I'm gonna believe you as you are reading those words from Mary felt encouraged us here. You those words.

That's why very good devotional like this is going to be so helpful to all of us as we as we move into this Christmas season is very song remind us of the unchangeable characteristics of the Lord well is important for us to see that because we can just think these are old-time characters that you see in Christmas place with sheets on for Robeson eight-year-old kids playing Marriott and a baby doll playing Jesus and those can be sweet but the realities of the songs point is to deep rich theology which is who God is. How were supposed to think about God and Mary along with these others who have the songs in Luke one and two. They talk about the promises of God and the character of God to their fathers and their grandfathers. I'm today I'm thinking about the fact that 71 years ago today my dad was a young man who was a rebel and far from God had no interest in spiritual matters. He was brought into the hearing of the gospel, God reached down and saved him and transformed his life. He's been in heaven now for over 40 years. But I think about how God drew my dad himself and showed his mercy and his grace and that encourages me today when I need mercy I need grace and I want to pass that on to the next generation so that's what the songs do they think God is faithful to Abraham, to Isaac to Jacob to our fathers. He will be faithful to us and he will be faithful to those who come behind us. How many parents today are like Tom's truck with terror and fear about their children growing up in this crazy world. But as we soak in the character of God reminded God doesn't change, he is faithful his promises are true, we could trust him. They could trust him. Back in those old days we can trust him today and those who are coming behind assess the legacy we want to leave for them to know that God is faithful and he will keep his covenant promises to all generations of those who fear him. This is Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, New York Times best-selling author of "The 5 Love Languages" .

Our guest today is Nancy Demoss will augment author of our featured resource. The first songs of Christmas at 31 day Advent devotional. Find out more at 5lovelanguages.com so you know you and Robert have to see beyond the pain and the struggle you've gone through to talk about your personal story, believing that God is the same today as he was 2000 years ago. Thank you Gary it's you know it's been hard, but it's been sweet and the it is that right as the pandemic began in March 2020. My precious husband of less than five years at the time was diagnosed with first one cancer and then no sooner had we gone through dealing with that surgery, and reconstruction for the melanoma.

Then he comes up with another cancer. No history of any of this but now you know this past year went through chemo with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and many people followed our journey and have prayed for us were so so grateful we didn't know what the outcome would be, you know, none of us knows what the outcome is enemy healthwise their families are on the covert year has had so many unexpected encounters for people with hardship and some much harder than hours.

I was speaking this last week in a conference and I was able to have Robert stand up with me and to let them know that his doctor recently told us that he is in complete remission and the people cheered because they been praying they been longing for that but seated right there on the front row in front of me at this large conference was a woman who is in the process of dying of cancer and probably may not make it till Christmas will not be here long. Unless the Lord miraculously intervenes and had a look into that woman's eyes that I saw on her face piece and a smile, and she was doing what Proverbs 31 says that the woman who trusts God does. She laughs at the time to come. She doesn't dread it. She doesn't fear. It's hard. It is hard. Here's a woman who is weak.

She's frail, she's losing this earthly body. We were last that God is restored or is in the process of restoring health to Robert. We promised each other back before we knew what the outcome would be. We don't know what may come yet.

In days to come. But right now it's looking good.

Prognosis is good but we said to each other when we didn't know to trust God were gonna keep our eyes on him and were gonna say yes Lord, to what we can thank him when we get good reports and good scans and were also going to thank him when we get the ones we didn't want the answers we weren't hoping for and were gonna anchor our lives in Christ because the thing that matters most is our eternal relationship with Christ. This earth however long or short our time here.

Maybe it's so short that many the people who sang these first songs of Christmas in the New Testament they were elderly people.

They were going to be here for very long, but they they saw Christ ascended and raised in seated at the right hand of God ultimately and they saw the throne of God and the triumph of God's kingdom over the kingdoms of this world.

They chose to believe and to cling to those promises, and to know that in the end all would be well God's kingdom would come, God's will would be done on earth as it is in heaven. That's what Robert and I have chosen to do. We have and always done it perfectly. We ship plenty tears.

