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The Christmas Dilemma  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  36:45
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We have entered into our fourth week now of.

of our Christmas dilemma and a quick review we start out with marry her dilemma saying yes and what it would cost to us to accept the charge which got to give them to her just as we have the Dilemma of saying yes to accept the charge this what it may cost us if we follow Jesus Christ, then we looked at Joseph and his doubt but he finally realized what was right and what was wrong and even though that he was a good godly man. He was he was in complete but he was being completed in this Earthly father of Jesus Christ, then we'd last week looked at The Innkeeper in about the Dilemma of beliefs and kind of charged us with how much room we actually making for Jesus in our lives and see just out in the stable or are we giving him residents with Anna? And this week we're going to be looking at the shepherd all those wonderful Shepherd there in every Christmas Pageant that you've ever seen and usually costumes are too big for the little kids playing the part of the Shepherds. They found some sheets are bathrobes or something through over them and they got a stick and they come out and they play their part but the Dilemma that the Shepherds have here is joy, and if we're going to look at a dilemma to Joy, we need to find what kind of Joy were actually talking about because there are there are many kinds of Joy if we were just talking about this. First of all joy can be a name. You may know somebody who is named Joy. There is a Christian singer named Joy Williams writing recording. She's getting top 10. You may not realize that one of her top song wasn't even performed by her before performed by Taylor Swift in The Hunger Games theme, it was written by Joy Williams. So you have first of all joy can be a name. So the Dilemma of Joy now there may be people married to a joy who's having a dilemma with countertop Joy dishwashing liquid as a staple that has been around for a long time. Next Joy can be in a motion. That's a lot of time. But in this instance in the biblical situation of a joy is actually a state of being a state of being right with God in a right of relationship with joy because we also reading scripture. The joy of the Lord is my strength. So that's the joy that we're looking at is how we feel You can be absolutely miserable. But still be Joy. There are people in the world who are about as down as they can possibly be but yes, they are filled with the joy of the Lord. All you have to do is look at Hollywood and you have in Hollywood you have so many of these drug-ridden pleasure-seeking lifestyle people. That's what you look at him. You think they must be joyous. But yes Hollywood has one of the highest suicide rates among those famous people so there was no joy, there may have been happiness for a while. There may have been a lot of pleasure, but there was no joy, and since there is no joy, they see no hope and then what's the point of it all? Joy though as we're looking at here is It is this wonderful state of being in the right relationship with God Sunday school lesson.

