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Christmas Message - Luke Chapter 2:1-20

Cross the Bridge / David McGee
The Truth Network Radio
December 22, 2020 12:00 am

Christmas Message - Luke Chapter 2:1-20

Cross the Bridge / David McGee

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December 22, 2020 12:00 am

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Let God with us.

I keep saying that because I want you to get it. We've all had these experiences where we desired a relationship with somebody else who pushed us away, maybe hurt us, maybe betrayed us, and in that moment maybe we got a small taste of what God feels when we ignore him and turn our back on him. This is how we come to this manger in Bethlehem, and this is how the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God, was born in a barn. Welcome to Cross the Bridge with David Magee. David is the senior pastor of The Bridge in Kernersville, North Carolina. As we approach Christmas coming up this Friday, one of David Magee's associate pastors, D. A.

Brown, is here with us on the program. Welcome, brother. Merry Christmas, Bob. It's a special week indeed.

It sure is. Tell us a little bit about what we have to look forward to this week in the teachings. Jesus didn't come simply to change our schedule or to change one day out of the year.

He came to change our life. Join us today for a special Christmas message from Pastor David. Now here's David Magee with part two of his teaching, God with Us. I'm going to read from Luke chapter two.

If you got your Bibles with you, turn with me there. Luke chapter two is part of the Christmas story. So let's read in Luke chapter two, verse one. And it says, and it came to pass in those days that the decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.

The census first took place by creating this, was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone 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 Bethlehem, because he was of the house and the lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife who was with child. Still it was 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 inn. Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, do not be afraid for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.

And this will be the sign to you. You will find a babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill towards men. In verse 15, so it was when the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherd said to one another, let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us. And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph and the babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen them, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this child and all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.

Verse 20, then the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen as it was told them. Jesus was given many names. Jesus obviously was one of his names.

That's sort of a Hebrew to Greek to English form of his name, Jesus. His Hebrew name was Yahshua. Now if we translate directly from the Hebrew to the English, Yahshua is Joshua. And even then there's a little picture in that name because if we remember in the Hebrew Scriptures, Moses received the Ten Commandments. But Moses is not the one who led the Israelites into the promised land.

And there's a picture there that the law can't lead you into the promised land. So who took him into the promised land? Joshua. And let's remember Joshua's name was the same as Jesus, Yahshua. His name, Christos, is anointed one or Messiah or Mashiach in the Hebrew, Christos in the Greek. So it's Jesus the Christ. It's not Jesus Christ and Christ was his last name. And another thing that we call him is a man. Immanuel. Immanuel.

It's actually one of my favorites. What does it mean? It literally means God with us.

And that's the title of the teaching I'm getting ready to share with you. God with us. Now when you think back on the Garden of Eden, God wanted to be with us. He wanted to be with humanity. He wanted to be with mankind. And we betrayed him. We disobeyed him. And we broke his heart. God, who the world likes to paint as this maniacal crazy tyrant, obviously with this much power, with his heart broken, God just... Is that how he responded to Adam and Eve?

No. After Adam and Eve messed up, God took animals and sacrificed them and covered Adam and Eve, covered their mistakes. And that's a picture of his willingness to cover our mistakes. When his people were wandering on the desert, disobeying him over and over, hurting each other over and over, how did he respond? He gave them directions to build a tabernacle so he could meet with them. And after they fell into idolatry over and over again, how did he respond? He led them into the promised land. And after they ignored him and really didn't put him first in their lives, how did he respond? He gave them directions to build a temple where he could meet with them. And after the religious system just fell into all about man and not loving God and not loving people, how did he respond?

He was born in a barn. He came here to die for our sins. And when you get to the end of the book, in the book of Revelation, the part where man shakes his fist at God and man declares war on God, man uses his mouth that God formed to curse God, man uses the fist that God formed in the womb to shake it at God, and how does he respond? Well, he builds a place called Paradise and invites us to it. This is the God who came to this earth. God left heaven where angels were gathered around the throne singing praises to him. He left that and came to earth. God was born in a barn.

Why? Because he desires a relationship with us. And what's amazing is it's not like God said, okay, you got one shot at this. You better take it.

You know, like those infomercials that slam you with a bunch of information and plead with you to buy now or you're going to miss it. God has for years sat there and said, you know what? The offer still stands. What an incredible God.

What an incredible story. He offers to set us free, to heal us. And he wants from us what nobody else wants. We're in the time of year when different people want different things from people. I want this and I want that.

And please give me this and please give me that. But you know what God wants from us? He wants our sin. He wants our wrongdoings.

He wants us to take those things and say, here, God, forgive me. Help me to deal with these things. Help me to overcome these things. Help me to be victorious over these things.

And friend, you know what? You can wrap it as pretty as you like, but nobody else wants your sin. Nobody else wants your garbage. Imagine boxing up every wrong thing you've ever done and giving it to somebody. That's what happened in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus said this cup, that was the cup of all of our wrongdoings. But he knew that's what he was here to do because he desires a relationship with us. And Jesus would rather come and be born in a barn. He'd rather come here and be accused of blasphemy. He'd rather have a crown of thorns shoved down on his head. He'd rather hang on a cross than to live without you.

