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A Beautiful Christmas - Joy

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A Beautiful Christmas  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  22:38
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We are continuing a sermon series this morning during Christmas called a beautiful Christmas where we're looking at the meaning of the birth of Christ and so I want to jump right in with the verse that were reading and Luke chapter 2 verse 10 and the angel said to them fear not for behold I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all the people. I remember a comedian once that did a routine and I think I've said this before but it always comes to my mind when I think about this point a comedian one cheer routine where he said okay how to be a millionaire first get $1000000 second. Then he went into the rest of the routine and I thought that was funny because sometimes we feel like important things are delivered to us in platitudes in generalities and something so we're just told How To Be A Millionaire. Well first get a million-dollar second. You're thinking of going to wait a minute back up. How do we how do we do that? First thing and when I started thinking about the sermon about Joy during the holiday season, I realize it is a challenging and a complex subject and it's easy Sometimes in Life or the church for us just to say Be Joyful. second and then just kind of move on but I think some of us say wait a minute how How do I do I celebrate that great joy, I'm not naive sometimes the holidays are in especially sad time. Sometimes were We're alone during the holiday. Sometimes we remember loved ones that we've lost in the past during the holidays and it becomes really difficult with all the festivities in Christmas joy around us to hold on to Joy ourselves, since I want to talk about Christmas joy in a really practical way this morning, how do we celebrate and embrace and experience Christmas Joy? I think first of all, we remember our own Frailty and our own sin. Now, I know I'm starting somewhere low, but but but hair with bear with me and we will move toward the celebration of Christmas Joy, but it starts here. Isaiah says in chapter 9 verse 2 speaking of the arrival of Christ one day. He says the people walking in darkness. So that's the reality of you may be apart from God's we walk in darkness the people walking in darkness have seen a great light on those living in the land of deep Darkness a light has gone. So that's the beginning of the good news but it starts with the reality of our Frailty and our sinfulness. We are a people who left to ourselves walk in darkness, but in the midst of this Darkness Isaiah says a light is donning a few versus later. He continued she says every Warriors boot used in battle at every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning will be fuel for the fire. Can you imagine the excitement of this promised to a nation that was riddled with war that Isaiah says I'm telling you even though Humanity walks in darkness on its own. Even though left to ourselves, we will never be a globe a planet that does not have wore the understand that we will never save ourselves. We'll never solve every problem that human Ingenuity Innovation and Technology. It will never come left to her own. We use Technology Innovation just to find better ways to fight one another Humanity by itself will always no war but Isaiah says from outside of humanity. From outside up on these people who walk in darkness a light. has donned and this light means that one day every Warriors boot using battles and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning will be fuel for a fire. That's an exciting promise for us for to us a child is born unto us a son is given and the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called wonderful counselor, Mighty God Everlasting father Prince of Peace until Isaiah says Even though we walk in darkness there's this promise coming. So we not only remember our own Frailty and our own sin. We also remember God's Great goodness and Grace and provision through Christ. But to understand and appreciate that Light of Christ arrival we have to start by acknowledging the darkness in which we all walk as frail people and then the excitement that upon that darkness of our own lost license holes. This light has gone and it's God's promise of Christ and we remember not only our Frailty but we remember God's goodness and Grace and Titus Paul said it this way. He said don't win the kindness and love of God our savior for Humanity were revealed. It was not because of Any upright actions. We had done ourselves. It was for no reason except his own faithful love that. He saved us by means of the cleansing water of rebirth and the renewal in the Holy Spirit So not any up right actions of our own not some sort of plan of humanity to solve our own problems in the midst of the reality of the darkness of our own hearts and souls in the midst of the reality of the darkness of what we bring to this globe through conflict and competition and lies and unfaithfulness in the mist of that Darkness. God dawned upon us with the light and saved us offered his grace and his goodness through Christ and Paul continues in Titus 3, which he so generously poured over us through Christ Our Savior so that justified by his grace. We should become Heirs of Hope in eternal life. And so we remember our own Frailty and our sin. We remember God's goodness and Grace and we receive the gift of Christ. That's how we rekindle the joy of Christmas in our own hearts in life because I don't know about you. It's easy for me to forget. Is it easier for you to forget is easy for me to get busy? It's easy for me to let my finances shape with her. I'm joyful or not. It's easy even let my relationships important though. They may be to shape. The ultimate joy that I have in my heart or not. It's easy to let my life's circumstances to shape my Joy or not, but we are invited and challenged to remember not only our Frailty in our sin. But God's goodness and his grace and receive the gift of Christ at Christmas. Do you notice what said in that verse the angel said to them fear not for behold I bring you good news of great joy, that will be for all people. So what is this? Good news this great. Joy that the angel is announcing For unto you is Born This Day in the city of David a savior. Who is Christ the lord? The great joy is a child. I see that the angel announced at this good news this great joy that's being announced and brought to us is a child. It's not a certain secret truth that if we climb the the great mountain of study and knowledge and self-discovery and Revelation and we learn how to have the discipline to practice that truth that somehow will know Joy. It's it's not the secret path or this this thing that we must learn to do on our own instead. We're told