Luke 3:1 – 6
(Ill.) A young boy named Roy was sick with the measles. His uncle came to cheer him up and told him the story of Pinocchio. The boy was so absorbed with the story, it's characters, and details that he forgot he was sick.
Laster the boy saw the Disney movie, “Pinocchio” and was disappointed. He explained, “It didn't seems as exciting as when Uncle Walt told it.”
******When God tells us the Christmas story, it comes alive.*****
I. Something happens to a person when God speaks to them.
A. Notice John's reaction:
1. He recognized who was speaking.
a. We often hear and see what we expect or want to hear and see.
b. The heart attitude interprets our experience.
2. He responded to who was speaking.
a. John when preaching, in other words, he changed what he was doing.
b. John felt the burden of a message to pass on.
B. Christmas requires a response.
1. God wants to forgive your sin.
a. God has taken th initiative in this process.
1.) John “the Baptist” prepared the way.
a.) He got people thinking about their sin/need for salvation.
b.) He pointed out “the Lamb of God.”
2.) Jesus came as a baby.
a.) Vulnerable... King Herod attempted to kill Jesus.
b.) Humble... nor born into wealth or privilage.
b. God invites us into a relationship with Him.
1.) This invitation is based on God's love for us.
a.) So we can learn to love God back.
b.) So we can learn to trust God.
2.) This invitation is based on God's initiative.
a.) So we can respond to God and participate in salvation.
b.) So we can experience the new birth and life.
(Ill.) When Diane was six years old, she came home from school and looked at here Dad. She asked, “Are you Walt Disney?” The dad chuckled and said, “you know I am.” She looked up set, “No, I mean are you THE Walt Disney?” Dad answered, “Yes, I guess I am, Why?” Diane asked, “Could I have your autograph?”
II. Something happens to a person when God interrupts life.
A. John became part of the promise.
1. God told us about John's role through the prophet Isaiah.
a. The prophecy is from Isaiah 40:3 – 5.
b. This is a prophecy of comfort and tenderness.
“Comfort, comfort my people,says your God.  Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed, that her sin has been paid for, that she has received from the LORD's hand double for all her sins.” [Isaiah 40:1 – 2]
c. This prophecy is about sins being paid for... by Jesus.
2. John's birth is as remarkable as his call.
a. An angel announced the birth to Zechariah (Luke 1:5 – 25)
b. Zechariah and Elizabeth were old.
c. Zechariah was unable to speak until John was born and named.
B. What happens when God interprets our lives?
1. When God speaks/takes the initiative choices MUST be made.
a. What about sin?
1.) Something that must be repented of...?
2.) Something that must be done differently...?
b. What about life?
1.) For John it meant a life mission to carry the message.
2.) When they encountered Jesus, the disciples were given a life mission.
2. When God speaks/takes the initiative do we even notice?
a. We get what we focus on.
b. We shift attention to where we focus.
1.) Some of us will not respond to God because we will not hear God.
2.) Response is a matter of the heart’s desire and mind’s perspective.
3. God’s desire is for us to have joy, peace, and His good will.
If you want to have the Christmas story come alive and want to hear God tell it to you… TO DO:
1. Let the story of Christmas sink down deep into your soul.
2. Let the real meaning of Christmas excite you and energize you.
3. Let the message of Christmas bubble from our lips in joy.