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Summary: How Mary & Joseph over-came The Post Christmas Blues”

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The Post Christmas Blues

Inventory is being done - Stores

- Church

- US News & World Report

Born-Again Makes Little Difference In Behavior

Roper poll

The behavior of born-again Christians after their conversions experience is not very different from what it was before In fact, the survey showed that participation in three major types of activity (adultery, illegal drug use, and drinking) actually increased after conversion, for instance,

 2% said they had indulged in illicit sex before being born again, while

5% had done so after coming to Christ.

 5% abused drugs before conversion and

9% did after.

 Driving while intoxicated was something

4 % said they had done before conversion while

12% indicated they did after being born again

Don Otis leader of the organization that commissioned the poll, said that the figures indicate a real moral decline in the church in the US

- National & International Religion Report - Oct 8, 1990 Page 8

- Inventory is done every where but on ourselves

- Kids can see a difference - from grade to grade

What about us? How have we grown?

A Year End Inventory

 How is your relationship with Christ right now?

 What have you read in your Bible?

 What has God said to you in your reading?

 What specific things are you praying for in regard to others - to yourself

 How is your relationship with your

Parents

Children

Spouse

Yourself

 How would you say your relationship is with them?

 What would you say are your fears right now?

 What challenges will you face this week?

- When we talk about growth there is evidence of it?

2 Ways of getting fruit on a tree

- Roll of tape and a bag of apples

- Water - Prune - Fertilize & Wait

- Both put Fruit on

- Fruit trees are to produce fruit not display it

- We can display Godly fruit in our lives rather than God

producing it through an intimate relationship with Him

- Distractions & Pressure cause us to run-around

DOING right rather than BEING right

Three Reasons For Little Fruit

 Immature

 Unhealthy - Poor Soil - No Nutrients - Daily Feed

 What appears to be a fruit tree is not a fruit tree

SECRET not better behavior but a serious relationship

with Christ

- The inventory list makes us squirm & struggle

- Like quicksand

Psalm 40:1-3 (KJV)

I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

= How did Mary & Joseph over-come “The Post Christmas Blues”?

They had cause

1. Loneliness

 Far from home & family

 Forced to stay away

40 days till Jerusalem

Luke 2:22-23 (KJV)

And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

 Several months till the Wise Men

 Several years in Egypt

2. Frustration

 Caesuras tax had to be paid

 No Room in the Inn

 A baby being born

3. Poverty

 no money for a costly sacrifice - Lev. 12:7

Luke 2:24 (KJV)

And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

4. Prophecy

Luke 2:34-35 (KJV)

And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

Had every reason to enter the “Post Christmas Blues”

The Cure For Post-Christmas Blues

1. Turning outward instead of inward

Mary - Luke 1:38 (KJV)

And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

Joseph - (KJV)

Matthew 1:20 (KJV)

But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

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