Now when they had departed, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I bring you word; for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him." When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night and departed for Egypt, and was there until the death of Herod, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, "Out of Egypt I called My Son." Then Herod, when he saw that he was deceived by the wise men, was exceedingly angry; and he sent forth and put to death all the male children who were in Bethlehem and in all its districts, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the wise men. Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying: "A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping [for] her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more." But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt, saying, "Arise, take the young Child and His mother, and go to the land of Israel, for those who sought the young Child's life are dead." Then he arose, took the young Child and His mother, and came into the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning over Judea instead of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. And being warned by God in a dream, he turned aside into the region of Galilee. And he came and dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophets, "He shall be called a Nazarene." --(Matt. 2:13-23, NKJV)
One of the standard complaints heard against a happy Christmas is the one that says it is too costly. Is Christmas too costly? The answer to this question depends upon each individual's viewpoint. Probably, a better question is, Does Christmas cost enough?
What about the first Christmas? Was it too costly?
It cost Mary and Joseph the comforts of home during a journey to Bethlehem and an angel-directed exile in egypt to protect the Christ child from the wiles and wrath of Herod.
It cost mothers and fathers in and around Bethlehem the massacre of their babies by the wicked Herod.
It cost the shepherds the neglect of the shepherd's life for a journey to Bethlehem to see the thing the Lord had made known to them. The Bible says: "And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger" (Luke 2:16)
It cost the wise men a long journey, expensive gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. It also cost them changed lives and a journey home by another way.
It cost the early apostles and the church persecution and sometimes martyrdom.
It has cost missionaries untold suffering and privation to spread the good news, to preach the gospel of Christ.
What did Christmas cost God the Father? It cost Him more than all for it cost the Father His only begotten Son. The Bible says: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).
What did Christmas cost Jesus? It cost Him a life of sacrifice and service, a cruel death that is unmatched in history.
Is Christmas costly? The answer is yes. Is Christmas too costly? That is another question and I want to discuss it with you.
Christmas Is Too Costly If It Does Not Mean Hope. The prophicies of the Old testament had pointed to the coming of the Messiah, the great deliverer. The world had been looking for and sighing for His coming for more than four thousand years. The waiting time had been long and the world was weary.
It was to a world almost without hope that the angels brought their message. It was a message of hope.
People since that day have not been without hope. Those who know the Christ of Christmas will never be without hope.
Hopeless are all those who have not heard about Christ.
Christmas Is Too Costly If We Do Not Reveive God's Gift, If We Do Not Experience God's Love. The greatest word of all for Christmas is: "For God so love the world, that he gave his only begotten Son" (John 3:16).
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8).
"Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10)
No one understands the firest Christmas until he experinces the love of God in Christ.
Let our hearts be filled with love, real genuine love, the love of God in Christ. Let us also manifest that love to others.
Christmas Is Too Costly If We Do Not Experience the Forgiveness of Sins. The angel of the Lord said to Joseph: "And thou shalt call his name JESUS; for he shall save his people from their sins" (Matt. 1:21).
The Angel of the Lord said to the shepherds: "for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
Paul said to the Ephesians: "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace" (Eph. 1:7).
One would truly overlook the true meaning of Christmas if he forgot that Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10). The purpose of Jesus' coming into the world was to save from sin, to grant forgiveness to sinners.
Christmas Is Too Costly If We Do Not Radiate Joy. The angel of the Lord said to the shepherds: "Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10).
Joy filled the hearts of the men who heard the message, the good news on the hillside. Joy filled the hearts of Simeon and Anna in the temple as they realized the significance of the child for the world. Joy filled the hearts of the wise men when they saw His star, when they presented their gifts, and as they returned to their homes after seeing the Christ.
Joy is a Christmas word. Let joy fill your heart at this Christmas time.
Christmas Is too Costly If We Do Not Manifest Peace and Good Will Among Men. The angel of the Lord said: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14).
There is no room for bitterness at Christmas. Christmas is the time for peace and good will. If we have been recipients of God's good will, then we will have good will toward God and all people.
Christmas means giving up unreasonable and stubborn attitudes. Christmas is the time to reexamine our attitudes in the light of the Christmas star.
To have the true spirit of Christmas we must have peace with all people.
Christmas Is Too Costly IF We Do Not Proclaim the Good News. What is the good news of Christmas? "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
The greatest privilege that can come to any of us is to share our knowledge of the Lord with those who do not know Him. This can be done through our witnessing efforts, and in the way we live our daily lives.
We can link our lives to God's eternal plans and purposes by proclaiming the good news. Make this Christmas meaningful by sharing the good news.
Christmas Is Too Costly If We Do Not Exercise Faith. Faith is a word for Christmas. God's faith in people is revealed by His gift of His Son Jesus. Can anyone ever doubt that God cares for sinful man? God has provided the object of man's faith.
God's wonderful provision demands a response on the part of people. remove your doubts and your questions by responding with faith in the Lord Jesus.
Christmas isn't too costly if we respond to our Lord. God loves us tremendously and He wants to come and dwell with us. He can do this through the Christ of Christmas!