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Fit for a King - Our Proclamation; Go Tell It On the Mountain

Sermon Series:

Fit for a King

Bob Hudberg
Bob Hudberg

Care Pastor

Peace Church

Main Passage:
Luke 2:16-20


Well, good morning, Peace Church. Oh, that was so bad. Good morning, Peace Church. That was much better. We're so glad. I am PB. I'm the care pastor here. Get the opportunity to preach today, which is really wonderful for me. I hope it is for you, too. But this is the last day of 2023. And for some of you, it's been a really tough year. A lot of disappointments, a lot of anxiety, a lot of things that have happened in your life. For some of you, you've had a life full of joy. There hasn't been a whole lot going on.


You've all had a variety of responses in your life. But what I do know is this, that God knew exactly what was going to happen as Pastor John prayed. God knew exactly what was going to happen in each one of our lives, and we want to give him an offering today of what he did for us, in us, and with us last year. So let's give him a praise offering this morning, shall we? Come on. Come on. There you go. All right. You know, some of you clap louder at Detroit Lion Games than this one. Not last night though, we won't go there.


So I know that for all of us here, if we would start on this side and work our way around and everybody just give one praise report, how incredible would that be? Right? Just hearing how God had worked. We don't have time for that. I tried to calculate in my head. It would be like 12 hours and 39 minutes, but so we won't do that today. But anyway, I am amazed at how God has worked.


And today we come to a conclusion for this series on Fit for a King. And understanding not only the gold, the frankincense and the myrrh and all the things that are around it and the other passengers did an incredible job but today We get to celebrate the king of kings and the Lord of Lords This holiday season and so it's a rare privilege that we can have this morning To be able to do that, but I will tell you I'm I'm always amazed at my responses now Usually I'm kind of this outgoing. Let's just be loud kind of guy. If some of you haven't realized it, I am that way.


But like when I got my first red Huffy bike. Now that's not the exact bike, but that's what it looked like. And I have to tell you that my mom and dad, there were seven kids in our family. through a lot, but they traded in S&H green stamps in order to get that bike for me. Now those of you under 50 don't have a clue what I'm talking about. How many remember S&H green stamps? Oh yeah, look at here. All right, good job. So anyway, S&H green stamps bought me my first bike and I was absolutely elated. You can imagine what it must have been like.


But there were other times in my life that I had certain responses, like in eighth grade, I tried out for the all boys choir in Saginaw and I made it. I was a soprano. Yeah, well, I can hit those high notes, but I was excited about it. But my friends at school in the eighth grade, they were going like, you're just weird. Why would you want to be in an all-boys choir? I said because I get to sing Okay, whatever or When I had practiced as best I could I Wanted to be first chair trumpet in senior high school and I practice and I practice and I practice And mr. Jensen came to me and says Bob. I can tell that you've practiced a lot and I appreciate that. And I'm thinking this is going to be good. And you have next to last chair. Yeah. My heart was broken. I thought all those other guys are that much better? And there were 12 of us who were in the trumpet section. Yeah, they were better.


Or some of you maybe heard a report this year of something going on physically and it was worse than what you had anticipated. Or you experienced the birth of your first child or another child or your first grandchild. How many young ladies and gentlemen have gotten engaged this last year? Anybody here this last year? Raise your hand Anybody anybody is there someone? Oh, there we are. There you go. Congratulations. Yeah, let's come around applause Good job. Congratulations And you know the excitement that hands with engagement especially for the girl, you know, she doesn't walk around like this going Okay. Yeah, I got engaged. No, you know what they do hello hello do you see my ring and you're so proud of it which they should be it's an incredible time the emotion that comes with that or I will tell you the very first time I saw my bride she didn't know she was going to be my bride but the very first time I saw my bride I was filled with absolute excitement and I knew that this was going to marry. She didn't feel the same way. But someday I'll tell you the rest of the story. But you get the idea, right?


You all could go through some events that you have had different responses to in your life. Some very good and others very hard and very difficult. And some filled with incredible disappointment. And I've realized that each event, whether it's with people or circumstances, is related to what my expectations were and how much I wanted something. Sometimes we experience something that we've had no expectation for, and others it's almost like we've been expecting this all along. And so today, as we close this series on Fit for a King, we're going to see two different people. One is an individual, another is a group. And wait to see the different responses to the same scenario.


 So if you have your Bibles this morning, I invite you to turn to Luke chapter 2, verses 16 through 20. It's on page 1090, if you have a pew Bible. And by the way, if you have a pew Bible or you need a Bible, we'd be more than happy to give you that pew Bible as a gift to you this year, because we want you to know that you need to read the word in order to understand the word, in order to grow in the word, in order to love God more. So the verse will be up on the screen. Follow along as I read this morning.


