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Lying in a Manger

David Shin


David Shin

Pastor, Hillside O'Malley Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Anchorage, AK



  • December 20, 2014
    11:30 AM
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Our Father in heaven we think you for the Sabbath. This memorial of creation the redemption and we thank you for this time of year in which many people around the world remember and celebrate the birth of that a that was born in that manger over 2000 years ago I would pray now that as we pause for a few moments we open your word that you would speak to our hearts we pray for the Holy Spirit to fill us with thoughts of heaven the grander and the splendor of your character and your goodness towards us or that our hearts will be touched uplifted the very throne room of grace for us these things in Jesus' name amen. It was during my college years don't let this baby faced fool you some people say oh David you look like you're in high school but. I think I'll be thankful a number of years from now hopefully. Another years ago when I was in college I took a summer off and I travelled with a group of individuals from southern Virginia to Northern California cross-country trip in a 15 passenger van I remember it like it was yesterday and all crammed in this vehicle and we were on a mission we were part of a team that was going to be doing a youth camp on the West Coast and we did not have any time for stops we had to drive straight through no time for hotels no time for sightseeing although I would like to see in some of the national parks along the way and there were 4 drivers that were designated to go into rotation taking term sleeping and driving Fortunately I was not chosen to be one of those drivers so in order to pass the time I took with me my very own portable state of the art. Because said player. For those of you that were not born in the ninety's in 2000 you know exactly what I'm talking about and for those of you that don't you can probably find in a museum somewhere horrible cassette player member. It was it was this latest technology I brought one cassette tape for the entire trip. It was George Frederick Handel's Messiah a collection of favorites and I did not expect to do this but for the majority of that $52.00 hour trip across the country I listened to Handel's Messiah Oh and over and over again it became a running joke in the vehicle as you can imagine they would look over at me with a smile and say David what are you listening to. I say Handel's Messiah what else I only brought one Tave and there was one part of Handel's Messiah that just seemed to enrapture me to the very strong room of God and it was seen one part for number 15 the Annunciation to the angels glory to God Don't worry I'm not going to sing it glory to God in the highest sung by the higher voices of The Sopranos and the altos and the tenors and then the response and peace on earth sung by the lower voices in response majestic and as we saw it was written in 24 days I believe that that man with inspired to write that piece. And as majestic as Handel's Messiah is I believe that it pales in comparison to that angelic choir that song that those words over 2000 years ago would have seen it must have been the Amen turning your Bibles with me to Luke Chapter 2 as we look at the words that are sung in Handel's Messiah I have the words on the screen for you there Luke Chapter 2 verse 8 through 141179 if you're using the Bible that's provided for you there in the pew Luke Chapter 2 resist through 14 I'll be reading from the New King James Bible you can follow along whatever bible you have there Luke's account of that Christmas story and I thought it appropriate for us the Sabbath before Christmas to look at Luke's account of the Christmas story Luke Chapter 2 verse 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields keeping watch over their flock by night and behold an angel of the Lord stood among them and the glory of the Lord shown around them and they were greatly afraid then they said to them Do not be afraid for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people for there is born to you this day in this city of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord Messiah verse 12 and this will be the sign to you you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger and suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of they have only hosts praising God and saying and here are the words glory to God in the highest and on earth peace good will toward men I've heard some great choirs but that must have been some choir. I've heard one preacher say they believe that the angels can sing 4 part harmony one person talk about Surround Sound them with 7 magnificent a lot of things that we can focus in this passage but I want to hone in on verse 12 it's before the angel sings the one angel gives this revelation to the shepherds verse 12 we read it a moment ago I want to read it again and this will be the sign to you you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clods lying in a what does it say in a manger this word manger is repeated 3 times in Luke's account it seems that Luke wants us to understand the nature of God's condescension in becoming a human being the word manger comes from the Latin derivative which means to eat or devour it is a feeding trough Brannaman that's what a manger is I have 2 golden retrievers a lot of fun George and Lily and every single day we go through the same ritual morning and evening I go out to where their food bin is and I put their dog food in their dog bowl and an amazing thing happens it's