There’s a commercial that says shop at our store because our prices are better and you’ll get “more Christmas for your dollar!”
It seems strange you can put a price on how much Christmas you can have.
– “I’m broke this year — I guess I can only afford 10 or 15 minutes of Christmas. My wealthy neighbor is able to buy 10 hours worth!”
What Really Matters at Christmas time?
. – How much jewelry I can buy for my lady or how many toys I can get for the kids?
. – Does how much I spend on your gift really make or break your Christmas?
A month before Christmas it went into full swing — Everyone began scrambling and rushing to Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart..
Their credit card limits were extended and their checking accounts were in the red.
. – Things would be so much better if their rich uncle would just die and leave them his money.
Old Saint Nick is sitting high on a mountain top watching, waiting smiling because, he knows the sales will bring shivers and grins to the rich folks in just a little while (grab the cash before taxes!).
. – We have to spend, spend, spend and buy to give the economy a much needed boost — That’s
. why we celebrate Christmas isn’t it?
Mommies and Daddies go to cocktail parties and drink away the pain. . – Their teenage kids take drugs to do the same.
A cold homeless man holds a sign, “I lost my job would you kindly spare a dime. I’ve got a wife and little boy who depend on me but, it all seems hopeless so we had to turn to charity – can’t afford much Christmas at our house this year!”
Our leaders gave our jobs to the foreign lands to make the economy strong so we could stand.
. – Once we depended on God to right the wrongs — now it seems God’s withdrawn from us and
. is no where to be found..
It’ll take more than tragic shootings at schools and malls and senseless loss of lives to turn us back to the very Savior who could turn our lives and this country around.
We ignore baby Jesus born over 2000 years ago wrapped in rags in a stable not given with a fancy bow. The modern Carol seems to be “0 Come Let’s Ignore Him!” . – He’s God’s free Gift of Life sent to bring hope to a hopeless world.
He’s God in the flesh who grew into a man and died a substitute for all people condemned to Hell — all who will accept His Plan of Salvation.
– Stop and think as you rush through Christmas — Why do you do it? What really matters?
What really matters is not Old Saint Nick the jolly fat man in the red suit and his sleigh and reindeer — it’s Jesus Christ, born among us, crucified, dead, buried, and raised from the dead.
If you want Christmas to make sense:
1. MAKE ROOM FOR JESUS — Luke 2:7
– Mary had to make room for Jesus in her life — in fact it could’ve cost her her reputation, and her very life.
– Back then unwed mothers weren’t celebrated and given showers like they are in this
generation — they were executed or at the very least banned from their families and society to live in shame for the rest of their lives.
– Gabriel spoke to Mary on behalf of God and her answer was, “NOT MY WILL, BUT
– Joseph had to make room for Jesus — change his plans — risk his reputation, but when he knew God’s Will it was, “NOT MY WILL, BUT THINE!”
Finally, when Mary and Joseph came to the inn, the inn-keeper said, “We have no room for you.”
– What a shame! He missed Christmas and all of its meaning!
If you say, “I have no room for Jesus, “and your life’s filled with other things crowding Him out, you’ll miss everything good too.
– Most of our population is rushing through Christmas — missing the whole meaning.
In December 1903, after many attempts, the Wright brothers were successful in getting their “flying machine”off the ground.
Thrilled, they telegraphed their sister Katherine: “We have actually flown 120 feet. Wi//be home for Christmas”
Katherine hurried to the editor of the local newspaper to show him the message. He glanced at it and said, “How nice. The boys will be home for Christmas.” . – He totally missed the big news — man had flown!
People who don’t make room for Jesus are missing the big news — “We have a „Savior!” Want a meaningful Christmas? Make room for Jesus!
2. MAKE TIME TO WORSHIP — Matthew 2:11
– When Jesus was born a wonderful miracle of nature took place.
The heavens opened and angels came down to speak to shepherds on the Judean hill. “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. You will find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger”
The shepherds ran and found the baby and knelt down and worshiped Him.
– If you want a meaningful Christmas, you must worship Him also.
Most of our society is leaving Jesus out of their festivities.
– Two women were having lunch in an elegant hotel and were approached by a mutual friend who asked what’s the occasion for the meal.
One lady replied, “We’re celebrating the birth of my baby boy”
“But where is he?” asked the friend.
“Oh,” said the mother, “you didn’t think I’d bring him, did you?”
. – What a picture of the way the world treats Jesus at Christmas.
3. MAKE GIVING A PRIORITY — Matthew 2:11
– The wise men came bringing gifts to Jesus.
– What were the gifts? – Not cheap trinkets they wouldn’t miss. – They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh. Each gift was a gift of value. – They brought gifts for a King — worthy of a King.
Are you giving your best or just something you found at a bargain price you can afford to get rid of?
– We used to get food poundings when we started the ministry.
– Some of the food was great — some was stuff the giver wanted to get rid of — can of Parmesan cheese out of a spaghetti mix box.
Not only should we give our best to God, but we should invest ourselves into our loved ones.
On the TV show, Are You Smarter than a 5th grader? They took a poll of 8 to 12 year olds asking, “What do you most enjoy about the holidays?”
A) Decorating the house
B) Spending time with family and relatives
C) Receiving presents.
What do you think most of the children said? Answer: B.
– That’s what God expects you to do as you serve Him — Invest yourself into you loved ones teaching them to love God. — Deuteronomy 6:6-7
Are you giving your time, your talents and your money to Him and teaching your family the ways of God?
4. MAKE CHRIST REAL TO OTHERS — Luke 2:17 —’
Listen to the angel’s message of Glad Tidings proclaimed to the shepherds that night.
– The long night of waiting was over for them; the angel brought the gladdest and sweetest message the world’s ever heard — Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, the Messiah had arrived.
God was keeping His Promise to send a Savior.
That message has a 2nd part for us today.
– Jesus is coming again — not as a baby, but as THE KING OF KINGS.
For over 2000 years, Jesus Christ, God’s Christmas Present to the world has been transforming lives — WHAT A SPECIAL GIFT — THE GIFT THAT KEEPS ON GIVING!
How can we know for certain Christ is the promised Messiah and not just a coincidence?
In his book, Science Speaks, Peter Stoner applied the modern science of probability to just eight prophecies regarding Christ.
– He said, “The chance that any man might have fulfilled all eight prophecies is one in 10 to the 17th. That would be 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000” (one hundred quadrillion)
Stoner said if “we take 10 to the 17th silver dollars and lay them on the face of Texas. They will cover all of the state 2 feet deep. Now mark one of those silver dollars and stir the whole mass thoroughly… Blindfold a man and tell him he can travel as far as he wishes, but he must pick up that one marked silver dollar. — What chance would he have of getting the right one?”
Stoner concluded, “The same chance that the prophets would have had of writing those eight prophecies and having them all come true in any one man, providing they wrote them in their own wisdom.”
You might think you don’t have enough money to buy a lot of Christmas, but some gifts you can give this Christmas are beyond monetary value:
– Mend a quarrel
– dismiss suspicion
– Tell someone, “I love you.”
– Give something away–anonymously.
– Forgive someone who has treated you wrong.
– Turn away wrath with a soft answer.
– Visit someone in a nursing home.
– Apologize if you were wrong.
– Be especially kind to someone with whom you work.
– Give as God gave to you in Christ, without obligation, or announcement, or reservation, or hypocrisy.
Well, back to the original question: HOW DO WE MAKE SURE WE HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS?
Accept God’s Christmas Present, — John 3: 16 — then decide to live a life of complete Obedience to Him.