• Pastor Bowler

A Season to Worship

How many of you are still busy buying Christmas presents for family and friends? No doubt about it, we live in a material world where people are full of wants. The Christmas Season is especially a time when you hear people say, “I Want.” How many conversations have you been a part of or have you overheard recently when people mentioned, “I want such and such for Christmas?”

Of all the “wants” we could ever have, the greatest want of our lives as followers of the Lord Jesus Christ ought to be to want to be in the centre of God's will. I hope that is your desire today.

Christmas is the biggest commercial holiday in North America and responsible for hundreds of billions of dollars spent on decorations, food, and of course, the “perfect” gifts for loved ones. The weeks leading up to Christmas Day are supposed to be filled with peace and happiness, but too often we experience a holiday of worry and stress, especially in 2020. If we want to avoid the stress associated with the material concerns of the Christmas season, we must turn our focus upward to the One whose birth we celebrate.

Consider the following Scriptures:

Isaiah 9:6“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace”

The truth of this season is that Jesus came to be Prince of Peace for all who believe. The Scriptures teach three promises of peace made available through Christ.

Peace from God: Romans 1:7“To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

Peace with God: Romans 5:1“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Peace of God: Philippians 4:7“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

God brought His Son into the world at the exact moment and in the exact way He had planned it. Galatians 4:4“But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law.” The announcement of Jesus’ coming was intended to bring peace to troubled hearts, both in those days and still today. When we understand the miraculous message that Jesus came to earth to be our Savour and our Prince of Peace, we can truly worship Him during this season.

The Message of Peace (v. 26-28)

Notice that Gabriel was sent at a specific time (“in the sixth month”) to a specific place (“a city of Galilee, named Nazareth”) and to a specific person (“a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph”). Just as the mention of Gabriel's name was not random, neither was any other detail of this announcement.

A. Given in a humble place.

One might imagine that God could have picked a more impressive town for the birth of His only Son, the Messiah. Nazareth was a small, poor Jewish Village that had no trade routes and it was a little economic significance to the region. It was nothing like Jerusalem, which was central to the kingdom and would have been a fit birthplace for a King. But God is not impressed with the magnitude of the city. In fact, great works of God often start in small places, and people that have a great commitment to the Lord. In Nazareth God found a woman completely yielded to his purpose for her life, and so this was the place he chose to use.

B. Given to a holy woman.

Mary was a morally pure woman. We see this emphasized in the question Mary asked of Gabriel.

• Luke 1:34—“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?”

• Matthew 1:18—“Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.”

• Isaiah 7:14—“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

In a society where the media often marks commitment to purity, the Bible emphasizes that Mary was a godly woman who can serve as an example to young women of today.

Mary was not unique financially or socially, but she a was ready vessel for bringing the son of God into the world. Further, she sought to follow God’s will for her life and she was a woman favoured by God. Luke 1:28 tells us that Gabriel addressed her with, “Hail, thou that art highly favoured,” meaning she was full of grace. What a tremendous testimony!

One of the greatest gifts you can give Jesus this season is the gift of you. Jesus wants a relationship with you. You can begin by taking these four steps.

First, you can give yourself to Christ by giving Him your time, your talent and your treasure.

Second, you can give yourself to Christ by serving others instead of yourself.

Third, you can give yourself to Christ by living a holy life in an ungodly world, spending time in His presence, listening to Him.

Fourth, you can give yourself to Christ by telling others about Him.

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

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