Summary: The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a wondrous event and we celebrate that great day on December 25 of each year. On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead: his victory over sin and death. I submit to you this morning
Celebrating Jesus Every Day
The birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is a wondrous event and we celebrate that great day on December 25 of each year. On Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead: his victory over sin and death. I submit to you this morning that we should celebrate Jesus every day. We should celebrate his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection.
Why should we celebrate every day?
In I Thessalonians 5:16, Paul tells us to always rejoice in the Lord. People are naturally happy on some occasions, but the Christian’s joy is not dependent on circumstances. It comes from what Christ has done and is constant.
We have reason to celebrate every day and in every situation because of what Jesus has done for each and every one of us. He has taken on our sins and paid the penalty for that sin. He has made a way for us to have a relationship with God that is a Father-Child relationship. He has gone to prepare a place for the faithful and will return one day to bring the church home to God.
How do we celebrate every day?
Paul gives us several great ideas for how to live the Christian life. Some of these are summed up in our passage that we read:
1. Live in peace with each other: Jesus prayed for the unity of the church (John 17) and the apostles taught and pleaded for unity. We must unite together for the common cause of the gospel. We must not support erroneous teachings, but must teach the truth in love to those who are deceived by a false gospel.
2. Warn those who are idle: At this point many of the Thessalonians had quit their jobs and had stopped trying to spread the gospel or to grow as Christians. They were simply sitting around their homes waiting for Jesus to return. Paul admonishes them to return and keep working as they await the Lord’s return.
3. Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone: The strong in faith must nurture and encourage those who are weak instead of rejecting them. New born babes in Christ must especially be taught, nurtured, and encouraged through the loving example of those who are more mature in their faith. If you are struggling, seek out someone to help you with your faith. If you are strong and mature, seek out someone that you can be a mentor to. Spend time with them, pray with them, study the Bible with them, encourage them to be faithful.
4. Do not pay back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else: Retaliation is not the way of the Christian. We are taught to forgive, not to get even. Jesus himself said that if we are struck, we should turn the other cheek. (Matt. 5:38-42, 18:21-35). Paul also wrote of this in Romans 12:9-21.
5. Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances: We talked about being joyful in all things. Last week, we discussed what it means to pray continually. It is hard to give thanks in all circumstances. There are difficult times that we will face in life and sometimes it is hard to see the good things. Paul himself went through some very dire circumstances and yet he was always able to be thankful and to be content. Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 speaks about the delighting in hardships.
6. Test everything. Hold on to the good.
We must be like the Bereans who studied the scriptures daily to verify the things that were being taught to them. It is important that you go home and study to either verify or refute the things that I teach or that anyone else is teaching. If I have stated something incorrect, please let me know so that I may also study and make things right. We must also accept what is good and scriptural teaching and hold tightly and firmly to those things.
7. Avoid every kind of evil.
Satan walks about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Those are the words of the apostle Peter in 1 Peter 5:8 and they are very true words. He says we should resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the god of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.
Do you have reason to celebrate?
Are you a Christian? If not, then you do not have cause to celebrate Jesus every day. Don’t you want to be a part of his kingdom, to have the forgiveness of your sins, to have access to God the Father through prayer, and to have the hope of eternal life in heaven with him?