We had some really hard moments, but we've looked at each other and said you know what God is still God is not changed and if this is the experience he's entrusting to us were going to receive it. You say Lord redeem it for your purposes in us through us to others. I don't know what all his purposes are. I won't know this side of heaven, but I trust we trust you to what you say because 10 years ago my wife with three cancer and became a whole year lost her way to mold it today 10 years later, and since fives is cancer free, and we rejoice in that. On the other hand, my sister died at the age of 58 with cancer so you know what you're saying. Sometimes God chooses to give us extended life and sometimes he chooses to take us. But either way, he's God over that song.

I don't know the whole song with the line is when you can't see God's hand trust his heart yes yes that's what I hear you go. Doing so, and his heart is always good and his purposes are always good God can be trusted to write our story absolutely which cells luckily will know the book you wrote about God's writing in our lives that we have contracted to write our story right. But let's look at Elizabeth Saul toes about Elizabeth.

What we learn through personal well here we have the contrast between married a young woman. The young teen woman who never been married and Elizabeth, who had been married for many years to a priest Zechariah. Their godly couple righteous couple holy couple seeking God fearing God doing serving God and yet for years they had prayed for child and got a not given them the child. They long for. Because you see, God is writing a story that is bigger than the story we would write it is greater. It is grander and it is better than any story would we would right now is an elderly couple in the fullness of time, God said to them, gonna bless you with a child when they were way past childbearing years.

There was no way they could have a child at that season of their lives. But then again this is supernatural, which is what the gospel is all about, and Elizabeth and Mary connect the younger woman and the older woman even as the Old Testament transitions into the new covenant, and these two women come together and Mary approaches Elizabeth and Elizabeth realizes that this is the promised son of God that Mary is carrying and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit and she cries out and she blesses Mary and she blesses the son that Mary is carrying in her womb, and she exalts the son of God above her own miracle son that she is carrying in her womb, and she says to Mary. Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord's song of Mary's sometimes is referred to as the beatitude the blessing she sang blessings to Mary blessings to the Christ that Mary is caring and blessed to those who believe that what God has said will be fulfilled.

You have to see the hand of God in their adultery when she sees in the womb of Mary, but this is the son of God. The whole thing in these two chapters to us reveal so much God's hand in God's sovereignty well and that's what God wants us to see Gary in our lives and in our walk is the miraculous the supernatural, the presence of Christ the character of God, the faithfulness of God either not like dusty old stories that we just bring off the shelf. You know with our Christmas decorations once a year. This is the gospel. Christ came.

He was born he came to die in all of this is baked into these early Christmas songs or songs of blessing and they encourage us, even when Elizabeth speaks blessing to Mary as we encounter others even family members that haven't blessed us. How can we use our words to bless them to point them to Christ. This challenges us to love Christ and to love the gospel but also to be carriers of Christ and the gospel to those around us in our world. Double bit about the Angels and their role Christmas story all of the Angels you know and we have such typing that I don't know what the word is puny pictures of these angels in our heads and other like cute little cherubs flying around in long dresses and boy in the Scripture. When people saw angels, they fell on their faces. These are mighty servants of the Lord and their messengers from God and they and they bring messages from God's throne to people on earth, and they did this several times. It came to Joseph. They came to Mary. They came to the shepherds on that Judean hillside, the night Jesus was born, and that the darkness of that hillside. The darkness of that night, burst into flames of light as the Angels brought the message that God has come to earth. A Savior has been born today and I didn't send the Angels to the you know Herod's palace or Caesar's Palace or to people who were too busy doing other stuff to notice sent to just a band of common working class lower-class workers on that late night hillside.

