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Joy to the World

Christmas Eve 2017  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

Here we are and its Christmas Eve, Wow it is super hard to believe this year has advanced so quickly.... and in a few days we will embrace the beginning of a New Year…
I wish we could have a white Christmas.... it seems to make it so beautiful on the outside of this world. But we will have a damp Christmas instead.
But here is the truth.... as long as we have Jesus, we have all that we need…amen?
Yes, Amen.
What a wonderful day this is… it is Christmas eve..
And as the old song says.... It’s the most wonderful time of the year...”
It is because of Jesus, and with Christmas we celebrate the both of our Lord.
Christmas is the time set aside to worship His coming into the world, to celebrate the fact that God loved us so much, He provided His Son to be our Redeeming Sacrifice.
This truly is the reason why we celebrate Christmas....
Jesus is the Reason for the Season....
Now this message, today I want to take you to Luke chapter 2, verses 8-20 today for our text this morning, but I am going to stop at verse 15 for my reading..
And I want to share a message with you that I will entitle as … “Joy to the World.”
Luke 2:8–15 ESV
8 And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
My favorite part of the Christmas story begins right here, it is the night of Jesus birth. I love the message of their travel that night, how the path led them in to Bethlehem…
The story of the Inn that had no room for them and how they made their way to the simple stable.... a place for the animals to be kept through the night. But there with the simplest of creation, God’s Son entered the world.
Jesus was born that faithful night just as the prophets foretold.....
So lets begin with this first thought today....

Joy came in the Angels Message...

