And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for,
behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy,
which shall be to all people. For unto you is
born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a
sign unto you; You shall find the babe wrapped
in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth
peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:10-14)
As a kid, I rarely slept on Christmas Eve. Filled with anticipation over the gifts under the tree, I would repeatedly wake up my parents and ask, "Is it time yet?"
GIVE THE GOOD NEWS THIS CHRISTMAS!
The first Christmas was perfectly timed by God, happening just when He wanted it. Galations 4:4 says, "But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth his Son...."
What "time" is Christmas this year? You find the answer in four statements the angel said to the shepherds at the very first Christmas. (Luke 2:10-14)
1. It's time to release your fears!
The first thing the angel said was "Do not be afraid!" Fear is your greatest barrier to knowing God and fulfilling His purposes for your life.
Fear is a self-imposed prison that keeps you from living the life God intends for you. So whatever you are afraid of, Christmas is the time to let it go. The Bible contains 365 "Fear nots" -
one for every day of the year! It's time to stop worrying and start worshiping. Stop tensing up and start trusting God.
2. It's time to renew your faith!
Next, the angel said, "I bring you good news with great joy, and it is for everyone!" The good news of Jesus keeps getting better because
the bad news of the world keeps getting worse. The good news is that God loves you, He created you for a purpose, you can know God personally by trusting in Jesus, and He wants
you to spend eternity with Him. God has really long-range plans for your life. Christmas is the time to come back to God.
3. It's time to receive forgiveness!
Next the angel said, "Tody a Savior has been born for you; He is Christ, the Lord!" If our greatest need was education, God would
have sent a teacher. If our greatest need was health, He would have sent a doctor. If our greatest need was financial, He would have sent an economist. But our greatest need is forgiveness, so God sent a Savior.
It doesn't matter what wrong ylu've done, Jesus pais for it on the cross. Accept His forgiveness.
4. It's time to rebuild relationships!
Finally the angel said, "Peace on earth, and good will to all people." Once you've accepted God's forgiveness, He wants you to forgive everyone else.
Who do you need to offer forgiveness to this Christmas? It's time to make peace!
The greatest gift you can give anyone is to introduce them to Jesus and God's purpose for their lives. So many people have so much to live on, but little to live for.
At Christmastime, music about Jesus is everywhere, and your friends, co-workers, neighbors, and family are more open to spiritual truth than at any other time of the year. As the old year ends and the new one begins,
people are searching for meaning and purpose in their lives. Give the good news this Christmas!
by Pastor Rick Warren