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Let's Hear God's Voice in a Baby's Cry, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll
The Truth Network Radio
December 24, 2020 7:05 am

Let's Hear God's Voice in a Baby's Cry, Part 3

Insight for Living / Chuck Swindoll

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When we truly engage in the Christmas story, the contrast between heaven and earth is shocking. After all, God willingly gave up His throne in heaven to break onto the world stage as an innocent baby, taking on a physical body with all its frailties. And today on Insight for Living, Chuck Swindoll invites us to imagine what it was like to witness this transition from the glory of heaven to a humble feeding trough.

If you missed any portion of yesterday's program, we'll begin with helpful review. Chuck titled his message, Let's Hear God's Voice in a Baby's Cry. Go back to Isaiah chapter 9 verse 6. Turn there where the prophet writing, get this, seven, eight hundred years before the birth of the Messiah. Seven to eight hundred years before then, Isaiah wrote 9 verse 6, A child is born to us, a son is given to us.

Look at those two phrases. The child is born, that's the earthly point of view where a woman has a child. A son is given, that's the heavenly point of view where God gave his son.

So both are covered here. And then immediately the prophet races to the time when he will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And look at these exalted words. The government will rest on his shoulders. The word will moves us to the future, future even to our day.

The government will rest on his shoulders. He will be called literally a wonder of a counselor, mighty God, father of eternity, literally peace prince. Look at those words, wonderful, mighty, eternal prince.

His government and its peace will never end and on and on it goes. When you read that you anticipate the arrival of royalty, but that's not how he came the first time. That's how he will come the second time. But the first time, which is what we observe every Christmas season, his arrival is anything but a royal arrival.

In the flair and flourish of our Christmas season, pause. Be still. Return to the realism of the original scene. Don't dress it up.

Don't make it look good or smell good. It was a rough place. Even though we read the familiar account in Luke chapter 2, every year it never fails to grip us with a sense of surprise. When God made his entrance onto this earth, he came as an unknown, an unexpected one. No trumpet flare, no loud announcement from some king. He chose a virtually unknown couple from up in Galilee, Nazareth, where a contemporary once said, can anything good come out of Nazareth?

Sort of a military town. This couple traveled on foot from Nazareth 90 miles down to Bethlehem of Judea while she was heavy with that child of hers. And when they reached their destination, get this, no one was there to greet them because no one knew them. No place had been reserved for their lodging.

All the places were filled because this was taxation time and everybody had returned to their distant county seat to register. There was no food. There was no water brought to them. Only what they could scavenge or draw from a nearby well in a borrowed bucket. There were no bathroom facilities available. No midwife was there to assist this Jewess, this teenage girl, this mother-to-be about to bear her firstborn. But we read in Luke 2, and I want them to land hard in your mind, while they were there the time came for her baby to be born. She's never had a baby. She's going to have it on the dirt floor of an animal shelter where she will squat.

Joseph will help as best he can. We have a friend who, not married at the time, was driving for, he was an Uber driver. And when you are an Uber driver, you see everything. And he picked up a lady. He said, I noticed she was a little large and she got in the back. And as soon as she got in, I'm driving her to her destination. She says, I'm having a baby. The baby's coming. The baby's coming. And he says, no, no, no, lady, wait, we're almost there. And he's driving along and she says, yeah, I can't wait.

It's coming. And he's thinking it's going to be all over the back seat. I got to stop. So he stopped caring a little more about his car than the woman. He doesn't drag her out, but he helps her out of the car. And he gets, see what I mean?

He gets her over on the driveway and then the front yard and there. And he's, with the other hand, dialing 911. And out comes the baby. And he delivers this baby.

This former Marine Uber driver is now delivering a baby. That's a scary thought right there. And everything's fine. He says, there's all this stuff wrapped around a big long cord. And I thought, I'm going to leave him that alone. And so he finally, the emergency people come and they take care of everything. He's got to get all cleaned up.

And I thought that is so typical. And think of Joseph. Yeah, I got the water.

And here's some rags. Okay, what do I do next? Well, you might wipe off the baby's face. Okay. So this is all happening with two teenagers. I mean, if you want to make it in today's terms, there are two millennials having a baby. I said to Cynthia, I'm going to call a millennial. She said, don't use that word. Don't call a millennial. I said, well, I'm going to do it.

So honey, I'm using the word. So there you go. They don't know what they're doing. We got this thing all religious looking and that nativity scene, there's no blood and stuff all over everything. There shouldn't be, but it's really clean.

