Summary: How can I get ready for Christmas?
Let Christmas Change Your World!
Part 1: Christmas Preparation
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church - Dec. 3, 2006
*I went to the mall with Mary the day after Thanksgiving. Wow! And while we were there, we went to Bath & Body Works. Double wow! There were 800 women in that little store! Not really, but it was wall to wall women.
I stood in line while Mary picked things out, and it took 30 minutes for that line to snake its way through the store. It was a phenomenon: People getting ready for Christmas, or trying to anyway, but how can we really get ready for Christmas? That’s what this Old Testament prophecy is about, so let’s look into the Word of God and see.
1. How can I get ready for Christmas? The first thing to do is share the Lord’s comfort.
1-God surely wants you to have His comfort, and we know this because He says in vs.1: “Comfort, yes, comfort My people!”
*God was speaking to people who were desperately going to need comfort. Their nation and their most holy temple were going to be destroyed. Thousands would be carried away to Babylon, and many more would be killed.
*They were going to need comfort, and so will we. Christmas is a time of celebration, but it can also be a difficult time for those whose loved ones have died. This week Donna gave me a list of our church members we have had to say Goodbye to over the last year: Bud Hill, Mot Richey, Lori Bass, Mary Lois Taylor, Kenneth Berry, Stuart Morse, Lloyd Jacks, Doc Green, and of course, Bro. Savoie.
*Many more of us lost family members and friends this past year, and it hurts, but God wants to comfort you, and He can do it. 2 Corin 1:3&4 tell us that He is the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. And that He comforts us in all our tribulation.
*We see God’s comfort here in vs. 2, where He says: “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned; for she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
*God says that “her warfare is ended,” and believers, one day our struggles will be over. Victory is coming! That’s comfort. And by the grace of God, by the Cross of Jesus Christ, all of our sins have been pardoned! That’s comfort! Christians, we are part of the Family of God, Heaven is our home and we will live forever. That’s comfort!
*Last Thursday at our senior adult luncheon, I told my table that my friend in Georgia, Mrs. Parker, was still about the same and in good spirits when I talked to her the day after Thanksgiving. (Several weeks ago, a nurse told the family that she would only last about a week, but many times they just don’t know.)
*Then Vera said they thought the same thing about her when she was sick in Shreveport last year. She said Cathy told them, “You just don’t know my Mama!”
*But Vera said that while she was in the hospital, once she was right there at the gates of Heaven. She could see how beautiful it was. Of course she wanted to go in, but she could feel herself being pulled back, because it wasn’t her time yet. But Heaven is right there waiting for her, and for all who know Jesus as Savior and Lord. That’s comfort.
2-God wants you to have it, and He wants you to give it. “Comfort, yes, comfort My people! says your God. Speak comfort to Jerusalem.”
*Those commands are not just for Isaiah or the other prophets or for preachers. Those commands are for all of God’s people. That’s why 2 Corin 1 says: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, Who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
*God wants every believer to be a comforter. God wants you to comfort other people, because He knows that as long as we are in this world, people around us are going to need comfort. And you can do it. Christian, you can do it. Many of you already have.
*Last Friday we received a card from Debbie and Roger Bennett. Most of you know that Roger is in Legacy 5 and that he has been fighting a long battle against cancer. Right now Roger is in Houston for a 3rd bone marrow transplant.
*After the concert last September, we found that we had actually made almost a thousand dollars, and it seemed like the best thing to do with that money was send it to Roger. That’s what the card is about, and it says: