Summary: Lets talk Christmas looking through the eyes of Mary, Joseph, and the Wise men.
Let’s talk Christmas (part one)
Here we are Christmas Eve Day and we are moving fast toward Christmas.
I know there are procrastinators in here this morning that will be shopping today to finish up gift giving.
People who have put it off, didn’t feel like it, and now they are at crunch time. Good Luck with that!
There are some that are not here this morning because that is what they are doing. Don’t try to figure out who because some are traveling.
They know…ha ha.
Let’s talk Christmas… Christmas is supposed to be celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. This same baby later dying on a cross and being resurrected by God the Father in a miraculous way, fulfilling prophecy and providing a way of salvation. Not one of many ways, but the only way of salvation. It is provided but you have to accept the terms of His way of salvation.
Giving each of us a choice if Jesus Christ becomes our savior.
He is savior of the world, but does He become your savior?
At Christmas time, for unbelievers, and even those who procrastinate their commitment to Him, it is a time that most struggle for the Joy that God desires for us to have and live in our lives.
For the unbeliever, it can be a reminder of the decisions that you have made.
Agnostic who believes if there is a God you cannot know him and if he exists, he does not care or have any factor in your life.
Atheist who flatly says they do not believe in God.
I can understand how they could struggle this time of year as they hear the truth of God’s amazing love for us and they chose to reject it or dismiss it, but what about believers who struggle this time of year?
Why don’t we have the joy of the Lord?
I want to talk a minute now and will finish up tonight about how we can receive the joy of the Lord that will last all year long.
Happiness that the world offers is temporary. It is based upon external circumstances. “What’s happening now”
Godly Joy is based upon choices internal and long-lasting.
Luke 1:26-38 Read from Bible
The first enemy of Joy- Fear and anxiety
Mary had questions-
Who me! I am to carry the son of the living God.
Why me! You have been chosen by God for his purpose.
Frightened and scared- do you blame her? I don’t care how long you were a Christian…that would be scary.
It is supposed to be Merry Christmas not scary Christmas.
The next question she had… how is this possible? I am sure she understood the birds and the bees.
I have never been with a man. Am sure she would know that.
The Holy Spirit of God will overshadow you and a miraculous conception will take place.
Oh, by the way, your cousin who could not have children and is old, she will conceive also. She is in her sixth month of pregnancy.
They did not have telephones or email.
She was hearing news that had not yet reached her by camel express.
“For nothing is impossible with God.”
Do you believe that this morning?
How would you respond? Would you have a little anxiety! A little fear?
Mary’s response-(38) “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled”
Our Christian faith sometimes takes us to where we have no choice but to step out in faith. Amen?
He provides as we need it, and usually at the very last minute so that we know that it is God doing it and not anything we do.
Being a Christian is supposed to be joyful- Jesus own words to us- “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”
That your joy may be full…
We sing more than any other religion.
Everywhere you look is the word joy at this time and yet people struggle finding joy.
Just because some radio stations start playing Christmas songs in August will not put the joy of the Lord in your heart.
It can enhance it if it is already there, but not put it there.
God says that we can have “joy unspeakable” and “full” of his glory.
I want that! I bet you would want that too. To experience God in His fullness and have the Joy that we could not even imagine or comprehend. That is fun just saying it let alone experience.
Kay Warren in her book Choose Joy defines joy;
“Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control of every detail of my life. That gives me joy. It is the quiet confidence that ultimately everything will be alright. It may not all be all right right now, but God is in control, and he is going to work it out. Ultimately, everything will be all right. Joy is the determined choice to praise God, or honor God, to thank God, in all things. That is a whole lot different than just feeling good. Joy is a choice. Joy is a character. Joy is commitment. God wants you to live a joy filled life.”