Sunday School Material 12-21-14: Give Glory to God

(Luke 2:8-20; 12/21/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is that shepherds learn about the birth of Christ and began to tell others about Him, as they praise the Lord. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to be witnesses for the Lord and those who are known for praising Him.

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Read Luke 2:8-14

I. Exalted Announcement. In the Sunday School material the shepherds are out watching over their sheep. An angel of the Lord tells them about the Savior being born. A host of others come and praise God for the birth of the Savior.

Applications -

- God’s use of ordinary people. Notice in vs. 8 that God uses ordinary people. There are too many who think that God cannot use them because they don’t have the “right” education, church upbringing, or something.

The good news of our Sunday School material is that just as God used the ordinary shepherds, God can do the same today. In fact, if God takes His stuff from us, all of us have nothing.

Let’s be open to God using us, in spite of what may be described as “ordinary.” We should also be open to God using other ordinary people as well.

- Faith over fear. Notice in vss. 9-10 that the shepherds had to overcome their fear. They were afraid of what may happen in regard to the powerful angel appearing before them. However, the corrected response was to simply trust God.

In like manner, there are many things that are apparently threatening or at least very powerful. Think about the violence in many of our urban areas, catastrophes caused by climate (e.g., earth quakes, tornadoes, etc.), and even diseases that are popping up around the world.

We are called to trust that God is still in our lives and working things out for those who belong to Him. Let’s work on replacing our fear of what we see with faith in God’s will for our lives.

- God’s use of humble circumstances. Notice in vss. 11-12, 16 of our Sunday School material that Jesus was born under very humble circumstances.

He was born in a stable, because there was no room for His family in the inn. He was laid in a manager/feeding trough for animals, because there was no baby crib. And yet God used Him to do mighty things. 

In like manner, no matter how you started your journey or what you have been through up to this point, God is able to still do great things in and through your life. 

In fact, just as God used the manager as a sign, God can use what you go through as a part of your testimony. Let’s trust God to use what we go through for His glory.

- Enthusiastic praise. Notice in vss. 13-14 that the angelic host praised the Lord. When we think about all that God has done, is doing, and will do for those who belong to Him, we should be known for our enthusiastic praise.

In too many cases, our churches are not known for enthusiastic praise. Let’s work on praising God like we know that He is absolutely awesome.

- Favor and peace. Notice in vs. 14 of the Sunday School material that there is peace for those whom God’s favor rests upon. 

The way to get God’s favor to rest upon us is to make sure that we have accepted Jesus as our savior by faith and then strive to live lives that are focused on loving God and others, as we love ourselves. 

There are too many who don’t want to accept Christ as Savior and Lord, but they want the favor and peace of God. Let’s work on making sure that we are eligible for the favor and peace of God. 

Read Luke 2:15-20

II. Submissive Response. The shepherds received confirmation, when they visited Jesus and His parents. They praise God and spread the word. Mary treasured and pondered in here heart what was going on. 

Applications -

- Trusting and obeying. Notice in vs. 15 of our Sunday School material that the shepherds trusted the word of the Lord. Notice that they went to see what had already happened. And notice that they went to see what the Lord, not the angels, had told them about. 

In similar fashion, we should learn to hear and trust God’s word. God often uses messengers like Pastors, teachers, and others. But ultimately, God is echoing to us what He has said in the Bible. Let’s work on trusting God’s word so much that we obey it. 

- Witnessing and praising. Notice in vss. 17, 20 that the shepherds told others about their experiences, and they went home praising the Lord. 

First, we should be known for telling people about our encounters with God. Too many are known more for spreading negative reports about people and circumstances than for spreading good reports about God. 

Second, praise should not be restricted to the church house. We should praise God every day, because every day He is worthy of our praise. Let’s work on witnessing and praising the Lord every day. 

Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord and praising Him. God has much for those who obey Him.

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