Summary: Today we come to my final message in the sermon series I have been preaching titled Christmas words.
“The Gift that Keeps on Giving”
Today we come to my final message in the sermon series I have been preaching titled Christmas words. In the past month we have taken a closer look at these words:
1. Peace. Some of you know there was a period of time between the writing of the Old Testament and the New Testament of about 400 years... They are often referred to as the silent years because that time period was meant to be a time of waiting. It had been prophesied over 400 times by the way in the Old Testament that this Savior would come into the world. Isaiah tells us that we He would be called wonderful, counselor, mighty God, everlasting father, Prince of peace. One of the names given to Jesus was prince of peace. You know what the origin of the word prince is? Means chief. So Jesus is the man who is the chief of peace. In other words he is in charge of peace. if you need peace, go to him. Because he is the source.
2. Then we looked at the word hope. Hope is my favorite word in the Bible. We use it so many times we don’t really understand the power of the word. The word hope in the Greek has two elements. (1) Desire and (2) Expectation. Most of us, when we say that we hope for something, it’s like we’re saying I wish for it. When you wish for something you desire it, you want it, but you don’t always expect to get. But when you hope, when you have true biblical hope you not only desire it, you expect it. Just this week I heard a song Chris Tomlin sings that says,
Come thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in thee.
Prophets and others had been waiting for this one named Jesus to come to earth. And I love this phrase that he is that long expected Jesus. They weren’t wishing on a star---ever done that --- ore-they were going to see a star over Bethlehem that would lead them to the long expected Jesus. They knew it. Jesus is called our blessed hope. We do not wish to spend eternity with him. We expect to. We know it. If you have Jesus as your personal savior you can expect to spend all of eternity with him.
The third word we looked at was joy. I have never read so much about the word joy in my lifetime as I read that week for that message. The word JOY is used over 200 times in Scripture; my favorite way it is used is when we refer to it as unspeakable joy. It’s different from happiness. Happiness is based on your circumstances. Something good happens and you feel happy. Joy is not dependent on your circumstances. Joy is bigger than your circumstances. Joy is almost always preceded by an adjective--great joy, extreme joy-- in other words joy is a very intense word. And sometimes it is so wonderful that we cannot even find the words to describe it--all we can say is that it is joy unspeakable-so great I don’t have words to describe it. So full of joy I can’t even speak.
4. Then we come to the fourth week. I prayed each week asking God what word to focus on... Peace, hope, joy... These are common words we use at Christmas but in the fourth week God was impressing me with the word purpose. It’s a great word but first I thought... Is that a word we really talk about it Christmas? Yet God kept giving me that word----purpose. I came across these words and they really spoke to me:
There is something inside of all of us that causes us to want to believe that llife is not pointless and that we matter.
That statement is so true and it is true for everyone. Regardless of race, religion, where you were born, whether you are male or female God has instilled within all of us the desire to fulfill a purpose. You and I were created to fulfill a purpose. God has a plan and a purpose for every one of us. Why? Because we were made in his image. God created everything in this universe but he only created one who can communicate with him. People. You and me. We are his crowning achievement according to Scripture. Paul says in Ephesians 2:10 “for we are God’s masterpiece. God has a purpose for you and you are the only one can fulfill it.”
5. Then on Christmas Eve I spoke about the greatest Christmas word of all. Jesus. How can we possibly talk about Christmas without talking about Christ. And I reminded you that the innkeeper in Bethlehem was not the only person ever said the words, “we have no room for you”...