Your Christmas Gift

Home » Sermons » Standalone » Your Christmas Gift

Auto Generated Transcript

It’s good to see everyone here this morning as we just worship the Lord through this holiday season. And we’re going to go through this just a couple of messages this this week and next week as it relates to the Christmas story. And one of the reasons we like to do this around the Christmas season is at some point, uh, you find yourself a lot of times in a Christmas season getting a little bit busier with things that are happening around you. Some of you start getting this Christmas. It’s like you don’t even know with all the with all the, the events going on. And maybe you got different, uh, holiday parties and, and you got thinking about the presents and the different needs and demands that you have in life. There’s just sometimes you get in this place where you just you can go numb over what the, the Christmas season represents. And so today I want to talk to us about the Christmas story. And I want to specifically talk about the gift that you have to give to the Lord for this Christmas. It’s going to take us into two chapters in the Bible. We’re going to look at this in Matthew chapter two, starting off in Luke chapter two. So if you want to go ahead and get there to Matthew chapter two in your Bible, it’ll help us as we go along. But as as we get ready to dive into this passage of Scripture, there’s there’s something that I just want to get off my chest.

And and one is, I don’t know if you are are like, uh, my household, but when Christmas, there’s something about when Christmas season comes around, like the Hallmark Channel, it doesn’t go, we’re 57 movies into the Hallmark Channel this year. And and I got to escape today coming to church. Right. And and the other thing is this. When you read the Christmas story, you know, one of the interesting things about the Christmas story, and I don’t know if you’ve ever caught this as you’ve gone through it together, but we know we know the gist of the story. Mary has a child named Emmanuel. It tells us in in Luke chapter one. I think it’s in verse 26. And that translates literally God with us. A virgin conceives, give birth, gives birth has a child. And we, we have called him Jesus. The names that are given to Jesus are are plentiful. The names of Jesus, uh, aren’t just just names that are given. They’re also titles that identify who he is. The Old Testament tells us, wonderful counselor, Almighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and the New Testament. He’s Emmanuel, God with us, Jesus Christ the saving King. But one of the things that just weirds me out about the manger story we’ll work through this morning, I noticed as I was going through this week, is that as it’s telling us the story, it’s like Mary has a baby and lots of guys show up.

And I don’t know, like when, when, when people in our church, when they have kids, you know, sometimes I’ll make it to the hospital visit. But more likely than not, this is what I typically do. I’ll turn to my wife and was like, oh, they had their child. That’s wonderful. Are you going to be able to find time to go visit them? You know, you got like a 48 hour window to get their visit and get on. And I look at her and I ask that question, I’m reading the story of the manger. I’m like wise men, shepherds. Where are the ladies in this story? You know, lots of guys showing up to this and and maybe I’m maybe I’m the weird one in it, I don’t know, but there’s something unique about it. And the first, first part you read about in Matthew chapter two, uh, what Matthew talks about is the arrival of the wise men. Now, this may be maybe a little it’ll this will just freak us out just a little bit more talking about all the guys. Gather around. There’s a baby. Guys, let’s go party, you know, whatever. But, you know, I think one of my first kid was born. The one thing that I loved about it when I’m holding my child loved it. But Stacey did it on Sunday, which gave me completely excuse away from work to watch the game with my boy.

I’m like, look at this. We’re watching the football games, right? Just sitting back, relax in the hospital and eating her food in the room. But the wise man, here’s the other thing about the wise men is tradition has taught us with the wise men that there were three. Right. And I don’t think that that’s accurate, but this is how I think it happened. Is, is someone’s writing a Christmas play and they’re like, man, there’s gold, frankincense and myrrh. We need someone in the play to to play the wise men. How many should we have? Well, there’s three gifts. Let’s let there be three wise men. And then. So tradition has taught us that there’s three wise men that just show up next to a a nice little stable that was built. More than likely it wasn’t a stable. It was probably a cave. And and these wise men come. But but reality is, it probably wasn’t three wise men that show up next to Mary at the birth of Jesus. And the reason is because these wise men likely traveled, they think, from far in the East, but more than likely probably came came from the Babylonian area, which is in modern day Iraq. And during that time, there wasn’t police officers running around in the streets to protect people. When you traveled especially long distances, it was unsafe.