One of the greatest joys that we come across in the Holy Scriptures is the truth that the angels came and brought wonderful messages to the people.
On this particular night, the Bible tells us that shepherd have got their flocks settled down for the night all is well and calm, for them they thought it was a night like any other...
And suddenly it was a night like no other… when suddenly they are visited by an angel.
The Bible tells us it was night time, the shepherd has got their flocks settled down for the night all is well and calm, when suddenly they are visited by an angel.
We are not told who this one angel is, I think perhaps that it might be Gabriel since he is the one what appeared to Zechariah in .
But that really isn’t what is important, what is important is the truth that the Angel came bearing good news.
Good news is always worth telling… Amen.
And the angel came with a message for them this day, a message that would forever change this world.
You see God has always delivered messages to his people during times of great need.
I think about Moses there on the back side of the desert, God appears to him and tells him, I have seen and heard the affliction of my people Israel and I am come to help them..
I think about Joshua there at Kadesh Barnea, just on the opposite side of the promised land, and they ( the children of Israel ) are getting ready to enter the land after 40 years of wandering, and captain the of Lord appears and reminds Joshua to be strong, they will do this with God’s help.
I think of Solomon as he dedicates the Temple and prays to God, and that very night God appears to Solomon and reminds him that He has heard his prayer and will allow His presence to come to the temple..
I think of Jeremiah, the weeping prophet as he laments over the nation and God comes and reminds him that hope is not lost, He is still in control and still has a plan for the people, , for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…POlan not to hurt, but plans to give you hope and a future..
And then we are reminded about Isaiah....
Isaiah 7 ESV
1 In the days of Ahaz the son of Jotham, son of Uzziah, king of Judah, Rezin the king of Syria and Pekah the son of Remaliah the king of Israel came up to Jerusalem to wage war against it, but could not yet mount an attack against it. 2 When the house of David was told, “Syria is in league with Ephraim,” the heart of Ahaz and the heart of his people shook as the trees of the forest shake before the wind. 3 And the Lord said to Isaiah, “Go out to meet Ahaz, you and Shear-jashub your son, at the end of the conduit of the upper pool on the highway to the Washer’s Field. 4 And say to him, ‘Be careful, be quiet, do not fear, and do not let your heart be faint because of these two smoldering stumps of firebrands, at the fierce anger of Rezin and Syria and the son of Remaliah. 5 Because Syria, with Ephraim and the son of Remaliah, has devised evil against you, saying, 6 “Let us go up against Judah and terrify it, and let us conquer it for ourselves, and set up the son of Tabeel as king in the midst of it,” 7 thus says the Lord God: “ ‘It shall not stand, and it shall not come to pass. 8 For the head of Syria is Damascus, and the head of Damascus is Rezin. And within sixty-five years Ephraim will be shattered from being a people. 9 And the head of Ephraim is Samaria, and the head of Samaria is the son of Remaliah. If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all.’ ” 10 Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: 11 “Ask a sign of the Lord your God; let it be deep as Sheol or high as heaven.” 12 But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, and I will not put the Lord to the test.” 13 And he said, “Hear then, O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? 14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. 15 He shall eat curds and honey when he knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good. 16 For before the boy knows how to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land whose two kings you dread will be deserted. 17 The Lord will bring upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house such days as have not come since the day that Ephraim departed from Judah—the king of Assyria!” 18 In that day the Lord will whistle for the fly that is at the end of the streams of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria. 19 And they will all come and settle in the steep ravines, and in the clefts of the rocks, and on all the thornbushes, and on all the pastures. 20 In that day the Lord will shave with a razor that is hired beyond the River—with the king of Assyria—the head and the hair of the feet, and it will sweep away the beard also. 21 In that day a man will keep alive a young cow and two sheep, 22 and because of the abundance of milk that they give, he will eat curds, for everyone who is left in the land will eat curds and honey. 23 In that day every place where there used to be a thousand vines, worth a thousand shekels of silver, will become briers and thorns. 24 With bow and arrows a man will come there, for all the land will be briers and thorns. 25 And as for all the hills that used to be hoed with a hoe, you will not come there for fear of briers and thorns, but they will become a place where cattle are let loose and where sheep tread.
Isaiah 7:14 ESV
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
Isaiah
Isai
Those are but a few times the message of the Lord came with special news for the people, and here on this evening the angel comes bearing good news, great news that will set this world upon its hear.
A Savior has come… there is not a better message for you to hear today..
Luke 2:10–11 ESV
10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
I bring you good news of great joy, today a Savior has been born to you…
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
I bring you good news of great joy, today a Savior has been born to you…
A Savior, one who will save the people from their sins… Men and women come into this world under the bondage of sin, and they can’t do anything about it. But God can and the message is one has finally come to help us with the greatest needs of our life.
You see we can’t live without a Savior, and we certainly cannot die without one either..
Knowing that God loves us and has sent His Son into the world to help me, that should bring me Joy.
Joy, because I know God loves me
Joy because I know God did not leave us to our own devices
Joy, because, I know what awaits all those in Christ Jesus.
Joy, because I have the opportunity to be a child of the King.
Joy because I am included in his household,
Joy, because like the old song, oh how he loves you and me…
There is joy in the message today..
Now that brings me to my next thought today…

There is Joy because Christmas is for All Man-Kind..... For Everyone!

When I think about Christmas, there is one truth I can tell you about today, the joy of Christmas is something that everyone in our world can experience.
The season is a tremendous one, for the message tells us of the greatest gift of all. Jesus
It is a gift for everyone my friends....
Man, women, boy or girl, no matter who you are, no matter your past or present, it is for you!
It is a gift for your future....
It was a message that began with a promise in garden.... and its a message that was given to shepherds that night....
Lets go back to our text for a minute. Verses 9-12
Luke 2:9–12 ESV
9 And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. 10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”
Lets go back to our text for a minute. Verses 9-12
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
The angel told the shepherds “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
What is really important here is the phrase for all people.. The message, the joyful event was meant for the whole world.
There is the first blessing of God found in this message, it wasn’t just for the rich, it wasn’t for the religious community, it wasn’t just for the wise men, it was for the whole world.
The message was for everyone. The Greek word people here refers to all people, tribes and nations. It was a message for everyone.. It was good news for them.
The words ‘good news” is where we get our word evangelize, it was something so special it was worth telling just like our faith is. We share our faith why? Because it is worth telling, because it is worth letting others know what we have inside of us…
It was something worth telling to the whole world both them and now my friends…
The message of Christmas has so much joy in it, that God didn’t with hold it from the world and we shouldn’t with hold it from those around us either…
The message of Christmas has so much joy in it, that God didn’t with hold it from the world and we shouldn’t with hold it from those around us either…
Joy to the world… A savior as been born…
Share the message with someone around you this year…
And then finally today, just one last thought as we think about the joy of Christmas…

The Joy We Have is not our Joy, it is His Joy. The Joy Jesus Brings!

