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Summary: We live in a world where Jesus is optional. Today we will learn Jesus is not an option but a very real necessity.

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INTENSIFY CHRISTMAS (PART 1)

Isaiah 9 / December 16, 2012

INTRODUCTION - We live in a world where Jesus is optional. Sunday we will learn Jesus is not an option but a very real necessity. Two major problems with Christmas holiday today...

1. Confusion - Society has twisted Christmas! Its more about Santa Clause / less about Jesus

2..Coldness - Believers have become COLD towards the Christmas holiday! Story doesnt move us like it should. I don't look forward to preaching about Christmas. For many, Christmas sermons produce yawns. Christmas has lost its power.

DEFINITION - Intensify is our buzz word this Christmas!

Intensify is a - verb (action) (Something you do!)

Synonyms - strengthen, reinforce, increase reinforce

TRANSITION - How do we make (true purpose / meaning) of Christmas more powerful in our lives? To intensify Christmas we need to understand that we need Christmas!

PERCEPTION - Is how we look at things - Today I want us to take God' word and let it SHAPE our perception of Christmas!

For the next two weeks I want to unpack prophecy about the birth of Jesus found in Isaiah chapter 9. The prophet Isaiah was prophesying about the nation of Israel, but I don't think he realized that he was prophesying to the whole world about the biggest event in human history.

6 Reasons why we need Christmas...

1.JESUS BRINGS US HELP!

vs.1 Nevertheless the dimness shall not be such as was in her vexation, when at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations.

 We need Christmas because we are a people of trouble!

 vexation = trouble, pain, distress, anguish - (That is our world / lot in life)

Job 14:1 Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble.

John 16:33 In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

 We live in a world where fear, sorrows and troubles will never end.

 In Christmas we have COMFORT / KNOWING Jesus came to help and deliver

 TRUTH - We go to great lengths to HIDE our weakness / need for help

 TRUTH - We should humbly ask for help / GOD will surprise

 TRUTH - Jesus may not always spare us from troubles, if we follow him wholeheartedly, He will LEAD us safely through them.

2. JESUS BRINGS US ILLUMINATION!

vs.2a The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light

 We need Christmas because we walk in darkness!

John 1:4-5 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

 In his light, we see ourselves as we really are (sinners in need of a Savior).

 When we follow Jesus, the true Light, we can avoid walking blindly and falling into sin.

 In a time of great darkness, God sent a light into the world!

 In Christmas we have HOPE / KNOWING Jesus came to guide us and illuminate our lives!

 TRUTH - We live in a world that looks for answers / dont know where to go

 TRUTH - Jesus brings us UNDERSTANDING / Have you had your A-Ha moment

 TRUTH - If we let Christ guide your life, and you'll never need to stumble in darkness.

3. JESUS BRINGS US LIFE!

vs.2b they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

 We need Christmas because we live in a land of death!

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 Thief takes life, Jesus gives life.

 The life Jesus gives is eternal, yet it begins immediately.

 Life in Christ is lived on a higher plane because of his overflowing forgiveness, love, and guidance.

 Have you taken Christ's offer of life?

4. JESUS BRINGS US TRUE JOY!

vs.3 Thou hast multiplied the nation, and not increased the joy: they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest, and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.

 We need Christmas because we have no true joy!

 TRUTH - the harder we try to be joyful through our own efforts, the more miserable we can become.

1 Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

5. JESUS BRINGS US RELIEF!

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