Summary: Are you ready for the coming of the Messiah? Instead of preparing for a holiday, let’s prepare for the coming of the Savior.
Title: Prepare For Christmas
Text: Matthew 3:1-6
December 2, 2007
New Hope Community Chapel
Goal: Changed Lives. Changing from preparing for a Holiday to preparing for the coming of the Savior
Main Point: What is the one thing I want my audience to know? They need to be prepared for the Savior to come.
Application: What do I want them to do about it? Confess your sin and turn to God.
Are you prepared for Christmas?
I would have to say I am not, although, the snow we received on Saturday is helping me get into the spirit.
I haven’t hung a single Christmas light outside yet – not sure I will…
I haven’t even bought any Christmas gifts yet.
I thought about it a bit.
I don’t really have to buy many presents – just for Laura.
And I really don’t know what to get her.
The way I see it, we both have everything we need.
If I buy her something for the kitchen – that implies work.
If I buy her clothes – I could get into a lot of trouble trying to guess on the size – better leave that alone until after the pregnancy is done.
One Christmas I bought a few things for Laura.
Among them was a Jean skirt from Old Navy.
I liked it – and I knew her size – so I bought it.
Christmas came and Laura opened her presents – including the box with the skirt.
I told her to try on her new clothes and to both our surprise the skirt must have been big enough to go around Laura 2xs.
Something happened and the skirt was accidentally labeled (her size), but on the inside it had it’s right size and that was a few sizes too large.
I got into trouble for that – you know.
“Do you see me as being that big?”
So I am not ready for Christmas just yet.
Sure, Wal-Mart was ready for Christmas in September.
It won’t be long until you walk in there to buy sparklers on July 4 and you’ll have to walk past the giant inflatable snow globe to get them.
I really don’t start getting ready for Christmas until after Thanksgiving.
I like to take one holiday at a time.
I am not holding anything against those who have been ready for months, but you may have a problem.
You may be addicted to Christmas which can result in Christmasitis.
I have a little test which can help you determine if you have contracted this disease.
Give yourself a point for every question you answer yes to.
1. Do you have more than five giant inflatable lawn decorations?
2. Did you buy any of this year’s Christmas presents at the after Christmas sales last year?
3. Do you leave your Christmas lights up all year and try to pass them off as lights to celebrate other holidays?
4. Have you ever bought an artificial tree because real ones don’t last for three months?
5. Do you rent or own a shed or storage unit because you have more decorations than your house can hold?
On a more serious note, I ask you again: Are you prepared for Christmas?
We can point to a number of things to gauge our readiness.
Do we have our tree decorated? decorations and lights hung? shopping completed? Christmas cards sent? presents wrapped?
Do you ever go through the season checking off everything as you get it done?
But that’s not what I am referring to when I ask the question, “Are you ready for Christmas?”
I am referring to the spiritual aspects of the season.
In all the gospels, we are given a glimpse into the life of John the Baptist.
He came before Jesus and gave the people the message, “Get ready for the coming Messiah.”
Let’s take a look at his message in Matthew 3:1-10
In those days John the Baptist began preaching in the Judean wilderness. His message was, 2 "Turn from your sins and turn to God, because the Kingdom of Heaven is near." 3 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
"He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: ’Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him!’ "
4 John’s clothes were woven from camel hair, and he wore a leather belt; his food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People from Jerusalem and from every section of Judea and from all over the Jordan Valley went out to the wilderness to hear him preach. 6 And when they confessed their sins, he baptized them in the Jordan River. NLT
I want to take a look at what John told the people of Israel to do to Prepare for the coming of the Lord.