3 Ways God Spoke At Christmas Time
I remember an occasion when I was battling what seemed like a huge crisis in my life. It was causing me much anxiety and sleepless nights. In the midst of this battle, a gentleman who was a very shy and quiet person, spoke out a prophetic word at one of our Sunday evening services. The message he shared that evening under the Holy Spirit’s anointing was exactly what I needed to hear for the situation I was in. As I received assurance as God spoke through this brother’s words, He began to work in my crisis and everything changed within a couple of weeks!!
If ever we needed to hear from God, it is now. The good news is that God still speaks to His people in different ways and this is very evident in the Christmas story.
Proposition : God waits to speak to you at Christmas time.
In this sermon I would like to share 3 ways in which God spoke in the Christmas story and its relevance for us today. They are:
1) God Spoke in the Daily Routine
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news….Today …a Savior has been born to you;… ” (Luke 2:10-11).
Between the Old and New Testaments, God had been silent for over 400 years but at the appointed time, at the birth of Christ, He began to speak. In Luke 2:10-14, an Angel of the Lord appeared to a group of shepherds who were in their daily workplace at night-time. He gave them a message that would change the course of history forever.
As the Angel spoke about the birth of the Messiah, a great heavenly choir began a song of praise and the sky shone with the glory of God; probably like an amazing celestial fireworks display. It was the experience of a lifetime for those humble shepherds! (Just imagine the disappointment if one of the shepherds had not turned up for work that day!)
Similarly, God still speaks to His people, and often, like with the shepherds, He speaks in our daily routine. Too many times, we expect God to speak only at Conferences, Seminars, and Church services. He certainly does speak in these gatherings, but can we believe for God to also speak to us in our daily routine. He spoke to Moses while keeping sheep, to Gideon while threshing (Judges 6:11), and to Elisha while plowing (1 Kings 19:19). He can speak to you too near a cooker, a computer, a mop, a canvas, a keyboard, a microphone, an exercise machine or in any other place.
Illustration: A Pastor friend of mine was enjoying a refreshing king coconut drink at a wayside shop in Colombo one day, when two visually impaired persons bumped into him accidently. The Pastor, moved by God’s Spirit, spoke to them, saved their contact numbers, and eventually helped them on to a bus.
As they connected on the phone in the days ahead, an idea for a Christmas Service for the visually impaired was birthed in this Pastor’s heart. This idea subsequently became a reality and as a result, our church has been able to host a service for the visually handicapped for the past 9 years. This service has now even become a national event! God waits to speak to you too and He often does it in the midst of our daily activity. Are we listening?
This Christmas, expect God to speak to you through unexpected situations, in unexpected places, and at unexpected times.
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2) God Spoke Prophetically
“But why am I so favored, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?” (Luke 1:43)
Although Mary had believed and accepted the message of the Angel Gabriel regarding Jesus’ birth, she may have still been perplexed as to how the message would become reality. She probably needed some assurance and she went to the right person; Elizabeth, who was a godly relative. Elizabeth’s response to the visit was exactly what Mary needed.
As Mary and Elizabeth met, two prophetic happenings took place. The first was that the baby in Elizabeth’s womb did a leap of joy even as Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. The second was that she prophesied over Mary, confirming the Angel’s message to Mary. She said, “Blessed is the Child you will bear”, and then identified Mary prophetically as ‘the mother of my Lord’ (Luke 1:39-45).These were powerful prophetic utterances.
In the Christmas story, we also find that when the baby Jesus was taken to the temple for consecration, an elderly prophet named Simeon, and an elderly prophetess named Anna, spoke prophetically over the child (Luke 2:22-38). Simeon’s message had a threefold value since it was also prophetic for Jesus’ parents and for Simeon himself!
Just imagine the unlikely prophetic scenario here: it included an elderly prophet, an elderly prophetess, two peasant parents and an infant. As someone once said, “How many unknown prophecies may be happening right now in seemingly insignificant places!”
As we approach Christmas, with another unknown and possibly difficult New Year looming ahead, maybe you are in need of some prophetic assurance today. Maybe you are waiting expectantly for the Lord to speak to you. God does speak today, and He can speak prophetically through the scriptures, through a mentor, through a song and maybe even through this sermon! Will you be sensitive to His voice?
Illustration: On one occasion, I was ministering at a church in Australia during the Christmas Season. After the service, the Pastor hosted me for dinner and as we were enjoying the meal together, he spoke a word that was clearly a prophetic message for my future ministry as a preacher. Today, I have seen that message, conveyed around a dinner table at a restaurant in Melbourne, become a reality. God still speaks prophetically.
Are you ready to receive God’s prophetic word during the Season? Will you be sensitive to His voice? Let’s also not forget that the Word of God still remains the most reliable prophetic voice to man in our unstable world.
3) God Spoke Through Dreams
“Having been warned in a dream, he (Joseph) withdrew to the district of Galilee” (Matthew 2:22)
God speaking through dreams was very much a part of the Christmas story and the events that followed! He spoke in such fashion to bring assurance to Joseph (Matthew 1:20) and to build faith in Mary (Luke 1:37). After guiding the Magi to Bethlehem through the Christmas Star, God then used a dream to warn them about Herod’s evil schemes (Matthew 2:12).
We also see that Joseph was guided to Egypt for safety, through a dream (Matthew 2:13), and then guided back to Israel after Herod’s death through a dream (Matthew 2:19 -20). These dreams were also fulfilling prophecies regarding the Messiah!
Besides the Christmas story, the scriptures also show many instances where God spoke in dreams and visions to His servants, and even at times to ungodly rulers. Let’s also remember that the famous ‘Macedonian Call’ for Missions came to the Apostle Paul in Acts chapter 16 in a nighttime vision (dream). As a result many cities heard the Gospel, because Paul was obedient to the visionary call!
Similarly, God still speaks through dreams and visions to those who seek Him. Will that be you this Christmas? He can give you a dream of assurance, a dream to enhance faith, or a dream of guidance.
Closing: In closing, as mentioned in this sermon, God spoke in the following ways in the Christmas story.
- Through people’s daily routine
- Through dreams
May He speak clearly to you as well this Christmas. God bless you!
For further thoughts on how God spoke through dreams at Christmas time, click on this link.