Christmas MUST Be More Than an Attitude
Introduction (Eph 5:18)
A. We talk a lot these days about “the Christmas spirit”
1. Like at a Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony, or just the purchase of a Christmas tree – “Get into the spirit of Christmas with Fraser fir trees, delivered field-fresh to the door. Order online, by phone or fax.”
2. Like at an office Christmas party – “Before planning holiday hoopla for the folks at work, scan for activities, recipes and planning resources to make the most of Christmas spirit.”
3. Or even with computer Screen Savers – “Watch as Santa Claus moves from house to house, following his appointed rounds. Get in the spirit of the season as snow falls and carols play.”
B. Most people usually start “worrying” about Christmas when they get their first Christmas card, or hear the first Christmas song on the radio
C. Folks, every Christian in this room needs not to get into the spirit of Christmas, but have it get into you, and stay in you all year around
D. We know about Christmas, but I wonder if we fully appreciate what we have.
Message - The
Spirit of Christmas (Luke
A. Is Holy (Lk 1:35)
1. If only Christians understood – the Spirit of Christmas is God’s precious HOLY Spirit. In them, on them, living through them
a. Any other spirit at Christmas is of the devil – period!
b. Most people refer to the “spirit of Christmas” as an attitude, or atmosphere in your home
c. But God talks only about His HOLY Spirit at Christmas
2. The Spirit of Christmas is Holy/Pure/Clean in the following ways:
a. Pure in purpose
1) Christmas was not designed by God to help the economy
a) Do you realise just how important Christmas is to the world’s economy? Over 50% of all sales for a year are made in December!
b) Do you realise Christmas is only X-mas to the world today?
2) Christmas was not designed to bring cheer to all mankind
3) But to bring redemption, cleansing, salvation for sinners on their way to hell. Thank God for the purity of Christmas! For many of us, Christmas was the only pure thing in our lives!
b. Pure in character. No room for filth, and mockery of the world at Christmas. We are almost at the place as it was 400 years ago
advent of the Christmas carol, celebrations of Christmas had become so depraved
and rowdy that the observance of the joyous season had become forbidden by the
English Parliament. The meaning of Christmas had become lost in a maelstrom of
revelling, drunkenness, rioting, and depravity. Decent people found it necessary
to stay indoors for safety. The situation became so shameful that in 1644
Parliament passed strict laws making it illegal to commemorate the season in any
way whatsoever! How empty and devoid of meaning is a Christ-less Christmas! That
is where we are headed again!
c. Pure in participants. Did you notice the people of Christmas?
1) A Virgin young lady named Mary
2) A godly man named Joseph
3) A doubting, yet faithful old man named Zacharias
4) A godly old woman named Elisabeth
5) A just and devout man named Simeon
6) A godly old woman named Annas
7) Not many others, except for some shepherds, and a few wise men from the far east
d. Notice the Christmas songs - Songs about holiness, and purity, and light in a dark place - God deliver our homes from ROCK music
1) Oh Holy Night
2) Silent Night, Holy Night
3) Have you noticed a lot of the modern Xmas songs have nothing in them about the HOLINESS of the night Jesus was born?
3. The Spirit of your Christmas ought to be first, HOLY. The atmosphere in your home, and in your heart ought to saturated with God’s holiness
a. NO fights, arguments, envyings, guilt-buying sprees, massive debts, gift show-offs, and the like
b. No depression, bad memories, frustrations
c. They don’t belong at such a HOLY time Not if you are saved (Eph 4:23,24)
4. Oh how our lives and homes need to be holy because of salvation
B. Is Powerful (1:30-37)
1. The Spirit of Christmas is Creative (Gen 1:2) – not just sitting there
2. The Spirit of Christmas is the same as the Spirit of Coordination – all of heaven, and the destiny of every believer is under the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit
3. The Spirit of Christmas is Capable of:
a. Giving a child to a virgin – that’s power!
b. Convincing her soon to be husband that everything is ok, and to take her as his wife – men aren’t easily convinced
c. Moving a star East to West, directing the wise men to Bethlehem, and then moving directly over the exact barn where the child was born!
d. Directing you through storms you encounter, and getting you through
4. The Spirit of Christmas is Careful
a. To explain all this stuff about birth in the Bible, and keep it pure
b. To glorify not Himself, but the Father (Lk 2:14)
c. To work out all the necessary details – never missing anything, nor forgetting one detail in God’s plan
d. God’s Holy Spirit is careful with you! Gentle, and yet determined
e. If you walk in the Spirit at Christmas, and get filled with the Spirit at Christmas, you will see power – God’s power evident in your life
C. Is From Above (Luke 1:37; Jam 1:17)
1. Christmas is not something the world should have charge of folks!
2. If you get your Christmas spirit from all the Whiskey and wine, Parties, Shopping (and resultant debt), and Psychotherapist sessions
3. Then you only have X-mas (a wrong spirit), and need Jesus – seriously (1Cor 2:12)
4. You see:
a. Only with GOD nothing shall be impossible. This world looks only to the government programmes, and to parents – no need for Jesus
b. Only with GOD is everlasting joy
c. Only with GOD are every good and perfect gift you could ever want
5. Oh how the world is looking for its joy in pretty wrapping paper!
6. My joy came wrapped in swaddling clothes, and now lives in my heart
D. Is Simple (1:31,38)
1. “Mary? God needs you to deliver a little baby. Is that ok with you?” “Sure Lord. What else can I do?”