And if you got the peace of God, it doesn't matter what else is going on and you can be joyous. So we're going to look at the Shopper. We're going to see how they dealt with this dilemma of Joy. So where in Luke Chapter 2 that famous scripture that is read every Christmas time Luke Chapter 2 verses 8 through 20. And just as it was so well-read here just a little while ago. I will repeat and in the same region there were shepherds out in the field keeping watch over their flock by night in the same neighborhood fairly close not far away same reason not too far from Bethlehem Joseph married and made it to Bethlehem. They found finally a place some place to stay and ended up not being up in the upper room, but it ended up being down on the lower work areas of the house and the where the animals were at and they gave birth to Jesus and they laid him in the manger. So they were near they're not too far out in the Hills near Bethlehem Shepherd their first picture of these are the hill around Bethlehem. It's not real life is it? There's not a lot there there. There's more rock than anything else. But yet there was enough there that they could rotate and move their their sheep around from place to place so that you get something to eat. So this is the hell's out around Bethlehem and quite possibly on this Berryhill or maybe one around there that the Shepherds were at that night. I ever keep a watch over their flock now he gets dark at night and they didn't have the high-tech LED street lights that we have now a days which is a blessing and a curse. I don't know if you've ever heard about light pollution light pollution, like if you're in a big city or down there or anywhere else under the streetlight everywhere you look up into the sky. You're going to see the brightest of the Stars. But that's about it. But if you go out somewhere where there is no other light around you and you look up into the sky. You can make out even the most minoot stars. You can see the formation of the Milky Way and it's just inspiring and all that. So here we have out there and since it's so dark guard your sheet. In the darkness, you're not going to be able to see things coming very very easily. So they have what is called the Sheepfold find these all around Israel Plus in all throughout Europe. They take rocks. So they take these rocks and they make these are some of the rectangular the Topography of the land around there and they would leave the sheep in. And then you see there's just one way in and one way out. This is where the shepherd or Shepard they would Place themselves right across that entryway. So there's something tried to get in they have to go through the shepherd and he was protecting his flock. So we got the shepherd's they're out there. They if they're lucky they quite possibly they would have to be watching them out in the field. So they may be in the Sheepfold they may not be but as it's dark out me it's it's not like they all got to say. Okay, let's get some snooze. We got big day tomorrow. Somebody has to stay away because they're they're going to be Predators out there Predators either by an animal Source by a human Source those Predators powered get themselves a nice little sheep sandwich and filled her stomach or could be of somebody else who decides they want to come steal some of these sheet. Stay awake. Stay awake night time. You always have to have a bonfire especially cuz it's going to be getting a little chilly at night there. So I envision myself think if I'd match nation that we have a bonfire. There was some of at least two of the shepherd still sitting there talking while maybe the other Some rest and there their and they're keeping watch over the flock which means they're taking a good Guardian position over the Sheep than looking at them all and they're quite possibly contemplating their lives where they're at in their lives. Now you need to know about Shepherds shepherds in the first century were looked out upon or not. They were looked down upon and we've heard about how women were not valued highly Shepherds were well below women. The only thing below a Shepherd was somebody's Shepherds could not bear with Shepherds were labeled at just being Liars. They smelled like there she lot of times they would stay away from other people because they would smell like the sheet that they're taken care of and if you've ever been around sheep, They can get the really smell. So then you got the other problem if they go up into the temple at any time or Tabernacle. They're going to take a lot of time to clean themselves off when Rebecca and I got married. I worked at a job where I had to work with disease instruments that had a lot of tar a lot of oils a lot of grief and everything else on in my hands would be Hospital a dark black the all the cracks in your fingers. I would have black lines in all this and under the fingernails no matter how much you scrub. They would stay dark and we're coming up to our wedding then she goes we got to take that little picture together where the rain So my hands needed to clean so I would scrub and scrub and scrub and it just was not happening. So you got to the point where I was wearing gloves at work and every single night and I will come then after that in there and it got some halfway decent video their eyes trying to scrub scrub Scrub, but it doesn't, and that's the problem with a lot of us where we think we got to get ourselves before God. Will you come to me and I will scrub you clean the dad Grandad great-grandad. They were all Shepherds. I've just taken

And Shepherd moves around a lot because of you saw their there was not a lot of grass anywhere for me. So they would move around alot. There be a Wanderer. And they were looked down upon but the problem is if we go back into the Old Testament Shepherd was not considered a very honorable profession just take some of these figures from the Old Testament to Our Shepherd able was a Shepherd Abraham was a Shepherd Isaac Jacob Rachel Moses. They were all Shepherd and all those people are highly looked upon by the Jewish people, but for some reason by the time the first century rolls around no longer is a Shepherd look at it somebody honorable, but they look at them because they were being looked down upon by everybody else first nine and in the angel of the Lord appeared before the glory of the Lord. sphere here they are in the darkness. Everyone here. Sat around a bonfire tonight, right? What can you see beyond the bonfire? Nothing, but your eyes and focus on the fire and you try to look off into something else and you can eat and be not very far from you. But unless it's in the glow of that fire you're not going to see it. And it's always almost every single bonfire ever been to someone sneaks up behind somebody else that just scared the snot out of him because it's so easy to sneak out for the Angels aren't sneaking up. They were there now. They're here all the sudden boom and light flashes. It's not the glory of the Angels Glory of our cell nuclear reactor with the glory of God. These angels they're reflecting the very glory of God and it Shone all around them. If you have if you have ever seen the the Max Lucado movie a Christmas candle. Or if you have maybe that's something you could watch before the the Christmas season is done. There's a Christmas candle at one point. Just going to come to the point where this pastor who was fighting all this for so long finally in an emergency situation needs to like that candle suddenly him in the woman. He's with his just for rounded with this beam of light this Dome of life. And that's what I picture this Angel showing up in the missing. Awesome. Boom all around them. Is this big dome of life? And it had the scare that's not right out of this Shepherd. They're there in the midst of all they can hear the bleeding of the sheep and all that store. Maybe the other ones who were allowed to get some rest or snoring away over here and there but your immense life is right before they were filled with great fear. They were hysterical at this point as was saying first in and the angel said to them.

