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December 23, 2020 7:00 am
Today on Fellowship in the Word pastor Bill Gebhart challenges you to become a fully functioning follower of Jesus Christ that submissive spirit.
Whatever you say. I don't understand exactly what I believe is that sound like she does that sound like more. I don't understand this fully but I do believe I submit joining us today on this additional fellowship in the world. Pastor Bill Gebhart Fellowship in the Words the radio ministry of Fellowship Bible church located in Metairie, Louisiana Pastor Bill Gebhart now was once again he shows us how God's word meets our work and my question for you is simply this meeting.
Christmas is upon me, having for celibacy say some days off.
If you're in school is a great time.
He was my favorite time of the school year Christmas break for a lot of us. We've spent the last few weeks.
Decorating office parties and shopping and for some of you meal preparation for some of us watching Christmas movies, family, friends, all that stuff for others of us is not that way.
Some of us it's a time of extreme loneliness. People are lonely at Christmas see. They believe the career nice paintings. They believe the Hallmark movies that everybody for Sammy's wonderful family get together having to scrape by themselves. In fact, oppression at the Christmas season is on the rise, and the largest suicide rate.
We have a set period of time occurs at the Christmas season is not the same for everybody. As a pastor. It has unique challenges for me. I try to figure out what can I possibly say different this year that I haven't said for the last decade after decade of talking about Christmas. So this year when I was wondering what to say. I begin to just read over and over again the birth narrative out of the Gospels and as I was reading it I just came for me to a very profound thought. Why is it that God wanted the tell the story of the Word becoming flesh that God becoming a man that heaven comes to earth. Why did he want to tell that story the way he wrote was the reason for that.
I've always wondered why. Why was he born in such an Insignificant Pl. in Bethlehem that we romanticize it, but then it was nothing. Why not, why not in Jerusalem or Athens or Greece or in Rome know why not. Some were big, many thought about even more NECO think the characters who are the characters of the story of the birth of Christ, who are the people that God wanted to tell the story and lightly use these characters come to the conclusion I believe this I believe the conclusion that God wanted use these characters so that he could speak to all of us and tell all of us how you and I should respond to Christmas. How should we respond. I want to open your Bible salute one verse 26. The first character one verse 26. Very famous versus Dr. Luke writes this he says now in the six month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, not the first thing I want to understand for the context of all this, again, you have to think about their times and not ours and how we look back on things.
The city is called Nazareth okay at the time of Jesus of Nazareth was a town of less than 2000 people. So when it says city. It doesn't mean city means village Hamlet.
There's less than 2000 people would certainly the implication in that culture is just about everybody knows just about everybody and that comes to play in the story and in the six month the angel Gabriel was a very famous angel. He is the announcing angel. That's his job. He is the one who proclaims for God and he shows up in Galilee to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendents of David and a virgin's name was Mary. Now again, we try to make things bigger like there's been a lot of distortion about Mary, and I want to understand something. What would this been like for her. She's very likely somewhere between 13 and 15 that's a rage she's a teenager. She has one goal in life. Her goal would've been married a good man, and her parents had arranged for her to marry a good man. His name is Joseph, who is probably somewhere between 16 and 90 so they're just teenagers and the angel shows up.
Mary is only been thinking ever since the betrothal that she prepares yourself every day because she doesn't know the day, Joseph will come pick her up at her house, take her back to his house to be a ceremony and then will be the wedding party, so she so excited about her future with her future husband, and out of nowhere, you get this incessant coming and he said to her, greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you not to give yourself 15 years old in your head and someone comes an angel appears and says, greetings, favored one, the Lord is with you. You gotta be thinking you got the wrong person. What an angel appearing to me Angel sign appeared for 400 years in Israel appears to marry and so she sees this and it says she became perplexed that the statement had come pondering what kind of salutation. This was why you send this to me, Angel center, do not be afraid, Mary, you found favor with God. That whole idea of fear not.