They believed the message of the Angels and was a message of joy in an era. Think about the fact that for 400 years God had not spoken to anybody. He had been silent and now the skies burst forth with these messengers from heaven and I just imagine these angels had been waiting I don't know if they have time in heaven, but for hundreds of years. Can we go now can we go now is a time can we got out until the buses sway just wait I'm I'm supplying this little bit of imagination here in the fullness of time at just the right moment, God sent these heavenly messengers to bring the message of glory and great joy for all mankind. The earth was in darkness and in depression and discouragement and sin, and sins night but God's light brought joy to this world and the Angels were the ones he entrusted to take that message. Thanks for joining us today for Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman, author of the New York Times bestseller "The 5 Love Languages" . Our guest is Nancy Demoss. While Guilmette and our featured resources.

Her book the first songs of Christmas, a 31 day Advent devotional. You can find out more at 5lovelanguages.com. Those who were talking before took the breakup of the shepherds once they heard the message of the Angels voted to lift right away from the one who took care of the sheep with our finale our crisis. They have their sleep with him so I don't really know if he will have what you know we have reason to believe that the sheep that they were caring for the place where they were caring for them may have been actually the sacrificial lambs that were being tended to and cared for.

In anticipation of the observance of Passover, and what a picture of how Jesus the son of God is also the Lamb of God who came to give his life as those sheep would've been sacrificed as Old Testament sacrifices now was being born, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

The shepherds probably didn't know all of that but it makes sense that they make, they made haste. If you're using the old King James. They went to Bethlehem to see what had come to pass and then I love that they didn't stay there forever. Went back and they couldn't stop telling people this is what we've seen, this is what is happened.

This is the message we've heard and doesn't our world need today to have people who've experienced the reality of Christ in their lives have had their sins forgiven have new life in Christ telling the message. I'm just thinking as were talking about nurses and doctors and neighbors and people that Robert and I have encountered in the past this past whole pandemic and cancer season. We've developed relationships with, but they need Jesus and on board which does give us words which open our mouth to tell them how they can have hope and that joy has come to the world Joy to the world. The Lord has come. That's a message God is entrusted to the shepherds back then shepherds are going to tell it today were the ones who need to do that by God help us do another character in the story of Christmas and Zechariah you mentioned earlier priest and the husband of Elizabeth and in his song, he says, and I'm quoting here, but we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. What is the state mostly about salvation and what is it means to wives included here in the Christmas so that's a line from a longer hymn of sorts that Zechariah speaks and it's the whole it's long, but it's beautiful in this precious line tells us that the birth of Christ is about salvation. It's not just a cute little Christmas plaything. It's not just you know for ringing bells and singing songs and decorating our houses, but this is a matter of salvation and the work to be saved in the Scripture has to do with being rescued with being delivered all that means you got a rescue from something you got to be delivered from something.

What is that what is the enemy that we been safe from it's from the clutches of Satan who kept this world in bondage in darkness and sin.

It's from the slavery of sin and Jesus came to set us free from all of that to save us to rescue us the hand of all who hates us who hate us.

Satan hates us.

He wants to keep us in bondage.

He wants to keep us in sin and natures night as one of the Wesley hymns says.

And so the coming of Christ. Even as Zachariah was celebrating the birth of his son John, John the Baptist, but the greater celebration was the one who would yet be born, Jesus the son of God who is come to save us from our sin to save us from the darkness of this world. This in our world needs so much. We all know, but our world doesn't need new political leaders are new news commentators are new employers or new business practices. I don't mean we don't need those things but that's not our greatest need. Our greatest need is for our souls to be saved from the sin that Dan has put every one of us in bondage and this is good news for all people. So my hope is as believers that we don't get distracted arguing about masks and mandates, and vaccines and all the other things we could be arguing about today and now you know it won't be long before the be another election season upon us and we get so caught up in all that stuff and miss the greatest and deepest need of the world which is for a Savior.

Jesus has come to save us. And those he saves will reign with him here on earth was in the kingdom of this world will become the kingdom of our God and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.

Amen. There hallelujah chorus right now. This is why of all people, we should be people of hope and joy.

