TALKING THE CHRISTMAS LANGUAGE
Matt 1:20-25; Luke 1:30-32, Luke 2:14 & 29;
This week many of you got a News letter from J. R. Duncan. (Most of you know he is the son of Joe and Helen Duncan.) He is one of our foreign missionaries. He pastors an international Baptist church in Hamburg Germany. He related they have people from 24 different nations. They can speak English but they can also speak 24 different languages.
Suppose they all spoke in their native tongue at the same time. It would
not be helpful. I want to tell you about language we can speak that would
be helpful. I call it Christmas language.
1. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . Savior. Matt 1:20-21
10 And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
A wealthy English family once invited friends to spend some time at their beautiful estate. The happy gathering was almost plunged into a terrible tragedy on the first day. When the children went swimming, one of them got into deep water and was drowning. Fortunately, the gardener heard the others screaming and plunged into the pool to rescue the helpless victim. That youngster was Winston Churchill. His parents, deeply grateful to the gardener, asked what they could do to reward him. He hesitated, then said, "I wish my son could go to college someday and become a doctor." "We'll pay his way," replied Churchill's parents.
Years later when Sir Winston was prime minister of England, he was stricken with pneumonia. Greatly concerned, the king summoned the best physician who could be found to the bedside of the ailing leader. That doctor was Sir Alexander Fleming, the developer of penicillin. He was also the son of that gardener who had saved Winston from drowning as a boy! Later Churchill said, "Rarely, has one man owed his life twice to the same person."
What do we owe to our Lord? Certainly we ought to share what we know
about the Savior all the time and especially at Christmas.
2. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . Salvation. Luke 2:29
The story is told of a young dockworker who heard a minister named Henderson deliver a sermon based on Romans 5:1. Although impressed with the truth that one can have peace with God only through the merits of the Lord Jesus, he did not trust Him as his personal Savior.
The next day that man joined the crew and sailed on the steamship London.
A short time later it met with disaster on the high seas. Several months
passed, and a sailor came to the clergyman and inquired, "Are you Pastor
Henderson?" "Yes, I am," he replied. "I've come to tell you that I talked
and prayed with a young man on board the London who had heard you preach
on Romans 5:1. He was concerned about his soul but didn't quite understand
the plan of salvation. I finished what you began and led him to the Savior.
Only a few minutes later we were shipwrecked, and he and I were told to
launch one of the lifeboats. While doing so, he said to me, 'Mate, if you
get to shore, be sure and tell Pastor Henderson that I've been saved.'
Somehow he failed to get into the lifeboat in time, and we had to row away
immediately to keep from being capsized by the suction of the sinking ship.
The last I saw of him, he was up in the rigging of the doomed vessel, waving
his hat and shouting to me above the noise of the waters, 'Being justified
by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ!'"
Many studies reveal people are seeking a personal relationship with
God. At Christmas especially lets talk about Salvation.
3. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . JESUS. Matt 1:24-25
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. 31 "And behold, you will conceive in your womb, and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. 32 "He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; (NAS)
The Negro boy down in my Southland years ago, wanted to join a church. So the deacons were examining him. They asked, "How did you get saved?" His answer was, "God did His part, and I did my part." They thought there was something wrong with his doctrine, so they questioned further, "What was God's part, and what was your part?" His explanation was a good one. He said, "God's part was the saving, and my part was the sinning. I done run from Him as fast as my sinful heart and rebellious legs could take me. He done took out after me till He run me down." My friend, that is the way I got saved also. -- J. Vernon McGee Romans, Vol. 1
We sing a song with the verse "Jesus Is the Sweetest Name I know". Because
of what He has done for us we ought to speak His precious name every chance
4. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . PEACE. Luke 2:14
Scientists report that noise has a definite effect on our working efficiency.
Noise increases the pulse, quickens the blood pressure, and upsets the normal rhythm of the heart.
Spiritual noise has just as bad an effect on spiritual life. The man who is occupied with the things that keep him from hearing the voice of God in his heart is spiritually frustrated. It is impossible for those who are spiritually noisy to have true peace of mind, peace of heart, and peace of soul!
This is why God has said, "Be still, and know that I am God;" (Psalms
46:10). - Donald Grey Barnhouse, Let Me Illustrate (Fleming H. Revell,
1967), p. 49.
Peace in an "in" word today. Some people use the word without any knowledge
of how a person really gains a lasting peace. We have been given peach
from the Lord and we need to speak Peace every where we go.
5. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . FEAR NOT. Matt 1:20
30 And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.
Johnny Hart, cartoonist and creator of the enormously successful B.C. and Wizard of Id, was angry at God after the death of his mother. He resorted to drinking to cope with the loss, and he also dabbled in the occult, using a Ouija board to try to contact his deceased mother. But God used Christian television to bring Johnny to Himself. Today Johnny Hart is at peace with God and with himself. Many of his panels creatively proclaim the gospel. When one adds the combined circulation of B.C. and Wizard of Id, Johnny becomes the most widely syndicated cartoonist in the world.
It is interesting to note the number of times the words fear Not appear
in the verses surround the Christmas story. Let's do what we can in the
name of Jesus to erase fear.
6. Talking the Christmas Language with Words like . . IMMANUEL. Matt 1:23
23 "Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and shall bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel," which translated means, "God with us." NAS)
The land of Persia was once ruled by a wise and beloved Shah who cared greatly for his people and desired only what was best for them. One day he disguised himself as a poor man and went to visit the public baths. The water for the baths was heated by a furnace in the cellar, so the Shah made his way to the dark place to sit with the man who tended the fire. The two men shared the coarse food, and the Shah befriended him in his loneliness. Day after day the ruler went to visit the man. The worker became attached to this stranger because he "came where he was".
One day the Shah revealed his true identity, and he expected the man to ask him for a gift. Instead, he looked long into his leader's face and with love and wonder in his voice said, "You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat my coarse food, and to care about what happens to me. On others you may bestow rich gifts, but to me you have given yourself!"
As we think of what our Lord has done for us, we can echo that fire tender's sentiments. Oh, what a step our Lord took -- from heaven to earth, from the worship of angels to the mocking of cruel men, from glory to humiliation!
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