A New Year Plan for 2021

December 27, 2020 Speaker: Shannon Ford

Passage: Luke 2:8–14

Message: A New Year Plan for 20201
Scripture: Luke 2:8-14

1. Receive God's message through His Word and Prayer (Luke 2:8-14)

  • Astonishing event

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, ... Luke 2:8-10

"God goes to those who have time to hear him. So, on this cloudless night He went to simple shepherds." (Max Lucado)

God intentionally comes to where you are to tell you "Fear not."

Like the shepherds, tune your heart to look for and listen to God in 2021.

  • Amazing announcement

... for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" Luke 2:10-14

"The major offices of Jesus are confessed in one sentence: Jesus is Savior, Lord and Christ-that is, deliverer, master and anointed king." (Darrell Bock)

"God's peace is not a reward for those who have good will, but a gracious gift to those who are the objects of His good will." (John MacArthur)

This baby in Bethlehem would open the way of salvation for all people.

2. Respond to God's message in Faith and Obedience (Luke 2:15-16) 

  • Awesome response

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." Luke 2:15

The shepherds could have doubted or delayed but instead they decided to go and see.

"What audacity that God would use society's lowest occupations and most meager resources to begin his awesome works of salvation." (Max Anders)

Search your heart and ask God to show you by his Spirit how you may be ignoring his message in 2021. 

  • Active response

And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. Luke 2:16

The Bible is clear that acceptance must lead to action.

Without hesitation, respond to God's Message with belief and
faith.

3. Report God's message of Good News to Others (Luke 2:17-18)

  • Announce the Good News

And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. Luke 2:17

The shepherds went to worship, then left and shared with others.

Too many spend time discussing the message instead of declaring it.

"When you truly realize that God has sent the Savior of the world, the Lord of the universe to us, you cannot sit on the sidelines. You cannot keep the news under wraps. You cannot keep Jesus to yourself." (James Merritt)

  • Appreciate the Good News

And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. Luke 2:18

The shepherds went everywhere and told everyone what happened in their lives.

Those who heard from the shepherds were struck by wonder and awe. How do others respond when you share the Good News?

4. Rejoice in God's Goodness each Day (Luke 2:20)

  • Adoration for Jesus incarnation

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. Luke 2:20

"With his incarnation, Jesus Christ entered into time so that we might enter into eternity." (David Jeremiah)

A clear evidence of conversion is always adoration and praise.

  • Appreciation for God's revelation

The babe in the manger changed shepherds to people of praise.

The shepherds returned to the same place but not as the same people.

Closing:
"I can't wait until we get back to normal."

Forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)

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Making it Personal:

  • It is often in those times of quiet and stillness that the Lord comes to us. How will you change your schedule in 2021 to allow more time for quiet and stillness?
  • Which of the responses to the Good News are present in your life? (Great joy, peace, praise, amazement, and telling others). If some are missing, what can you do to recover these responses?
  • Like the shepherds, are you excited to share the story of Jesus to your "Who's Your One?" in 2021? What things prevent you from telling others about Jesus?
  • Jesus went from a throne in heaven to a manger in a stable to demonstrate His love for you. Have you responded to His love by surrendering your life to Him as Lord and Savior?
  • Who can you share these truths with?