Luke 2:16-20

16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.


Let's pray together and father one more time. We read this incredible story of the birth of your son Jesus The babe lying in the manger who would someday become our Savior on the cross to die for our sins Thank you for this reminder. And Father, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart and the words that I prepared today be honoring in your sight. May your word touch and transform our hearts today. And it's in Jesus’ name I pray and all God's people said, Amen.


This Christmas story is one that has become very old hat, if I can use that phrase for us. I've heard the story for over 70 years and I think sometimes when we hear it again and again and again that's like, yeah, I got that. But I think what we have missed in many of times, and probably for me, too, is that there are some deeper meanings and deeper things that God wants to reveal to us today. And not because it's mine or because I feel like it's what God gave me, but because it's the Word of God and what he wants us to be able to understand about his Word today, that all of the Word of God is important, no matter how many times we read it, that it's valuable that we look at the word with eyes and ears open and ready to hear what it is that God has for us. And so today I want to give you a main idea.


Our response to Christ is reflected in our relationship to Him.


Our response to Christ is reflected in our relationship to him. I've been married for almost 50 years and it's amazing to see that sometimes this hasn't happened very many times in our lives, more than I'd like to count, but when I have been upset with my bride or she has been upset with me and because of our relationship, we stick together, but we stick together in separate rooms. We don't talk to one another. We don't deal with it. In fact, honestly, one time, this is I always say this in a premarital. This is not a very good thing to do. You need to deal with a situation that happens and deal with it fast. OK, but because of my relationship with her and it was an issue that we were dealing with, I decided that I didn't really want to deal with this. And she looked at me like, really? Well, in my mind, I'm thinking that she's going to forget about it. You know, guys, your wives never forget ever anything. Thursday morning comes around. She said, I'm ready to talk about it. And I'm thinking, I forgot what we were going to talk about. But because of my relationship with her, it determined my response to her. And we obviously worked it out, but it's not a very wise thing to give that much time.


Our response to Christ is reflected in our relationship to Him. Do you notice that what I didn't say was our response to Christ is reflected in how often we go to church? Or how much we give in the offering or how much we serve. It's our relationship with Christ. Can you do me a favor this morning before we look thoroughly into the word here? Can you do me a favor and just kind of think back to that moment, that moment when you knew you needed to trust Christ as Savior and Lord, that moment when just either your world was breaking apart or that something was happening and you just realized I need to trust Christ as my Savior.


I was eight. I remember sitting at the church that we were going to. The pastor talked about heaven and hell. I said to my dad after the service, I, I need to accept Christ. I prayed to accept Christ today. And I will tell you what happened. I had fire insurance that day, but it wasn't a relationship. It wasn't until I was 18 years old that I really began my relationship with him to make him Lord and Savior of my life. What about you? When did it happen for you? What was that moment in your life when you knew it's more about a relationship with him than it is about going to church? Going to church doesn't cut it, folks, when you stand before God someday, you can't say, I spent all my time going to Peace Church and it was so wonderful. I imagine God will say in PB's vernacular, so what? Who cares? But see, it's our relationship to Christ that affects our response.


And so there are two responses today.

1.     Mary, the mother, pondered

2.     The shepherds, proclaimed


1. Mary, the mother, pondered

So let's look at Mary the mother the pondering mother here. She was Mary Thinking about all that has happened in her life all the circumstances that have come into her life at this point Whether it was the angel Gabriel coming to her announcing that she was going to give birth to Messiah or seeing her cousin Elizabeth or realizing that she was living in this town of Nazareth, which was a really small town. And she was with child. Imagine that people were talking about her or that Caesar or had, had given the decree that everybody would move to their To their hometown and that meant Joseph going to Bethlehem all these things and then riding nine months pregnant On a donkey. I can't imagine what that must have been like here She was at this point and then no room in the end and you know the story you know what's happening and they had to go to this place where there was a manger and A baby was wrapped in swaddling clothes.


Well, which was not a big deal But a baby in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger? That was huge. And then all of a sudden shepherds are coming in to where they're at. Can you imagine what Mary must have been thinking? lot of things in my life to make this happen right now. And she began to ponder. And it means that she treasured these things. In fact, treasured is only used four times in the New Testament and pondered is used six times. And I don't very rarely use the word ponder. In fact, this message, the only time I've ever used the word ponder. It just means to hold tight and go back and forth and think about it on a regular basis, ruminating about it, meditating on it, and thinking about it.


