“Being Specific in 2021”
- I believe that God has a “specific” nature.
- The word specific means… having a particular quality that makes on member of a species lime the rest of the members of that species; like the specific form of a plant. 2. Definite; of an exact nature.
- To be specific is not to be random in thought.
- Our example of God’s “specific” nature will be used in the Christmas account mentioned in Luke.
- You can see the specifics of God all through the Bible.
- God is not random or frivolous in His direction or actions. God is specific.
- I believe that this next year in 2021 we should be more specific.
I. A Specific Town for the Birth
- Luke 2:1…And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. 2) (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria. 3) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
- A specific decree (law) to be passed (taxation and registration) This was to be taken every 14 years. This was established so that the Jews would be forced to enlist in the Roman army. The Jews were exempt from military service before.
- A specific Caesar (a ruler, Rome’s first elected emperor) His name was Augustus (meaning exalted one).
- A specific time of year the law was passed. The winter.
- Verse 4) And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) 5) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
- A specific law, a specific Caesar, a specific time led to a specific birthplace… Bethlehem.70-75 miles away from where they lived (Galilee, Judea)
- The birthplace of a King…David, and now King Jesus.
- King David to fulfill the prophecy of the messiah to be born in Micah 5:2…But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
- Later He (Jesus) would be given the same title on the cross… “King of the Jews.”
- God also chose “specific” parents. Mary and Joseph.
II. A Specific Place for the Birth
A) A Manger
- Luke 2:6…And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7) And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
- Mary and Joseph were not married yet. Joseph took Mary into His home (as Matthew 1:24 indicates) to be his wife. Their marriage was not consummated (completed) until after the birth of Christ.
- Jesus was wrapped in certain clothing… swaddling clothes. These were grave bandages that were to be wrapped around dead people. Jesus was born to die on the cross. The only baby ever to born “specifically” to die.
- Specifically to be born in a “manger.” Not in “the Inn (motel).”
- A manger being a humble lowly place, a place where Christ taught that our hearts were to be focused on. Being humble, not haughty and proud.
- This manger was said to be an actual cave hallowed out place in the side of a mountain used to protect the animals from the weather.
- Jesus is our shelter in the time of storm. Again… a specific place.
- A manger is also known as a feeding trough for the animals. Jesus is our feeding trough… “The bread of Life.” Again… a specific place.
III. Specific People Were Told
- Luke 2:8…And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9) And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10) And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11) For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
- This place where the shepherds were watching their flock was around Bethlehem near Jerusalem where the temple sacrifices (sheep) were raised.
- Jesus’ birth was to be witnessed by specific people… shepherds.
- Why not the Caesar? Why not the temple priests? Why not a scribe?
- What better people to be witnessed by than those of your own?
- God wanted shepherds to be a witness of “The Great Shepherd” Jesus Christ.
- Shepherds were specifically chosen By God for His purpose, His will to be done to fulfill His prophecy.
- Shepherds are protectors, care givers, food providers. Jesus is all of that.
- Shepherds are considered as “saviors” of their flock. “…For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour”
IV. A Specific Sign
A) Wrapped in Swaddling Clothes
- Verse 12) And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
- As we said earlier, these grave clothes were not normal attire for a baby to be wrapped in. This is what made this a specific time, place and moment in time to mark the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!
- NOTE: God could have left off here in verse 12 with the angel departing into the night skies over Bethlehem. But God wanted these shepherds to be mesmerized, impressed, take special notice of a specific birth, a specific baby.
B) The sign of a King
- Wherever royalty walks it is “ushered in great formality.”
- A red carpet is rolled out, trumpets blare, soldiers march, guns are fired, people are told, about the arrival by their elected staffers.
- King Jesus was coming and specific people were told in a great way…
Verse 13) And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15) And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16) And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. 17) And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. 18) And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19) But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. 20) And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
- We see in the above verses that the “angels” were announcing the birth and the “shepherds” were telling of Jesus birth.
- When royalty arrives…People will know it!
V. A Specific Year 2021
A) Looking at 2020
- Was 2020 a specific year for you?
- Did you accomplish what you set out to do?
- Was God the center of your goals to be accomplished?
- We are God’s children. With Christ being our Lord, have we been specific?
- Examine 2020 and see the specifics that God has laid out for you and the choices you made. Were they good choices?
- God is specific, therefore we should be specific.
- Do you recognize God’s specifics in your life?