Sermons

Summary: I talk about the benefits of Jesus presence in our lives during the Christmas season. Everyone loves to get presents during the holidays, but we should all love the abiding presence that Christ provides, I show why and how this can be accomplished.

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Title: The Benefits Of Presence Not Presents

Text: Matt 1:18-23

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Introduction:

An American Express survey about Christmas gifts found that the fruitcake was chosen most often (31%) from a list of "worst" holiday gifts. It even finished ahead of "no gift at all." When asked how to dispose of a bad gift, 30% would hide it in the closet, 21% would return it, and 19% would give it away. This suggests that the Christmas fruitcake might get recycled as a gift for the host of New Year’s party.

What not to Buy Your Wife: Although the only person a man usually shops for is his wife, the whole experience is a stressful one. Many a man has felt extreme frigid temperatures for a long period based on a poor present decision. As a veteran of these wars, I’m still not sure what to buy my wife, but I’ll pass on what not to buy her:

1. Don’t buy anything that plugs in. Anything that requires electricity is seen as utilitarian.

2. Don’t buy clothing that involves sizes. The chances are one in seven thousand that you will get her size right, and your wife will be offended the other 6999 times. "Do I look like a size 16?" she’ll say. Too small a size doesn’t cut it either: "I haven’t worn a size 8 in 20 years!"

3. Avoid all things useful. The new silver polish advertised to save hundreds of hours is not going to win you any brownie points.

4. Don’t buy anything that involves weight loss or self-improvement. She’ll perceive a six-month membership to a diet center as a suggestion that’s she’s overweight.

5. Don’t buy jewelry. The jewelry your wife wants, you can’t afford. And the jewelry you can afford, she doesn’t want.

6. And, guys, do not fall into the traditional trap of buying her frilly underwear. Your idea of the kind your wife should wear and what she actually wears are light years apart.

7. Finally, don’t spend too much. "How do you think we’re going to afford that?" she’ll ask. But don’t spend too little. She won’t say anything, but she’ll think, "Is that all I’m worth?"

- This morning if you haven’t gotten your Christmas shopping done, you have exactly 5 days left before it all ends for another year.

- How many love to go shopping alone? If you have a wife like mine, you have no choice but to shop alone.

- My wife is the worst wanting to know her gifts before Christmas.

- She will look for receipts, check banking records, go online and see what I have spent and what store, and of coarse snoop around the house and ask questions.

- Now that we have kids, she will do everything in her power to get it out of our kids.

- So I have to be careful where I put things, and nothing can come home to the house until Christmas Eve.

- You say why so late to bring over the gifts?

- Well my wife has been known to open the gifts when they have already been wrapped only to rewrap them as if nothing has ever happened.

- Trying to keep the secret of what I bought my wife for Christmas can be challenging but I love it.

- It’s tradition and it’s exciting to see if I can keep it from her until Christmas day, which I haven’t done yet.

Transition:

- Exciting as giving gifts and trying to keep the secret from your loved ones is, there is something far more greater then presents.

- It is Presence, God’s Presence in our lives.

- I want to read for you again verse 23 and focus on the words that say, God With Us.

- It’s not only the Christmas season that God is with us, but all year round, 24 7.

- Just as there are benefits to receiving presents, there are benefits to receiving and living in God’s Presence.

- I want to share with you some benefits of God’s Presence to the Christian this Christmas season.

Point 1: God’s Presence Comforts Us

Exodus 33:12-14 says, “Then Moses said to the Lord, "See, you have been saying to me, ’Bring this people up,’1 but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. But you said, ’I know you by name,2 and also you have found favor in my sight.’ And now, if I have found favor in your sight, show me3 your way, that I may know you, that I may continue to find5 favor in your sight. And see6 that this nation is your people. And he said, "My presence1 will go with you,2 and I will give you rest."

- I like this true story about Nick Anderson that I read, let me read it to you:

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