Summary: We look forward to Christmas with anticipation
Home baked happiness- Giving Christmas to Your Family
ILL. It’s Christmas time, & Lucy comes in where Charlie Brown is standing & says, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown. `Tis the season of peace on earth & good will toward men. Therefore, I suggest we forget all our differences & love one another."
Charlie Brown, whose face lights up at this, says, "That’s wonderful, Lucy. I’m so glad you said that. But tell me, do we have to love each other only at this season of the year? Why can’t we love each other all year long?" Lucy retorts, "What are you, a fanatic or something?"
A.A good portion of the earth doesn’t believe in Christmas, Yet,
Christmas is supposed to be a time of "peace on earth, good will
Listen as I read some very familiar words in the King James Version of the Bible, found in Luke 2:8-14, "And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, & the glory of the Lord shone round about them: & they were sore afraid.
"And the angel said unto them, `Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, & saying, `Glory to God in the highest, & on earth peace, good will toward men.’"
APPL. How wonderful our homes and our lives and the world could be, if we really did put into practice the blessing of "peace on earth, good will toward men."
B. I’m sure that most of us have begun our Christmas shopping. There may be a few procrastinators who wait until almost the last minute, but most of us spend a great deal of time & thought in choosing just the right gift for that special person in our life.
C. What was God’s gift to us at Christmas time? I’m sure that most of you would say, "He gave His only begotten son." And of course, you’re right. Others might say, "He gave us evidence of His love." And of course, that would be right, too.
PROP. But I want to be a bit more specific than that, for in actuality, God gave us several very valuable gifts.
I.HE GAVE US THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FORGIVENESS OF OUR SINS
A. He gave us the opportunity for the forgiveness of our sins.
1. In Jesus Christ, God gave us the opportunity for the forgiveness
of our sins.
2.You see, we’ll never have peace with our fellow man until first
we’re at peace with ourselves.
3.And we can never really be at peace with ourselves until we’re at
peace with God.
4.And we can never be at peace with God until our sins have been
ILL. I heard something unusual a few years ago. In the Eastern part of the U.S. a cookbook was recalled. Now, I’ve never heard of a cookbook being recalled before. I’ve heard of automobiles being recalled, & toasters & baby seats. But I had never before heard of a cookbook being recalled.
This cookbook was recalled because one recipe had left out an important ingredient. And the producers of the book realized that if someone followed the directions of that recipe & left out that ingredient, that the ingredients they put together could actually blow up in their faces. So because of that hazard, the cookbook was recalled.
B.I thought to myself, "There must be a sermon there someplace."
1. God has given us the recipe for life.
2. He says, "You want peace?
3. Then here is the recipe.
4. Find forgiveness through Jesus Christ. Live according to My
rules principles, the ingredients that make it all possible."
C. But if you leave out some of His ingredients, Life can blow up in
D. That is why there is so much depression & so much suicide & so much
1. Because too many are following the wrong recipes for life.
SUM. So God says, "Here’s my gift. It is not just the gift of a baby, but it is the offer of forgiveness & salvation."
1. He gave us opportunity for the forgiveness of SIN
The 2nd thing that God offers is "
II. HELP IN OUR PRESENT SITUATION
A. I think of the shepherds sitting out on the hillsides,
watching sheep all night long. (Boring it must be)
1.They were poor, with no prospect for improving their lives.