Last Week: The unparalleled act of love by the ‘God of All Creation’, being born a human…the enormity of the sacrifice, limiting HIS BEING… What HE did: Conception! Gestating for 10 months, then being birthed in those conditions… The LOVE it took to do all that…to be incarnated!

This Christmas morning is about: What are we to do in response to this LOVE? How do we live our lives because of The Savior / The Messiah / The Christ / The Incarnation of The Triune God ???

Are we amazed? Are we curious? Are we driven to know and experience MORE of this Incarnation of GOD? Last week the Scripture was our guide to understanding the Love it took to be BORN as a human. This week The Scripture guides us in our response to the Christ Child. Might we let the fullness of what God has done move us to action that glorifies God!

LUKE 2:13-20 (NCV)

13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying: 14 “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”

  • A single angel had announced the birth of the Messiah…
  • Then the one angel is joined by a heavenly host to give us the significance
  • This is a look ahead to what God / Christ would ultimately accomplish:
  • #1: Max Glory (Heaven & Earth)
  • #2: Peace with our creator based on HIS Grace (Redemption)
  • Perhaps this short message was repeated between ‘Hallelujahs’!

15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

  • It is recorded the angels went back to heaven, why did they go?
  • Did the shepherds now realize: ‘This will be the only announcement’
  • They do not wait for more information… There is no debate about what to do…
  • What they have just witnessed moves them to action…
  • They get revelation from God and they become ‘Curious’… and they act!

How curious are you about Scripture? About ‘Real Christian Discipleship’?

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen Him, they told what the angels had said about this child.

  • They get there and find exactly what the angel said:
    • Stable / Wrapped in Pieces of Cloth / Feeding Trough
  • They shared the account of the visitation by The Angels (Very Intense Story)
  • The response of the Shepherds was to share what they knew! (let that sink in)

18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

  • Everyone who were blessed to hear this were ‘Amazed’

Amazed ~ To regard with admiration, to be filled with wonder, to reverence, to adore, to be astonished. The other two places Luke used the word translated here as ‘Amazed’:

~ Lk. 7:9: How Jesus responded to the faith of the Roman Centurion

~ Acts 7:31: How Moses responded when HE encountered ‘The Burning Bush’

When you are truly amazed by something it changes the way you think and act.

19 Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them.

  • She held this revelation in very high regard (She valued it)
  • Mary was to spend the rest of her life thinking about this night!
  • She most likely was very curious to learn more…

20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

  • This night would forever change the way they though and acted
  • They continued being shepherds, they worshiped & gave thanks while they did


Angelic Announcement / Revelation: The most important thing about ‘This Child’ was that He would glorify God by providing access to peace with God. This could only be The Messiah of Scripture! Once the message was declared to the shepherds, they were curious to know EVERYTHING they could about ‘This Child’. Their amazement became action! Once the Shepherds put it all together they told others what they knew and believed. The amazement of the shepherds became the amazement of others! THIS KIND OF AMAZEMENT = BIBLICAL SALVATION!!!

How have you and will you respond to the Birth of Christ?


What does peace look like in YOUR life?

When God reveals Himself to YOU, how can YOU be more curious to pursue Him?

When YOU gain biblical understanding about The Gospel, how do YOU communicate it to others?

In YOUR daily life, how do YOU live with worship and thanks because of the Biblical Gospel?

How can YOU specifically be like the shepherds (and Mary) this Christmas and in the new year?

John 1:14

So the word of God became a human being and lived among us. We saw His splendor (the splendor as of a Father’s only Son), full of grace and truth. (PHILLIPS)

The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. (NIV)

The Word became flesh and lived among us. We gazed on His glory, the kind of glory that belongs to the Father’s uniquely existing Son, who is full of grace and truth. (ISV)

The Word became a human being and lived here with us. We saw His true glory, the glory of the only Son of the Father. From Him the complete gifts of undeserved grace and truth have come down to us. (CEV)
The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, generous inside and out, true from start to finish. (MSG)

Christ born as one of us is the ultimate act of love!

What is Love? How do we know it, how do we live it?

To understand love we must understand the incarnation. In this act we can find everything we need to know about what real, pure, perfect, unconditional love is

God created love! God is love! God defines love! The Scripture is the story of the definition and demonstration of God’s love. From Adam to Jesus we see the length and depth, and height and width and girth of God’s love

The story of the nation of Israel… this process of God demonstrating what Love is… AND what Loves is NOT… (Kings of Israel)

The fullness of God revealing His love, defining what true love is, happens in the Incarnation, the Messiah, The Christ…Jesus of Nazareth.

We rightly focus on how it was the ultimate sacrifice for God Himself to die on the cross for those He loved. But I am here to tell you this morning, being BORN was just as big a demonstration of love…perhaps a more intense sacrifice for the all powerful Lord of the Universe! The Length of God’s Love In Christ: He was BORN as a human.It took at least as much love to be born into this world as it took to die on the cross. And that kind of love is for us to experience and copy as Christ’s followers.

I hope this look at love gives us encouragement and challenges us to love like Christ.

Let’s start from where Christ was prior to being BORN as a human being.

John 1:1-4 (NIV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.

