by Roger Thomas

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The Christmas Conspiracy (20 of 20)
Series: Forever Living in A Whatever World
Roger Thomas
Philippians 4:20-23

On the surface, the three little verses with which Philippians closes seem simple enough. Letters customarily ended with a final farewell. However, tucked away in the words are some clues to something much bigger. I call it the Christmas Conspiracy. A conspiracy is a plan, often secret or unknown, that over time brings together many events toward a common goal. The Christmas Story was just that--a divine plan initiated long before and ultimately coming together in a manger in Bethlehem.

Today we come to our final look at the little New Testament book of Philippians. We began our passage-by-passage journey through Philippians five months ago. In this final message, I want to review where we've been and build a bridge to Christmas.

Jesus said the kingdom of God is like yeast. Yeast starts out as a tiny speck. At first, the difference is almost invisible. But just wait. It doesn't take much, Jesus said. Just a little yeast can leaven the whole batch of dough. Jesus said the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed. It is so small and insignificant that you might be tempted to dismiss it. But just wait until that tiny seed sprouts and begins to grow.

Christmas began small. For most, Jesus' birth was insignificant. He was born in a stable. They didn't even have room for him in the inn. His mother was young and poor. She and her husband had traveled a hundred miles on foot over rough mountain roads to get to Bethlehem. They hadn't wanted to make a trip. But laws are laws. Who are to two poor Galileans with a baby on the way to argue with a decree from the Roman Caesar? What Caesar wants Caesar gets!

Bethlehem was a small town, just a wide spot in the road six miles from Jerusalem. But even in a small town where everybody knows everybody, a baby can go unnoticed. So that night in a stable out back of an inn, a young ...

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