Riverside Community Church

The Gift of a Sign

Everyday we see signs all around us’ they give us direction, instructions, information and even warnings.

Here are some humorous signs:

On a helmet mounted mirror used by US cyclists, you can read the following on the mirror:

REMEMBER, OBJECTS IN THE MIRROR ARE ACTUALLY BEHIND YOU.

 

On a Sears hairdryer a sign reads:

DO NOT USE WHILE SLEEPING

 

On an American Airlines packet of nuts you can read the sign that says:

INSTRUCTIONS - OPEN PACKET, EAT NUTS

 

On a packet of Sunmaid raisins  you read:

WHY NOT TRY TOSSING OVER YOUR FAVOURITE BREAKFAST CEREAL?

 

Or on a Taiwanese shampoo

USE REPEATEDLY FOR SEVERE DAMAGE.

 

On a Korean kitchen knife:

WARNING: KEEP OUT OF CHILDREN

 

On an office building door a sign read:

ANYONE CAUGHT EXITING THROUGH THIS DOOR WILL BE ASKED TO LEAVE

 

Finally a bill board sign read:

I want to grow my own food but I can’t find bacon seeds.

Signs: Definition

‘an object, quality, or event whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else.’

For example: if I give my wife, Marilyn, a dozen roses it is not a sign of roses but rather it is a sign of my affection.” Sign indicating something else

My wife and I recently drove down to Pennsylvania and just outside of Lancaster there was a sign ‘Lancaster 24 miles’. If we drove 24 more miles an occurrence would happen, we’d be in Lancaster. The sign predicted an event would occur. It was a sign. When we came to Lancaster after driving 24 miles, I totally believed and was convinced that I was in Lancaster.

A sign is an indication, signal, symptom, pointer, suggestion, intimation, mark, manifestation, demonstration, token, evidence. On that first Christmas night the angel’s instruction was very clear: “This will be a SIGN to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12


The sign was spoken, a new born baby wrapped in clothes swaddling clothes and in an animal trough, a manger. So when you see those signs come true before your very eyes, then you will know that the first part of angel’s message was also true, that the Saviour has been born, the Messiah has come, Emmanuel.

 

This sign, this gift of a sign, was given to the shepherds, and also to us. As we read this part of the Christmas story, about the sign given and then the sign verified as true, we find proof about this Babe, this Jesus that He the Saviour has come.

 

Does God often use signs in the Bible as a way of communicating with us, of predicting something is about to happen, of proving Himself and His activity among us? Yes, many, many signs in the Bible for us and to us, especially at this Christmas time. And these signs are gifts to us to open and enjoy as they reveal what a great God we have and that He loves and cares for us.

 

1

We have already mentioned, on that first Christmas night the angel’s instruction was very clear: “This will be a SIGN to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12


2

14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and (you) will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 (NIV)

 

Many ANNELIDS, like worms, do not need a partner to reproduce, they are asexual. Cooperhead snakes are another example of asexual or in Latin, “PARTHENOGENIS”, which literally means: ‘VIRGIN BIRTH’.

But with humans this is impossible, absolutely impossible. So God gives a sign: when you see the impossible happen, a virgin gives birth, a parthenogenis occurs among humans, that sign indicates, Emmanuel, God is with you.

 

3

God gave a sign through Micah, the OT prophet, where the Saviour was to be born The Shepherd, the Saviour was to be born in Bethlehem, not Jerusalem, not Shiloh, not Lachish. NO, NO the sign was only Bethlehem. Only in Bethlehem was the Saviour to be born, the Messiah, the Christ as Herod stated.

Matthew 2 (KJV)

2 Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

4 And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ (the Messiah) should be born.

5 And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

8 And he sent them to Bethlehem,


4

There are many more signs God has given: Such as when God told the Israelites to put the blood on the top of their doors of their homes at that 1st Passover. It would be sign for the death angel to pass---over.

Exodus 12:13 New International Version (NIV)

13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

-Joshua calls the 10 plagues of Egypt great signs.

For the Lord our God, He it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, Joshua 24:17

Yes, the plagues were signs to the Israelites that indeed this was Jehovah displaying His power to deliver them. It was God, not any other doing this.

 

Let’s make this personal! Does God often use signs in the Bible as a way of communicating with me, of predicting something is about to happen, of proving Himself and/or His activity to me? Interesting question. So many spiritual questions revolve around God and me and particularly at this time of the season we could say Jesus and me. Emmanuel: God with me!!

John 2:11 (NIV)

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee (the water into wine) was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

 

John 2:23 (NIV)

23 Now while he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Festival, many people saw the signs he was performing and believed in his name.

 

 John 7:31 (NIV)

31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him. They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

 

John 11:47 (NIV)

47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the Sanhedrin.

“What are we accomplishing?” they asked. “Here is this man performing many signs.

How are these signs that other people saw, a sign to me some 2000 years later? They saw the blind healed, the dead raised, they saw the lame walk and the deaf hear, I didn’t see any of that. So how do these signs relate to me?

Well let me explain with an example: This year we were travelling up Television Road going to church and half way up to Hunter Street we noticed police radar, out in force and trying to hide their location. Marilyn texted Ben and simply stated, radar on Television Road. Ben travels the same way we do to church. He texted back, ‘thanks’.

That text was a sign to Ben, who had not seen the police yet but believed the one who did see the police. The sign to him was one of possible consequences, it was a sign.     In the same way all these people who actually saw these signs in Jesus’ time, they bear witness to you that Jesus was the Messiah, Emmanuel, God Himself. They tell us Jesus proved and demonstrated unequivocally by signs they saw, that He the Saviour, as proclaimed by the angels and seen by the shepherds.

John 20:30-31 (NIV)

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

 

Yes, these signs that Jesus did, the signs the angels proclaimed and the signs done throughout the ages, as recorded in the Bible, are for you today, especially at this Christmas time. The Signs are a gift, a gift for you to believe in this babe of Bethlehem, the Christ, the Saviour.

 

Think of it this way, when Jesus did all of His healings, His miracles even His own resurrection, He did to prove to you, to give you a sign that Emmanuel has come for you. Do you believe it? What more could He do to convince you. Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. Receive the gift, open it up fully and enjoy Him forever. Amen.

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