And to do that, it required you to travel in a large caravan, especially if you’re going to be carrying around gold, frankincense and myrrh. I mean, that’s the last thing you need people to know. Hey, the three guys are leaving town with the gold. You know, it’s like, okay, let me catch them in the next town because when they get there, it will be my gold, right? And so often when people would travel, they would travel in large groups. And so when the wise men come from the east to, to be there at the presence of Jesus’s birth, it’s probably likely that they were more than. Three individuals in this group traveling. In addition to that, it’s more than likely that when the wise men came, they came much later than at the birth of Jesus. And so, you know, I said in the beginning, it’s kind of weird, all the guys showing up when the wise men get there, it’s probably likely later in the birth of Christ Jesus could have been upwards of almost two years old when the wise men arrived. So most people estimate that Jesus was likely under the age of one, though when the wise men show up and and the reason that they think this is is one. When the wise men see the star, they see the star, and when at Jesus’s birth, well, they’ve got to travel hundreds of miles to get to Jerusalem.

In addition to that, when when Herod finds out the story of these wise men coming to see the birth of Jesus, Herod then once the wise men leave, given order to take the lives of the children in Bethlehem, and when Herod gives this order, he tells them to take the lives of children two years of age and younger. And so when the wise men show up to to to Herod’s castle or Herod’s place of ruling, it tells us. In Matthew chapter two and verse two, it says, well. Where is he who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw his star in the East and have come to worship him. So these these wise men are very wise men. When they see the star appearing over Israel. And they begin to to make this journey into Israel, the place that these wise men stop are at the palace. They stop at the palace and they ask logically if they believe that a ruler is to be born in Israel and from Israel, well, where would it likely be taking place? In a place of authority. And so they stop in Herod’s Herod’s castle. And Herod asks them. He says to them, uh, when did you see the star appear? And based on the information that he receives, he then gives that order after the wise men leave to go into the city of Bethlehem and to kill the the children, the boys under the age of two years old, based on what he learns from these wise men.

Now, these wise men, when they when they see this star appear and they begin this journey to Jerusalem. You know, I asked myself the question, why? Why would Matthew start his story in reference to these wise men who were not Jewish Gentiles? Why? Why in Matthew chapter two, if the book of Matthew especially is more geared towards towards the Jewish people, why does he tell the story of the wise men? And you look at Luke. Luke doesn’t talk about the wise men. He talks about the shepherds. And so why is Matthew here talking about these these wise men? When you look at the book of Matthew, Matthew likes to show the fulfillment of prophecy. It’s geared towards the Jews. And so Matthew wants to talk about the prophecy in which Jesus fulfills in the Old Testament. And he does that here in Matthew. And I think I think the story of the wise men in the book of Matthew is sort of a rubbing it in the face, or provoking of the Jewish people to recognize the significance of what’s happening here. It’s kind of like saying this, guys, don’t you get the significance of Jesus and his arrival? I mean, how in the world could you miss it? Even the Gentiles from Iraq are learning about this Jesus and coming based on what the Old Testament says.

In fact, in the Book of numbers in chapter 24 and verse 17, it says that a scepter will rise out of Israel to rule and a star will appear. And it’s assumed by most scholars that when they read this account of Jesus, that that the verse that would have helped these wise men understand that Jesus was born was this passage of Scripture that this ruler and this star would come out of Israel. And the reason these individuals would have been familiar with this passage of Scripture is because just a few hundred years previous to this, in 586 BC, the nation of Israel had been captured and taken into Babylon. And so the the Old Testament, the belief of the Jewish people would have resonated within that area. And these wise men would have been familiar with it. And so they say to Herod, where is he who was born king of the Jews? For we saw his star in the East and have come to worship him. Now these these wise men likely go to the palace, but they wouldn’t have been completely familiar with Scripture. And so what Herod does, Herod is becoming jealous. Herod is the type of individual who killed his own family to keep security over his throne. And now he’s got these wise men telling him that there is another king in town. And so Herod gathers the the priests and the scribes together, and he says, tell us, where is this, this, this one to be born? And the scribes and the priests then go back into the Old Testament, and they quote it here in Matthew chapter two, which is Matthew saying to us, listen, this is how Jesus fulfilled the Old Testament.

