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Christmas Why Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem Christmas 2007

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IT CAME WITHOUT PACKAGES, BOXES, OR BAGS
"Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas,
come this way; Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay;
welcome, Christmas, Christmas day."
They continue, singing,
"Christmas day is in our grasp
so long as we have hands to clasp."
The Grinch can hardly believe his ears.
He begins to get furious, but then something happens.
He suddenly puzzles how Christmas came.
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes, or bags."
Suddenly the Grinch realizes that Christmas
is about more than presents, or decorations,
or a feast.
He has a thought he’s never thought before:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t come
from a store; Maybe Christmas perhaps
means a little bit more."


SOURCE: From "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" Dr. Suess

Why Jesus Was Born in Bethlehem?

Luke 2:4-4

Five or six miles southwest of Jerusalem lay the tiny town of Bethlehem in the Judean hills.
  It was here that man’s eyes first saw God in the flesh.
Why this place and not another of so many other possibilities?
   >>Of course it was the home of Joseph and Mary’s ancestors - the city of David. But it was more.
Like the shepherds who received the first Christmas greeting from the angels, let their reply be our reply:
>>"Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." (Luke 2:15)
CHRIST WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, "THE HOUSE OF BREAD" (the literal meaning of the city’s name), TO IDENTIFY WITH THE COMMON MAN.
When Micah, the Old Testament prophet, foretold the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, he emphasized its lack of significance to the world.
"But thou, Bethlehem, Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)

Bethlehem - "The House of Bread". Bread is one of life’s most common things.

God wanted His Son available to all.

[last week:  Simeon…”all peoples” Comfort comes in our reception of Christ. "Simeon took Him in his arms and praised God" (v.28).

In a literal sense, Simeon was the first person on record to receive Christ.

 Moved by the Spirit, he came at exactly the right time to precisely the right place.

 Many parents were bringing their infants to the temple for the act of presentation. >>Nothing physical or dramatic caused Mary, Joseph, and Jesus to stand out from the crowd. Yet Simeon unerringly found his way to the Christ.

 Has God led you to His Christ?

Through the common everyday life experiences…

 The Holy Spirit is able to bring you to that precise time and place where your life intersects with His.

 The very same Spirit that drew Simeon draws you this Christmas.

His birth was announced to shepherds, the common man, but not to King Herod.

His cradle was a manger, an animal’s feeding trough in a lowly stable.

**There is no human so low that he or she is outside the reach of the love of God!
{All humans } Down deep at the center of each one of us there is a longing to be whole;
to be complete; to get it all together in our life.

The problem is, we
have so many things pushing in on us, barricading us against God's Loving Presence.

 But God doesn't give up on us. He is calling us now.

 The message
He sent to the shepherds of old hasn't changed: "You have nothing to fear.
I come to proclaim good news to you -- tidings of great joy to be shared
by the whole people ... a Savior has been born to you (Lk. 2:10, 11).

Hearing this message, the shepherds "went in haste and found Mary, and
Joseph, and the Baby lying in the manger; once they saw, they understood
what had been told to them concerning the Child. All who heard of it were
astonished at the report given them by the shepherds" (Lk. 2:16-18).
The God who gave you life is for you, loves you infinitely---------

----------wants you to
find the real you in His Kingdom of Love.

The Christmas season gives us an opportunity to turn on the light of God's Word and reveal the true meaning of Christmas to those around us.

  • Don't conform to the world's behavior and customs. Consumerism reaches an annual high, and holiday decorations abound for all to see and enjoy, yet Jesus is almost nowhere to be found.

** It is important that during this busy season you reserve time to honor Christ by the regular reading of Scripture, time spent in prayer, and allowing your commitment and love for Him be evident in all you do.

    • Be aware of the spiritual struggle.

Keeping Christ out of Christmas is part of Satan's strategy.

Ø  He doesn't care how you celebrate the holiday as long as Jesus is not the main focus of your attention.

 

Then he's got a foothold by which he can subtly influence your thinking in other dimensions of life. Don't let Jesus be just a part of your Christmas holiday - make Him the reason for the season.

 Every time you see yourself losing focus, repeat 2 Corinthians 9:15 to yourself: Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift

 

      • Give God first place at Christmas.  

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well (Matt. 6:33).

 

To give God first place in your life means to turn to Him first for help,

      • to fill your thoughts with His desires, and to obey Him in everything. *

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31).

The Prophet Isaiah uses the marriage figure in his poetic prophetic
foreshadowing of the blessed Christmas event.

 (Isaiah 62:4,5).

“Hephzibah”---“My delight is in her”

“Beulah”—“Married”

And in Matthew's Gospel we find the following quote
from the same Isaiah: The virgin shall be with child and give birth to a
son, and they shall call Him Emmanuel (Mt. 1:23).
"Emmanuel," Matthew immediately adds, means "God is with us."

 Like the
selfless lover who commits his entire being to the beloved in the marriage
union of two-in-one-flesh, God is with us in the Person of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ.

Ø  In season and out, in sickness and in health, for
better or for worse, God is with us in the Body of Christ.

 Christmas is
not unlike a time of renewal of marriage vows between the Blessed Bridegroom and His people.
*The time has come for us to seek our perfect fulfillment in the Lord Jesus.                        CHRIST WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, "THE HOUSE OF BREAD", TO SATISFY OUR SPIRITUAL HUNGER.
Jesus said, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger." (John 6:35
Bread is a good comparison to our Lord because He satisfies, gratifies and strengthens us spiritually just as bread does physically.
Many are eating at the wrong table.
“Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy?  Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And let your soul delight itself in abundance.” (Isaiah 55:2)
It is easy to get caught up in searching for meaning in life from the wrong things because there are a lot of things that bring temporary happiness.    ***But only Christ satisfies the eternal dimension of the human spirit.


There’s a story in the Bible about a man who had a lot of things going for him but he wasn’t living up to his potential. That man’s name was Saul and he lacked self-confidence. He didn’t understand that God had a plan for his life.
    When the prophet Samuel informed Saul that he was God’s choice to be king of Israel, he foretold several things that Saul would see in the near future so that Saul would be confident the message was truly from God.

Among them was a man carrying three loaves of bread. (1 Samuel 10:3)

Three loaves were far more than Samuel could eat in a meal. He would have enough left over for future needs.** It is a beautiful picture of the sufficiency of the work of the triune God in the life of His servants. And it is typical of the sufficiency of God’s spiritual provision.
Christ is all the soul of man needs for spiritual satisfaction.

That fact that Jesus was born in "The House of Bread" gives us confidence that God does indeed want to choose us to be His children, no matter how insignificant we may seem to ourselves or to the world around us.
CHRIST WAS BORN IN BETHLEHEM, "THE HOUSE OF BREAD", TO TEACH US THAT EACH OF US MUST CHOOSE HIM AS SAVIOR FOR OURSELVES.
If one person eats a meal, it doesn’t satisfy any other person’s hunger.
  The Bible says that "we are all partakers of that one bread." (1 Corinthians 1:17) That "one bread" is Christ.



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