The Next Day after Christmas

Luke 2:20
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

I enjoy the Christmas season because it seems as though many more people are actually thinking about Christ.

Oh, they may be thinking of a babe in a manger but at least their thinking about Jesus.

People do a lot of travelling to spend time with relatives and friends at Christmas time.

And even in 2011 people will attend a church service who will not attend at any other time of the year.

Maybe that first Christmas WAS something like what we see today!

They had the angels singing, so the air was filled with Christmas music.

They had the shepherds visiting, kind of like local friends dropping by.

And they had the Wise men coming in from out of town, they did not make it in time for Christmas, but they got there for the same reason a couple of years later!

Kind of like when we go to visit family in other cities, and we don’t get there for Christmas, but we do show up around that time of year!

But let me point out to you an interesting little note!

Luke 2:20
“And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.”

Note that after the shepherds visited and saw the babe in the manger they returned.

In fact, if you think about it, for most everybody, life got back to normal after that first Christmas day!

The shepherds returned to their flocks; the angels silenced their singing. The Wise Men made the long trip BACK HOME. And it seems like everybody forgot about that Holy Night!

So much so, that we do not even know for sure what day Christ was really born!

The shepherds returned as did everybody else, ALL EXCEPT MARY AND JOSEPH!

When Christmas is over this year, will you simply return to life as normal, perhaps praising God for the chance to celebrate Christmas, but really, none different than you were before?

The reason for the season seems to fade quickly into another new year and beyond.

Mary and Joseph had their lives radically changed by Christmas.

All of us who have had children know that bringing a baby into the world drastically changes the lives of Dad and Mom.

It changes their lives from the day of the birth of that child forever.

A person can never be the same after they have had a child born into their family!

Many will come for a visit when a baby is born.

They may visit in the hospital or in the home.

They may even bring a gift.

They all want to hold the darling and uh and ah over it.

But soon everyone is gone and the parents are left alone to raise the child.

I wonder what it will be like for us this Christmas.

Will we pause for Christmas and then go back to life as it was before Christmas or will this be a life changing season for us?

• MARY AND JOSEPH NEVER DID RETURN FROM SEEING JESUS!

That Christmas night when they first saw Jesus,
was for them only the beginning! From that moment until Jesus became a man they saw Him daily.

When you turn in repentance and faith to the Lord Jesus Christ you are radically changed and you have the rest of your life and all of eternity to spend with Jesus your Saviour.

Mark 1:15
“And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.”

May be you have gone through many Christmas’ not believing the gospel.
It is time for you to repent and receive Christ as your Saviour.

Acts 20:21
“Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Repentance takes place when you see yourself as a sinner in need of a Saviour and you turn to the Lord Jesus as your only hope of salvation.

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

John 3:17
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.”

John 1:12
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name:”

John 6:47
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”

John 20:30
“And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book:

John 20:31
But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”

Mary and Joseph did not leave Jesus in Bethlehem; they took Jesus home with them.
They were warned by the angel of the Lord of danger and they took Jesus down into Egypt.

Matthew 2:13
“And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

Matthew 2:14
When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:”

In the Bible Egypt is a type of the world.

When you get saved you take Jesus into the world with you.

Colossians 1:27
“To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:”

When you get saved you have Christ living in you and wherever you go you take Him with you.

You cannot escape living in the world and sometimes living in places that are not good for you.

You can live for the Lord Jesus anywhere in the world.

The Bible says:

1 John 2:15
“Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1 John 2:16
For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

1 John 2:17
And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

You can love Jesus instead of this world and what it has to offer.

John 14:15
“If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

All you need to do to show your love for Jesus is do what He tells you to do.

Mary and Joseph also moved to Nazareth but they never moved anywhere without Jesus.

Now there was a time when Mary and Joseph left Jesus behind in Jerusalem and did not miss Him for awhile.

• They lost Jesus at the Temple

You cannot lose Jesus in the sense of losing your salvation but you can get away from the Lord and that is called backsliding.

Proverbs 14:14
“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.”

You can attend church faithfully, read your Bible daily, pray daily, and involve yourself in ministry and still get backslid; cold and indifferent to the things of the Lord.

A man was asked, “Do you believe the two biggest problems in the church are ignorance and indifference?”

The man replied, “I do not know and I do not care!”

Proverbs 14:14
“The backslider in heart shall be filled with his own ways: and a good man [shall be satisfied] from himself.”

Notice that a backslider is filled with his own ways.

That is a self centered life that is consumed with self; that is a life that is focused only on self.

ME FIRST! YOU LAST!

In Exodus chapter 20 God gave to Moses what we call the Ten Commandments but in the New Testament the Lord summed them up in Two Commandments.

Matthew 22:37
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

Matthew 22:38
This is the first and great commandment.

The first 4 commandments are all about man’s love for God.

Matthew 22:39
And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Matthew 22:40
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

The last six commandments are all about man’s responsibility to man.

There is nothing in the Ten Commandments about self-serving.

Perhaps we could conclude that we have gotten away from the Lord (we are backslidden) when our focus turns inward.

When we ourselves become more important and more of the focus than God or others we are backslid.

Sins are committed for self pleasure and victory over sin is ours when we are living our life for God and others.

1 Corinthians 8:3
“But if any man love God, the same is known of him.”

When someone truly loves God it will be seen in their actions and heard form their lips.

It is not something that they will need to tell you.

Philippians 2:3
“[Let] nothing [be done] through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.”

When God is loved by an individual it will also be seen in their actions towards others.

The Christian life is a life of putting God first by giving yourself to minister to others.

• They lost Jesus at the Temple

• They lost Jesus…Jesus did not lose them

John 14:6
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”

The life of Jesus is eternal life and He paid a great price to make that eternal life available to mankind.

1 Peter 3:18
“For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:”

1 Peter 2:24
“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

On the cross of Calvary the Lord said “It is finished” and that was the conclusion of the debt owed by mankind.

2 Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:18
And all things [are] of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

2 Corinthians 5:19
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech [you] by us: we pray [you] in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:21
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

Man’s debt of sin was fully paid by the Lord Jesus Christ and He now offers eternal life to all who will receive Him to be their Saviour.

John 3:15
“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

• They lost Jesus…Jesus did not lose them

• They did not notice that Jesus was missing for almost three days

Again, I say that you cannot lose your salvation but you can get backslid.

A peculiar thing about backsliding is how slow and gradual the movement away from God is and how unnoticed is its actions.

You can get up every morning read your Bible and pray, attend every church service, work in the ministry, and be indifferent to things of God on the inside.

Backsliding happens gradually and when you finally realize that it has happened to you; you look up with amazement at how far you have gone away from God.

What you now realize is you are not reading your Bible and praying every day; in fact, you do not remember the last time you read your Bible or seriously prayed about anything.

You may or may not be still in church but you have probably quit serving.

You probably used the excuse that you needed a break or you just did not have time for your family.

Of course those were lies but you had convinced yourself that was a need.

You might notice that your excuses are focused on self and that is the problem.

We must die daily and do a self examination daily.

1 Corinthians 15:31
“I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.”

Psalms 139:23
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:

Psalms 139:24
And see if [there be any] wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”

They lost Jesus…Jesus did not lose them

They did not notice that Jesus was missing for almost three days

• They found Jesus exactly where they lost Him

The problem a backslider has is how do I get going again serving the Lord and others?

You go back to where you got off track and start again.

Someone may say, “Do I need to re-dedicate my life to the Lord?”

I am not exactly sure why we want to get hung up in unscriptural terminology but you can call it anything you want to call it.

• Confess and Forsake Sin

1 John 1:9
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Proverbs 28:13
“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh [them] shall have mercy.”

You just need to get back to reading your Bible and praying with the intent of loving God and loving others.

Pay attention to what you read in your Bible and ask God to speak to you before you begin reading.

Spend your prayer time praying for others; Prayer is a time when you can just forget about self.

Get back in church faithfully; Sit up and pay attention, take notes, do something to make sure you listen to the message.
Do the right thing and do not worry about getting a feeling.

• The Next Day after Christmas

Millions of people celebrate Christmas but the day after or soon following Christmas and Christ are forgotten.

People go back to life as usual. Mary and Joseph nurtured their relationship with the Lord Jesus, Will you?

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