by Dr. Joe McKeever
Scripture: Luke 2:8-18
Theme: Every element in the angels' message is a welcome surprise to us.
There is so much fear in this world.
When earth is invaded by Heaven, we naturally cringe. To our delight, God's messenger tells us not to be afraid. He does not bring us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind (II Tim 1:7). You don't have to be afraid ever again.
There is so much bad news in this world.
We would have thought that when God came to earth, it would be just long enough to plant an explosive device that would put an end to the human experiment. And yet, to our overwhelming surprise, His message to mankind is good news, which is the meaning of the word "gospel." The gospel is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16).
There is so much unhappiness in this world.
In the presence of holiness and righteousness, sinful man shrinks and cowers under a burdensome load of guilt. To our complete relief and utter amazement, the angel announces that the effect of the good news he brings will be "mega" joy, "mega" being the actual Greek word used. In the Lord's presence there is fullness of joy; at His right hand there are pleasures forevermore (Psalm 16:11). Someone has said, "Joy is the flag flown from the castle of your heart to show the king is in residence."
There is so much trouble in this world.
You and I look around at the trouble in our world and shake our heads in disbelief, but the sad fact is, the world has always been a troubled place. Its problems have always been bigger than man's solutions. The world has always defied its Creator, deserved a Judge, and needed a Redeemer. And now, the angel announces, this One who has come arrives as a Savior. How relieved we are, how thrilled. This sophisticated generation finds it uncool to say, but earth has known no better news at any time than this: "Jesus saves."
There is so much ill will in this world.
We would have rightfully expected only condemnation from Heaven, but to our overwhelming relief, utter amazement, total surprise, and complete joy, we learn that God is for us. He is on our side. He extends "good will" to mankind. He loves us with an everlasting love, wants us to do well and sends us His very Best. "Since God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not also with Him freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32)
No wonder the Apostle John exclaimed, "Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us that we should be called the children of God!" (I John 3:1) What manner indeed!
You won the jackpot, Earth. Everything is coming up roses. You have a Savior.
How honored you should be, humanity. Rejoice. Help has arrived. Welcome Him. Receive Him into your heart.
This is your one chance, earthlings. Don't blow this.
[Editor's Note: Dr. Joe McKeever is a Preacher, Cartoonist, and retired Director of Missions for the Baptist Association of Greater New Orleans. http://www.joemckeever.com/mt/ ]
Wondering About Christmas by Dr. Joe McKeever
Have you ever wondered what those shepherds and their flocks were doing outside in the open in the dead of night? How many sermons have we heard over the years describing how shepherds put their sheep inside the shelter at night, and then lay down across the door opening, giving illustration to our Lord's teaching that "I am the door of the sheep."
Millions of people in this world do not know the reason, the reality, or the result of the First Christmas when God's Son, our Savior, arrived on this planet at a stable in Bethlehem. They do not know Jesus.
Christmas - Here It Comes Again Right On Schedule!
One of the reasons the Luke 2 passage is so well-loved is that it nails down the time-frame when these things occurred. The birth of Jesus Christ is historical, it is factual, it is well-documented and reliable. It occurred at a real place in real time.
Malankara World Christmas Supplement
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