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“Share His Love with Others”

Luke 2:15-20
Mike Bauer
December 31, 2006

Key Sentence

Be a humble servant who spreads the Word to others.


I. Humbly accept God's Word (Luke 2:15-16)
II. Spread the Word to others (Luke 2:17-18)
III. Praise Him for giving the Word to us (Luke 2:19-20)


        I have been greatly encouraged to see God's Spirit moving people in this church to share the love of Christ with others. In recent months I have heard several stories of people sharing their faith. Some examples are:

Jim Dutton led a co-worker to Christ and man he shared Christ with at some nearby apartments. John Mendoza goes every Friday night to downtown Houston to share Christ's love with people on the streets. I believe Doug Quinones, Larry Walters and others have gone, also. The Berreth family and Trela family recently had birthday parties for Jesus, which children heard the good news. Katie Walliser and Joseph Bauer have gone door to door with us to share Christ. And other youths have volunteered.

And the list goes on. That has been an answer to prayer for God to send workers into His harvest field. I think we should celebrate these folks sharing the Gospel. So if I shared your name please stand up and let's thank the Lord for using these people by giving a round of applause.

This has been fantastic. Yet the work is never done and the harvest is great. Jesus commanded every born-again believer in this church to be working for the harvest of souls to be brought into His kingdom.

So how are you doing in this area? Are you working in the fields? Or are you sitting on the sidelines?

With that in mind we will continue this morning with the story of the shepherds who heard the good news of Christ's birth from the angels. We will see from this text the fourth spoke in the vision wheel of Trinity Fellowship--outreach or sharing the love of Christ with others.

Last week we saw how the angels worshipped Christ when they brought the good news to the shepherds of Jesus' birth. Worshipping Christ, or we might say giving God our best, is the center of the wheel. Now this morning we will look at one of the ways we give God our best, sharing the good news of Christ with others. We will get that from the text following last week's. Let take a look at Luke 2:15-16.

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." 16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

Now the angels leave the scene and head back to heaven. At this point I would imagine the shepherds' heads are still spinning. Their adrenaline levels are probably leveling off. Yet they don't take anytime to recoup. They looked at each other saying ?we have to check this out, let's get over to Bethlehem.?

Notice the shepherds didn't doubt, but humbly accepted what the angels told them. You can see this in verse 15 because they said, ?Let's go to Bethlehem and see the thing that has happened.? And they didn't drag their feet, but sped off to see what they knew had happened. But you may say, ?How could they doubt after all those angels appeared to them?? My response is ?Yes, but how could so many after witnessing all Jesus' miracles reject Him?? I think this shows that what hinders belief in Christ many times is not lack of intellectual evidence, but a lack of humility. Jesus told some of the Jews who disbelieved Him in John 5:44:

How can you believe if you accept praise from one another, yet make no effort to obtain the praise that comes from the only God?

Pride and love of the pat on the back blocked them from humbling themselves to believe in God's Son. This was widespread at the time of Jesus' birth in Jerusalem. It seems that is why God went outside of Jerusalem to reveal this message to humble shepherds instead. Let's read Matthew's account of Jesus' arrival in Matthew 2:1-3.

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him." When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.

King Herod and all Jerusalem were disturbed. King Herod and Jerusalem didn't want accept that a humble little boy in a feeding trough was their King, Messiah and Lord. No, it hurt their pride. Herod did not want anyone else to be King of the Jews and in general the Jews had honored their heritage more than Christ.

Therefore, if you are here this morning with unbelief in your heart and you have heard all the evidence for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, please listen to the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:3-4:

3and said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4"Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.?

But also I must say believers as well must humbly take God at His Word. The shepherds must have possessed humility to go look for a baby that the angel called their Savior, their Lord, and their Christ. I think the shepherds had the same view of themselves as Paul described in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29,

26Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things--and the things that are not--to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him.

We must see ourselves as the weak things of the world. We must swallow our pride and drink a cup of humility.

Once there was a young seminarian was excited about preaching his first sermon in his home church. After three years in seminary, he felt adequately prepared, and when he was introduced to the congregation, he walked boldly to the pulpit, his head high, radiating self-confidence.

But he stumbled reading the Scriptures and then lost his train of thought halfway through the message. He began to panic, so he did the safest thing: He quickly ended the message, prayed, and walked dejectedly from the pulpit, his head down, his self-assurance gone.

Later, one of the godly elders whispered to the embarrassed young man, ?If you had gone up to the pulpit the way you came down, you might have come down the way you went up.?

Obviously this man went to cemetery where I went Dallas Seminary. No seminarian from Trinity Seminary would have done this. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. So if we are to be good witnesses for Christ we must see ourselves as the lowly things of this world or the foolish things of this world.

God's Word says that we are ambassadors for Christ. But what blocks us from humbly accepting God' Word so that we share Christ? My experience says often its fear of rejection. If people give us the stiff arm we will be considered the base things of this world. Ouch. The base things of this world are the people whom God uses to share His Word. He uses humble shepherds, who are considered social outcasts.

May we see ourselves as lowly shepherds. May we put our egos aside and not be worried about rejection, but be worried about obeying God's Word, especially when it comes to sharing the good news.