There's nothing clean about this. She gave birth to her first born son and she cleans him up as best she can, cuts the cord and holds him close. And like the song goes that we love, when she kissed her little baby, she kissed the face of God. For the first time, somebody on earth kissed a baby that was God. And when she looked into those little eyes, her tiny baby's eyes, she looked into eyes that only months before had witnessed the glories of heaven and had been there in all the resplendent, splendor of the third heaven, the throne room of the king from which he had come. And here he is, and when he cries out, for the first time on earth, the voice of God is heard from the throat of an infant. 33 years later, she'll hear her cry again as she witnesses her grown son hanging from a cross, crying out to tell us die, it is finished, as he pays the price for the sins of the whole world and completes his mission. Mary was there for it all.

Can I remind you of something you may have forgotten? That's why he came. That's why he came.

It's unlike any one of us, we're all born to reach our potential, to find our area of gift, to go for our place of success. He came to die. He came to die. How magnificent it was that Charles Wesley would write, amazing love, how can it be that thou, my God, should die for me? Throughout my ministry, I've been intrigued by the two natures of the God-man.

I've always loved the study of the hypostatic union, undiminished deity and true humanity in one person, unmixed, forever there in bodily form, the only member of the Trinity with a body. Altogether unique, and you can witness these two natures at work throughout his earthly ministry. He gets tired like a man would be tired and he sleeps, but he gets up and he calms the sea as only God can calm it. His heart is broken over the needs of a woman who can't stop hemorrhaging, and as God, the touch of his garment heals her of the flowing of the blood.

He weeps over the loss of Lazarus, and as only God can do, he raises him from the dead, the God-man. The one who began life had bypassed Caesar Palace, and he came to be born in an animal shelter of all places that reeked with animal urine and dung. And here he is, an infant who could not speak when he's born, an infant who could not eat solid food until he got teeth that grew from his gums, an infant who couldn't control his bowels or bladder when he comes onto this earth, an infant who depended on a teenage couple for protection and love and shelter, and yet he held the universe in place. That little baby lying on straw in the feed trough holds the universe in place.

Keep that perspective in mind and you'll stay healthy in your theology of Christmas. Here he is, the one whom no one cared for. He came unto his own things, but his own ones did not receive him and did not welcome him.

But as many as did receive him, he gave them the authority to become children of God, even those that believe in his name. I'm one of them. You may be one of them, you may not. You may not.

So you're going to celebrate opening gifts and the songs of Christmas and the sounds and the smells and the beauty and the food and all the things that go with it, to go to bed at night with an empty heart, and no Savior, not sure you will wake up tomorrow morning. Just met a couple just this morning who were here to visit the man's mother. They live in another state. Mother has been the picture of health until a stroke came and she's now a different person. He never saw it coming. There wasn't a hint. Everything changed. Here's the Savior. Here he is. God sent him to you and he says to you, take him.

Open this gift. He comes without any cost to you. He picked up the tab at Calvary.

He paid the price at Golgotha. So I love every Christmas Eve when we close our time together to remind everyone of a beautiful piece that I've quoted every year for as long as I can remember since I was celebrating Christmas as a pastor. Many of you missed the Christmas Eve services and you may not have heard. Others of you have heard it, but it does you good to hear it again. Listen to this this poem in contrast.

Listen to the contrasts. The maker of the universe as man for man was made a curse. The claims of laws which he had made unto the uttermost he paid. His holy fingers made the bough where grew the thorns that crowned his brow.

The nails that pierced his hands were mined in secret places he designed. He made the forests whence there sprung the tree on which his body hung. He died upon a cross of wood yet made the hill on which it stood. The sky which darkened Oria's head by him above the earth was spread. The sphere which spilled his precious blood was tempered in the fires of God.

The grave in which his form was laid was hewed in rocks his hands had made. The throne on which he now appears was his from everlasting years, but a new glory crowns his brow and every knee to him shall bow. Amen? Every knee to him will bow. Even yours. You who are cynics, you who have this idea that you're your own person, it's all about you, you'll believe that until you have your stroke.

And then you can't take care of yourself. And then you'll realize what you've missed. My pleasure this Christmas message to make you aware of the Savior. Not that you won't enjoy your Christmas celebration, enjoy it, delight in it, have fun and sing and dance and rejoice together, but somewhere along the way pause and let the wonder in and thank him for coming and dying for you. Bow your heads please. Just sit quietly there for a few moments.