See, this is the Christmas story. God desiring a relationship with you in the beginning in the Garden of Eden, God wanted a relationship with him. When he invited him to the promised land, God wanted a relationship with people, with us. When God gave instructions to build the tabernacle, God wanted a relationship with us. When he gave instructions about building the temple, it was to have a relationship with us. When God came here and died on a cross, it was to have a relationship with us. And when God built heaven, it was because he desired to have a place where we can have a relationship together. Man, praise God. Give him a hand. And look, if you're sitting there going, wow, this just sounds incredible.

It does. This is why they call it the good news. We'll be right back with more from David McGee on Cross the Bridge. Right now, here's a word from associate pastor D.A.

Brown. Hey, Bob, we're excited about what God is doing to cross the bridge with Pastor David. And we want to take a minute to pray for some listeners in these cities.

In Idaho, Mountain Home, Pocatello, Salmon, Sandpoint and Twin Falls and Decatur and Mount Vernon, Illinois. God, we thank you for everyone tuning in today. We pray that they would have an expectant heart. Hey, you want to speak to them right now knowing all situations that are going on in their life. Lord, we pray if they're going through some sickness, some health issues, that you would please heal them. And God, that you would remind them that you love them, you know what's going on and you have a good plan and you will be glorified in their life. And Lord, we pray for the pastors and churches in this area. We pray that they would be excited about following you. Lord, that they wouldn't grow weary in doing good. And Lord, that you would remind the pastors that they are loved, they are called, and that you're going to bless them. In Jesus' name, amen. Amen. Thank you, brother.

And now, let's get back to David McGee as he continues teaching verse by verse. Yeah, people go, hey, hey, tell me the good news. Well, the good news is you're a dirty rotten stinky sinner. Nothing you ever do will amount to nothing. And if you try real, real hard, much harder than you're trying now, and you never make a mistake, then you might get into heaven. That's the good news.

That's not the good news. The good news is God loves you. He desires a relationship with you. He wants to forgive you so much that God was born in a barn. This is what the Bible's all about. This is what life is all about.

This is what Christmas is really all about. Amen. God desires a relationship with us. God desires a relationship with you. God with us. I keep saying that because I want you to get it.

We've all had these experiences where we desire the relationship with somebody else who pushed us away, maybe hurt us, maybe betrayed us. And in that moment, maybe we got a small taste of what God feels when we ignore him and turn our back on him. So this is how we come to this story in Luke 2.

This is the back story, if you will. This is how we come to this manger in Bethlehem. And this is how the Messiah, the Savior, the Son of God was born in a barn.

I won't ever ask that question again. If somebody comes in the house and leaves the door open or leaves the fridge door open or whatever, I won't ask that question because I realize now that my Savior was born in a barn for me and for you. A barn. Now, some of you have been in barns.

Some of you have not. So let me help you because we have these nice little sanitized manger scenes, don't we? Everybody's so nice and clean. It looks like they just pulled their clothes out of the washer and dryer. But oops, 2,000 years ago, they didn't have a washer and dryer. And there's a couple of things that are missing in that manger scene. One of them is the smells of a barn. If you've been in a barn, you know what I'm talking about. Another thing that's missing is, and excuse me for saying this, is cattle biscuits, which go in barns.

If you're not sure what a cattle biscuit is, ask somebody after the service and explain it to you. But that's where God showed up. Why? Because He was making a statement. It wasn't by accident.

It was a very deliberate thing. It was God saying, you know what? I'm willing to do anything.

I'm willing to meet you wherever to reach you. That's why that one, two, three, Matthew chapter one, verse 23, behold the virgin shall be with child and bear a son. And they shall call his name Immanuel, which is translated God with us. God's with us. I mean, that's an amazing thing in and of itself. I mean, if you had some political leader hanging out with you or some actor or actress or some big name musician, you'd be like, oh yeah, I'm with so-and-so.

It's way beyond that. And think about the words, God with us. And if you say them, you can say them and emphasize each word, God with us, God with us, God with us.

These are powerful words. God with us, God, not, not just a good person, not a good man, not a religious leader, not a political leader with more empty promises of how they can change the world without changing the human heart. God in human flesh. John 1 14 says, so the word became human and made his home among us. And he was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we've seen his glory, the glory of the father's one and only son. Not above us, not beyond us, not high up in some celestial place, removed and unattached, just barking out orders from a corner office, yelling out religious rules from a platform or a pulpit, or offering us hidden secrets in a bestseller.

No, with us, among us, in the places of despair and darkness, right in the middle of problems and pain, heartbreaks and heartaches, right there with us. He came what forth to establish new rules? Was God just so mad that he was like an angry parent?

If you've got kids or had kids, and they get to doing whatever, playing indoor soccer or something, and you're like, hey, hey, hey, look at that. Don't make me come down there. Is that what it was? God was looking going, oh my goodness, you're doing this, you're doing that.

