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Summary: The world is ready for Christmas! But I don’t think the world is prepared for Christmas. THERE IS A DIFFERENCE The world is ready for us to storm their stores spend our money after all there are only a few shopping days left untill Christmas, but the wo

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Introduction: Video Clip 12 Crazy Days Christmas from SermonSpice.com

Are you ready for Christmas?

I heard two men in our church foyer discussing what they were going to buy theirs wives for Christmas this year. One of the men said, “This year I think I will just wrap myself up as a present and give myself to my wife.” To which the other man replied, “Well I am not giving my wife much either!”

Are you ready for Christmas?

The secular world has been getting ready for Christmas for a while now.

Our Family received our first Christmas Catalogue in August

I saw my first Christmas Decorations October 20th in Cracker Barrel

I saw my first Christmas commercial October 29th, 2 days before Halloween!

The world is ready for Christmas! But I don’t think the world is prepared for Christmas.

THERE IS A DIFFERENCE

The world is ready for us to storm their stores spend our money after all there are only 21 shopping days left till Christmas, but the world is not prepared for the one who comes to bring Peace on Earth.

2000 years ago the same could be said for the people of Israel – They were ready for a Messiah, but I don’t think they were prepared for Jesus. The Jewish world was ready for a revolutionary leader, but they were not prepared for a redeemer.

Today I want us to go back and look at the life of a man who was waiting for a messiah and note how God prepared him for a savior.

His name is Zechariah, and Luke’s Gospel gives us a snapshot of his life.

Luke 1:5-7,

In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Both of them were upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly. But they had no children, because Elizabeth was barren; and they were both well along in years.

Luke begins the account by telling us that Zechariah lived in the time of Herod the Great. This was one of the darkest times in Israel’s history. Herod was placed on the throne not by royal succession as a descendant of David; rather Herod was on the throne because the Romans had appointed him a puppet king. Not only was he a puppet king for Rome, Herod had no religious convictions and so the act of worship in that day had become an empty form of rituals and ceremonies with very little meaning to the people of God.

Yet in the midst of this spiritual darkness, there were a group of priest devoted to God who longed for the coming Messiah. Zechariah was one of those priests. Zechariah was described as upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commandments and regulations blamelessly.

Yet there was a problem, his wife was barren, He and his wife were childless. In the OT to be without children was viewed as a sign of God’s displeasure. Every Jewish family had hoped for a son who would be the deliverer, the Messiah King. So to be childless meant you were out of God’s divine plan. Not only were they childless, verses 7 tells us they were both well along in years – childbirth opportunities had passed them by.

Maybe you can identify with Zechariah and Elizabeth, this couple was disappointed because of the plight of childlessness. Maybe this Christmas you’re facing your own disappointments as well.

If so you can identify with the disappointment of Zechariah and Elizabeth, if you can identify with their disappointment, I hope you can also learn from their example. Despite disappointments they faithfully served God. They were barren, outside of God’s plan, but they never succumbed to bitterness. Our pain may not be the absence of children, but there are many things that bring disappointments to our life…

Maybe this is a Christmas when a loved one with not be with you this year because of premature death or illness

Maybe you have experienced a financial pressures or a strained relationship and Christmas looks to be a season of disappointment rather than joy.

Maybe you are dealing with doubt, fear and worry as the Christmas season approaches.

God never guarantees a life without pain or disappointments. When life hits us with disappointments we have two options, we can become bitter or we can become better.

Bitterness brings forth anger and frustration robbing us of the joy of life, but we can become better by trusting and depending on God to find our fulfillment.

Though Zechariah was disappointed he was not bitter – he remained faithful in spite of circumstances. This Christmas you can be prepared for the season if you will focus on God and not your circumstances, focusing on God will make us better, focusing on circumstances can make us bitter. Because Zechariah focused on God an amazing thing happened. Note verses 8-10,

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