Sermons

Summary: God wants to give you hope.

Let Christmas Put Hope in Your Heart Luke 2:1-14

Sermon by: Rick Crandall

McClendon Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA

Dec. 19, 2004

*A songwriter named Gordon Bok once wrote:

-If I had a thing to give you...

--I would tell you one more time that the world is always turning toward the morning.

*That’s hope...

-And one of the best things about being a Christian is that no matter how bad things may get in our lives...

--We have hope.

*God wants to give you hope...

-And we can find our greatest hope here in the Christmas story.

1. So find hope in God’s promise of peace...

A. That’s the first source of hope I want to mention today.

-(And we see it in vs. 13&14)

B. Christmas gives us hope...

*Hope in God’s promise of peace...

-But we remember the war...

--And those who fight for us.

BI. Most of us have seen this famous picture: -Washington Crossing the Delaware...

*Hope for freedom was almost gone; the war was almost lost.

-But Gen. Washington crossed that river with 2,500 men.

--They were on their way to fight a battle that turned the war around & changed the course of history.

*The picture is famous...

-But not too accurate.

*The actual crossing took place in the dead of night...

-Across the treacherous, ice swollen river...

--In the middle of raging winds & later, a blinding snowstorm.

*Maj. James Wilkinson was on his way to join Washington & said that the route was easy to follow...

-Wilkinson wrote:

--There was a little snow on the ground, which was tinged here and there with blood from the feet of the men who wore broken shoes.

--Or no shoes at all.

C. It was 228 years ago... *And it was Christmas. (1)

-Now this Christmas almost 175,000 of our brave young men & women will be away from home...

--Also fighting for our freedom in Iraq & Afghanistan...

D. We must appreciate them & pray for them...

*Because they are trying to protect us from the people who would like to destroy us...

-And erase the memory of Christmas from the world.

E. There is war in the world today...

*But Christmas gives us the promise of peace, because Jesus Christ came into the world!

-Right now we can have peace with God...

-Right now we can have peace in our hearts...

*And one day there will be true peace all over this world...

-The lion will lie down with the lamb...

-And the swords will be beaten into plowshares.

2. Find hope in God’s promise of peace...

*And in God’s supernatural strength.

A. What good is a promise if you can’t carry it out? *But God can.

-The Lord has the strength to fulfill all of His promises...

--And this gives us hope.

B. We see just a taste of the Lord’s strength in vs. 8&9...

*This angel lit up the sky that first Christmas night...

-He was awesome enough to strike terror into the hearts of those shepherds...

--But this angel was just a tiny reminder of God’s power.

C. Our God is supernatural...

*He created all of nature...

-But is never bound by nature.

*If God wants to shine His glory on a Judean hillside...

-He can do it anytime.

D. He is a miracle worker...

*And we see this all through the Christmas story.

DI. Matthew Rogers says:

*There are some things about Christmas that are pretty weird...

-A virgin teen becoming pregnant...

-A baby who would save the world from its sins...

-A God who wanted to become a human being.

*That’s some pretty weird stuff...

-But to us, the supernatural will always seem odd.

*As one person has said,

-If miracles happened all the time, we would have called them ordinaries. (2)

E. But God is extraordinary...

*He is supernatural, amazing & strong!

-And I hope you believe in angels...

-Because they are just as real as you are.

*Several people in our church family could tell you angel stories today.

EI. A few weeks ago Mary & I saw Pat Rugg at Heavenly Ham...

*And I thought about her dad, Milford Humphreys...

-He died about 12 years ago...

*Some of you knew Milford...

-He retired from the United States Postal Service.

*The last time he got sick, Mr. Humphreys was in Glenwood Hospital...

-And several days before he died, he saw an angel in his room.

*His nurse came in a while later to adjust the IV...

-And Milford told her that he had seen an angel.

*She said: -I’m your angel.

*Well, Milford was a little gruff...

-And he said: --No...

-This was a bona fide angel...

--Guess I’m getting ready to kick the bucket...

F. But Milford wasn’t afraid...

*Because he belonged to the Lord.

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