Introduction Detlef Stegen
We thank the Lord for a wonderful time of grace that we can rejoice in. We greet everyone and wish you a blessed Christmas and may the Lord will be with you in a special way. Make Jesus yours more than ever before. Devote your life to Him more than ever before. If the Christ child had not come, we would have been lost in darkness and shame. Without Him there is no life. You will be dead within, serving yourself, hating, being a God-hater and hater of the gospel. Through Christ being among us, we are people. May this service be a blessing to you in whatever trials you may experience. Here is life, light and hope in abundance. It is ready for you to accept and enjoy with Jesus your Saviour.
We do not know how many Christmases we can still enjoy but how glad we are that once a year we can express our joy. We are thankful to governments, nations and kings that still allow us the privilege of enjoying this festive season. May those nations be blessed because light will shine out and the seeds of the gospel will grow in those nations.
We thank the Lord for old and young whom the Lord has used and called. These are wonderful times. God reaches out to every individual. Accept what the Lord has for you today.
Today we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ on earth. I read this event in the gospels. The more you read the more you realise that you will probably never grasp the full extent of this event. Our small minds cannot grasp it. As I studied this topic, I seemed to be diving into an ocean without any depth. You cannot comprehend the detail. May God reveal to each one what we must understand. I do not feel adequate to explain but if God speaks to us, we will understand. If we understand, we will see life differently.
Christ is the King of kings and the Lord of lords who created the universe. He spoke and the universe came about. He created you and me. This One to whom all power is given became a person. He came down from His glory and became equal to you and me in flesh. From His glory He became like us. He had the same body, same emotions, same difficulties, same needs. He did this for our sakes. How is such a thing possible? God saw it fit to be equal to us. Can we grasp this? If we can, it must change our lives.
I read about a man who wanted to write a book about a certain tribe. He wanted to study them to write an accurate account. He spent time making himself like one of them. He changed his hair and skin to be like them and live among them. What a sacrifice. He gave his life for this purpose. How much more God who from His glory came to us - for His purpose, for us and what He wants from us.
How did He come? If you study how He did it, we should learn from that. How sad would it be if that purpose is not met in our lives. If, after everything, Christ’s coming does not fulfil the purpose in our lives. How will we ever be able to stand before Him?
“What a great day it was when Jesus came into our world for our sake. He came to set us free from our sins. His flesh was as our flesh so that he could save us.” Rev EH Stegen
This fact is referred to throughout the Bible. It was such a great event the whole Bible speaks of it.
5Let this same attitude and purpose and [humble] mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus: [Let Him be your example in humility:] 6 Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, 7But stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being. 8And after He had appeared in human form, He abased and humbled Himself [still further] and carried His obedience to the extreme of death, even the death of the cross! Philippians 2:5-8 (AMPC)
He was stripped of everything that made Him God. He lost equality with God. He gave up everything. Abased means to be humiliated, stripped of honour, debased. This must be the biggest humiliation in the universe. This very fact should stir us like never before. Just knowing this should change our lives. We need to give our lives 100% to Him. Only a part of our lives will not be enough, 99% will not be enough. How will we stand before God who gave His life? How will we explain that there was something in our lives we could not give up? Our lives would be different if we understood this. If God opens our eyes to something, let us be obedient. Are our lives examples of humility? If not, we do not follow His example and the purpose for His coming has not been met. When Jesus came, He came in fulness. He was prepared to be born as a baby. This is significant. He was the lowest of the lowest. He grew up as a child. No matter what your age is, Jesus walked the earth at your age. Jesus was a child but without sin. Do not think you are too young to serve the Lord? Do we follow Christ’s example in humility?
If you want revival pray to become nothing, then God can work. Rev EH Stegen
There is no grace if you still see yourself better than others. Rev EH Stegen
If we want God to work through us, we need to have His humility. Christ was prepared to be humiliated for us. At times we are ashamed to say we are Christians. We are ashamed to pray in a restaurant. Christ was humiliated for us. We sin if we are ashamed of Him. We must not be unwise, yes, but there is a difference between being wise and ashamed. We need to speak when prompted.
Jesus came to earth to show us his love.
16For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten (unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. John 3:16 (AMPC)
Adam was created by God, but he was not God’s son, and he had no parents. Adam and Eve brought sin into the world. God sent Jesus, not as His creation but His son. It is far bigger and greater to send your own son. Adam represents the sinful nature, a person trying to do something on his own, but Jesus the Son comes to free us from that. Adam is our sinful nature, but Jesus is to trust in, cling to hold on, rely on. He came so that we can rely on Him and not ourselves. Do we still want to do things our way, we always know better, or do we rely on Christ? If you cannot rely on Christ in everything you do, the purpose for His coming has not been met.
He came to fulfil His promises.
14 Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, the young woman who is unmarried and a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel [God with us]. Isaiah 7:14
In the OT God promised through the prophets that He would send His son. He did. Our God keeps His promises. You may sometimes feel that it is all a waste, it does not work, but today, our God keeps His promises. Every one of them. He promised and He sent His son. We must hold onto His promises. We let God down, not Him us.
