Christmas Is For Presence by Nelson Price

12/11/83

CHRISTMAS IS FOR PRESENCE
LUKE 1: 26 - 31

JESUS CHRIST was spoken of by Paul when he wrote: "Thanks be
unto God for His unspeakable gift..." (II Cor. 9:15).
The gift is indescribable, inexpressible, marvelous, and
wonderful. It is Jesus Christ.
A gift is an expression of the giver's heart. The recipient gets
it but not because it is earned, merited, or deserved. It is
simply an expression of the loving heart of the giver.
The gift is Jesus. His name evidences the scope of the gift.
Jesus means "Jehovah is salvation." Thus, in the end, the gift
is salvation.
Suppose God had said you can purchase your salvation. That would
have left out millions who are too poor to buy their salvation.
Suppose He had said be good enough or do good enough deeds and
you can merit your salvation. Who could have done that much good
or behaved that well.
Suppose He had said if you will be sufficient penance, or suffer
enough, you can deserve your salvation. Some having a clouded
understanding of just how far their sins had separated them from
God might perform sufficiently.
Instead, God said, "I will give you salvation if you will
receive it as a gift."
SPECIAL DELIVERY FOR ZACHARIAS (Luke 1: 5-25)
Zacharias and his wife lived in a little hillside town near
Jerusalem where he served as a priest in the temple.
An angel appeared to him and told him his wife Elizabeth would
have a child.
Vs. 18, Zacharias' understanding of nature prompted him to doubt
and question: "How can I know this is true? I am an old man
myself, and my wife is getting on in year..."
He was so alarmed the angel said, "Fear not..." Why should he
not have been terrorized? "Thy prayers have been answered."
Because of his doubt, his lips were sealed by the Lord until the
birth of his son, John the Baptist. Then he began to praise the
Lord.
To some, faith comes after hesitation. When it does come, then
comes praise.
PERSON TO PERSON FOR MARY (Luke 1: 26-55)
Parental arrangements for marriage were made for children at
very young age. This was engagement. As they approached
marriageable age, they entered into a one year period of
betrothal. During this time they lived apart but legally they
were committed. Unfaithfulness during this time was punishable
by death.
Six months after visiting Zacharias, Gabriel was sent to
Nazareth with a message for a teenage girl, Mary.
Mary was frightened and the angel said, "Fear not..."
...


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