For behold I bring you good news of great joy, which will be for all the people. South Angel do with the angels do right away. Don't don't be afraid don't be afraid. I'm not here to harm you or your good is this fear? Not before the whole time? Bring you good news. The good news here. Is that even Kelly? This is the gospel. This is the good news of God. Come to man. Those are good news of great. Joy now. We describe joy as a right relationship with God now. We're looking a great joy and happiness Mega Joy Mega. Cara is a joy beyond your imagination. That is not that you're feeling good. Not that you're having a belly laugh or anything like that. This is Joy this just beyond anything that can be imagined by you at this point. So there's great joy and then they can find it. We shall be for all people. Literally means for all nations. It means that the that Barry is going to be broken between Jew and Gentile Greek and slave and free and and all of those it's that Barry is going to be broken all those who work on the outside. We're not going to be allowed to come in and you might remember that little wall that I told you about on the Temple Mount where there was that little while we're a little sign there in the many languages said that only Jews Beyond this point by the punishment of death That wall was going to be destroyed because Jesus Christ came to break down those wall verse 11 for unto you again. He's reiterating it for all people and get you didn't think all people met you people and I'm saying you people right here right in front of me for unto you is Born This Day in the city of David a savior that the Jews have been waiting for for so long.

Where are you supposed to be showing up or before them this got to be in Jerusalem by the prophesied one has now come and he's come for you. Virtual and this will be a sign or you this will be a confirmation for you. I'm telling you this there's one thing to get the information. There's another thing to have that information confirm when you make yourself a reservation on a airplane flight you do it online you put in for a few hits and all that you want a confirmation to come back that way, you know that when you go to the airport they know all about you already and they're prepared for you. So this will be the confirmation for you. You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a Manger. So the baby is wrapped in swaddling clothes all wrapped up and we describe that before how newborn baby is very comfortable because it is come out has been bound up for so long as it's comfortable be swaddled up. But when you swallow it up, you don't owe some throw it into the feeding trough and that's what happened. They swallow them up and they laid him in a manger and we went through a Manger. It could have been a cross blood type of deal what you see in all of our Christmas plays with a Intuit or lot of times. It wasn't that lower-level. They would scoop out some of that rock and dirt there and that's where they would but the food for the animals. So do you ever think about the animals? What's this kid doing in my feeding trough? I'm hungry. May you may have one of those animals if anyone else is messing with her. Dish. They get awful upset. And even if they're not upset, they're kind of like you're in the way there anyone who's got children and grandchildren know you have to keep an eye on the defeating dish cuz they're going to make their way over there and they're all the sudden going to decide to see what that mouth do.

This the sign is the prophesied one did not come as everyone had expected. Caiman are totally different way they could imagine the prophesied one sort out just lopping off the heads of all the enemies and bring its rightful place as the props are the chosen ones of God. They did not expect the prophesied one to be born of a virgin lying in a Manger on a cold day with nobody else around so you didn't come as everyone expected first 13 and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the Heavenly Host. In the highest on Earth peace among those of whom he is pleased. All of a sudden at this point the message over to the to the Shepherds and Angels Port Gibson is a Don't Be Afraid got this for you and the Shepherds that they may be settling down at this point. They're getting this news. They're trying to trying to understand this this person is for us. This prophecy has been told for Generations. This one is for us for us personally even us even us lowly Shepherds and coming for us.