And he said, they said to him, in Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what was written about him by the prophets. And you, O Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah. For out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel. And so these wise men come into Jerusalem thinking they’re going to be there’s going to be this king at this palace that they will worship. And now all of a sudden they’re finding out that they’re heading to Bethlehem. It’s like it’s Podunk ville in comparison to the city they were just a part of. Like what the people of the people of Israel even said. Is anything good coming out of Nazareth? I mean, this town of Bethlehem, it’s it’s not what you would think as a place that a ruler would come from. And now leaving this palace, they’re heading to a cave. Now, could you imagine the the the wise men and the way that they are recognized in their own society? These men were likely wealthy men of prominence and the place that they had come from.

I mean, their offering to Jesus. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. Now they’re leaving the palace, heading to a cave. And when they get there. It says after coming into the house. They saw the child with Mary, his mother. And they fell to the ground and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These gifts were likely what helped fund Mary and Joseph when they made their flight to Egypt, because once Herod came into Bethlehem to try to kill these children, Mary and Joseph were warned by God, and they fled to Egypt and waited till Herod’s death before they had returned back to to Nazareth. But in Matthew chapter two. Starts this important thought of the Christmas story that I think God wants all of us to grab a hold of. And that’s what these wise men partake of as they experience Jesus face to face. They fell to the ground. And they worshiped him. When you think about what Christmas is all about and what you have to give to the Lord this Christmas season, what gift that you offer, I think it’s important for us to just first look at the Christmas story and ask ourselves, what was it they offered at the first Christmas and which people celebrated? It tells us that the wise men come before Jesus. And they worship him. Mary’s Christmas story in the book of Luke’s really starts off in chapter one, when it begins to tell the story of Mary.

God comes to her and tells her that she’s going to have a child. Mary finds this out at the end of Luke chapter one, verse 46 and 47. It starts this response of Mary. You know, Mary finds out she’s a virgin young lady, betrothed to Joseph, about to be married. God comes to her and tells her she’s with child. She’s going to have the Messiah. And the response of Mary is a beautiful response in the book of Luke. In fact, it’s a quote from the Old Testament as well. It comes from from the book of First Samuel, chapter two. First Samuel chapter two. You find a story of a lady named Hannah. Hannah’s desire was to have a child, but she was unable to, and so she kept praying to the Lord. She she desired a child, and God finally allowed her to to have a child. And his name was Samuel. But when she found out that she was pregnant, Hannah wrote a song of praise to God. And so when Mary finds out she’s pregnant, she sings the song of Hannah in celebration. And it starts off like this. And Mary said, my soul exalts the Lord. And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. Mary begins to worship God, knowing that Christmas is coming even before Christmas gets there. And and as the story goes on, you know how how the story goes that Mary and Joseph are eventually called to their hometown where they were from, and they have this child.

There’s no room in the inn. And so they have this child in the place where the animals are kept in a cave. And and during the time of Mary, people often lived in these caves to what typically happened is they would create a lower room in these caves, and the animals would stay there, and they would create this upper ledge, and the people would live there, and people would sleep with their animals in these, in these homes. And so, Mary, uh, this happens with her. They didn’t find any room in the end, but they end up in the place where the animals are kept and she stays there. And in addition to that, not only not only is Mary in this location, but also God comes to these shepherds. He appears to these shepherds and tells them what’s taking place. And so now these shepherds find out and they begin to arrive, and they’re likely there when when Jesus is born or shortly after Jesus’s birth, to see this Christ. And so it tells us in Luke chapter two, in verse 18 to 20, the response of the individuals who were there in Bethlehem when Jesus is born, it says, all those who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds.

