December 23, 2012

Christmas is the Beginning

Passage: Matthew 1:18-25
Service Type:

Bible Text: Matthew 1:18-25 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: New Beginnings
Matthew 1:18-19 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.
Jesus in contrast to Herod
Why was Jesus born into a carpenter’s family and not a king’s palace?
But God choose Mary and Joseph
Matthew 1:19 …her husband Joseph was a godly man…
Jesus Born in a Cave
Luke 1:29-33 Don’t be afraid, Mary, the angel told her, for you have found favor with God! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!
To Mary and Joseph and the Church:
Fear not! Trust ALL of your life to the Lord! What is
about to happen to you is impossible without the Lord!
Luke 1:31-37 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name JESUS. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end. Then Mary said to the angel, How can this be, since I do not know a man? And the angel answered and said to her, The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
Nothing is Impossible with God!
No word of God is without power or impossible of fulfillment
Luke1: 38 Then Mary said, Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word. And the angel departed from her.
The only way to do this is to trust in the Lord
Joseph had a difficult decision to make.
Making the right decision often requires courage
and confidence in the Lord!
Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.
The Key is the Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit was the person who brought and brings God’s truth to men and women
The Holy Spirit is the creator and re-creator of life
Ezekiel 37:14 I will put my spirit within you and you shall live
When the Holy Spirit is at work in us, fear is removed and love is re-created:
1 John 4:18-19 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.
We are in a Spiritual Battle for our Lives!
Matthew 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.
The Name of Jesus is an Exalted Name
Philippians 2:9‑11 Therefore God has also highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, land that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Matthew 1:22-23 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel, which is translated, God with us.
Matthew OPENS with the promise of “God with us” and CLOSES at His ascension; I am with you always, even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
The message of Christmas is that the Lord is WITH US
in the BEGINNING and in the END!
Matthew 1:24-25 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name JESUS.
Be Courageous in your Obedience!
There is always a cost for the call of God on your life
Do what is right in God’s sight rather than follow the crowd
Selected obedience is not obedience; it is merely convenience
Courageous obedience means that you’re willing to count the cost to follow and commit to God’s call
Joseph’s actions reveal four significant qualities for all us:
Righteousness (1:19)
Compassion (1:19)
Obedience (1:24)
Discipline (1:25)
A man’s character is more important than reputation
Your reputation is who people think you are; your character is who you really are
Your reputation will not get you into heaven!
Galatians 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.
One person can make a difference through his/her standing for Jesus.
Never underestimate our ability to influence the world
We are a responsibility to speak life or incarnation into our community
We are called to choose God’s plan or the World’s plan; The courageous choice is JESUS.

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