Sunnyside Church of the Nazarene
Sunday, December 16
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
- O Little Town Of Bethlehem (Saint Louis)
- Hark The Herald Angels Sing
- Joy To The World (Antioch)
- 16 Dec 18Where are You Christmas?“Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you? Why have you gone away?Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play?”“Where are you Christmas?”Easy to lose Christmas - even during the holidays. Even though we are bombarded with Christmas decorations, music, festivities, shopping … even though we’re in the hustle and bustle of the season, we can lose Christmas.“Where are you Christmas? Why can't I find you?” Sometimes, we can’t find what we need to see simply because we’re not looking in the right place. And if we, as Christians can’t find what we need to see, how can the world?Where do you look for Christmas? Think about all the things that we associate with Christmas: lights, trees, nativity scenes, candles, presents, decorations, songs. Not saying any of those are wrong or bad. But, answer this - would it still feel like Christmas if you take away the lights? Imagine no Christmas lights in your home / neighborhood. Just taking that away, curious, have you just lost that “It’s starting look like Christmas” feeling?Imagine Grandma not getting runover by a reindeer. Take away the decorations, the family traditions, the stockings - is it still “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year?”We know it’s about Jesus, but, would it still be Christmas without all the peripheral? Where do we look for Christmas?The virgin Mary, gave birth to a Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit. They called Him Immanuel, God with us. They named Him Jesus, Yahweh saves. Did Mary find Christmas when Jesus was born?An angel appeared to lowly shepherds and said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Christ, the Lord.” Did the Shepherds find Christmas that night?When the Magi from the east arrived about 6 months, a year, 2 years after Jesus was born - did the Magi find Christmas? Did the Little Drummer Boy?No - they didn’t find Christmas. Not yet, at least. See, the Christmas story begins in a manger, but ends on a cross. The birth of Christ is pointless without the cross of Christ. Christmas is pointless without the gospel - the good news that not only a Savior has been born, but that He also died, was in a tomb and three days later rose again! You can’t have Christmas without Easter and you can’t have Easter without Christmas!So, how do we find Christmas? God made it simple for us, and it’s all wrapped up in one sentence.Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.So, how do we find Christmas? We must remember what Christmas is about - and it’s about the greatest rescue mission of all time.Jesus, the Son of God is the one appointed by God to be the Savior. He is Christ Jesus - Christ is His title, not a name - it means Anointed One or Messiah. Jesus, Jehoshua means Yahweh is Savior - the LORD saves. God appointed Jesus to be the Christ to bring God and Salvation to us - God and sinners reconciled.He came into the world. This is a verb! He moved toward us; He approached us. John 1:14 says that the Word (was God, is God, was with God) become flesh and made His dwelling among us; He took up residence in our world. He left His glory and His throne to walk the dirty, filthy roads of Israel. How dirty are you roads?God came into the world. This perfect, holy, sinless God approached us - we’re the rebels, the haters, the murderers, the abusers, the liars, the immoral, the law breakers … He came into a world full of people deserving His wrath, deserving hell - yet, Christ Jesus came into the world to save - to rescue, deliver, to set free the captive. Christmas is the greatest rescue mission of all time.I saw a sermon title the other day - “Jesus wants to fix all your problems.” Here’s a trustworthy saying, “Jesus came into the world to fix all your problems. Jesus came into the world to make your life comfortable and easy.” Well, isn’t that a nice messiah.Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners (the sick, unhealthy, whacked). Interestingly, many would say, “Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t need saved. I’m fine. I’m not a prisoner.” Hm - what do they say about denial?Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. Who falls under that sinner category? Let me give you a few definitions: I report; you decide.A sinner is one whose behavior does not measure up to the perfect moral standard or law of God. A sinner is one who forfeits a right relationship with God by his or her own culpable attitudes. Culpable meaning condemning, wrong, harmful. A sinner is the person who does not allow God supreme authority over his or her life and who withholds from Him total dedication and obedience. Name one person …Sinners are people who sin - people who break God’s laws of love - people who willfully refuse to love God with all their heart, soul and mind, and willfully refuse to love their neighbor as much as they love themselves. Willfully refuse to obey, worship, submit to, honor … the God of the Bible. Sinners are people who have chosen their own way, their own religion, their own beliefs, their own rules, their own morality, their own truths - chosen their own destinies.Christ Jesus came into the world to save who?We can celebrate Christmas all December, we can have Christmas in July, we can deck the halls - leave lights on the front porch all year long - but if we never get away from the manger, and draw near to the cross, and move onto the resurrection - we miss it! All we’re left with is a Blue Christmas.So, where are you Christmas?Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life. Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.Veiled in flesh the Godhead see; Hail the incarnate DeityPleased as man with man to dwell; Jesus, our EmmanuelMild He lays His glory by; Born that man no more may dieBorn to raise the sons of earth, Born to give them second birthJesus came to save sinners, even the worst of sinners - and that truly is good news for the world. If you want to truly find Christmas …A C B
1 Timothy 1:15NLT
1 Timothy 1:15–17NLT
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