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Christmas Eve 2017

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For most people the version of the Christmas story they know is the Hallmark version. Everything is pretty and it makes you feel good.
If you highlighted in 3 paragraphs what your last year looked like, there would be detail after detail that would be left out.
So what I want to do today is take a familiar story that we’ve heard over and over and pull out some details that will make it, I hope, more meaningful for you.
Luke 1:26–27 NLT
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.
Luke 1:26 NLT
In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee,
Being in a virgin in Biblical culture was much different than how our culture views virginity. If you were found not to be a virgin or pregnant, it meant that you could be stoned and put to death, you would be shunned as an outcast and have to beg for everything you would ever have in life.
The fact that Joseph is a descendant of King David is important because it was prophesied that Jesus would be of the lineage of David. So, Joseph is a man of royalty.
Luke 1:28–30 NLT
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!
If God said to you that you have found favor, what would you assume would be true in your life? That everything you don’t like about your life, get’s fixed. There’s money in the bank, we pay the rent, all my relationships are great, my circumstances are awesome. No more stress, sleepless nights, no more problems, everything is amazing. I’ve found favor with God.
Luke 1:28–30 NLT
Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!
Luke 1:31–33 NLT
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!”
If God said to you that you have found favor, what would you assume would be true in your life? That everything you don’t like about your life, get’s fixed. There’s money in the bank, we pay the rent, all my relationships are great, my circumstances are awesome. No more stress, sleepless nights, no more problems,
It all sound great! Mary could have been thinking, “God has an incredible plan for our family!” “My Son will be King!”
We think everything is going to be perfect, because God is our lives
But then everything changed with the next question that Mary asked:
Luke 1:34–35 NLT
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God.
Luke 1.34
Joseph will leave me, the people can stone me or shun me as an outcast for the rest of my life. I will have to beg for everything I get.
Luke 1:38 NLT
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her.
It doesn’t matter to me what people think, or what they say. I want Your plan above all things!

You don’t have to understand the plan to trust God has a purpose.

You don’t have to understand the plan to trust God has a purpose.

Matthew 1:18–21 NLT
This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
We have plans that don’t quite work out the way we thought
Proverbs 19:21 NLT
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.
Things may not look that way you want right now. Nothing may be going according to your plan, but God has a purpose in all of it. Trust Him! Just like Mary had to do. God, let it be to me as Your Word declares. I don’t care what people think, I don’t care what the some of the consequences could be. I trust You! And I want Your plan above all things! There is a purpose to all of this!
So what was the purpose to God bringing Jesus into the world the way He did?

You were the purpose!

John 3:16 NLT
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
We hear all the time through out the Christmas season that “Jesus is the reason for the season”, but if you ask God, your Father that question, He would say, you were the reason for the season. All this happened for you and for me. A savior came into the world so that He could save His people from their sins.
This is not how we would have written the story! If we wrote it, Jesus would have come in as a conquering King! Not a baby in a lowly manger. Why? Because that’s how we would write our own story.
Isaiah 55:8–9 NLT
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
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