Summary: In this message we will look at some people & places in the Christmas story and unwrap the gift of significance (Gifts of Christmas - part two)

“The Gift Of Significance”

The Gifts Of Christmas – part two

TODAY is our second week in a series of messages that I’m calling The Gifts Of Christmas. OUR goal in this series is to keep the real meaning of Christmas at the forefront of our minds AND at the center of our hearts.

Last week - we were helped out by the GRINCH; WHO after hearing sounds of joy coming from Whoville - WHO - after realizing that the Who’s Christmas came without ribbons, it came without tags, it came without packages, boxes or bags… LEARNED that Christmas doesn’t come in a store – The Grinch learned that Christmas means something more…

AND PART of that something MORE of Christmas - we unwrapped last week as we talked about the gift of joy. LISTEN - When the angels came on that night nearly 2,000 years ago – they came with good news of great, of mega joy for all people…

AND UNDERSTAND - that this ‘all people’ includes you – and it includes me.

YES JOY – is most definitely part of the Christmas story – BUT – many times joy is hard to hold to, especially this time of year. AND BECAUSE joy can be so elusive, what we did last week, was take the word GRINCH and make an acrostic of 6 things that will help keep joy in our Christmas…

LISTEN you will experience joy at Christmas

and year round for that matter; WHEN YOU

GIVE your worries to God – {quote 1Peter 5:7}

Refuse to focus on what you don’t have

Include time for rest

Never forget the reason for this season [“a savior has been born to you”]

Consider your future [heaven is going to blow your mind]

Hold your thoughts captive [don’t let negative thoughts in]

QUESTION – how has your joy been so far this Christmas season? Have you followed these 6 guidelines to joy? Are you putting them into practice? Are you giving God your worries? Are you getting rest? Are you considering your future? AND - are you using the, “Keeping The Reason In The Season,” devotional guide?

TODAY – I want to talk about another gift that is part of the Christmas story. The gift of significance…

NOW - I am convinced that everyone wants to be significant… YOU want, who YOU are and what YOU do, to count, YOU want YOUR life to matter, YOU want to be important at least at some level… THINK – about the dreams you had when you were small, think about the things you fantasized about & pretended to be… Most boys dreamed of being a hero; of hitting winning homeruns, of scoring winning touchdowns, of flying in space, of winning gold medals, of leading their platoon to victory…of being the President…stuff like that.

LISTEN NO ONE – desires to be insignificant - no one wants to feel like they don’t count, No one sets as their goal in life, to feel like they don’t matter… BUT UNDERSTAND – if we use the world’s standards, very few of us, will ever measure up, AND even if we do, we won’t measure up for long.

FOR YOU SEE, BEING SIGNIFICANT in this day & time, is like climbing a greasy pole – EVEN – if you happen to make it to the top – you won’t stay up there for long… Before you know it, you’ll slide right back down to the bottom, to the valley obscurity… (Babe Ruth, Johnny Unitas, Willie Mays…)

QUESTION – what makes someone or something significant in our day and time?

On Thursday afternoon, I went over to Barnes & Nobles – and I walked past the magazine racks… There were hundreds of them… Now I imagine if many years from now an historian was to come across these magazines, they would conclude that those who had their faces on the cover were significant people, important people – people whose lives mattered … As I glanced at the magazine covers I saw; Tom Cruise, Will Smith, The Rock, Rudy Guliani, Ben Stiller, Michael Jordan, Shaq, U-2, Justin, John Travolta, Janet Jackson, George W Bush, Oprah…and a bunch more (my head was spinning with all the covers).

AND on the front of this week’s People Magazine, there was a picture of Brad Pitt & Jennifer Aniston, I imagine if you have you picture on the cover of People magazine you must be pretty significant. I skimmed through the article about them, it talked about; How at their wedding last year, there were 50,000 flowers, 4 bands, a fireworks display – AND get this, their wedding ceremony cost 1 million dollars. It talked about their six bedroom French Provincial House in Beverly Hills that cost $14 millions dollars and the 11.5 acres of beach front property that they bought near Santa Barbara for $4 million dollars. It talked about his movies and her popular television show…

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