fascinating because as soon as the little bits of dog food clang around in that stainless steel dog dish I can look over at my 2 golden retrievers and they are salivating they lick their lips and as soon as I back away they make a mad dash toward their food I don't think they even chew it that gobble it up lick it dry and Jesus is not placed in a dog bowl it's probably a donkey's. And the nature of this verse is it's quite astounding that the Son of God the ineffable glorious majestic God of the universe was placed in a crib that was really a manger the parents were so poor they could not even afford a crib I want to look at these 2 verses 11 and 12 and I want you to notice the contrast ing theme that is found in these 2 verses it's 2 conflicting ideas 1st 11 for there is born to you this day in the City of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord the word Christ comes from the Hebrew word for Messiah this is the Messiah the Son of God the glorious creator of the universe eternal magnificent the person that is before all things and will continue on through eternity and that is the essence of verse 11 and then in the very next verse you have a contrast and this will be a sign to you you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger the wonderful notion of the incarnation of the Son of God in becoming a human being I heard one preacher put it this way God becoming human is like a human becoming a cockroach God becoming a human is like a human becoming a cockroach I think it would be humiliating just to become an animal no I love my dogs never want to become my dog that's a whole different level altogether the nature. Of the condescension of God becoming a human being it's Christmas time in this is the time a year that we. To take part in this tradition of exchanging gifts and millions of people across this country collectively Americans will spend millions if not billions of dollars in buying presents for their loved ones and this is the part that's always challenging for me it's wrapping gifts that's why my wife does this but every now and then I am given the task of wrapping gifts and it takes me longer than the average individual and this is what happens every time I wrap a present as I'm wrapping that gift in the back of my mind I think about all this work really for nothing. Takes a long time to put that in and it never gets just right I can never get the seams right you tape it all up to put a bow on it and the moment that you give it to that person especially if they're a child they rip it to shreds and it's gone all that work and yet we do this every single time it just doesn't make any sense and I thought to myself why do I do this it's because presentation matters is not right in other words the content is important but we want the wrapping to look nice to be be fitting of the contents of which we're giving to the individual wrappings are important especially when we want to give someone a gift and here you see that in Luke's account we see that gone has used a package a wrapping that is virtually unknown appealing and attractive are you following me here this morning yes or no. God could have chosen any torte kind of wrapping he could have chosen any tort kind of environment in which to present the Son of God He could have picked any parent he could have picked any place he could pick any time but he chose to be born to peasants and was placed in a manger for a crib and the question comes to us why why does God choose to package and he did make this choice why does he choose the package himself in a way that is an up peeling that from an X. turn will stand point of view it's easy to underestimate the value of the contents from an external superficial standpoint gone purposefully packaged his gift of the Son of God in a way that it be easy to write it off as just an ordinary child that was born to ordinary parents over 2000 years ago and yet God purposefully packaged his gift in this innocuous way makes me think about this word and as I was preparing my sermon this week trying to come up with a word that would describe the nature of this package it's the word in conspicuous right now the word in conspicuous I did a little at a molecule test comes from a word and in the 1900 the word in conspicuous meant invisible but later on in conspicuous went on to mean something that just blends in that's what in conspicuous means today that's how it's use and so I love the sources and I got online and I went to an online these source and here are some words for in conspicuous Are you ready synonyms unremarkable. On spectacular on show on flashy and undistinguished matter of fact I have some more that I didn't put on the screen here let me find it real quick modest a low profile muted on assuming indistinct plain ordinary you get the picture now God often packages truth in this way and the principle I get out of this is that many times Truth does not come packaged all nicely with a bow on top when in glitter on the outside many times it's truth comes to us with an ordinary packaging of a brown paper bag that's the way truth looks that's the way it's presented it and we live in a society today that we care about the wrapper you know you buy an i Phone today what is it comes in it comes in a sleek minimalistic only designed box that bespeaks of Apple and the contents and yet here God has chosen to use and unflashy remarkable unspectacular means a packaging and we use the world's method to determine truth what do we do when we try to find a church we go for the one with the best choir. They get stained glass window I'm not saying anything these things are wrong nice pianist preacher eloquent all