that this great news is good news in this great joy is a child brought to us the announcement of what God is doing through Christ a baby in a Manger A Healer curing disease in his lifetime a teacher showing the way and I'll am paying the price. All of that is wrapped up in the announcement of Christ being born as our savior. So we remember our own Pharrell TNR stand. We remember God's good goodness and grace through Christ, and we receive that gift at Christmas. Reminding ourselves of those troops are the foundation for the joy. Of Christmas, but not just Christmas all year long. It's kind of sad in a way that somehow we must have more joy at Christmas and then Christmas comes and goes my gas January 1st you back into the same old same old and we can move on assuming that Joy is only going to pop up once a year. Listen, it pops up once a year because despite our business. We do slow down and we Focus On Christ and we sing these carols and we were mind ourselves of these truth that God has displayed his love for us by sending his son and that Joy is accessible to us all year long. When we do the same things. When we remember our own Frailty and our sin. When we remember God's goodness and Grace provided through Christ, when we receive that gift of Christ that requires humility acknowledgement of our Senate knowledgement that we have to be say that we cannot save ourselves that we had to be rescued. Sometimes we think that the only Adele That we can brace in this world is either that of a fighter or victim. That's what the culture says to us. Look life is hard. You really need to be a fighter and look out for number one and fight your way toward success or you're going to be a victim. Guess what those are not the only two choices into that world of human only thinking God intervenes and that like Don's and he says guess what there's a third Joyce you can be the redeemed you can be the rescued. It is not up to you to fight your own battle. It is not a few to try to save yourself because you can not save yourself and it's not a few just simply be a victim of your own send your own struggles and wait for life to end. You can hear the good news. You can hear the announcement that God has provided a way you can receive Christ and be the redeemed the rescued. So it's not all on our shoulders to fight our way through life or we're not just a victim from the beginning to the end. But we are God's chosen is reconciled his redeemed people. What does it look like to have that Joy all year long the joy God gives his unshakable John 16:22 says because it's Christ own Joy reproduced in US John 17:33 says that when Jesus is praying in his final time of the disciples, he talks about joy as one of the central themes and he says look this Joy cannot be taken for them. It cannot be removed from them because it is the same joy that you and I know father it is the same joy that I have reproduced in them, and I'm praying for that reality in our life that we would have that kind of joy. This is the kind of joy that Christ has that's to be reproduced in our lives the joy of serving God and glorifying him making known his goodness when you look at scripture and you ask yourself. What was the joy that Christ had that's supposed to be reproduced in us that becomes this unshakable thing that can last all year long. It is not the joy of circumstances was every day of Christ's life full of wonderful circumstances. Did he wake up and say I've got all the money I need I've got no enemies in the world. Everything is just wonderful. We have a little blue bird on his shoulder. Did he say everything is just turning up roses the same as he skipped down the road. So it wasn't that sort of Joy. It wasn't Joy Based on circumstances because we all know circumstances can rise and fall. Hey, man, and if we slip in the mistake of basing our joy on circumstances, then we will have good days because the scale gives us the number we like because our checking account app. Give us the number we like because our relationships are flying high without any conflict or will have bad days because those numbers aren't what we want or we have a fight with a friend or loved one spouse or a child. We based our joy on those sorts of things it will ever and flow and we will not have the joy that God designed us to have We are designed to have this joy that Christ had in his life that is modeled for us in his life in his the joy of glorifying God the joy of making his goodness. Now, we know a little bit of a taste of that on occasion, I think about it. Don't you love it when you discover something wonderful and you get to share it with someone else. It might be something as simple as a great restaurant if I ever have an experienced a restaurant, especially if it's local and somebody is visiting you from somewhere else. Don't you want to say hey come on you guys downtown to Sawyer? Say have got just a great hamburger and we can get a taste of that Joy of sharing with someone else something we know to be good. Three awesome. We know it when we brag on on children or parents or level is everybody who brag on family before you hear me brag on my family absolutely never get to know guess what? You know, my daughter just got accepted to I'm so proud of her and she won't tell you this other stuff but there's a there's a spirit in which that's a wonderful and a good thing and it kind of great to Kai Chen and celebrate a goodness that you know, and that's what scripture is talking about. Jesus knows the father and he knows his goodness and his grace and his dad and his forgiveness his kindness is wisdom his creativity all these wonderful things about the father and he has great joy and sharing with others the goodness of the father. It's what 1st John let the disciples are talking about they talk about experiencing Christ. And they in those first four verses in 1st John where they say we've seen him we've touching with her hands. We've known Christ. We have Fellowship of them. And this is why we share it. We write these things so that you may fully share in our joy. They're saying we've discovered Christ to be so wonderful so good that we are full of joy. We want to share that goodness. And that Joy with you Hebrews 12 says let us keep looking to Jesus. He is the author of Faith. He also makes it perfect. He paid no attention to the shame of the Cross. He suffered there because of the joy, he was looking forward to then he sat down at the right hand of the Throne of God and that amazing that Jesus endure the shame of the Cross even disregarded those circumstances to use a word that's probably way to lights but none the less Hebrew says he disregarded that shame because of the joy he was Looking forward to and that Joy is bringing you and I to God the Father. That's his Joy. Don't want to be really really practical here and I'm going to invite the worship team to come forward. I know gas pain shock and all.