Christmas is special, but it’s not because of the trees, or the wreaths, it’s not because of Santa or even those even all the gifts we like to give… Christmas is special because of the name it bears.. Christ.
A white Christmas would make a lot of people happy this year, but there is so much more that we can celebrate and be thankful for during the Christmas holiday.
as, I want us to go back and look at a passage that reminds us of the joy that other felt as God allowed His Son to be born into flesh and walk with men.
But I am reminded maybe more so at Christmas at the abundance of blessings that God has given us, and it all began with His Son, the Lord Jesus.
This morning as we continue with the theme of Christmas, I want us to go back and look at a passage that reminds us of the joy that other felt as God allowed His Son to be born into flesh and walk with men.
I want us to visit the lowest of society as they were given the message of Joy to the Word, a Savior as been born.. Take your Bibles with me this morning and lets go to the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 2:8-20.
Take your Bibles and let’s go there this morning… : but only 8-15…will we read.
8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
These people were often considered the lowest of society, especially by those living closer to the cities and towns. But these men were by far every important to the life and culture of the land.
They raised the sheep that the own country depended upon, these animals were bought, sold and even traded at times for a variety of items and needs. But the sheep played an important part in the culture.
They were used for food and their wool was used for the making of garments, also the animals were raised and the best were sold to the worshipping community as animals to be used in the sacrificial worship system before God.
These shepherds, often never had a permanent home, but their homes traveled with them. They put in long days to care for the sheep and I am reminded that all people, no matter what place in our society are created in the image of God.
So looking at these shepherds, at the events unfolding before them and the world, what can we hope to gleam from the Word of God that would be important today…
We are not told who this one angel is, I think perhaps that it might be Gabriel since he is the one what appeared to Zechariah in . But that really isn’t what is important, what is important is the truth that the Angel came bearing good news.
Good news is always worth telling… Amen.
And the angel came with a message for them this day, a message that would forever change this world.
You see God has always delivered messages to his people during times of great need.
I think about Moses there on the back side of the desert, God appears to him and tells him, I have seen and heard the affliction of my people Israel and I am come to help them..
I think about Joshua there at Kadesh Barnea, just on the opposite side of the promised land, and they ( the children of Israel ) are getting ready to enter the land after 40 years of wandering, and captain the of Lord appears and reminds Joshua to be strong, they will do this with God’s help.
I think of Solomon as he dedicates the Temple and prays to God, and that very night God appears to Solomon and reminds him that He has heard his prayer and will allow His presence to come to the temple..
I think of Jeremiah, the weeping prophet as he laments over the nation and God comes and reminds him that hope is not lost, He is still in control and still has a plan for the people, , for I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord…POlan not to hurt, but plans to give you hope and a future..
Those are but a few times the message of the Lord came with special news for the people, and here on this evening the angel comes bearing good news, great news that will set this world upon its hear.
A Savior has come… there is not a better message for you to hear today..
Verses 10-11
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
I bring you good news of great joy, today a Savior has been born to you…
A Savior, one who will save the people from their sins… Men and women come into this world under the bondage of sin, and they can’t do anything about it. But God can and the message is one has finally come to help us with the greatest needs of our life.
You see we can’t live without a Savior, and we certainly cannot die without one either.. Know that God loves us and has sent His son into the world to help me, that should bring me Joy.
Joy, because I know God loves me, Joy because I know God did not leave us to our own devices, Joy, because, I know what awaits all those in Christ Jesus. Joy, because I have the opportunity to be a child of the King. Joy because I am included in his household, Joy, because like the old song, oh how he loves you and me…
There is joy in the message today..
But secondly today, There is Joy because Christmas is inclusive… for everyone…
The joy of Christmas is something that everyone can experience in our world. The season, the giving and receiving of gifts, the blessing of family and friends. It is available for everyone in our world today.
And just as the season we celebrate is available for everyone, the message that came to the shepherds was for everyone.
Lets go back to our text for a minute. Verses 9-12
9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.
