2020 has been a year of great temptation, temptation to be distracted from what is important to God.
How things that appear random are actually in perfect alignment and each is absolutely necessary in God’s plan for the world.
The messages in this Christmas series follow the events of the Christmas story as they unfold, from the Old Testament prophecies to the miraculous birth of Christ. In this series we witness God’s plan for his people — all people everywhere — as it comes about in the lives of ordinary people and learn what this historical event means for us today.
GOD IS UP TO SOMETHING
Unwrapping Christmas is about how Jesus always works everything out for the best
Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans[a] of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
1- THE PROMISE OF A MESSIAH – God created a plan to rescue us from sin
- Genesis 3:14-15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. ()
2- THE ERA OF EXPECTATION – The people of Israel were waiting for the one man who was their divine king.
- Jeremiah 23:5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a king who will do wisely and do what is just and right in the land.”
- Isaiah 11:1 “A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will bear fruit. The spirit of the Lord will rest on him.”
3- THE JOURNEY OF THE MAGI – God’s plan is of global importance
- they were astronomers more than astrologers, but they did believe that there were prophetic messages could be found in the interpretation of celestial events.
4- SIMEON THE FAITHFUL – Every day is on God’s calendar. Patiently wait for it
- Now, in Jerusalem there lived a man named Simeon. He was righteous and devout, faithful in service, and filled with the Holy Spirit. For his entire life, he had prayed for the coming of the Messiah. God had told him that he would not die before he had seen the Chosen One face-to-face.
5- HEROD THE GREAT – God’s plan is not disrupted by the evil actions of mankind
- At this point Caesar Augustus said, since Herod was known to keep a kosher diet, that it is safer to be Herod’s pig than to be his son. When he heard that a new king was to be born in his remote region, he was ready to respond as he had responded before.
6- THE WORLDWIDE CENSUS – God can work through the bureaucracy of government to effect his plan
- As it turns out, this arbitrary and ambitious urge to tax the whole world played a vital role in bringing God’s plan together.
7- THE LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM – Everything happens according to God’s plan
- Bethlehem, which is about 6 miles south of Jerusalem.
- Micah 5:2 “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.”
8- THE REGION OF GALILEE – God is what makes something important to his plan
- Philip said to his friend Nathaniel… “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote — Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathaniel asked. (John 1:46)
9- THE CHOSEN FAMILY – we are never alone in fulfilling God’s plan
- Their future, they thought, was certain. They believed that it was mapped out for years to come.
1. God is at work behind the scenes to make the details of your life come together.
- Proverbs 16:9 King Solomon said… In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps.
2. The outcome of his work will certainly be good.
- Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
- Genesis 50:20 “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good, to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
3. For this reason, you can face the future with patient expectation.
- We don’t always know what God is doing, or why. We’re not always sure how things will work out … we can only be sure that things will work out.
- Psalm 138:8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.