What to Do with What You Get at Christmas
Introduction (1John 1:1,2; Luke 24:36-39; 1Tim 6:12)
A. I wonder - How do YOU handle Christmas-time? Some people thrive on it - shopping 24 hours on Christmas eve; some have all their shopping done from 6 months ago!
B. I find most people don't "handle" Christmas very well. With all the pressures at this time of year, some find it hard to cope with past memories, wrong ideals, high expectations. I think we all "handle" Christmas badly one way or another.
C. Some people get headaches; bills; visitors; some get away… Let me show you out of God's word, how to get a real blessing this and every Christmas! Like Simeon, you are going to have to get hold of some things this morning, and never let them slip away.
Message - How
to Handle Christmas (Luke
A. Walk in the Spirit (Luke 2:25-27)
1. You won't be able to handle it otherwise - it is too spiritual (Eph 5:18)! We are commanded to be filled with the Spirit of God, not with toys, and ties, and treasures on earth! Don't let this world ruin your Christmas. When the birth of the only Saviour is replaced with a fat white guy, we need help!
2. Simeon knew what it was to walk with God, and pray throughout the day. He had learned life is only meant to be lived WITH God, not away from God. Simeon had an ongoing relationship with the Author of this Book!
3. Simeon knew what the Bible said about the coming promised Messiah, and waited anxiously for that day - day after day - he knew God could not lie!
a. That is where he found his "consolation" - consoling, comfort, rest!
b. He knew GOD was in control - not presidents, teisuchs, Sadaams, etc
4. It paid-off because he got to be around when Jesus came! Everybody else was busy shopping, cooking, eating, living and dying. But Simeon was on cloud-9 as the Lord directed him face to face with an 8 day old baby boy who was the Christmas Gift to the WORLD!
5. You don't know what you miss when you don't walk with God, or are too busy to listen to God's word!
B. Focus on Jesus (Luke 2:28-32) - I can't emphasise this enough!
1. Simeon thought nothing of Mary, or Joseph, or blessed John the Baptist! He did not seek for angels, or Wise Men, or kings or princes - all he saw was JESUS (John 12:20-22)!
2. You couldn't have diverted Simeon's attention with a brand new BMW, or a new £1 million mansion, or even the explosion of a Tomahawk Cruise Missile! Once he saw that Baby, he was "locked-on!"
3. Simeon snatched that baby out of his parent's arms and swung Him around and around in such joy and excitement - imagine what Mary thought!
4. Here, in the arms of this old saint of God was:
a. Here was Salvation Himself - the hope of heaven and earth!
b. Here was Substance - not a pipe dream. Not a distant empty promise, but reality - more real than the Temple they were standing in!
c. Here was Eternity all contained in a moment
d. Here was Emmanuel in Person!
e. Here was the love of God with a cooing smile looking back at Simeon!
5. All Simeon could do was shout and praise God for JESUS! Forget the presents, tree, Christmas food, and even the family, and get excited about Jesus!
C. Be Forewarned (Luke 2:33-35). Forewarned? Wait a minute! Isn't Christmas all about getting "good stuff?" Yet, God cautions us about some things:
1. Christmas is God's business - not BIG business like it has become
a. Reaching all people with salvation from sin, not from boredom! People look forward to Christmas so they can be rescued from broken old toys, and same-old drudgery! But THAT is not Christmas! "Christ the Saviour is born" - Saviour from sin, and hell, and eternity without God!
b. Bringing Light into the darkness - dark hearts, homes, dark hopes!
c. When Christmas only has tree lights, and street lights, and blinking house lights, and musical lights, but no Gospel Light, then Christmas has been demoted from God in the flesh, to only gold in the pocket!
d. From that very first Christmas, until now, it has been GOD reaching down to sinful mankind, and calling out for sinners to get saved!
2. Christmas is not what people expect - It wasn't what Joseph and Mary expected! I'm sure they thought they would have a nice and quiet family time together - but not with THAT Baby around!
a. That Baby will trip up many a person - confuse them. God is intrusive - does not leave people alone - He is out to get people to make a choice; make up their mind about eternity!
b. But that Baby will also raise up many a fallen soul who are honest with themselves about their condition!
c. That Baby will be mocked at and misunderstood all of His life
1) Even by His own parents - in the Temple 12 years later
2) By His own disciples - contradicting Him, and His plan
3) By the whole world - seen only to be a failure, a wimp, a loser!
d. That Baby will ultimately bring grief into the lives of people! Sure, Christmas is about JOY to the world, but it is also about reality - about who we really are, and how we handle God coming into our world!
1) Mary's heart would be "pierced" with great sorrow. What started out with angels singing at the birth of this Baby at Christmas, would turn into a mob crying out "Crucify Him!"
2) Many a Christian's heart has also been "pierced through" with sorrow when they see people run to see Santa, and strive to spend small fortunes on gift-giving, and yet never know for sure whether they are going to heaven!
3) WHAT ELSE COULD CHRISTMAS BE ABOUT?
e. That Baby will plainly show what is in the human heart - Sin!
1) Jesus Christ reveals that religion doesn't have the answer - we have had religions from day one, and they don't save - they kill!
2) Jesus Christ reveals that science doesn't have the answer - they are just running away from God - ignoring the plain evidence
3) Jesus Christ reveals that only HE is the answer - the only way
A. How would you like a Christmas present that only increased in value, and benefit (Luke 2:40,52)? How would you like a Gift that never broke down, needed new batteries, or wore out? I got one! It is available to everyone on this planet!
B. You need to "get your hands" so to speak, on that Gift. You see, it is the GIFT that enables you to handle Christmas so well.
C. This, and every Christmas from now on, let's all:
1. Walk in the Spirit instead of in the Shops
2. Focus on Jesus - HE is Christmas itself
3. Be Forewarned - Be aware that
a. Christmas is God's business:
1) Reaching all people with salvation from sin
2) Bringing Light into the darkness - dark hearts, homes, dark hopes!
3) Calling for sinners to get a hold of eternal life, and get saved!
b. Christmas is not supposed to be what people expect! Christmas is not all about getting what YOU want, but rather getting what we need the most - forgiveness of sins, and a sure home in heaven!
c. If you got THAT, then you got more for Christmas than all this world could offer!