10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
The angel told the shepherds “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”
What is really important here is the phrase for all people.. The message, the joyful event was meant for the whole world.
And it came to the lowest of society first.. There is the first blessing of God found in this message, it wasn’t just for the rich, it wasn’t for the religious community, it wasn’t just for the wise men, it was for the whole world.
The message was for everyone. The Greek word people here refers to all people, tribes and nations. It was a message for everyone.. It was good news for them.
The words ‘good news” is where we get our word evangelize, it was something so special it was worth telling just like our faith is. We share our faith why? Because it is worth telling, because it is worth letting others know what we have inside of us…
It was something worth telling to the while world both them and now my friends…
Think about how you are going to spend Christmas this year, you will send cards, you will buy gifts, you will make phone calls and talk to old friends… by because you want to wish them a Merry Christmas, ….
The message of Christmas has so much joy in it, that God didn’t with hold it from the world and we shouldn’t with hold it from those around us either…
Joy to the world… A savior as been born…
Share the message with someone around you this year…
And then finally today, just one last thought as we think about the joy of Christmas…
The Joy, the true Joy of Christmas is contained in the Child of Christmas…
Christmas is special, but it’s not because of the trees, or the wreaths, it’s not because of Santa or even those even all the gifts we like to give… Christmas is special because of the name it bears.. Christ.
Christ is what truly makes Christmas….. so the joy of Christmas is found in Christ..
Lets look back at our text for a minute…
Verse 11
11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
In the town of David, the location is disclosed at the town of Bethlehem, the house of Bread and there they would find the child who was both Savior and Christ the Lord.
What exactly does those terms mean?
The term Savior means essentially the Deliver or Redeemer, He would be the one who would save, rescue the people from their sins. The term redeemer is often associated with the slave markets of the world. It refereed to the one who literally bought one back from salvary, the person who would pay the necessary price to free a person from their bondage.
In the Book of Ruth we see the story of the kinsmen redeemer, and here God has sent one closer to us than kin, he has sent creator/redeemer, for he made us and now redeemed us..
The redemption is to always give life back to us… Jesus said he came that we might have life and have it to the fullest…
And then we see the phrase Christ the Lord, which means the anointed Lord, the Messiah Lord, God’s chosen one who has been given power and authority. He was a royal leader, God’s anointed leader who would restore his people, birnging them back into a right relationship with Him through the cross he would die upon as a sacrifice for sin.
So this day the people should be happy for God has seen their sin, He has seen there oppression and their hurt and He has acted on their behalf.
This child would bring peace and happiness and a right relationship between men and God…
Oh what joy, oh what happiness, God has seen and now acted on our behalf
That is what makes Christmas so special to me today, for I am reminded that before the cross there had to be a coming and Christmas reminds us of God’s great love for us and he proved it by sending Jesus into our world that we might have hope.
And at that joy, we should praise God like the angels praise him that night…
Luke 2:13–15 ESV
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” 15 When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”
Luke 2:
The angels sing forth praise, glorifying God… in the highest referring to the place where he dwells, heaven..
13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
The angels came and praised God for what He was doing in this world…
14 "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
The angels sing forth praise, glorifying God… in the highest referring to the place where he dwells, heaven..
And with that chorus, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests, the world is never at peace and God’s peace is not promised to anyone except his own. The ones who will follow the savior, those who will believe and trust in God will be the ones in which the favor of God rests. They willl have peace because He is the Prince of Peace
Favor is found in approval and acceptances, God is happy with those who love him and have responded to the message of Salvation given in Christ Jesus.
The joy of Christmas can only be contained in the Child of Christmas, and we can only have that true, everlasting joy as we follow Jesus..
Today do you have Jesus, for if you have Jesus there is peace and joy beyond measure for all those who love him…
The message should bring us joy, the inclusiveness, all being welcome should bring us joy and the Christ child most of all should flood our hearts with joy today.
Do you know Jesus, Are you walking with Jesus, do you have him today?
You can if you reach out and ask him?
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