Pastor Jordan Gash – December 24, 2016
This past week, I had the opportunity to speak at my daughter’s school during their chapel time and I shared with the students three things that we can learn from what happened in Bethlehem on the night that Jesus was born. While there are many more than three things that we can learn, these three stood out to me and I would like to share them with you.
1. GOD BRINGS GREATNESS OUT OF SMALL PLACES
In Micah 5:2, it says “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.” Out of all of the places on earth that Jesus could have been born, He came to the small city of Bethlehem. Not Rome or Athens or Jerusalem, but Bethlehem. God brought His greatness into that small unlikely place and then He brought His greatness out from that place. You might feel small or where you are at in life might seem to be insignificant, but remember, God hasn’t changed. He is the one who makes the seeds in the earth to grow and who multiplied the loaves and fishes to feed the multitudes. He can bring His greatness into your life and, by His grace, out from you can come extraordinary things!
2. GOD ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES
Mary’s husband, Joseph, had a dream and in that dream an angel of the Lord said “All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.” In the garden of Eden, immediately after Adam sinned, God promised that a Redeemer would come to bring restoration and, throughout the Scriptures, the Lord continued to make promises about the One who would come. Isaiah and Micah prophesied of Jesus birth 700 years before He arrived in Bethlehem that night! Jesus, our Savior, came to us just like God said and that same faithful God has given us His Word and all of His promises are now ours in Christ. No matter how long it’s been or how impossible things might look, put your full trust in His Word and rest assured knowing that your Heavenly Father always keeps His promises!
3. GOD LOVES TO THE POINT OF GIVING AND SO SHOULD WE
Isaiah 9:6 says, “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given.” Why did God give us His Son? John 3:16 says that it was because “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” What happened in Bethlehem that night shows us that God is for us and that He really does love us, so much so, that He gave us His Son. As I shared with the children earlier this week, let’s love like our Heavenly Father taught us. Instead of focussing on what others could do or should do for us, let’s consider how we can give to others. Blessing people materially is great but this kind of giving shouldn’t be limited to money or expensive presents. Now that God’s love is in our hearts, we can give the gifts of patience, kindness, thoughtfulness, friendship, mercy, grace and forgiveness. These are precious gifts that come from the heart just like God’s greatest gift that He gave to us in Bethlehem 2,000 years ago!