You have found favor with God. He understands that she's afraid of this. He says into her, and behold, no think of this hearing is for the first time, and behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him yes you were Jesus and he will be great, and he will be called the son of the most high, and the Lord God will give him the tribe of the throne of his father David and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever in his kingdom will have no way I combat but what nonmember she's just a teenage girl. She's hoping to get married soon and all of a sudden out of nowhere, you get this kind of a statement and look how amazing it is it the things that he says there were its dark side do that would be enough, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and his name shall be Jesus is that Joseph my first baby. No, he says he'll be great and be called the son of the most high. He said in the Lord God gave him strong. David now have no end. Mary has to be thinking what I was just thinking about marriage and now I'm thinking about motherhood. See why my thing about motherhood, so she says doing how can this be, I'm a virgin.
I would be talking about motherhood. I know enough to know that isn't going to happen in the angel answered and said to her, the Holy Spirit will come upon you the power the most high will overshadow you and for this reason, the holy child shall be called the son of God. How many of you would say Rick would you explain those terms to me could use explain what that means to me is an amazing statement no one's ever heard a statement like this. We rented for 2000 years.
So we said this just the way it works, but not for a teenage girl in a little time a man's roots.
He tries to explain this is look, I know this is supernatural. Let me explain. Behold even your relative Elizabeth is also conceived in her old age and she, who was called barren is now with the six month for nothing is impossible with God.
So I'm just trying to think you're just this young girl you're trying now to absorb all this.
Would this be like.
It is amazing how she did and Mary said behold the bondslave of the Lord may be done to me according to your word. The word bondslave is just the word English translators like to use because it doesn't sound as bad as what it is it slave it's due loss. It's not bondslave.
It's a slave. She says to the angel, behold, the slave of the Lord may be done to me according to your word and the Angels.
What an incredibly submissive attitude. Behold we had done to me whenever you say seek. Mary teaches us we should never submissive to have a submissive attitude to God. Especially when you don't even understand exactly what God's asking you to do you submit to God. Like most of his you know I want every question answered.
I want to know exactly everything that happens and then think about submitting Mary doesn't talk like that is amazing what you don't then in verse 46. Mary is with Elizabeth to notice what she says she's in my soul exalts the Lord, my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior, for he has had regard for the humble state of his bondslave his slave. For behold, from this time on all generations will call me blessed for the mighty one has done great things for me, and holy is his name and his mercy is upon generation after generation. Toward those who fear him his gun mighty deeds with his arm.
He has scattered those who are proud in our thoughts and in their heart.
He has brought down the rulers from their thrones and he is exalted those who were humble. He has filled the hungry with good things and sent away the rich empty-handed. He has given hope Israel was serving in remembrance of his mercy and spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and his descendents forever just like 15 you think when she does it all.
She was inspired by the Holy Spirit, he just took control over now and what she's doing her she's reciting her favorite Psalms.
She knows the book of Psalms and she's giving back to Elizabeth the Psalms to an amazing thing when you think about it because I think that you have to think about what is going to cost Mary. Put yourself in her shoes she's in Nazareth.
Everyone will talk shall bring enormous shame to her family. She could be stoned to death for this and she submits to it readily. What a submissive spirit. Whatever you say Laura submit. I don't understand it exactly, but I believe you.
Does that sound like you usually does that sound like you Lord.
I don't understand this fully but I do believe you. I submit to you. Let's look at the Matthew chapter 1 and verse 18 and rerunning the Joseph I feel for Joseph.
He's like the forgotten man in the greatest story ever told them it is the greatest story ever told. He's of the lineage of David. That's very important, but you hear Joseph right here you have Joseph and any shows up as are on the way to Bethlehem and then he shows up and is 12 years old when Jesus 12. Outside of that nothing just Joseph but there's a uniqueness about him. This is now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows.
When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit.
What's the character of Joseph and Joseph her husband, being a righteous man was, not wanting to disgrace and the plan to send her away secretly that's anyway meat is divorcing her. The only way he could stop a betrothal in Israel was divorce.
He said Mary I'll do it privately so no one knows about something else about itself, being a righteous man.
By the way that's not an adjective is not really an adjective. It doesn't mean he was a good guy, righteous man in that context means he's declared righteous by those who know it's more like a title than it is an adjective. He's a man was known as being faithful to God.
He was a man who was probably faithful to his synagogue.
He was a man that everybody knew did everything right with God. That's why they call him righteous. He's probably 17 to 19 years of age is a carpenter, so we know he's practical common typical of a person in Nazareth and you decide yet to do this secretly, but when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord, not Gabriel. An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said him Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife for the child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from his sins.