Thus, from 15-16 we see that we must humbly accept God's Word. Now let's move on to see what the shepherds did after they saw Jesus.

Let's read Luke 2:17

When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,

We don't know how the shepherds found Jesus, but we do know that they had two signs to look for--a baby in a manger with swaddling clothes. After they found Jesus they spread the word. The shepherds now become little Billy Graham's.

The Greek word for ?spread the word? is in the active voice. They were not passive about this message. They didn't stay at home and wait for people to knock on their door. No, they actively sought out others they never meet before and told them the good news. This is more evidence for aggressive methods of evangelism. I have said it before and will say it here--the Scriptures teach both friendship and cold turkey evangelism. I recently shared the gospel with a friend while on a hunting trip. On the other hand, I gave a tract to a guy at a restaurant and now we are doing a gospel of John Bible study. We can do both friendship and non-friendship evangelism. The Scriptures make a place for both.

In addition, notice that the shepherds spread the word concerning what had been told them. The shepherds spread the message from God not their own message. Their message was the baby in the feeding trough is Savior, Christ, and Lord.

All believers must know how to share the plan of salvation. We must have verses memorized that we can share. We must share the bad news concerning our sin and our road to Hell because of our sin. Then we must share the good news of Jesus, the God-man, taking the punishment for our sins and coming back to life. Then we must share that one must trust the person of Christ and His work on the cross, not our own works, to save us from our sins and give us eternal life.

If you are not sure how to explain the gospel I urge you pick one of the ?May I Ask You a Question? tracts on the table in the foyer and get familiar with this tract. Then you can go through it together with someone else who you are sharing with. I find this presentation to be simple, but not too simple.

Let's keep reading and see the result of their sharing the message.

18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

The Greek word for ?amazed? is thaumazo. In this context it is being used to mean ?extraordinarily impressed or marvel.? Luke does not say the people believed, just that they were impressed. Probably some did believe, but marvel does not equal belief. Jesus found in His public ministry many that were impressed with His miracles, but did not trust Him to be their own Savior.

In the gospel of John we see an instance of this. A man named Nicodemus came to Jesus. He was a member of the ruling council, which was like our Supreme Court, but with more power. He told Jesus that He was a great teacher because of all the miracles He did. Jesus abruptly told him that he had to born-again in order to enter the kingdom of heaven. Later in the exchange Jesus told Nicodemus that he had to trust Jesus for the gift of eternal life not just marvel at His miracles.

Hence, we must expect different kinds of responses when we share Christ. Sometimes people will trust Christ, sometimes they will think about, sometimes reject it, and sometimes we will be persecuted for the message.

Verses 17-18 show how the shepherds spread the Word. Now let's see how Mary and the shepherds responded to these things.

19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.

The Greek word for treasured, suntareo, may be translated ?preserved? things in her heart. Therefore, I think the idea is that she memorized the words of the shepherds, but I don't think this meant she didn't tell anyone else.

After she memorized the stories of the shepherds in her heart she pondered them. The Greek word for ponder is ?sumballo.? Literally, it would mean to cast together. In this usage it means she put these things together in her mind. Mary was a great student of God's revelation to her. She memorized these things then reflected on them so she could piece them together.

May we be like Mary memorizing and meditating on the Scriptures. We must do that alongside of proclaiming the good news.

Now let's look at verse 20 and see what the shepherds did when they returned.

Luke 2:20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

So the shepherds go baaaaack to tending their sheep. But now they go back with hearts filled with praise for God. The text does not say it explicitly, but I imagine their praise spilled over on every one they saw. Imagine you were a shepherd who was friends with these shepherds. You walk up to them and before you can get a word out they are telling you the story of the angels' appearance and how great God is. They would tell you that God did just as He said He would.

This reminds of Todd Cobbs. It seems like every week He is telling me another story of how God has saved another person's soul from Hell. His praise of God working in his life spills over on people he comes in contact with. So when I picture these shepherds I envision one to be shepherd Todd. I see a man with a clean shaven head, a staff in one hand, and gospel tract in the other--while praising God for all he has done.

May be like these shepherds. Spreading the word and the telling the story of how great God is to use us.

In conclusion, we have seen that those who share the love of Christ humbly accept God's word, continuously spread the Word, and are always praising God for His faithfulness.

May we become you like the shepherds, humble servants who spread the Word and come back praising God. May this spoke be in your wheel. May you desire for outreach transform into desperation. There are opportunities all around. You can work in AWANA, come door to door witnessing, you can do canning hunger, go on a missions trip, invite your neighbors over for dinner, give tracts out those you come in contact with, go to a nursing home, bring a friend to church, host a good news club, and the list go on.

But might there be a new harvest field God wants to work in? Researchers have found the new church plants are usually the most evangelistic churches. Please pray for God to show what your part may be in Trinity's new church plant.

In the matter of evangelism and outreach, we need to be focused, we need to have our priorities straight, we need to know our message, we need to accept rejection, and we need to give people a fighting chance. May this closing video cause us to step to spread the Word and give them a fighting chance.