Pondering Christmas

Taking Time to Think Through ALL That Christmas Should Mean to Us

Luke 1:46-56

 

I.      Introduction (Luke 1:66; 2:19, 33, 51)

 

  1. From the very start, Mary knew this baby she was to name Jesus was going to be special. And she had the habit, as did most people until recently, of pondering, reflecting, meditating on things in life - not too busy to sit down and think!
  2. I want to STOP everyone this morning and get you to THINK through Christmas, and challenge you to take more time to ponder WHY is everybody under so much stress? Why do people think it is ABNORMAL when someone is NOT spaced-out from parking, credit cards, screaming kids, and crowded shops?
  3. I want to take the next few minutes, and learn from Mary how to sit back and do some real, healthy pondering - before you end up in the mental hospital!

 

II.    Message - Pondering Christmas (Luke 1:46-56)

 

  1. Christmas is a time to Magnify the Lord (Lk 1:46) - Raise Him High!

 

1.        To Magnify the Lord means to worship, boast about, brag about your Lord! Make Him BIG in the eyes of those around us

 

a.       Thatís what parents have been doing lately with Santa Claus - making HIM big and powerful, and all wise, and good

b.       But all that glory and honour belongs ONLY to Jesus (Rev 5:12)!

c.       Somebody has robbed Christ of the honour of Christmas, and given it to a clown! It is high-time that Christians talk up their Saviour, especially at this time of year!

 

2.        Some Scriptures:

 

a.       John 12:32 - Christ was magnified on the cross, and must be by our lives (Philp 1:20) for the lost to get saved! Why so few get saved!

b.       Ps 34:2,3 - We ought to do it together as a unified body of believers - not just for the few zealous ones - thatís what Church is for! Bragging!

c.       Ps 69:30 - You magnify Him best with a thankful and loving heart

d.       Dan 4:37 - Even king Nebuchadnezzar ended up magnifying the Lord

 

3.        This Christmas, instead of magnifying Satan (sorry Santa), the Tree, stockings, and all the gifts under the tree, letís make Jesus everything!

 

  1. Christmas is a time to Make Merry because of Salvation (Lk 1:47) - Rejoice

 

1.        Iím in no way saying Christmas ought to be a sad, somber, twiddle-your-thumbs event! Mary was excited, and bursting with joy because of Christ!

 

a.       What the world substitutes for excitement and joy cannot compare with the thrill of True Christmas!

 

1)       Christmas morning is exciting, but only because of greed nowdays

2)       But when a person takes time to understand why WE get gifts on Jesusí birthday, then those gifts take on a whole different meaning! Mary was rejoicing in the gift of her salvation (Rom 6:23)!

 

b.       Instead of dancing around the Christmas tree, why donít you take your shoes off, and shout for joy simply because of Jesus (Ps 5:11)!

 

2.        Being a Bible believing Baptist doesnít mean you are to be mad all the time - no way! It means your heart is plugged into a different type of joy than what drink, and gifts offer, and instead rejoices in the presence of the God of the Son of God in your life always! God give us back some real joy!

 

  1. Christmas is a time to Meditate on what He has done (Lk 1:48-55) - Reflect

 

1.        Donít wait until the New Year until you spend some time reflecting on what God has done for you - most of us are unthankful, because we are unthinking - we are dense and donít take any time to think about what has happened in our lives that came from the Lord!!!

2.       Instead of thinking always on what she WISHED for (like Eve was deceived into doing), Mary sat back a took inventory of all God had done and was doing right in her life right then - I pray that this is true in yours also:

 

a.       He was loving and caring for her even though she was a NOBODY

b.       He had raised her up from sinner to saint (Col 1:13; 1:1,2; Eph 2:19)

c.       He had done everything personally- not distant, uninterested (Lk 1:49)

d.       He had done it all to change Mary, not to change Himself - Everything God was doing by bringing Jesus to this world was to change US, not to change Himself - He has never changed - always holy (Lk 1:49)

e.       He gave us mercy, when we deserved none - all are guilty (Lk 1:50) - Notice the attitude He looks for - fear, respect, humility!

f.        He puts everyone in their place - the proud are made low, and the humble are made high - exalted

g.       He has always kept His promises - He never lets me down!

 

  1. Christmas is a time to Modify our lives (Lk 1:56) - Return home different

 

1.        Wouldnít it be nice to take off from work, and just sit back and be able to do nothing but reminisce, and be with other Christians, and sing, and rejoice, and raise up the name of Jesus?

2.        But Mary couldnít stay with Elisabeth forever, she had a husband to get back to, a family to start (she ends up having 6 more children), a nation to reach with the good news that the Saviour is here!

3.        And Christmas should not be a time of depression and worry and discouragement because of all the competition, and performance, but rather of recharging our batteries, and going back to a lost, and dark world with the lights of Christmas glowing brightly throughout all the year! Christmas should make no Christian worse off - but should Modify us - change us so that the world sees something different in us because of Jesus!

 

III.   Conclusion - Christmas is a time to:

 

  1. Magnify the Lord (Lk 1:46) - Raise Him High!

 

1.        Worship, boast about, brag about your Lord to the people around you!

2.        This Christmas, instead of magnifying Satan (sorry Santa), the Tree, stockings, and all the gifts under the tree, letís make Jesus everything!

 

  1. Make Merry because of Salvation (Lk 1:47) - Rejoice

 

1.        What the world substitutes for excitement and joy cannot compare with the thrill of True Christmas! The gift of forgiveness, fellowship, freedom!

2.        Instead of dancing around the Christmas tree, why donít you take your shoes off, and shout for joy simply because of Jesusí love for you!

 

  1. Meditate on what He has done (Lk 1:48-55) - Reflect

 

1.        Donít wait until the New Year until you spend some time reflecting on what God has done for you - most of us are unthankful, because we are unthinking - we are dense and donít take any time to think about what has happened in our lives that came from the Lord!!!

2.       Instead of thinking always on what she WANTED (like Eve was deceived into doing), Mary sat back a took inventory of all God had done and was doing right in her life right then - THINK! What has He done FOR YOU?

 

a.       Has He loved and cared for you even though you are a NOBODY?

b.       Has He raised you up from sinner to saint?

c.       Has He done anything personally - showed you He is there?

d.       Has He done anything to change you, and make you more like Jesus?

e.       Has He given you any mercy, when you deserved none?

f.        Has He put you in your place - the proud made low, humble made high

g.       Has He always kept His promises? I think youíll find Him true to you!

 

  1. Modify your life (Lk 1:56) - Return home different - Never be the same again!