Summary: steps to letting Jesus celebrate Christmas with you this year.
Intro: one of the most asked questions for this day is, “Where will you be spending Christmas this year.” Some will be at home, others will travel to family and some will go on special vacations or trips to celebrate Christmas. As people have asked this question, my mind immediately went to another question, “where will Jesus spend Christmas this year.” And today, that is our message.
I. Where He Is Invited—Revelation 3:20—behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and sup with him and he with me.
· Jesus is going to spend Christmas with those who are listening for Him. For so many this season, they will listen to Christmas songs, they will listen for their names to be called out to receive gifts, but to have Jesus for Christmas you must listen for him.
Ill) Indian in New York City hear cricket that man can’t hear. Man says that is impossible but Indian bends down and finds cricket. Indian drops some coins on pavement and everyone stops. He says, what counts is what you are listening for.
· Jesus is going to spend Christmas with those who open the door. Jesus won’t knock down anyone’s doors, He comes where He is invited in.
Ill) years ago when I first met Lauri, I lived in an apartment across town. Her apartment was fully furnished, very nice, she had done well over the years. My apartment, at 27, had a twin bed, old couch, and some t.v. trays, so I never invited her to that apartment, not one time.
II. Where People Need Him—Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus will spend Christmas with those who need Him. One of the problems in our world is that people live their lives like they don’t need Jesus Christ. They have plenty of money, a wonderful home, exciting vacations, a secure job, and a beautiful family. So Jesus goes where He is needed.
· He goes to those who are tired, weary, they are burnt out. Jesus loves to offer rest to people in their souls. To give them new excitement in their lives.
· He goes to those who have burdens—Jesus loves to lift the weight of sin off of people’s lives. People are burdened down with guilt and condemnation from the past, but Jesus comes and lifts those weights and carries them. Today, if you are struggling in any way, if you feel like the world is on your shoulders, Jesus wants to spend Christmas with you. You can count on Him being there, because He said He would come.
Ill) little Rachael either slept with her parents or one of them slept with her in her room. So one night the Dad put her to bed with the promise he would be there in a little bit. She fell asleep and slept all night long. The next morning Dad congratulated her on falling asleep by herself. She said, I could sleep because I knew you were coming. He said, but how did you know that, Rachael said, because you told me so.
III. Where He Is Honored—Matthew 18:20—where two or three are gathered together in my name, I will be in the midst. Jesus will spend Christmas where He is honored. Some people have exalted the church building to the point that it is where Jesus lives. But Jesus will be at the Christmas dinner if He is honored.
· The early church met house to house and Jesus came to every meeting. It is so exciting to know that if we honor the Lord, if we meet in His name, He will be in the midst.
Ill) probably many of you have heard about the X-box waiting lists. We went to a store that has stopped taking names because there list is so long that it may be months before they can meet the needs of those already waiting. It was reported that one young man waited three days at the door on one store for an X-box. Bill Gates heard about this, and came and presented this young man with a free X-box. Imagine, Bill Gates showing up to give you something free.
· If you will honor Jesus, if you will gather in His name, He will show up, and He will give you gifts for free.
IV. Where He Is Worshipped—Psalms 22:3—He inhabits the praise of His people. I know exactly where Jesus will spend Christmas this year, it will be wherever people praise Him. Jesus is going to show up where He is worshipped.
· many times Christmas is the season that Jesus gets left behind more than worshipped. It reminds me of the hunter on returning to camp dragging a giant 10 point buck, who was asked, where his partner Harry was. He said, Harry is about two miles back in the woods, he had some sort of heart attack or something. Everyone was shocked and said, you mean you left Harry there. The man said, well no one was going to steal Harry. This Christmas we need to make sure we aren’t holding onto things in this world, and leaving Jesus far behind.