2. That is it! That was basically what God needed Mary for. Do you realise:
a. She didn’t have to train Him, spank, mould and shape His character
b. She didn’t have to agonise each weekend, worrying where her son was, and whether he would be dead because of trying drugs, or being a part of a “gang”
3. She was just needed in some simple things
4. The world makes happiness so complicated – especially at Christmas
a. You have to have everything “just PERFECT”
b. You have to always be smiling and on top of things
c. You have to be able to afford EVERYTHING your kids demand
d. You have to write the most fantastic Christmas Cards
e. You have to think of so many people and try and radiate love and joy
5. Christmas is about SIMPLE things
a. A manger, with a baby in it
c. Gifts FOR Jesus
d. Singing – we all want songs sung to us – let’s do some singing
6. Some Simple Suggestions for a Simple Christmas – let’s repent and get back to doing right at Christmas
a. Get back into Church
b. Get saved – it’s simple! The hard part is surrendering – that’s all
c. Get back into our Bible every day – don’t get too busy
d. Read the Christmas story with your family
e. Give to the Lord – have a gift for Jesus
f. Sing to the Lord
g. Love your mate, and your family
h. Believe God – trust Him implicitly
i. Thank God for anything and everything – just be thankful!
E. Is Satisfying – Full Up (1:39-44)
1. Mary gets excited upon hearing that her cousin is going to have a baby too
2. Once she arrives, Elisabeth gets filled with the Holy Ghost – notice:
a. She is not timid – she was for a while (Lk 1:24) – not now
b. She is fully aware of God’s hand in her life and in her cousin’s life
1) God’s Holy Spirit was telling her things no one else knew
2) It is called spiritual discernment – comes with being filled with the Spirit (Eph 5:18)
c. She is full of joy – it is really all happening like a fairy tale, only true!
3. That is what the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Christmas does to a person who is yielded to Him
a. Not shunning His work, but rather asking for it, and yearning for His work to be completed
b. No matter how hard God has to work, or how long it may take, the Spirit-filled Christian is delighted because when full of God’s Spirit/God’s presence, they are what they should be!
1) Let me develop this thought
2) When you are spiritually empty, and dry. No matter what good things you do, they are worthless – only works of this flesh
3) When you are spiritually full, no matter what “little” things you may do, they only bring great glory and honour to God, and can last for eternity!
F. Is Constantly Fulfilling (1:45) – this is the bigger work of the Holy Spirit
1. The Holy Spirit’s job here on earth is to constantly be working all things together for good (Rom 8:28)
1) A bunch of dry flour
2) A sticky and slimy egg white
3) A packet of smelly yeast
4) A greasy block of butter
5) A small portion of gooey sugar syrup
6) Each by itself, with the exception of the syrup would be totally unenjoyable
7) But when worked together, it makes a glorious cake
1) Your boss and problems at the job are not by accident
2) Problems with your mate are not by accident
3) Your needs at the moment are not by accident
c. Each, individually are painful
d. But, when worked together by the Holy Spirit, a miracle happens! Every time! If you would allow it!
2. Here, He was working to fulfil the many promises God had made
a. For Mary as a virgin to become pregnant as He said she would be
b. For the promised Messiah, and Saviour to come into the world
c. For Israel to be prepared to accept Jesus as Lord through John
3. When the Spirit of Christmas pervades your life and your home, God’s will gets fulfilled in your life, and life gets exciting! No excitement in your Christian life – probably because no Holy Spirit in control.
G. Is Life Changing (Lk 1:46-49)
1. Magnifying the Lord – not the presents (Rom 1:21,25). Rejoicing
2. All because of SALVATION – sin’s stains have been washed away by the Lamb of God
3. God took an unknown person, and transformed her life by faith!
4. Folks, wouldn’t you like:
a. To be saved?
b. To be used of God?
c. To have such joy, that just being with other Christians, or in the presence of God in prayer, you start rejoicing? I do!
Conclusion – The Spirit of Christmas.
Do you really want to get into the Spirit of Christmas? Here is what it is all
A. Holiness – clean thoughts, motives, music – clean living – God honouring!
B. Power – not talking about wimpiness and fairy tales – talking impossibilities happening on a daily basis!
C. Something From Above – not from the world! Oh that we would trade in the filth of this world’s Christmas (drink, parties, debt) for the beauty of Jesus!
D. Simplicity – I think it is the simple things we need most at Christmas. Fresh baking, family, church, Christmas songs, my Bible, somebody getting saved!
E. Satisfaction – you can’t beat being satisfied with Christmas, and yet not even opening any gift yet – not even receiving any gift. I already had my Christmas
F. Accomplishes – fulfils God’s will and work
G. Is Life Changing. Your life either has been changed by Jesus, or needs to be changed by Jesus. The Spirit of Christmas is MOST about changing our lives. If we stay the same after each Christmas as we were before Christmas, then we did not experience Christmas.