Summary: This sermon is meant to give hope to people through the fact that dreams were very much a part of the Christmas story.
CHRISTMAS – A SEASON FOR DREAMS
INTRODUCTION – A lady told her husband that she had dreamed that he had bought her a diamond necklace for Christmas! The husband responded positively to her dream by bringing her a beautifully wrapped gift. As she eagerly tore open the wrapping to see her diamond necklace, all she found was a little book. It was titled, 'How to interpret your dreams'!
Christmas is a difficult period for a lot of people, for as they look back over the year, they may see many dreams that have not been fulfilled. The present too, may be discouraging, with shortages of finances & food & maybe other difficulties like being retrenched or maybe even a death in the family. It is well known that a lot of people go through depression in December & some even commit suicide, because they can't seem to identify with the celebratory Christmas spirit around them that somehow seems to have eluded them. Country legend Merle Haggard sang, 'If we make it through December, everything is gonna be alright I know'. The song speaks about a father who has just lost his job at the factory & he's wondering how he can make Christmas special for his little daughter.
As I was studying the Christmas story in the scriptures a few years ago, It struck me as to how many times, dreams & visions are mentioned around this great event. As a result, God, I believe, led me to put this sermon together to give hope to people at Christmas time. David Wilkerson once said, 'never underestimate the power of a dream'.
Proposition: God can fulfill a dream for you this Christmas season.
I would like to share about 4 types of dreams God gave around the time of our Lord's birth & his early days. I believe He can minister to you in one or more of these areas. They are,
1) A DREAM OF ASSURANCE
When Joseph received the news of Mary's pregnancy, he would have been a shattered man! He also would have felt deeply rejected by the love of his life. His world would have been turned upside down! But, in this moment of despair, God gave him a dream of assurance (Mt 1:20). An angel appeared in a dream & said “Joseph …, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife...”. As a result, Joseph went from the scenario of a possible divorce, to being the earthly father of the Messiah!
Luke tells us that not only Joseph, but Mary also received a prophetic assurance through Elizabeth (Lk 1:42)
Maybe you are facing Christmas, feeling shattered or rejected, due to prevailing circumstances in your life at present. Be encouraged however to know that, as He did for Joseph, God can give you, 'A dream of assurance', this Christmas.
ILLUSTRATION: Close to 2 years ago, my world was shattered overnight when I noticed something was wrong with my vision. Upon checking it out, I found that the Retina on my left eye had detached & that the vision on that eye was at its lowest. A Surgeon I consulted told me that I needed immediate surgery & as I prepared for the surgery with a lot of concern, God gave me assurance that He will bring me through. It came through the following lyrics of the well loved song “In Christ Alone”.
'From life's first cry to final breath, Jesus commands my destiny.
No power of hell, no scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand'
Thankfully, through God's unfailing grace & power and the skill of the Surgeon, I came through the crisis well. I'm doing good today, with most of my vision restored.
God has a 'dream of assurance for you'.
2) A DREAM OF WARNING
In Mt 2:12, we are told that the wise men were warned in a dream ' not to go back to Herod' & in Mt 2:13, Joseph was warned in a dream to take his family & leave for Egypt. Once again, God was speaking through dreams!
Some of us could be needing a warning from the Lord during the season, maybe because of a poor decision about to be made or maybe because the path we are taking is going to be detrimental. Or could it be that He's warning us about a sin that can cause damage to us & our family. So, 'If God bolts a door, don't try to jump in through a window'! He may well be telling you to 'go another way'. As much as the GPS in your vehicle re-routes you when you take a wrong turn, could God be re-routing the direction you are traveling in? If so, be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.