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Summary: What is the true spirit of Christmas? To do good, be rich in good works, and to give generously to others.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

(December 2010 – Beausejour Church – Pastor Chris Jordan)

INTRO TO TOPIC:

I love Christmas – it truly is the most wonderful time of the year!

Discuss: Family memories, favourite Christmases.

Looking forward to my family coming for Christmas this year.

But – what is Christmas all about?

• Survey in our Christian club: top three answers: presents, a Christmas tree, and snow!

Some of the results I have gotten on Facebook include:

• spending money on things you don't want to buy but you do it anyway

• it's a time for caring and sharing, and helping those in need

• spending time with family & friends and feasting; and watching my son's eyes and the excitement of Christmas morning

Is this what Christmas is all about?

• My favourite response was: it is a time to forget yourself, your problems and your concerns and think of others and how to show Christ in all you do.

This morning I want to talk to you about the spirit of Christmas!

THE FIRST CHRISTMAS:

“Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:10-11).

• The first Christmas happened 2,000 years ago when Jesus was born!

KEY TEXT – THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS:

“Tell those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which will soon be gone. But their trust should be in the living God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and should give generously to those in need, always being ready to share with others whatever God has given them. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may take hold of real life.” (1 Tim. 6:17-19).

• In Canada, we don’t we’re rich, but the truth is, we’re all rich.

• If you own a car, you’d be considered rich by most people in the world.

• The point isn’t ‘yahoo, we’re rich’, but what are we going to do with it?

• If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

• If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

• More than 1 billion people do not have access to safe water!

THE BIG IDEA: What is the true spirit of Christmas? To do good, be rich in good works, and to give generously to others.

1. DO GOOD:

Jesus said: “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.” (Luke 6:27-28).

• This is a radical statement! It kind of makes you stand up and say, “Huh?”

• Jesus tells us to pray for those who curse us – I have a hard time praying for those I love!

• PRACTICAL APPLICATION: How can we do good? AUDIENCE FEEDBACK

o By blessing people. Never pass up an opportunity to pray for someone.

o A kind word, a hug, a smile or a simple hello can mean so much!

o Choose to walk in forgiveness. We’re coming to the end of the year. Let go of past hurts and offenses and start the New Year with a clean slate!

o Edmund Burke said, “All that is necessary for evil to prosper is that enough good men do nothing.” The Bible talks about “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, who went about doing good…” (Acts 10:38).

2. BE RICH IN GOOD WORKS: (Message Bible = be rich in helping others).

“To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back.” (Luke 6:29-30).

• Jesus adds: “And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two.” (Matt. 5:41).

• Turn the other cheek, go the extra mile – this is RICH in good works!

• PRACTICAL APPLICATION: How can we be rich in good works? AUDIENCE

o Get involved serving – in the local church and in the community.

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