60 results found

A Simple Story

December 19, 2021 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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Don’t you feel the tug towards something more simple? The Christmas season has become so chaotic and busy. Don’t you long for less chaos and more meaning? Something less fleeting and more lasting? Don’t you think Christians ought to know how to celebrate Christmas best? It seems that the world should be at our door at this season, but we’ve lost our distinctiveness. We’ve joined the world’s celebration instead of inviting them to ours.

Let’s go against the consumer Christmas culture this year by focusing less on giving presents and more on being present. Let’s get back to the simple story about Jesus.

A Simple Response

December 12, 2021 | Luke 1:26-38 | christmas

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Every invitation deserves an RSVP, a response. Christmas invites us to respond to this word: the Son of God, the Savior, Christ Jesus has come. And He is coming again. This is what we mean when we speak of this Christmas season, this season of Advent. The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming.” Advent speaks of the incarnation and the return of Christ Jesus. He has appeared and will appear again.

How will you respond? People respond in different ways. Some come to faith immediately. Some reject believing outright. Some go through a long season of searching and stumbling before finally believing, while still others remain skeptical or even apathetic their whole lives. Don’t you wish you knew how to respond?

Let’s look at the story of Mary’s simple response of faith to God’s Word to consider our response.

A Simple Invitation

December 5, 2021 | John 3:16-18 | christmas

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The Christmas season has become one of the busiest and most expensive times of the year. Retailers spend millions every year inviting us to spend our time and money at their special Christmas sales events. The sales “invitations” from retailers to spend our money with them fill our newspapers and mailboxes every Christmas, but now they increasingly fill our email boxes and social media.

How many of you long for something simpler? What if there were a simpler invitation that you could RSVP this year? What if we could say yes to a simple invitation to spend less and love more. To feel less exhausted and overwhelmed and more filled with a life better than we’ve ever dreamed of? Well, that’s what we’re talking about today… God’s simple invitation to believe in His Son.

A Genuine Light

December 20, 2020 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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Like Charlie Brown, when we make Christmas about something other than the coming of Christ, we’ll always be disappointed. If we make it about spending money and giving and receiving gifts, sure we might be happy for a day. But the bill for the gifts we put on our credit cards in December, come due in January. After the gifts, the food and the fun, there’s the cleanup and the packing away of Christmas decorations and lights. Our holiday festivities that we looked so forward to, always quickly come to end. Where’s the meaning? Where’s the joy that lasts for more than a day?

The answer is only found in understanding the true meaning of Christmas, by seeing the Genuine Light of Christmas found in the coming of Jesus Christ.

A Glorious Light

December 13, 2020 | John 1:1-18 | christmas

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Do you ever feel alone? Christmas is just around the corner, and for many people that means family, fun, and a few days spent in the company of the people we love. Except that, for some of us, Christmas time represents none of these things. For some, it will be a time of loneliness, trauma and great anguish. Many of us will spend this Christmas grieving for the people we’ve said goodbye to since last year. The parents we’ve lost. The friends. The children. Others may be reminded of insurmountable fractures in their familial relationships – the people we no longer speak to, the parties we can no longer in good conscience attend.

How can we experience the true light of Christmas this year? A light that overcomes our broken hearts and broken relationships? The apostle John tells us that Jesus came to light up our lives, so that we might know and be made right with God the Father. Jesus offers to be the Light of your life!

A Great Light

December 6, 2020 | Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 | christmas

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Understanding the true meaning of Christmas begins by understanding and admitting the darkness of our world. Not the darkness of winter’s short days, but the darkness of ignorance and evil, suffering and pain, fear and anxiety, dark despair and gloomy grief. These and more describe what the Bible means by “darkness.”

It’s not enough to recognize the darkness in our world, nor is it enough to think you can brighten it through your own good intentions and efforts. In fact, this is the very reality that the Light of Christmas reveals: That we not only live in a dark world, but we have a darkness in our souls that cannot be enlightened without a Light from outside ourselves, a Great Light that could overcome our soul’s darkness. In Isaiah 9, he encouraged the people of Israel with a Messianic prophecy of a Son who was to be born as a great light that would overcome the world’s darkness. We can believe that the great Light that overcomes the world’s darkness has come in the person of Jesus.

The Guest List

December 22, 2019 | Luke 2:1-20 | christmas

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God invited total strangers (the shepherds) to his son’s first birthday party. But did you know you were on the guest list too? The Christ was born for all of us, “unto you” is for me and you. Have you accepted His invitation? You’re on the guest list.

In the gospel of Luke, he recorded the story of Jesus’ birth which an angel of the Lord announced to the shepherds, inviting them to come and see the promised Savior, who is Christ the Lord. We too are on God’s guest list. We are invited to come to the Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The Naughty or Nice List

December 15, 2019 | John 3:16-21 | christmas

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Parents have been using the lines from this song ever since to help make their children behave. “You better be good. You better go to bed. You don’t want to be on Santa’s “naughty list. You won’t get any presents…” So, every American child born since 1934 has been taught about this so-called “Naughty or Nice List.”

And that might sound innocent enough until we realize that many of those same children have grown up to believe that God is keeping such a list, and that the way to please God and receive the gift of eternal life in heaven, is to be good enough to be on His “Nice List” and work hard to stay off of His “Naughty List.”

In the Gospel of John, Jesus told a Pharisee named Nicodemus that the only way to receive God’s greatest gift of salvation is through believing in His Son. We can receive God’s greatest gift.

The Wish List

December 8, 2019 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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Our wishes, our longings, are really a kind of worship. Because that’s what worship is. Worship is seeing something or someone that we count worthy of our affection and longing, our love, and then, recognizing that worthiness, we seek to give them what they’re worth.

In the book of Matthew the story of the birth of Jesus was told within the political backdrop of the times. Jesus was the one prophesied to be King, but He came in the most unexpected way. And from the beginning there was a battle between His Kingdom and the false king that usurped His Throne. The challenge for us is to remove our worship from the false king and to put our worship on the true King, Jesus Christ. After all, it’s His birthday we’re celebrating. Not ours.

Unwrapping the Sovereign

December 16, 2018 | Matthew 2:1-12 | christmas

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When we unwrap Christmas, we see that Jesus is the Sovereign King. Having anyone else on the throne of your heart means that you have not yet understood the gift of Christmas. In the gospel according to Matthew, the child Jesus was revealed to the wise men to be the one truly born king of the Jews. We can recognize that Jesus is truly the one born king, not only of the Jews, but the Sovereign over all.