Summary: Looking at the Christmas story through the eyes of Joseph and the wise men and how we can maintain joy in our lives.
Let’s Talk Christmas part two
Introduction (Susan will have just read Scripture)
How many are excited for Christmas?
How many are hoping for a certain present? I see your hands.
How many remember the gift that Ralphie from the Christmas Story wanted?
Not just a BB Gun…He wanted a Red Rider carbon action 200 shot range model air rifle.
Just like Ralphie, I hope you get what you want for Christmas.
If you are waiting for a new vehicle like the commercial where the car is wrapped up in his living room and the man says fingers crossed. You might have a little harder time getting what you want.
YOU MIGHT SHOOT YOUR EYE OUT.
This morning we looked at the life of Mary and the awesome task she was given to bear the son of God.
How she must have had questions, and yet at some point trusted God to accomplish what He wanted in her life and through her life.
We said one enemy of Joy was anxiety and fear.
She must have had both as she completed the task God gave her.
Tonight for a minute we will continue looking at Talking about Christmas and see it through the eyes of Joseph and the wise men.
The first enemy of joy is fear/anxiety
The second enemy of joy is hurt and resentment.
Just like anxiety and fear, you cannot have resentment and hurts in the same spot of your heart that you want joy.
Everyone in this room has experienced hurts and being wounded.
You have been hurt by words and some have been physically hurt.
This is a broken world and it will be like that until Jesus returns.
Bitterness and hurts have kept most of us from experiencing the joy that God desires from us.
Have you ever looked at the Christmas story and realized how betrayed and hurt Joseph must have been for his wife-to be, the women he was in love with, who he never had sex with, to come to him and tell him that she was pregnant!
His entire world changed in an instant.
One minute he is happy and the next, he has to decide how he is going to dismiss his engagement to Mary.
He was broken hearted. God hadn’t told him anything yet.
He was going to too, but he hadn’t yet. (Anyone been there?)Waiting on God to bring you up to speed on something going on in your life.
She has been unfaithful to me- (So he thought)
He was not going to retaliate
He was not going to be bitter
He was not going to be resentful.
When Joseph was hurt- so his joy would not be stolen;
He choose grace. God’s grace and mercy to help him through.
He choose to let it go so God could bring healing.
Mary dealing with fear and Joseph dealing with anger.
That is happening in homes all across America today. People are going through different things at the same time and not knowing how they will handle them.
Joseph had every right to be angry, but he chose Grace.
Matthew 1:18-24 read from Bible
He was going to end the relationship but not allow bitterness to steal his joy. Sometimes things need to change, we don’t see any good coming from it at the time, but if we will trust God, He will reveal His plan for you in His timeing.
The beauty of Grace
He was not going to rub it in.
He would not shame her.
He would not publicly embarrass her.
Who or what event hurt you? You cannot have resentment and joy in the same heart at the same time.
Resentment does not change the past
Resentment does not stop what happen.
Resentment will not make you feel better.
“But after he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared.”
Paraphrased- after he decided to do it right, the Lord appeared in a dream and spoke to the issue.
Mary chose trusting God
Joseph chose Grace.
God does not keep us in the dark forever- it just seems like it- He tells Joseph what is happening and He again takes his bride to be and moves forward in their plans.
The third enemy of Joy is confusion
Confusion will suck the life out of you. Take the joy from your life. Cause you to go into a tailspin.
I think the number one question asked of any pastor is “direction for my life” and “what do I do in this situation”
Most of the time asked in the same question.
Joseph was confused, what do I do?
Shepherds were confused… what is happening here?
Can you imagine being in the middle of nowhere, doing what you do and an angel lights up the sky and gives instructions on where to find the Christ -child.