those types of things and at the bottom of the list if it's on the list at all is my church teaching truth and sometimes the church teaching truth doesn't have the best choir it doesn't have the best children's program it doesn't have the best packaging but we need to follow the truth because it is the truth amen. Gone shows the package of self in an on in conspicuous manner look at this in Isaiah Chapter 53 as a chapter 53 verse to the that messy Anik prophecy given hundreds of years before the time of Christ verse 2 it says there was nothing beautiful are majestic about his appearance let me read that again talking about the Messiah there was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance nothing to attract us to him which means that if you were to see the Son of God 2000 years ago he was not a physically attractive individual he was not a person that would stand out he was in conspicuous he blended in he looked like every other Jew 2000 years ago that's why when the nobleman went to see Jesus he looked at me as just saw a poor peasant there was nothing beautiful are majestic about his appearance in The question is why did God choose to package himself in this way is God tried to hide himself from us doesn't God want us to know who he is if you want to hide or does he want to hide his own identity and this is a statement from desire of ages page 43 and if you have not read this book we have 3 copies in our resource library I just finished it a few weeks ago on a program to read through the comp that the ages series with the Bible and I'm almost there finish I think in January Justin praise God I just finished the desire of ages and it's the Bible last week listen to this Jesus purposed that no attraction of an earthly nature should call man to his side why all newly The beauty of heavenly truth must draw those who would follow him. God did not want us to follow him because of the aesthetic superficial value but because of the true inner value found in the proposition of truth Luke Chapter 2 verse 20 the Gospel goes on after they found that babe lying in the manger notice the response of the shepherds the shepherds went back to their flock say this is after they've seen that boy that baby lying in the manger the shepherds went back to their flocks glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen this is amazing they go to that baby in a manger born to poor peasants and they come away and they say all this is wonderful we want to glorify and praise God when another person could look at that same baby and say oh I don't see anything special it's amazing how 2 people can look at the same thing and arrive at opposite conclusions Stephen Covey in his book bestselling book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People talks about how he gave a conference to 200 individuals before the conference he had the 200 individual split in half 100 and another 100 and to one group he presented this picture you can see it there it's a picture of an older lady with a larger nose relatively unattractive. The other group showed them this picture it's of a younger lady relatively attractive with the petite nose and then he had the 2 groups come together and he presented to them this photo or this picture and he asked. The people that were attending the seminar What do you see it was divided right down the middle the people that were predisposed and preempted by the picture of the older lady they said we see the older lady the people that were Saul the younger lady said we see the younger lady and there was this heated debate as to what they were witnessing they were looking at the same thing arriving at opposite conclusions the difference was what they were predisposed to prior to viewing this image and you know it's the same thing with spiritual things if you're predisposed by the Holy Spirit you will see a different reality a man if you're predisposed with the world you will come to a different conclusion and Paul puts it this way in 2nd Corinthians chapter 2 verse 14 the person without the Spirit does not accept the things which come from the Spirit of God but considers them what is to say but considers them foolish miss and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit there are people in the world that look at us here on Sabbath morning and say that's a bunch of foolishness because they are not predisposed preempted prepped by the Holy Spirit they see a different reality if you are a spiritual person you will discern spiritual things and we live in an age today where there is the same type of evidence being presented to the world and 2 different conclusions that are being concluded as a result not because of the evidence but because spiritual things are really spiritually discerned I believe that in the very near future we're going to see an outpouring of the Holy Spirit as never before it's called the Latter Rain. We're told that the Latter Rain can only come in answer to prayer that's what we started praying 5 years ago asking for revival asking for the Holy Spirit The early in the latter rain is really coming from an agricultural standpoint the early rain refers to the the rain that comes right as the suit and the seed is planted root for it helps the seed germinates and then the latter rain comes later right before the harvest it helps to that plant to grow just before the sickle is taken to take the fruit from for the harvest the early rain was Pentecost and we're told that the latter rain is going to be even more powerful I want you to look at this quote from Maranatha it's devotional book by Ellen White page $220.00 commenting on the latter rain and I want you to notice that there's