Summary: Christmas Joy is when we are restored to the right relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ.

Christmas Joy

“When the Lord restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!

We were filled with laughter, and we sang with joy.” Psalm 126:1-2

Intro: I want to talk to you today about Christmas Joy.

We all face difficulties in life.

Challenges at work or in school.

People that are hard to get along with.

There is stress, problems, disappointments.

If we are not careful we will let the pressures of life weigh us down.

It is easy to complain.

It is easy to become negative and discouraged.

But we weren’t meant to go through life depressed and dispirited.

We were created to enjoy life.

We can’t control what happens on the outside

But we can control what happens on the inside.

Let me say that again because it is so important

You can control how you react to the people and things around you.

We can control what happens on the inside.

Happiness for a lot of people depends upon what happens to them.

It is the weekend, I am happy.

My child’s team wins the ball game, I am happy.

Work isn’t too bad, I am happy.

But the joy that comes from knowing Christ doesn’t come and go from what happens around you.

The joy from knowing Christ comes from what is going on deep down on the inside of you.

In a Dr. Seuss Christmas story, the small-hearted Grinch

takes food and toys away from all the Who’s of Whosville in an effort to steal their Christmas joy.

Yet on Christmas morning, the tall and the small sang without any presents at all.

And the Grinch with his grinch-feet, ice cold in the snow,

Stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!

It came without packages, boxes or bags!

And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before.

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store.

Maybe Christmas, perhaps, is a whole lot more.

Christmas Joy is more than just words.

Christmas Joy is God becoming human…, in the Person of Jesus Christ…, because…, we…, need…, a Saviour!

Do you know why the Grinch hated Christmas?

Because his heart was so filled with hurts…, pains of the past…, and brokenness…

That there was NOT enough room…, for joy.

We must let the Christmas Joy into our attitude

Let the Christmas Joy into our heart

Even…, when we meet up with people…, who are not big hearted…, or joyful.

If you think you are NOT a Grinch but you think you might know a Grinch just raise your hand.

I see a lot of people looking around pointing at Grinchs.

The truth is…

I. We are ALL…, a bunch of Grinchs…, who need to be restored.

Let’s think about two questions for a moment.

Have you ever been a Grinch?

Why does my life…, need to be…, restored?

Romans 3:10 says "There is no one righteous, not even one;”

What this means is no one is innocent.

Everyone has sinned.

We all stand in need of forgiveness.

Every person is valuable to God.

But no one is good enough to get into heaven on your own.

We have all fallen because of sin.

But God through Jesus his Son offers to forgive us and restore us into Gods’ Grace if we turn to Him by faith.

We live in a culture where it is easy to ignore our own sin.

People make excuses every day for why they don’t come to church.

You tell me an excuse and I will tell you a reason you need to be in church.

So, we all fall into that category of a bunch of Grinchs.

The next question is why does my life need to be restored?

“When the Lord restored his exiles to Jerusalem, it was like a dream!

We were filled with laughter, and we sang with joy.” Psalm 126:1-2

The context of the Hebrew word Restored means:

Brought back those who were captives and prisoners who are set free.

The Psalmist explains Joy as being restored by the Lord.

We need a quick history lesson here to truly understand the meaning.

Israel suffered three major exiles or forced removal and slavery of their people.

The first was the exile of the Israelites of the northern kingdom (Samaria) carried out by the Assyrians.

It occurred between 734 b.c. and 722 b.c. when the city of Samaria was destroyed and the northern kingdom literally wiped off the face of the map. 2 King 17:5-6

The second major exile involved the destruction of the southern kingdom (Judah) and the city of Jerusalem.

It, took place in 586 b.c. under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in Jeremiah 52:28-30,

This was when Solomon's temple was destroyed and the dynasty of David came to an end.

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