Summary: Our Heavenly Father loves to give generous, lavish gifts to His children. He has many wonderful Christmas presents for everyone, and you don’t have to wait until December 25th to open them.
CHRISTMAS PRESENTS FROM HEAVEN
ILLUSTRATION: Santa Letters
"Dear Santa, you did not bring me anything good last year. You did not bring me anything good the year before that. This is your last chance. Signed, Alfred."
"Dear Santa, there are three little boys who live at our house. There is Jeffrey; he is 2. There is David; he is 4. And there is Norman; he is 7. Jeffrey is good some of the time. David is good some of the time. But Norman is good all of the time. I am Norman."
OPENING: Christmas can be a stressful time for people.
• Stress = a force or a pressure that strains or deforms.
• One of the things is money – if you spend too much money on your credit cards, you spend the next six months paying it off.
• Another thing that can cause stress is family gatherings, or having no family, if you feel like you’re all alone. Maybe you’ve lost a loved one this year, that can put stress.
• Shopping can put pressure on you. There was a study done that said only 1 out of 4 women feel pressure when they’re shopping. All men feel pressure when they go shopping. A British Psychologist named David Lewis did a study and put men in a shopping mall and monitored their blood pressure rate and discovered that shopping is actually hazardous to your health. So guys I just gave you an ‘out’. The blood pressure rate rises to that of a fighter pilot going into combat. We could have told you that without the study – it’s a battle!
Have you heard people say, “Christmas isn’t about the presents?” I don’t agree with that!
“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” (James 1:17).
THE BIG IDEA: Our Heavenly Father loves to give generous, lavish gifts to His children. He has many wonderful Christmas presents for everyone, and you don’t have to wait until December 25th to open them. God has something good for you this Christmas season!
THE CHRISTMAS STORY:
“1 And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. 3 So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, 5 to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. 6 So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. 7 And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 14 "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!" 15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, "Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.” (Luke 2:1-20).
I. FREEDOM FROM FEAR:
“Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid.”