Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Luke 2:8 – 20
The Power of a Breakthrough

Charles Kuralt reported that the Livermore CA Fire department had a light bulb that was turned on in 1901 and seldom turned off. If it was an ordinary light bulb it would have burned out 852 times. However, this one was made by the Shelby Electric Company. The Shelby Electric Company went out of business because they made light bulbs the last. Nobody ever needed a new one!

Wouldn’t it be BREAKTHROUGH to have a spiritual experience that would satisfy every past, present, and future spiritual need?

Let me share one with you.

I. God broke through our human problems.

A. God broke through the doubt and fear.

1. “Do not be afraid.” (Any rational person would be terrified.)

2. Fear comes from what we think are bad possibilities.

3. Fear comes from uncertainty and lack of trust.

4. Fear is based on experience and wrong information. (Past angelic visitations required the person to do something extraordinary and were often seen as divine visitations that lead to death.)

B. God broke through the depression and monotony.

1. The “daily grind” and the “boredom” can be get to us.

2. The holiday season is a prime time for depression.

3. Some suffer self-inflicted stupidity, we chose to be miserable.

4. There are circumstances beyond our control which begin to control us.

5. The Christmas message is “good news of great joy.”

C. God broke through our lostness.

1. God provided a “Savior” because we need one. It is a delusion to think we can have “peace on earth” by ourselves.

a. Remember when the President was sending troops to Bosnia for “a year?” (They are still there.)

b. Remember the multitude of peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians?

c. Remember the “War to end all wars?” (We now call it World War I)

2. It is about time someone said, “duh.” We cannot create our own Utopia.

3. It is time we recognize our need for God. Jesus is the only way.

II. The shepherd’s action broke through to eternal change.

A. They had a break through of RECOGNIZING.

1. They recognized something was happening.

a. Recognizing God at work may be the most difficult part.

b. We have so many rational and natural explanations that it can become difficult to recognize God at work.

2. They recognized God at work... “which the Lord has told us about.”

a. They could have said, “that was just a natural thing easily explained by chance and time.” (The evolution argument.)

b. They could have said, “its just a coincidence.” (The “no God” argument.)

3. They recognized that there must be an appropriate response.

a. The message was for them (not someone else).

b. The message carried responsibility for them (not someone else).

B. They had a break though in DOING.

1. Three levels of “spirituality.”

a. knowing

b. doing

c. being

2. The hardest is to break the barrier of getting the body moving.

a. Deciding is important...

b. “Once the feet are set right, all will be right.” (C.S. Lewis “Chronicles of Narnia)

C. They had a break through in SHARING.

1. “They spread the word.”

2. This news was for “all” not just for them.

3. The broke custom and told others.

***** Do we really believe something if we don’t talk about it? We talk about what we believe in and what motivates us. *****

III. Today WE can break through the same way.

A. RECOGNIZE that God wants to break through in our lives.

B. RESPOND to God.

C. REACH out to others.

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