I promise no more than 10 minutes of wait time. What does Joy look like in our lives? Because one thing I wanted to do this morning would be practical about Joy because I want us to learn how to embrace it and bring it into our own life's more fully more. Regularly. I want to learn and relearn and be reminded how to embrace it and bring it more fully into my own our own life. So what does it look like in our life we talked about already. It means remembering we're going to do that in a few moments at the communion table. We get that golden opportunity that blessing each week to be invited and challenge to set around the community table and remember our Frailty our sinfulness and God's Great goodness and Grace provided for us and it means receiving Christ as his gift. I think it also means a couple more things. It means anticipating what's coming because we all know that we have one foot in both worlds. There are times in which we do have lousy days. There are times in which we are depressed their times in which life is difficult and circumstances do get the best of us and we become discouraged. Is that true? Yes and part of the way we still find the joy in those moments as we look forward to the day. I lost my dad a couple years ago, and we did not have a wonderful relationship, but there were some good parts of it. And when I'm sad over that one thing I can do during that sadness is look forward to the day when we will be reunited again and our imperfections both of us that cause the relationship not to be perfect will be gone and we'll get to know each other the way God always intended we can anticipate the future when disease will be no more when heartbreak will be no more almost like we anticipate something else. Has anybody opened all their Christmas gifts yet? Anybody you haven't have you you're waiting aren't you? Just what are you still excited about Christmas? Does it give a little joy in your heart or your kids excited about Christmas? They're anticipating what's coming but not yet here like the bride or the groom waiting for that wedding day knowing it's coming but anticipation itself can stir up Joy in our hearts. And so we anticipate and then secondly we share just what 1st John 1:4 says he says look we told you about Christ and it makes our joy complete. To be able to share this goodness the same way we brag on a child or want to take a friend to enjoy some great place. We share the goodness of God with others and believe it or not Joy is one of the things that increases as we give it away. So don't let the adversary deceive you into thinking. I've got a hold of I've only got so much only got so much money on the got so much time only got so much kindness or so much for getting some iHeart. I got a hold on to it. No as we give joy away it multiplies in our own lives and our own hearts. And lastly will close on this. I know is I said earlier that there are bad days and and and bad times and sometimes Christmas is the most difficult time of the year to be joyful for some. And I think what we have to do is kind of have a none the less.

Commitment in our mind and then our heart and in our spirit to start over with those things that we just talked about. Which week we can be reminded. You know, I can have a Do my mom and I talked this this month more and we got to visit her at Thanksgiving and some of some of our conversations end up in conversations where we talked about Dad and she the only been a couple of years and then she has days at a very sad because that's what's on her mind and on her heart that day and I understand that and that's okay. There's there's a health to grieving. to certain extent But we don't let that. Dominator we don't let that rule us so that our circumstances control everything there's times in which we have to say. You know what this is true and I'm sad about this but nonetheless Nonetheless, I will remember my own Frailty my own role in this world's problems that make it an imperfect world and I will remember God's Great goodness. And Grace that has reached out and saved even me The Sinner that I am that he's forgiven me that he's graciously covered me with his blood with his righteousness and I will receive that gift. With humility and a contrite spirit before God and thank him for that Grace and I will anticipate the day. And which all that's wrong will be made right and all that sad and broken will be healed and I'll look forward. And in the meantime, I will share. I will share the joy that I know when I remember my Frailty and God's grace. I will share the joy that I know when I anticipate the way Christmas weights just a few weeks away when I anticipate that day and which my relationship of God will be complete and whole and send will no longer be this distraction that kind of constantly tries to pull my mind off joy and instead put it on my circumstances. I will know Joy from that anticipation and I will share it with others.

Father we want to be people who reflect your goodness. We want to be lights in this world that without you. Is a people walking in darkness until father. We want to be your light. It's about the we want to take seriously. We're going to celebrate here in a moment. We want to take seriously remembering not only our Frailty but most of all your goodness and your grace which provides forgiveness and restoration. We want to remember that and we want to be restored and we want to have that Joy of your presence in our life and in our hearts and minds of your righteousness pushing out the sin that corrupts and distracts us father. We want to know that joy, and we want to have Minds that anticipate the fullness of that arrival of our restored relationship with you that anticipate that day when Santa will no longer Mar Humanity no longer corrupt our relationships that they'll be no more death or disease. and the father we want to know that Joe and we want to anticipate it and we want to because of our focus on you to let go of fear because of her focus on you to be full of joy so that we might be light that share your goodness to other so that we might even increase our Joy by sharing your goodness with others. Father we thank you for your grace and your patience as we strive in that direction in Jesus name. Amen. As we sing Our Song of commitment if you have a decision to make I'll be in the back I'd love to have you share decision with me any concern you have on your mind I'd love to pray with you will have folks also in the front and the back for any prayer needs that are on your mind and heart this morning. Let's go to the Lord in song

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