Daniel Fast 2023

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Message Text

Matthew 1:20-25 ESV

20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,and they shall call his name Immanuel”(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

1 Timothy 1:15 ESV

15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.

Message Notes

When the angel came to Joseph, he specifically told him to name the child Mary was about to have “Jesus,” because he would save his people from their sins.

Motivations are funny things. People often start off with a certain motivation and then halfway through end up changing the reason for doing what they are doing, and in turn potentially change the original desired outcome. We have discussed for the last two weeks Jesus was and is the Light of the World. In Jesus’ time all the way to our time, that light has never dimmed or lost its power. We’ve discussed Jesus bringing peace to the earth, and for the first time our circumstances didn’t determine our peace. From that time to this Christmas Time we can experience the peace of God that passes all understanding through Christ.

Those are not the reasons Jesus came.

1. The real motivation

Every detail of Jesus’ birth was on purpose for the benefit of those who would call him Savior.

Jesus was born into a regular family with no position or fame.

Matthew 20:25 - 28 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26 It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[a] 27 and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, 28 even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus was faced with everything he would then save us from, but he overcame without sin.

Hebrews 4:15 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

He wasn’t anything special to look at. Jesus came into a world focused on the outward perfection that man could obtain, but he would demonstrate that God had always been more concerned with the condition of a person’s heart than their appearance. You did not have to look a certain way or be of a certain sect to be saved.

Isaiah 53:2 2 For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of dry ground; he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him.

His purpose dictated his arrival at that time and still does in this time.

2. The danger of changing the motivation

If Jesus came to give me this certain thing and now I’m not getting it, then this whole thing is not worth it.

People think Jesus came to make sure they never get sick, never run out of money, never fear, never doubt, never get abused, never suffer, never get slandered, never experience pain, never have a loved one die, never be betrayed, never be lied to, and the list keeps going.

Don’t make the mistake of changing the motivation to follow Christ. “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”

Never confuse a benefit with the original motivation. I am saved and he can heal me, I am saved and he can provide for me, I am saved and he can restore my relationship… If you change the motivation, you will quit early.

John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he have his only son, that whoever believes in him will have eternal life.

3. It’s the same this time as it was last time.

Philippians 2:5-11. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,[a] 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant,[c] being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Jesus was focused on saving all mankind, and we must have the same mindset - not to have the motivation confused but to have the mind of Christ. Salvation was the motivation then, and it still is now. Do not be fooled by modern-day prosperity preaching that the motivating factor in Christ going to the cross was so you would never get sick or never run out of money. It was to give you eternal life!

The truth is that I can be sick and saved, I can be poor and saved, if I am betrayed, I’m still saved, if I’m suffering, I’m still saved…

This Christmas Time we have to remember that salvation came in that time and he is still our salvation in this time. No matter how difficult this year was, you are still forgiven and you can be forgiven.