You've listened so well and I appreciate that, but now's the time to respond. If you've never given your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, you're not ready to celebrate. You're living on borrowed time and empty hopes.

You're only human. You must draw your breath like every one of us and when that breath stops you're gone. My mother died in her sleep, laid down for a nap, not that old, and never woke up.

But she was ready. She went to sleep on earth and woke up in heaven. Where will you wake up? Today you can guarantee where you'll wake up by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as your own God and Savior.

Do that now, right now. Simple prayer, Heavenly Father, I'm lost, I'm sinful, I live at a distance from you and I acknowledge today that Jesus came and died for me and I take him as my own because of your grace. Thank you for coming into my life, dear Lord. By doing so you will begin to worship him. The songs will begin to make sense and the season will have a ring of joy and truth about it.

It's never had before. Dear Father, how grateful we are for the message of hope there is in Jesus. Thank you for sending him to us. Thank you for releasing him from the joys of heaven and the magnificence of your splendor and allowing him to come and pay the price for our sins on this earth. Thank you that he fulfilled his mission and paid that price in full. Today we worship him, in fact we adore him as our Savior and our Lord. And all God's people said, Amen.

Amen. You're listening to the Christmas Eve edition of Insight for Living. Chuck Swindoll titled today's message, Let's Witness a Troubled Romance in Nazareth. To learn more about this ministry, visit us online at insightworld.org. Now just before we hear a closing comment from Chuck today, I'm pleased to remind you that Insight for Living has access to several years of preaching material never before shared on the program. In fact, the archive of sermons in our possession is very deep.

And this January, we have the delight of hearing a brand new series from Chuck. It's a verse by verse study through the New Testament book of Matthew. To prepare for this enlightening study, we invite you to purchase the brand new hardbound two volume commentary from Chuck. It's called Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew.

If you secure the two books now, you'll receive them in plenty of time to prepare for the study that begins in January. To purchase Swindoll's Living Insights Commentary on Matthew, go to insight.org slash store or call one of our friendly staff members. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888. Chuck? Thanks, Dave. No one has come through the challenges of 2020 completely unscathed. All of us have suffered loss at some level. Whether we've lost someone we love to the coronavirus, or suffering a financial setback, or maybe you've been removed from seeing your family as you would love to do, all of us have stories to tell.

I know this is true because during the pandemic of 2020, I've heard from many of you. I've read your stories, some of them heart-rending. These shared stories of struggle have woven us together. In fact, in this history of Insight for Living Ministries, I've never felt a greater connection to our family of supporters all around the world, even though many of us have been self-isolated or even quarantined.

Thankfully, because of the internet and the reliability of our radio stations, our daily visits on Insight for Living have continued during this year without interruption. And, as God provides through men and women like you, we promise to be with you every single day in 2021 as well. Along those lines, can I count on your support as we come to December 31? Many have already given generously to help us enter the new year with strength.

Some, due to the challenges imposed by this pandemic, have not been able to do so. We fully understand. Yet, many of us can give and even should give. God will lead us in how much we should give and when we should do that. So, as we conclude the unforgettable year of 2020, I am personally inviting you to participate in the mission of Insight for Living Ministries. Please give a generous end-of-the-year donation as you were able.

Let's pull together as a family, one member at a time. Thanks so much for doing your part. And here's how to respond to Chuck Swindoll right now. You can give today by calling us. If you're listening in the United States, dial 1-800-772-8888 or give when you go online to Insight.org. We know that you undoubtedly have plans to be with your loved ones tomorrow on Christmas Day, but we recommend that you carve out a half hour to join us. On Friday's program, Chuck invites us to celebrate Christmas through the majestic music performed by the choir and orchestra of Stonebriar Community Church. This has become a favorite annual tradition at Insight for Living as we lift our voices together as one. To hear the program on your own schedule, feel free to download the podcast or stream the audio directly from Insight.org. I'm Dave Spiker on behalf of Chuck Swindoll and all of us at Insight for Living wishing you a very Merry Christmas. The preceding message, Let's Hear God's Voice in a Baby's Cry, was copyrighted in 2019 and 2020 and the sound recording was copyrighted in 2020 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved worldwide. Duplication of copyrighted material for commercial use is strictly prohibited.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-12 03:53:11 / 2024-01-12 04:00:55 / 8

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