I remember telling Rev Stegen once that some days are difficult, not all. He said to me that in those days I need to put my emotions aside and hold onto God’s promises. There are times when we need to hold onto God’s promises. We must do our part. We must keep our lives clean, do His will and do what we must do but God will keep His promises. If you pray and He gives you a word, hold onto it. Jesus came to save us from our sins. Emmanual means God with us. When He sent His son, God was with us. Even now, it is a promise that God will be with us.
21 She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Saviour], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]. Matthew 1:21 AMPC
Has this purpose been met in our lives? He came to take us out of sin. Has this happened? Are we still living in sin? Has the Christ child done His work in your life? Is it your aim not to sin? You will make mistakes. There are times when you must make things right. Is it your heart’s desire to do this less and less. Do you ask the Lord to help you when you face situations? Is it something you are aware of that you should not do? He came to save us from sin. If we are still busy with sin, then His purpose has not been fulfilled, His purpose has not been met. People do not like talking about sin, they prefer talking about grace and forgiveness. But if we continue sinning, we reject that grace. It will be our own fault.
“My business is not to do miracles, to preach the gospel or to save souls but to do His will. And I know His will for me is that there is nothing between Him and me, that the relationship with Him is unbroken.” Rev EH Stegen
Is this our desire? Lord, I want it to be unbroken. I remember a story of a preacher. Before he went to sleep, he prayed a long prayer. His roommates noticed this. They went to bed late and woke up early. They watched him. When he came in so late, did he pray like he always did? On a specific day, he was very busy. He would not be able to pray a long prayer they thought. They watched him. He prayed softly and they could hear. On his knees he said, “Lord, there’s nothing between me and You. Amen” He went to sleep. There was nothing between him and his God. Can you pray such a prayer? He came to save me from my sins. Has that happened?
Jesus was born of a virgin, Mary. I wonder what Joseph thought the first time he realised what was happening.
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place under these circumstances: When His mother Mary had been promised in marriage to Joseph, before they came together, she was found to be pregnant [through the power] of the Holy Spirit. 19 And her [promised] husband Joseph, being a just and upright man and not willing to expose her publicly and to shame and disgrace her, decided to repudiate and dismiss (divorce) her quietly and secretly. 20 But as he was thinking this over, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary [as] your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of (from, out of) the Holy Spirit. Matt 1:18-20
I wonder what went through his mind. He was upright and she was upright and now this. His world must have come to an end. As he thought and prayed about it, asking the Lord with an open mind, God spoke to him. An angel appeared to him and told him of God’s plan and because he was on the station, what he thought was terrible turned out to be wonderful. If we serve God faithfully, we must reckon with Him. Even if things look bleak, even if it looks like the end of the world and you think you will never get out of the mess, if you are in tune with Him, He is in control.
We are in danger of missing out on the Lord Jesus, if we focus on our own problems, bitterness and disappointments - feeling we have been wronged and focusing on that. Rev EH Stegen
Joseph was disappointed. We will miss out on God’s working if we have this attitude. If we give up hope in that situation, we will miss out unless He shows us.
Another reason why Jesus came is that we can praise Him. Do we do it enough? We owe everything to Him. We do not praise and thank Him enough. Great joy. Is that joy still with us? Serving God with the joy I had the first day I met Him. He came to bring us joy. Is there joy when I read my Bible and when God speaks. Do I still overflow with joy? He has come to bring us joy.
A member of the Supreme Court of America for 30 years one day said that he would have become a preacher but when he looked at the preachers, they were more like undertakers, so he decided to do something else. Do you children see the joy in you? Do those around you see your joy? Our children must see the joy in doing things and serving Christ. Do you still have that joy?
He came to bring light into a dark world. Are you a light? In the dark area where you live, do people say you are the light? You are something different.
14 Glory to God in the highest [heaven], and on earth peace among men with whom He is well pleased [men of goodwill, of His favour]. Luke 2:14 (AMPC) Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.
Do you have that peace? He came to bring peace. Peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased. Do we have this peace? God might not be pleased with my life, that is why I do not have that peace. Jesus has come to heal the sick and there are many more reasons.
Some things were difficult when Jesus came. He experienced opposition. Herod killed the infants and His parents had to flee. There are times when we also need to flee. Think about it. Read about it.
Has God’s purpose for sending His Son been met in my life? If not, sort it out. If you know there is something, do not hesitate. You will never look back.
God has done much for us. He has shown us the way. He has sent His son. We have received much.
Like Herod, Satan is not pleased about the birth of Jesus in you. As the king wanted to kill Jesus, the devil will want to kill Jesus in your heart. Be on your guard. EH Stegen
That which we have received and experienced and that which God has shown us, we should guard with all our heart and strength. What God has shown us through this work, let us guard with all we have because the devil will try and destroy it.
Has the purpose for which Jesus came to this earth been met in our lives? Be prayerful before the Lord, be obedient. Then we look forward to an event that will be bigger than this one - when Christ returns.
Conclusion Detlef Stegen
If you let go of this Christ child, you will be swallowed by the enemies’ plans and God’s plan will not be fulfilled in your life. Deny yourself day by day. Cry to Him that His will can take place in your life. We may not miss out. We have no choice. Christ has come to you, what is your response?