This isn't a 20 Voice Choir This is Voice Choir. This isn't even a thousand Voice Choir multitude of the Heavenly Host playing itself. That means this number is so many that it is incalculable. They're surrounded by all of this and nobody else in the area is experiencing any of this which is the crazy part. This blessing was for the shepherds in the Shepherds the law. And I see a multitude of the Heavenly Host just surrounded by the sky is filled with him. The hills are filled with them and they are singing the Praises of the one who has come glory to God in the highest and on Earth Peace In Those whom he is pleased. The Prince of Peace is not come like a spontaneous worship the restaurant back there. Hey, we want to be part of this to come into the world. We want to be

everyone shows up and they just go into the spontaneous worship service. They're just praising God and all that Paul had that same situation letters to the different churches and Believers through throughout Asia and the other areas in the midst of the letter all of a sudden he goes into a little ducks ology brake service.

He's even I'm selling himself with such encouragement in the awesomeness of God.

These angels they were doing it. They do it again in Revelation 19 when they see that all things are culminating and the king of glory is coming back.

Verse 15 and the one the angels went away from them and they have in the shepherd said the one with hate they took off a running needs to the breeze. They went they weren't waiting around. I'm sure the the lowest of the shepherd the youngest a shepherd's he was told to stay here. So make sure nobody gets into the shape of we're going over to see this thing. So they took off running and it says they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the manger just as they were told exactly as they were told it when they saw it. They made known to them the same that have been told to them concerning the child now confirmation to Mary and Joseph never married an angel said that so you going to have a child of power of the holy child and then same thing and Angel goes to Joseph when he says don't be afraid to take Mary. He will be the Messiah the world. So don't you know about it. Everyone else is probably not believe your story. But now they Shepherds that they sing about I've never mess in their life show up and they confirm exactly the store that the angels are given to them with the same story. That was given to Mary and Joseph. So they were now being confirmed the what has just happened is of God. And all who heard it. Nothing. Just those words right? There is the reason I say that Mary and Joseph and Jesus were in the lower level of the house. They weren't in a cave somewhere. In a cave somewhere that would have been them and if they're lucky enough, they could have found the Midwife to come over and help out but it's here. It says in all who heard it there were people who were hearing the shepherd to remember we looked at that picture of the the Jewish houses how they upper level was open to the lower level so they can keep track of what's going on there. So you got all these other nice little bed areas up above now all of a sudden the Shepherd come into the place and they bowing down before this woman this man and their child and telling them the Angels had just announced and everyone up above cuz I'm sure the monotone They were excited that they were sharing they were passionate about they were thrilled and everyone who heard it all those people in that house. Wondered at what the Shepherds head fold? They want to date they marveled at their there. That they were just blown away by what the Shepherds were saying verse 19, but Mary treasured up these things in her heart. Mary you know that there's been all kinds of experiments on this one line under it and kept them in her heart and Mariah saying yes. God said he was going to do this God did it he confirmed and I know this is in his plan first and the Shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all they have heard and seen as it has been told to them after they get done they take off their just they're praising and worshiping just like the Angels were a manager praise and worship in because they were found worthy enough in the eyes of God to be the ones to receive the very first announced myself. This one who would come to the world. We need to go through here since about this joint first of all,

They heard the angels good news. It was given to them. Joyce and receiving not new

anime say well. The only receiving big deal you can receive but not receive just as you can hear but not hear y'all. Remember Orville and Wilbur Wright. Some of you were probably around when they were flying over right now. They were those two bicycle technicians makers and all that to decide. They wanted to experiment with the possibility of flying and back in 1903. Actually. It is 115 years and 6 days ago December 17th 1903. They went out you know the place. They they did another one of their test twice. They had gone through many many different test flight was not a whole lot of luck. but there in Dayton, Ohio

They are well in the Dayton Ohio, they they telegram there's their sister for sister 11 days and they weren't Kitty Hawk. So they went after they finished and the telegraph her sister in Dayton, Ohio and the telegraph said first sustained flight today 59 seconds. Hope to be home by Christmas.

Well, the sister received the snow she went right away for the newspaper the local newspaper and she told him all of this and give him a copy of this telegram that said all of this. So the next morning in the paper that was that would have been published and sent out. It said popular local bicycle.