And here she was, rehearsing the events of her life at this point, and she kept them to herself. Thinking about all the wonderful and yet hard things that she had experienced. I imagine for some of you today you're looking back at your own life and you're thinking, wow, I've had a lot of things like that happen in my life too. God's worked in some amazing ways in your life and in my life to get us where we're at. Today, you were meant to be here today on purpose. God designed that. And He knew because you are valuable to Him and important to Him. Mary pondered. She took these things and put them in her heart and held them tightly. How many times do we take time to ponder and think and treasure those things? How many times do we look back and we almost always, almost always look at the present and the present just overwhelms us that we forget to look back to the past to see where God was and what he did in the past for us. Because if we can look back to our past, we can understand the value of the present.


What we learned in the past will help us in the present. Mary saw God work an incredible way in her past and now she's at the present time holding baby Jesus in her arms. Hopefully you're holding Him in your life and you're saying, God, what do you have next for me?


Don't forget the lessons that you've learned in 2023 as we go forward in 2024. Don't forget what God taught you in this last year to help you in this new year. Mary pondered, but the shepherds proclaimed.


2. The shepherds, proclaimed

The shepherds proclaimed, and we see this in verses 17 and 20, realize, and they and they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And if you read back in verses 1 through 15, you will see the message that they were giving. And then verse 20, the shepherds returned glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen as it had been told them. It was fulfilled. Shepherd, you heard Pastor Ryan talk about the shepherds last week, did an incredible job of portraying who they were. These humble people watching sheep in the middle of a field. They were the lowest of the low in a social status. They were the ones that you would not think a message would be delivered to, but that's God for you.


He's going to interrupt all of our lives in some way, and He's going to approach those who were low, and He approached these shepherds, and they heard the message. Peace on earth. Goodwill to men. In 27 BC, the Pax Romana was put in place to give Roman peace. But there was no real peace on earth. The children of Israel knew that. They were waiting for the Messiah, the Prince of Peace, the King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords God sent the Messiah at just the right time So that they would understand here we have What we have the shepherds were familiar. They were looking for a Messiah just as well They knew what the town of Bethlehem was they knew that it was the city of David.


So they said something like this Okay, there's a 12 of us watching the flocks tonight, but we really need to go and see if this is true. Who wants to stay behind? Can you imagine anybody saying, oh yeah, I'll volunteer to stay behind after you've been freaked out by the angels? I'm sure all of them wanted to go, but someone had to stay and watch the flocks. And so some of them went, we don't know how many of them went, but they went and it said that they had to search for this baby. They knew it was in a manger. They knew it would be wrapped in swaddling clothes, but they had to search. Can you imagine them going from barnyard to barnyard and going, nope, not that one. Nope, not that one. Ooh, too many cows on that one. Ooh, no, that one. This one. And coming upon Mary and Joseph Joseph and the baby they saw the fulfillment and Believed exactly what the angels had said.

They didn't waste any time Many times people God has come to us in ways that goes beyond what we can imagine. He's revealed himself to us in ways, whether it's through something that we're reading in the Word, whether it's through something that we've heard, whether it's another person maybe, or just His Holy Spirit working in such a way that says, do this, and we tend to say, hmm, not right now. Not right now. We'll let someone else do that. But these shepherds were ones who said, we want to be able to do exactly what we need to do in order to hear and believe and receive and testify the message that we just heard. And so they went and they heard. And God used the very simplest of people to demonstrate as first ambassadors of the gospel of Jesus Christ, to share the message of good news. Do you know that he wants to do that with us today? In fact, when we think back to this main idea of our response is reflected in our relationship to him. How do we, how do we see it?


My question today is this, do you take time to ponder and do you take the opportunity, the message to proclaim? What are we pondering about in our lives? What are we proclaiming?


Well, let me give you some idea today as we just kind of close up this series that I think it's important for us to understand that if we're going to ponder in some way, I think there's four things that we can look at today and understand.


1. Quietness

One is this set aside with intention of quietness. You see, we're afraid of quietness, aren't we? I know I am. I have to have my radio on. I have to have something going in my ears all the time. I don't like quietness. I left the other day and was gone for quite a few hours, and I left my phone home. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. My bride so lovingly said to me, oh, grow up. Thank you, dear. But the quietness, I think sometimes we're just afraid to take the moments to really be quiet. Because we think there's productivity in noise. But there's productivity in quietness also. Jesus was the best example of knowing the importance. He got away to pray. He did it in a variety of ways.