going to be a repetition of history the same as 2000 years ago unless we are daily advancing in the exemplification of the active Christian virtues we shall not recognize the manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the latter rain it may be falling on hearts all around us but we shall not discern or receive it let me read that last sentence again it may be falling on hearts all around us but we shall not discern or receive it the implication is evident just as the shepherds over 2000 years ago were able to witness the birth of Jesus Christ there were a whole group of people that were oblivious to the reality that the Son of God had been born and the same thing is going to happen in the end of time the latter rain the most powerful outpouring in the Holy Spirit ever manifested can be falling all around us and there may be people even in our church that look at this phenomena and say oh what is it. I don't understand it they don't recognize that this is the latter rain there is going to be a spiritual blindness in the end of time that is going to be manifest and by the grace of God friends I want to be in the number that recognize when God is moving upon this earth amen What a shame it was that there was a whole group of people of the Jewish population that missed the Son of God not because he hadn't given enough evidence but because their hearts were not ready to receive it what is the solution Revelation chapter 3 verse 18 the words of The Last Church Laodicea and we are to see your friends. To see it doesn't mean lukewarm it means a people judged and here is the promise to the last church right before the 2nd coming of Jesus I advise you and these are the words of Jesus to His Church I advise you to buy from me gold refined by fire and look at that last part and I sat to annoy your eyes so that you may see Jesus says I have the solution I have the i sound to give you spiritual vision so that you can discern spiritual things this song. Open our eyes Lord is really a prayer open our eyes Lord we want to see Jesus to reach out and touch him to say that we love him open our ears Lord and help us to listen open our eyes Lord we want to see Jesus Is that your desire today is see Jesus Christ stand with me as we prepare to close this morning about your heads every had bound nice clothes we want to make this appeal we make this appeal to each and every Sabbath. If there is someone here today that has not accepted Jesus Christ as your savior. And you want to make that decision you want Jesus to be born in your heart today and said Lord Jesus come into my heart. That appeal is still open friends one invite you just slip your hand up and say Lord Jesus come into my heart God bless you there's someone else who wants a lord when accept you as my savior God bless your internal decisions are being made here today you have not fully accept Jesus Christ Savior of your life and Lord and I say Lord I want except that provision for someone else. My 2nd appeal is this there's someone here today you have an area of your life that God is calling you to surrender. But it's a challenge and you need help friends we can't do this on arson fire selves and you want to say Lord on a lay this area of my life on the altar this area of my life. Is difficult. And I want to leave it on the altar before you today I want to invite you to come forward for a special prayer this morning won't you come Jesus Gretsch of the victory today and invite you to come forward if you want to say Lord I surrender this area of my life God bless you. Nothing in my hand I bring simply to the cross cycling we can't do this on our own friends if there is an area of your life that you are struggling with and you need Jesus to give you the strength to overcome one invite you to come forward a special prayer this morning Jesus saves a man Jesus saves he works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure he has all the power he has all the pardon. We just need to come. All to Jesus I surrender. The. Spirits you have as we pray our Father in heaven we thank you for the gift of your son the beauty of the Incarnation and you came down to earth guy for a sinful human race we thank you that you promised to give us that that we might see Lord help us not to be like the Jewish nation that missed the 1st coming of Jesus we pray that as your Holy Spirit is being poured out at the end of time that we would not be in that number that would be blind to the evidences of your Holy Spirit I pray for the people that have accepted Christ as Savior and Lord of their life we pray that you would seal their decision with the Holy Spirit I pray for the people that have come for today they have an area of their life that they are struggling to surrender and we pray that you would grant them the victory in Jesus Christ we thank you that you've already won the war that you are right now are high priest in heaven appropriate the appropriating the power of salvation to anyone that asks and we've come forward this morning asking pleading with you Help us Lord because we cannot help ourselves save us because we cannot save ourselves take our hearts because we cannot give it do for us what we are incapable of doing. Save us by your grace and by your spirit blasts a seal every person that's come forward this morning with your all the Spirit both are willing to do of you good pleasure we ask the sings in Jesus is precious name and for us. This media was brought to you by audio verse a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse if you would like to listen to more servant leader Visit W W W audio verse or.


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