He said all this was took place to fulfill what was spoken of through the Lord through the prophet, behold, a virgin shall be with child and her son, and they shall call his name Immanuel, which means God with us. Okay, if you're Joseph what happens when you wake up was that mean is a dream but what was that seats interesting. Joseph never had a thought like that Joseph no one is our God spoke to me in the stream and he didn't get much of an explanation any of this. It says and Joseph awoke from his sleep and did as the Lord commanded him and he took Mary as his wife woke up and said, America.
He knows what is going to face the rest of his life will always be ridiculed, though always be considered immoral, though always be unclean because she can see before they were married in a culture in which he lives. He knows how much of must've hurt his family to hear their talk about her son. That way, Joseph knew all that he probably took the chamber was great. Didn't matter. He is obedient to the Lord an amazing thing and then it says and he kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son, and he called his name Jesus or Yeshua. Mary unbelievable submission Joseph immediate obedience that describe you, I submit to the Lord. If I don't understand. The Lord says that I obey God's telling us something or how should we respond to this idea of the Word becoming flesh and going among us, God becoming one of us, which are our response be with me now to Luke chapter 2 chapter 2 in verse 82 in verse eight, you know the story it says in the same region. There were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over a flock of sheep by night, take a pretty picture in it like that.
I mean if I what you think the PR is if your Shepherd how people think about shepherds like shepherds. I'm in the corner own way. You see him. You see all the stuff I mean, look, you know you seen all the school plays you want to land one of those parts you want to be Shepherd you just get dressed up really nice and that's not this world idea that shepherds are in the stories of enigma.
I think the average Jew would say what in the world is going on here like shepherds understand no one in Israel ever set will I hope my little boy grows up becomes a shepherd. You see, no one like shepherds didn't like him at all. Shepherds were ceremonially unclean. They didn't like that about him. But it's worse than that. The other thing about shepherds you find over and over again is that shepherds children are allowed to speak to shepherds are not allowed to talk. Shepherds are not allowed to testify in court considered unworthy shepherds are not allowed to be in the temple grounds the tell med the Jewish writing the Tillman says give no help to the heathen or shepherds shepherds are distasteful to Jews is either very distasteful, they don't like shepherds shepherds are amazing, though there the first human beings that see worship Jesus knows who it's not no religious leaders. No profits, no scribes, no priests, no dignitaries, no kings, no one shepherds. Let's do the shepherds first.
Wow, what is God doing, why does he tell us that and think of their job how lonely a job as being a shepherd countless days, weeks, just countless you and the sheep day and night 24 seven you're just out there alone and a people back there. Don't even like it, but maybe being a shepherd for young man like David is were David learned to write music, play an instrument saying David was amazingly talented but he was a shepherd.
Now you get an idea what Moses must've went through many spent 40 years in the land of Midian, been a shepherd in that ironic that God takes someone like David, a shepherd, and he makes him Israel's greatest king, then he takes the greatest king of the universe and he makes him a shepherd. Jesus Christ is what God does notice then what happens. An angel of the Lord stood before them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terribly frightened. I'll bet and the angel said and do not be afraid, for behold I bring good news of great joy which we for all the people for today in the city of David. There is been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be assigned to you.
You will find a baby wrapped in Clawson, lying in a manger and suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased now. Five minutes ago was jet black, dark and lonely place, hoping the sheep required in the solitude of silent in Angel talk and now the heavenly host proclaiming to you just just imagine what that would feel like for a shepherd this and some expected at all. This is when the Angels and gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another.
Let's go straight to bubble him and see this thing which is happen, which the Lord is made known to us. Let's go immediately.
Again, so they came in a hurry and they find their way to Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in a manger and when they had seen this. They made known the statements which was told to them. The child started talking anyone and everyone. It says, and all who heard it.
Notice and all who heard it. I got a hunch the whole way there. They talk about. They ran and anybody anywhere they're talking about. You should've seen what just happened. THE angel said this one I went about them to see what happened. What is what he said is happening is is all who heard it wondered at the things which were told to them by the shepherds.
Mary treasured these things in her heart and shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and see just as a been told them the least educated ceremonially unclean usually cover with their own sweat and the stench of sheep. They become the very first people listening to Pastor Bill Gebhardt on the radio ministry of fellowship in the world.
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