In Mark 6, after he fed the 5,000 with the loaves, he took a time away to pray. And just before the transfiguration, in Luke chapter 9, he went up the mountain to pray, to ponder, to seek God. And before teaching us in Luke 11, he said, this is how an example of how you can pray. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus took time of quietness. And if Jesus needed time of quietness, how much more do we need to make that time in this world that is so much filled with noise?


We're bombarded on every side from media. I won't ask how many of you have TikTok. That's the only one I know. But the other thing, Facebook, whatever, all those things, you know what? They take our energy, they take it, but they take us away from quietness. But not only intention of quietness to get your heart ready to hear from God, I think it's important that we understand we need to look back to where it was that God saved us out of and from. We needed to look at the world around us. If you want to do a study on that, go to Exodus 19, you see the children of Israel and Moses as they go through this incredible time. But reading the scripture becomes an integral part of where we are in our quietness. And they don't have to read all sorts of other things.


2. Read the Bible

Read the Bible. Joy was asked to be part of something to read the Bible, the whole Bible in 30 days. And she said, do you want to do it? I go, no. She said, I don't either. For her, she has to read it. She has to study it. She has to journal it. And she said, I would not get anything done for the next 30 days. I said, well, that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, but I understand exactly where you're coming from. Read the word, read one verse, read one chapter, just like God's word come into your life and let you experience him through the word of God.


3. Think about your life

And then I think it's important that you think about your own life, not only from the standpoint of our relationship with Christ, but to think about our lives where you have been. The psalmist said this, search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me. Solomon said in Lamentations three, let us test and examine our ways and return to the Lord. Paul said in first Corinthians 11, let a person examine himself and then eat of the bread and drink of the cup. And then Paul also said to the church at Corinth in 2nd Corinthians 13, examine yourselves to see whether or not you are in the faith. Test yourselves. It's all right to ponder about your life, to think about it, to treasure it, to experience that quietness that comes from pondering. But it's not just about pondering. If that was all there was, we would miss the greatest opportunity because the shepherds proclaimed.


4. Proclaim the good news

They proclaimed and you see on the screen that they heard, they believe, they testified, they rejoiced and they praise what an incredible opportunity these shepherds had. They heard the story. They believed it. They followed through with it. We have heard it. We have believed it. Now we get the opportunity to testify. I want you to think of it like this way. If you would, it is a gift. It's a gift of salvation that has been given to us. A gift that is not ours to hold tightly and say, this is mine and no one else can have it or going to all your Christian friends and saying, let's share our gift when it's the whole gift of salvation. But what we can do is say, I want to offer this gift to you. Will you take it? Will you take this gift? Receive this gift from me?


My responsibility, you can keep it right there. My responsibility is just to give the gift. People, we have a responsibility to be able to share what God has done in our lives. You see, they went back rejoicing and praising then. Wouldn't it be kind of fun? I just thought about this just between the services. Wouldn't it be fun if all of a sudden you decided at your place of employment you were going to start rejoicing and praising God with song every time you were at work? Can you imagine what they think of you? Are you crazy? Yeah? Crazy in love with Jesus? Crazy to tell you about my Jesus.


It's something I've heard I believe I want to testify and I want to rejoice and praise about it I want you all to know what I have. I don't want to keep the gift to myself I want to be able to give it away and that's the proclamation that needs to happen. That's exactly what the shepherds did They said I have something they have something to give away and that was the message of hope that the Messiah had been born, that peace was going to come to the earth. It didn't come in the way that anybody expected it. It came in God's way and God's timing and God's plan. But the same thing is true in our lives.


He has us designed exactly to be able to give the message the way that you can give it. Don't share the gospel the way that I share it. Share the way that you can share the gospel share the way that you can make it your own share your testimony.


Proclaim it. May 2024 a year for you That you will say I'm not going to do a resolution that I'm going to share the gospel every day I'm going to do a lifestyle change And say God help me to share about you to the people that you bring across my path. You see, that's what the shepherds did. They went back to the normal, yep, gotta watch sheep. But then everyone I'm sure that they came in contact with, they shared what they had seen. There's an old spiritual that I'm sure in some way they proclaimed. And it goes like this. Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere. Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born.

Let's pray together. Father, today we thank you. Thank you for the opportunity we have to be here. We thank you for your word. May we learn how to ponder better and how to proclaim better. And father, if there's anyone here that has not trusted in you as Lord and Savior, I pray that today would be the day they say I need to have a relationship because their reaction is not because of a relationship, it's because of no relationship. And so, Father, draw them to yourself today. And, Father, this next year, allow us to be people who proclaim the message of hope, the message of love, the message of peace, the message of grace and of truth. And we love you today, Father, and we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen. And we love you today, Father, and we pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.

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