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The best Christmas ever

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As a pastor when you sit down to write a Christmas sermon, you want to write one that will change the world. But that’s with every sermon but as you study and talk with other pastors you realize that you can’t reinvent the wheel and that this day is not about the sermon or moving people or changing a lost world, no you realize that it’s about the a gift. A birth of a King, our King, our Lord, our Savior. And how and why God sent His Son to be born a Man to be like us, to live like us, to feel like us, but in a way that set’s Him apart from us, He was pure and with out sin, So Jesus was born of a virgin, the pillar of purity, the picture of innocence. We see the 2 natures of our Lord Jesus Christ how He was born fully human and fully God.

   Each year we strive to make each Christmas better than the one before, and as parents we fill up with pride when we hear “This is the best Christmas ever”. So that starts our quest to have the best Christmas ever each year. In our minds it’s all about the gift But what is the Best Christmas gift ever?  And what can we do to make this the Best Christmas ever?

   I know I tried that one year and most of you have heard parts of the story but My wife and I wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of the commercial side of Christmas behind us one year so we talked it over and decided to leave town and head to the mountains, Just us Terry, Branda, Bobby, Anthony and Me. So we rented a cottage 9 miles up a mountain in the Smokey’s. Now we had to tell my family not to put our name in the gift drawing that year, and man did that upset everyone, we were bad people because we wanted to bond as a family with out all the Christmas running around. So we chopped down our own tree and made all our own decorations and really found ourselves having and great time. But on our second day there we found ourselves in the middle of the 2nd worst ice storm Tennessee has ever had, So there we were stuck on that mountain with no power, heat, and it was freezing. Our car was cover with about 1 ½ of ice and the trees were covered with about 2 plus inches of ice, the tops of the trees were so heavy with ice that they would break off and fall. I would have to walk down to the lake to get water so we could bath and other things. But you what? We made do with what we had. It was not about what we needed we had to make do with what was there. And talk about bonding, we had to block off all other rooms with blankets and tape to keep the heat in one room, so we all slept in front of the fire which I had to keep burning 24 hours  a day. But we had a great time. On Christmas day we were able to drive down the mountain on a hunting road and into town. Now since we have so much of the world in us the 1st thing we did was find a gas station and load up on junk food, we didn’t even miss it up there but the moment we were back in the world we jump right back into it. I never wanted to leave because the gift God gave me there was my family, we bonded with out the world interfering and we were not to busy for each other, we worked together and played  together, we ate together, we were a family again just as I wanted. But the minute we hit town we were all separate again. So while I preach today 2 days before we celebrate the greatest gift we all could ever receive, think about what would make your Christmas the greatest Christmas ever?

While I read about the Greatest Gift ever given

Luke 2:8-20

    8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ  the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14     “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

As we read and learn I want you to understand that Christmas is not really about the birth but more about the coming of our Christ, the Messiah!!!!!

A little history about Christmas and the celebration of Jesus. The celebration was more of the coming of Christ to earth rather than of His birth. The Roman church started to celebrating Jesus birth in the 4th century under Constantine. A major holiday for the Romans was in honor of the sun God held on December 25 around the winter solstice. But during the reign of Constanine this holiday was Christianized, with Christ rather than the sun being celebrated as the true light of the world. So on this day we rejoice the coming of our Christ the Son of God, the word made flesh, the light of the world.

But why did of all people on earth did God send His Angels to the shepherds?

Shepherds have been describe as dishonest, untrustworthy and some have suggested that they represent the sinners that Jesus came to save. The bible never says this, but it is clear that the shepherds did represent the poor and humble for whom the message of salvation is good news.

    After seeing the angels, the shepherds were terrified---Greek – {they fear a great fear}

They were probably running for cover, falling to there knees and covering their faces, the angel had to calm them down:

Luke 2:10-14

10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ  the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14     “Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

       The angels message was “that a Savior, Christ the Lord was born”. This Good news brought great joy for all people. All people does not mean all nation, If you go to verse 14 it says “to men on whom his favor rests.” at that point it was the Jews but now means all believers

Try to picture that night, the shepherds were just out in the field talking to each other trying to stay awake when the sky opened up to a heavenly host of angels or armies reveal Gods sovereign power and authority. A common Old Testament name of God is “Lord of Host” The shepherds had no problem believing what was said. They went to see the baby and told to all what the angels told them.

 There were many religious leaders that God could have told, but most of these leaders knew where the baby was to be born but did not take the time or the effort to confirm what the prophets had written As in :

 

 

Isaiah 9:6

6     For to us a child is born,

to 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.

 

 See God could have went to the rich and religious, but He choose to go to the outcast sinners 1st of whom Christ was sent for in the 1st place. This shows the importance of all people.

 

     The coming of the Messiah was such a huge event the sky opened up and heaven came down. A blinding light burst from a cloud. The every essence of God was there with the angels.

 

The outcast shepherds believed whole heartedly So they went to see the baby. We did not hear them say if this is true we must go se the baby. They herd they believed and they went. People today sill have a hard time believing

 

 

V12 gives a sign, The Angel tells the shepherds “the baby will be laying in a manger wrapped in  swaddling cloths. 

2:12 This shall be a sign. Since the odds of finding another newborn baby boy lying in a manger would be extremely small, this would function as a sign of identity for the shepherds.

I want you to understand that the shepherds are us And we are to spread the Good news just as the shepherds did. The news of the greatest gift ever given, the gift of salvation through Christ Jesus.

  

  As Christmas is upon us most of us get so caught up in the buying if Gifts, But have you just sat down and thought about the gift God gave us that can never be bought, sold, defective, or taken back. God sent His son so we may have the opportunity to receive the salvation Gift. When you are out shopping have you given Gods gift to someone,

Open the 2 gifts

1 box has a bible in it, the greatest gift anyone could ever give anyone.

As I close I want to show a few things true salvation does:

1.It defeats the enemy of God and His people

2.Brings absolute change to the life of the one saved

3.You establish a love relationship with God

4.Makes Jesus Lord and Master of your life

5.Gives you eternal life.

The greatest Gift ever given is in

John 3:16

  16     “For God so  loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever  believes in Him shall not perish, but has eternal life.

God loves you and me so much that he sent His only begotten Son though a virgin miracle birth, so the people like you and me who will not ever be good enough to earn salvation, will have the opportunity to receive Gods grace and His Gift salvation. And for that we should forever grateful.

 Do you have the spirit of Christmas,? are you out giving the opportunity of salvation? How many Bibles are you giving out. That’s what Christmas is all about ( not us but about Christ)

Would like to receive Gods salvation on this Christmas season?  It’s simple when we sing you just come up hear to me and we will pray and I sure that everyone in this church today will pray with  you.

      If your looking for a church home, You’ve come to the right place.

If your tired of all the hustle of Christmas and need prayer. Christ says come to me all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

So as we stand and sing put your mind on things above rather than what the world has turn Christmas into. Tell everyone you meet MERRY CHRISMAS, NOT Happy Holidays.

  Jesus is the reason for this season and I pray we never forget it.

Pray.

Amen.

   

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