Summary: Regarless of our history and past, there is a Name given by which changes can come and new future begun to take us from that history to hallelujah!
[Illustration] A little boy was standing by his father watching him trying to put a floppy disk into his computer. The father was having trouble getting the disk to go in all of the way. The little boy said to his father, “Maybe it has a penny in it?”
Sure enough, when the father fished around inside where the disk was inserted, out came a penny. The father tried again, but the disk still would not go all the way in. The little boy said, “Maybe it has whole lot of pennies in it.”
When God tries to put love in our lives, it can be just like trying to put a floppy disk in your computer when there are a whole lot of pennies in it.
One of the pennies in our hearts which keep out God’s love is GUILT. And just like those pennies, GUILT can go unnoticed, until you try to use it. Guilt wears camouflage and undiscovered guilt will rob a heart and a life of the healing and joy God has for it
Guilt is what you feel when you know you have DONE something wrong. It can be paralyzing when approached with change.
The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is you can change! Things don’t have to stay the same. You can choose to be different, act different, and feel different.
"Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas, come this way; Fa-who-for-ay; da-who-dor-ay; welcome, Christmas, Christmas day."
They continued, singing,
"Christmas day is in our grasp so long as we have hands to clasp."
The Grinch could hardly believe his ears.
He begins to get furious, but then something happens.
He suddenly “puzzles” how Christmas came.
"It came without ribbons. It came without tags.
It came without packages, boxes, or bags."
Suddenly the Grinch realizes that Christmas is about more than presents, or decorations, or a feast.
He has a thought he’s never thought before:
"Maybe Christmas," he thought, "doesn’t come from a store; Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more."
SOURCE: "How The Grinch Stole Christmas" by Dr. Suess
I think some of the guilt we can feel at Christmas comes when we’ve tried to purchase Christmas from a store.
What God gave us that first Christmas can heal us our guilt!
It can be seen in a path I call “from History to Hallelujah!”
From History To Hallelujah!
I. From History
The angel said, “Joseph, Son of David”
a. Abraham, David, Joseph
b. We all have a history = sin
Our conscience: the inner God-given light that shines BEFORE our hearts to guide us into doing right things. It also shines IN our hearts revealing what we OUGHT to have done and been.
Where in the Bible it says, “Let your conscience be your guide”? It doesn’t. Jiminy Cricket said it!
The conscience is a gift from God though. But the conscience alone is not a good guide for righteousness. But the conscience properly trained, can HELP us make morally correct decisions.
I haven’t been a father for very long, but I can tell you that my kids were not born with the Ten Commandments already installed on their heart-drive! They need to be taught right from wrong. With each, “Stop that! Don’t! No-no!” and “That’s not good for you!” “Come over here…try this instead…keep going!” a child’s conscience is developed.
The more we are trained in what pleases God, the stronger or more sensitive our conscience becomes…and the more our conscience bothers us when we have done something wrong. That feeling when we have done something wrong is called GUILT.
Preaching the Word of God by the Pastor and the giving of testimonies by the congregation raises the level of faith AND GUILT awareness in the hearts of listeners.
So is guilt a good thing? Yes and no. The writer of Hebrews states that the law could not do for us what Jesus Christ could. The law could not clear your conscience. The sacrifices of bulls and lambs couldn’t. The priest couldn’t. But the blood of Jesus Christ can!
It isn’t Abraham’s name, David’s name, Joseph’s name or anyone’s name in here that heals us! Jesus is the One Who came to save us from the punishment of sin, rescue us from an eternity in hell, and heal us from our guilty conscience! Some of think TIME will heal us.
CS Lewis remarked that "We have a strange illusion that mere time cancels sin... But, mere time does nothing either to the fact or guilt of sin. The guilt is washed out not by time but by repentance and the blood of Christ."
[Illustration] One Pastor performed a baptism service in sort of a special way. He told the people before they came up to the platform to be baptized to take a piece of paper, write down a few of the sins they’ve committed, and fold the paper. When they came up to the platform, there was a large wooden cross on the stage. They were to take that piece of paper along with a pin, and pin it to the cross, because the Bible says our sins are nailed to the cross with Jesus Christ, and fully paid for by his death. Then they were to turn and come to the pastor to be baptized. I want to read you a letter a woman wrote who was baptized in one of that service. She said: