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Hope (3 of 5)
Series: Christmas Words
Christmas words. Well, when Jesus was born, hope was born into this world. I think it's difficult for us to comprehend how hopeless the world was before the first Christmas. You know, Israel had about lost her faith. The Jews were under the iron boot of Rome. Their leaders were corrupt. Their worship was empty and sterile. The people were discouraged. It seemed that though God had promised the Messiah, for 400 years there had been no prophet. Since Malachi had spoken there had been no prophet. It seemed like the heavens were silent. All the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah were so long ago that their words were almost forgotten. It was a world without hope. It seemed to be a hopeless world politically, a hopeless world because 2/3 of the world were actually slaves. So this is the kind of world into which Jesus was born. But you know that the Bible says in the fullness of time God sent forth His Son. When Christ was born, hope was born. It's my prayer that during Christmas season this year that you and I can really experience the hope that Christmas is, the hope that Christ brings to life, the hope the He brings to every situation, no matter how hopeless it may be.
In Luke 1 verse 30 you have the visit of the angel to Mary. As the angel comes to Mary to announce to her that she will have a Son. Notice the verse at the top of your outline. ''But the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.''' Now once again are the words - do not be afraid. A great part of the Christmas message are the words fear not because the world was in fear. People were living in fear. Fear gripped the hearts of people. The angels said, ''Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God.'' Now, favor with God is the concept of grace. You remember the Bible says that Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Well, favor with God is the same as grace with God. Mary found favor with God, ...
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