Pastor Greg shares a four-part message series on Advent.
Week One: Planning
Week Two: Preparing
Week Three: Proclaiming
Week Four: Producing
The third step of any successful enterprise is PROCLAIMING. Once you know you have your plan, once you have properly prepared, you are ready to proclaim it to your intended audience. You are ready to LAUNCH IT!
PROCLAMATION is actually the step where a lot of enterprises fall apart. If you proclaim it too soon or proclaim it to the wrong people they can derail you with discouragement, doubts, criticisms, etc. We’ve learned that over the years as well. Sometimes you have to keep your ideas to yourself until the right moment and even then you don’t necessarily share it with everyone at the same time in the same way.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. – Luke 2:4-8
Jesus has just arrived, in a tiny stable in Bethlehem. Look at the very next thing that happens. God PROCLAIMS His Son’s birth to the angels and the shepherds.
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:9-14
WOW! Right? When God is ready to proclaim His enterprise He doesn’t do it in a small way! It reads like an amazing commercial, a wonderful broadway play opening, an incredible concert or motion picture. One angel steps through the door of heaven onto the dark stage of a Bethlehem night, lit by a single spotlight of the glory of God and this angel makes the first proclamation.
When 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.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.” – Luke 2:9-18
WHO TO PROCLAIM YOUR VISION TO FIRST
1) Choose People Who Will Be POSITIVE!
Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. – Matthew 7:6
2) Choose People Who Will Be SUPPORTIVE!
3) Choose People Who Will HELP YOU Get The Word Out! – Enlist partners.
PROCLAIMING THE ADVENT OF JESUS CHRIST
Follow the example of the shepherds. They probably started with those they already knew but then they went on to tell everyone they met about Jesus!
1) START with your F.R.A.N.’s – Friends, Relatives, Associates and Neighbors.
(Christmas Cards, E-mails, Texts, Social Media, Phone Calls, In Person)
2) SPREAD the Joy to STRANGERS! – “Merry Christmas”
(Fliers and Invites to Christmas Eve and Christmas Day)
3) Remember Jesus is MORE THAN JUST Christmas and Easter!
Don’t limit your proclaiming and personal evangelism to this time of year. There is more to Jesus’ story than just “He was born, He died, He rose again.” Make sharing your faith a daily part of your life.
MAKE TWO LISTS
1) Who will you proclaim your personal vision to this week? Assuming you’ve planned and prepared properly and you are ready to proclaim your personal vision to some trustworthy, positive, supportive, helpful people, who are they? Write down the names of these people who will make up your inner circle.
2) Who will you proclaim God’s Advent Message to this week? Just like He chose the angels & then the shepherds, God also chose to proclaim His message to YOU! He trusted you with His vision to redeem humanity from sin because He is expecting you to be positive, supportive and helpful in spreading the news. Go proclaim the Advent of Christ! Who will you specifically proclaim it to this week?