As Zachariah was in his season the last two soldiers spoke about Simeon and Phyllis about who they were and whether songs were important for us all. I love Simeon and Anna and then at the best known characters of the Christmas story that actually come just after the birth of Christ, which is why we added a week like the week after Christmas. Into this Advent devotional so we don't leave out Simeon and Anna but here were two elderly Old Testament saints who were in the temple and four years decades have been longing and waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled and they had not seen, and they had not seen in here we are in the Roman Empire and the priests are corrupt and the Romans are corrupt and everybody's corrupt in the world is in bondage and night, but they kept believing God. They kept waiting the Longing. The Praying and they were there in the temple when the infant Jesus was brought by Mary and Joseph to be dedicated as the Old Testament law required and we have the story of Simeon reaching out his hands and taking this baby Jesus in his hands and says he he he lifted his hands on and off.

He lifted them up above his head as if giving this child to God or acknowledging that this child was God or how he held him. He spoke to Mary, the mother about the pain the anguish that she would one day experience giving a hand of the cross that was to come. Jesus life would be given for the salvation of the world, but Simeon says, oh God, now I can die because my eyes have seen what I have longed for, and then comes Canada's elderly widow and she how she wasn't the one he was going to get a lot of press or her name. No one in it on a billboard or on highlighter. Nobody was tweeting about Anna in those days. She was kind of nobody but she was a woman who is centered in Christ and I know some elderly praying widows and older women who fit this category effective. I get all that's what I want to be is in Anna and here she is. See sees Christ she recognizes who he is and she does two things.

One, she worships she praises God for the fulfillment of his promise and forget to worship this Christmas.

Let's not let it pass us by. With all the activity and and that's why this Advent devotional is such a help to center us on worship but it didn't and therefore Anna says then she went and told others about what she had seen. She told others who have been waiting for the promises of God to be fulfilled. So not only did she worship that she witnessed what an opportunity this is for us to be worshipers and to be witnesses of the fact that God has fulfilled his promises that there is no president or prime minister or king, a ruler Army or politician or official or nobody who can resist the gospel and the power of Christ from coming and visiting our world today through his people. So we sometimes feel powerless and small and insignificant and we are but God is so great, so powerful is gospel is so powerful it can overcome all the bad news of our day. So let's be attentive to people that God is put a seed of longing in their hearts people around us, people in our workplace people in our community. Our neighbors are for numbers and say Lord, how can I tell them that there is hope, there is life there is grace there salvation through Christ and that that's what this season is about. Some may this be a season of worship and witness and the powerful message and truth of Christ going out in this year through us as his people, even as it rang out into the hearts of the saints in Luke chapters 1 and two. Listening to you as we just got I've grown through the songs of normal old heart excited walking this year's journey toward Christmas and I do believe that devotional you put together is will help a lot of us make the most of this season because as you said earlier were in crisis at all, things are going on in our world to some of the seven seen before. So give us a final words are, we come to close to the old you like to say to us while our world is still in darkness still in chains still enslaved to rebellion and selfishness and sinfulness, but Jesus has come with had his first Advent we look back on it we celebrate it, but it's not just something that happened thousands of years ago I did happen, but now Christ is alive he is in this world through the power of his Holy Spirit living in us and our job are calling our privilege as those who've met Jesus who encountered him and have him living in us is to share with others that good news that light has triumphed over darkness.

Life has triumphed over the holiness of God is triumphed over the sinfulness of man. There is grace there is mercy for all who will believe and be saved. We celebrate that we share rich and we live it out so that others can see the reality of Christ in us, and not as we been talking mild heart has been warmed and inspired and just infused with fresh hope of what gospel opportunities for us in the weeks ahead. Maybe take advantage of those things are true for all of us all over Nancy Demoss will feature resource first songs of Christmas 31 day Advent devotional meditations of 12. Find out more about it right there.

Five love languages next week if you've enjoyed your Thanksgiving celebration, but questions about your relationship, don't miss a post Thanksgiving dear Gary broadcast I thanks today to our production team Steve Glick and Janice Todd and in Michigan, Bill Krause Building Relationships with Dr. Gary Chapman is the radio association with the ministry of Moody Bible and thanks for listening


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