  • John using the term ‘The Word’ to depict Jesus Christ
  • Biblical Christology: correct understanding of who the 2nd person of the trinity is
  • Christ has always existed in community with the Father & Spirit as the triune God
  • He was totally involved in every aspect of Creation
  • He has always had the special role of the one who would give eternal life
  • He has always been the One who would show the way to God for all humanity
  • This is what makes Him ‘The Light’: He is going to illuminate God’s Love for us

Philippians 2:6-7 (NLT)

Though He (Christ Jesus) was God, He did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, He gave up his divine privileges; He took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being.

  • Being God Himself, Christ did not hesitate to become subordinate to the Father
  • He limited His being to become a human
  • The ultimate act of humility…the ultimate act of love
  • He gave up being God for a 33 years! That is a big deal!
  • In love for us He was humbled to be BORN as a human…

Being born as a human God choses to lays down His outside of space & time life. His pre-existant life, His all sovereign life. He laid aside His divinity and was still The Son of God while also The Son of man. This is a profound mystery…something worth spending a lifetime understanding and acting on…we call it Discipleship!

Christ defined love for His disciples on the night before He was crucified

John 15:11-14 (NKJV)

These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”

  • The things he has spoken of:
    • Productive discipleship takes connectivity
    • God will guide the process of our growth as disciples
    • Experiencing God’s love involves keeping His commands
  • The point of this connected, growing obedience to God is that we learn to love
  • Christ commands us to love like He loves: sacrificially living for others

To understand the vastness of God’s love we need to understand the lengths that He went to to save those He calls. To begin to know His love we have to see what He laid down to be BORN as a human. To be ‘All-Everything’ and then choose to limit your limitless being so you can save your creation… that has consistently taken advantage of your love… THAT IS LOVE!

Let’s look at the event: Luke chapter 2 begins with a road trip. Luke 1 was big on baby announcements

Luke 2:1-3

At That Time… Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. (This is projection of power & control). This was the first registration; it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. (Scripture Cemented in Time) And all went to their own towns to be registered.

Luke 2:4-7 (NCV)

So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was now pregnant. While they were in Bethlehem, the time came for Mary to have the baby, and she gave birth to her first son. Because there were no rooms left in the inn, she wrapped the baby with pieces of cloth and laid him in a feeding trough.

  • It’s a four day walk to Bethlehem form Nazareth, pregnant wife on donkey
  • They had to register in the location where their family was from
  • This fulfilled prophecy about the Messiah (Son of David)
  • They were engaged, not married and pregnant… not cool socially
  • We sanitize this scene… it was a cave…the feeding trough was cut out of the wall

God being born as one of us…He could have just gone ‘poof’ & become an adult… God personally experiencing being born: Yikes!

Childhood = Dependence. He allowed himself to be dependent on beings that HE created out of His mind & dirt!

But not just the trauma of childbirth, a poor hard situation (travel & accommodations). Total lack of status, essentials and honor from the creation HE entered into…Why did He make it so hard?

So He would be relatable to all mankind.

If He was willing to do that for us, what are we willing to do for HIM?

1st John 3:16 (NIV)
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

  • As followers of Christ we look to Him for everything, HE defines love for us
  • He gave us an example in laying down His life on the cross
  • But He also gave us an example laying down His divinity and being BORN a man
  • So as HIS disciples we do what He did… and we start with our church body

SUMMARY: The Christ BORN is God’s biggest demonstration of His love for humanity, HE is the Light that defines love! Christ BORN as a human is the ultimate condescension, an act of pure love. ~ Condescension is bad human to human… it is a good thing when it’s God to humans! Being BORN, Christ laid down His divinity, His all-everything, His operating outside of space and time as we know it out of love for US! So we can know real love! The completeness of Joy is found in loving like Christ: laying down what you have for others.


How would you explain God’s Love to someone who was curious about it?

How can someone follow a sacrificial God without being sacrificial?

What can you ‘lay down’ this Christmas season to demonstrate love to others?

Colossians 1:15-19 (ESV)

He is the image of the invisible God, the Firstborn of all creation. For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the Beginning, the Firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell…

John 15: Joy To The World

Joy to the world, the Lord has come!

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. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11)

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. (John 15:11)

Looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb 12:2)

What things?

I am the true vine (John 15:1)

Abide in Me, and I in you (v.4)

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (v.5)

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (v.7)

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. (v.8)

If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. (v.10)

The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace…..(Gal 5:22)

Joy is settled satisfaction and contentment with who the Lord is, what He is doing, has done, and will do.

Summary Points:

-No one can deprive you of joy, nor take it from you. Remember David? Psalm 51:12.

-While it is a gift of God and fruit of His Spirit, do not take it for granted.

-If you abide in Him and His Word, His joy will be in you, and with you, and will carry you victoriously through all of life’s disappointments, hardships, and losses.

2nd Samuel 7:8-16: The Promised Hope

8 Now, therefore, thus you shall say to my servant David, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel.

9 And I have been with you wherever you went and have cut off all your enemies from before you. And I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth. 10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel and will plant them, so that they may dwell in their own place and be disturbed no more. And violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly,

11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel. And I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover, the Lord declares to you that the Lord will make you a house.

12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.

13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. 14 I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son. When he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men,

15 but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you. 16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me Your throne shall be established forever.’”