Did not mention anything about the first flight. The scoop of the century was missed because they did not truly receive the message. Have they received the message? They would have received Joy. Orville and Wilbur sister receive Joy after the flight Orville and Wilbur received Joy the shepherd received in the receiving of this message of the Gospel the good news. So Joy is in receipt next is joy is in

And this believing as we've gone through before believe determines action and action proves belief, so they didn't have to act on it. They act on what they had for you may have seen and I hope you have or even read CS Lewis's The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe from The Chronicles of Narnia. And in that you have these four children who had to go off in the countryside because of the bombings of the Germans into England. So these four children Lucy Edmund Susan and Peter. They they go off to stay with a distant relative and one day while they were playing hide and seek Lucy goes and she hides in the wardrobe. And hearing her brother Edmund coming into the room. She keeps backing up farther and farther to cover herself with the coach that are there. And all the sudden the coach start turning into Evergreen branches and she goes back and back until all the sudden. She's in a snowy area with all the effort into the land of Narnia. There she met mr. Tumnus. I got to get back and she jumped out of the Wardrobe morning when she backed into it as she comes back out after all this time ago by Edmonds now coming through the door at the exact same point and she tells everyone but they're not receiving it. They're not believing Edmund or kind of bratty little brother. Says that she's batting. The sooner then her older sister said tell her and Peter the oldest of them. It wasn't until later on when they all hit indoor wardrobe because they had broken a window with that. It was a baseball and the housekeeper was coming they all get in there in the back up and they all find themselves in the midst of Narnia at that point all the siblings believe. In this believing they were now experiencing. It took a while for them to come to that but they experiences and they they finally understand it because if they did not believe they would have stayed where they what is that all guys and we must be smoking too much of this firewood here that is getting in her eyes as to make on the oxygen shorts in our in our brains. We just imagine this kind of thing, but no they and they took off exactly where the angels

And the last thing is joy is in the Sherry. They told her what they saw.

because of the experience of what they had just gone through they They couldn't help themselves the Apostle. Say the very same thing in the how can we stop ourselves? We have to talk about what we have seen or what we have experienced. So they they film they self Mary in the sharing of the Gospel the West they had just seen a hundred years ago. He wrote. I think I may say to every person who my address if you are yourself say the work is but half done until you are employed to bring others to Christ you are as yet but have formed in the image of Our Lord You Have Not obtained to the full development of the Christ life in you unless you have commenced in some people way to tell others of the grace of God, and I trust that you will find no rest to the sole of your foot so you have Been the means of leading many to that blessed savior, who is your confidence and your hoe? They were full at this one. They weren't just partial they received. They didn't logically explain it off. They believe they got up and went and followed the extra axial directions which were given and they shared they told everyone they they went from those who are looked down upon everybody else and thought that how does life get me to this point and now they can't stop telling everybody else about what they had you seen I think of all the people that in that are in the scriptures, especially of the Christmas story. We relate more to the Shepherds than anybody else. None of us are going to give birth to the Savior no matter how good you think your kids are they are not the Savior. None of us are going to be the father of the state. Hopefully none of us are trying to kill the Savior but we are the one who can look at our lives and say how did I get to this point? We are the ones who could be reflecting on our license and I don't have that much time left what have I really accomplished when we can be upset about the position to which we are in and start feeling bad about ourselves. Anybody even care about us. And we can look to the shepherd. The lowest of the law from God picked out amongst everybody in the world. He didn't go to the Pharisees. He didn't go to the side to see if you didn't go to the Justice. He comes to the lowly us and he announces my son was born for you. Go and tell. And we will truly have them the joy of the Lord. Father what a joy. It must have been that day for those Shepherds, but yet is a joy that we can share into because we can have that very baby who grew to be Amanda died for us to live in our souls. We can experience that Joy each and every day with him help us not lose the Wonder help us to receive every word you have for us help us to believe by acting upon what you direct us and help us to share with everyone else. You need to hear about the good news.

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