Don't make me come down there. No, it wasn't that at all. That verse doesn't say God was so mad he sent his son. God was so fed up he sent his son. No, in a twisted, unfair, cold, and spiritually dark world, God so loved the world that he sent his son to judge the world, to condemn the world, to beat the world.

No wonder of wonders. John 3 16 says, for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world.

Now a lot of Christians think, well, Jesus obviously left something undone. I'll begin condemning the world on his behalf. That's my ministry. Now God did not send the son into the world to condemn it, but that the world through him might be saved. God with us. And this world, God so loved this world, this world, the one we're living in, the one filled with school shootings, and murders, and thieves, scam artists, con artists, religious hacks and hucksters, this world, because he loved.

And us, you and I, not necessarily powerful people, not the people that think they don't have any problems, but us. Romans 5 8 says this, but God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us. When we got it all figured out, when we worked out our issues, when we were living... No, while we were still sinners. He didn't demand we appear or give us some spiritual subpoena or some judicial jury summons. He didn't demand that we come to him. Oh, he would have been within his rights to do it, but no, he came to us. He came to see us. He came where we were.

He came as a baby, came as a carpenter's son. That in and of itself is amazing because we're trying to go up the ladder. We spend so much time and energy going up the ladder. Some of us are consumed with going up the ladder. And Jesus stepped way down the ladder by choice. He stepped away from his throne.

It shouldn't have happened, but it did. In this world of darkness and despair, heaven's light shines into this world, into this moment. Jesus, the son of God. So while we're thinking about this and we mark the calendar with Christmas, each one of us kind of has to figure out what is Christmas all about? Now, I've been trying to talk to you about it. You have to make the decision. I can't make that decision for you. Let me put it another way.

It might be interesting for you. Where are you in this spiritual manger scene of life? You'll see some manger scenes this year that you'll just drive right by, right? Is that how you look at the birth of Christ? And by the way, I'm not suggesting that you stop at the manger scene and then go stand in it because you could be arrested for that. But I'm speaking spiritually, spiritually.

Where have you gotten distracted from what Christmas is really all about? Let me put it another way. Are you interested in, involved with, or committed to Jesus? Again, your decision.

I can give you the information. I can encourage you to make the right one, but it's your decision. And some of you, honestly, you've been waiting to make this decision. You keep saying one day I'll do it. Well, today's that day.

Let the season be this season. I mean, if you're interested in Jesus, then yeah, you do the Christmas thing. You play the game.

You do the gift thing. It really doesn't impact the way you live. And because of that, honestly, it's not going to impact the way you die. Or maybe you're involved. Maybe you believe in Christ. You believe in Christmas as God becoming man. Maybe you go to church occasionally, but you're kind of on the sidelines.

You don't volunteer, help, give on a regular basis. But once a year, you do kind of experience the peace of God because you think about what really happened. Now, some people think that if they're interested in, they should have the joy and the peace of God. It doesn't come when you're just interested in Him.

And it doesn't come when you're just kind of involved with Him. The joy and the peace come when you're committed to Him. Jesus said, if you want to discover life, if you want to find out what life is all about, give your life away. That's a committed life. And not only does that put you in the nativity scene, if you will, but you can recognize yourself in that nativity scene. Because when you're committed to Jesus, you're the one that's bowing down before Him, worshiping Him as the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Let me put it in this life lesson form.

Jesus came not to change your schedule or to change one day a year. He came to change your life. Friend, do you know for sure that your sins have been forgiven?

You can know right now. I want to lead you in a short, simple prayer, simply telling God you're sorry and asking Him to help you to live for Him. Please pray this prayer with me out loud right now. Dear Jesus, I believe you died for me, that I could be forgiven. And I believe you were raised from the dead, that I could have a new life. And I've done wrong things. I have sinned.

And I'm sorry. Please forgive me of all those things. Please give me the power to live for you all of my days. In Jesus' name.

Amen. Friend, if you prayed that prayer, according to the Bible, you've been forgiven. You've been born again. Jesus said He would not turn anybody away who comes to Him. And He came for those people who knew they needed forgiveness, those who were sick, not the righteous.

So congratulations, friend, you just made the greatest decision that you will ever make. You know, the Bible tells us that the free gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. But it does cost for us to come and bring that message to you and to others in your neighborhood through radio, through the internet, and through the mobile technologies that God has gifted us to be able to use. So if you'd like to support this ministry, please go to, click on the donate button, and ask God how much He would have you give, either on a one-time basis or a continuing basis each month to help ensure that the teaching of God's Word continues to go out through Cross the Bridge.

Thank you so much. Well, DA, before we go, what are some ways that we can bless our listeners? Each day you can wake up with encouragement from Pastor David through the Word of God with his email devotional, life lessons to consider, a daily reading plan, and a thought to meditate on throughout your day from the heart of David McGee. Thanks again for listening and join us next time as David McGee continues teaching verse by verse in the Gospel of John.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-13 04:02:41 / 2024-01-13 04:11:59 / 9

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