But Mary treasured all these things. Pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds went back glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as has been told to them. So you see this, the story of Jesus’s birth, the shepherds rejoicing and celebrating this Christmas season. What God’s done Mary. She’s she’s taking it to heart and she’s amazed at what God’s doing. It tells us she ponders them and she treasures them. And there’s something unique that happens in the stories as it lists for us the response of the shepherds and the response of the of Mary. And you see it throughout the book of Luke. And that’s in verse 18, when it happens with with the townspeople and the shepherds go out and begin to share this message of Jesus as soon as, as soon as it’s found out of what Christ is doing, and it tells all who heard it, wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. You know, on first glance you would read that and you would think, well, that’s great. I’m glad people are wondering at what Jesus is doing here by coming, becoming flesh, God dwelling among us. Emmanuel is with us. But then there’s this important word that takes place that sort of separates the townspeople from what’s happening in Mary’s heart. It’s almost to say to us that what’s happening in their heart isn’t really what God wants to achieve by by coming in the flesh, especially at this Christmas season.

And that’s this word. But. Right. See, the the townspeople wondered at these things. But, Mary. For Merry Christmas was different. And these people looked at it and were amazed. But Marian went a step further. Mary took the time to ponder these things. And Mary took the time to treasure them in her heart. In fact, what the writer of Luke is doing in the gospel is he’s showing the difference between worshippers of Christ. And those who are on the fringe. In fact, when you get to Luke chapter four, the same thing happens again in verse 22. The people look at the things that Jesus is doing and they’re amazed. It tells us. And then it says, the townspeople remarked, but isn’t he Joseph’s son? They’re wondering at the things Christ has done. But, you know, here’s what happens with the people. The people in Luke that never truly embraced Jesus. They wonder. At the events of Christ. But never at Christ himself. They’re captivated by the things that Jesus can do for them. But never really who Jesus is to them. The significance of who Christ is. Especially at Christmas season. Is important and most importantly to God’s people, right? You think about as this story relates to our culture today, it’s possible to celebrate Christmas and never honor Jesus. And the reason we have this holiday. As to glorify his name.

There’s something in the story of the shepherds and the wise men and Mary that captivates the heart. There’s something in this Christmas story as you look at these individuals that happens repeatedly. And I think it’s this. It’s that they worship. It didn’t. As you look at the story of the wise men or the shepherds or Mary. It didn’t matter what background they come from, whether they’re rich like the wise men or low middle class like the shepherds, whether they’re young like Mary or older, likely like the wise men may have been. It didn’t matter. Rich or poor, young or old, they found the time to worship Christ. And this is just even a foreign thought to even say in our culture today, Christmas exists for worship. The season is about worship. And when you look at the Christmas story, what you find in the lives of individuals that were a part of this Christmas story is that you can worship in all sorts of ways. Mary sang the song of Hannah. The shepherds rejoiced over the events, and the wise men were people that were sacrificing, traveling long distances just to have the opportunity to worship. And when they gathered before Jesus, they take the best of what they have and they give to them. They use Christmas for worship. And when you consider the way the early church reacted to to Christmas and worship for the Lord, it just causes us to pause for a second and just ask.

Does your Christmas inspire worship? Or what about Christmas? Inspires worship for you. You know, I think about the Christmas story. I think to myself, you know, taking time to worship during the Christmas season, it’s not always easy. And people can come up with their excuses. Let me just give you the few from the first Christmas wise men. I can’t travel that far. I don’t want to. I want to give something. But. But the God is asking too much or or. Mary, I, I just had a baby in a barn, right? Like. I don’t think so. Or the shepherd. I mean, the shepherds were working with their sheep, and they’re leaving their livelihood out in the fields to come in and worship Jesus. I mean, wolves could get them, but they they dropped their job to find the time to worship. They they traveled long distances. They they inconvenienced themselves. They they put everything else aside just to experience what God has done. Because you can’t experience the goodness of what Christmas is without worship. You know, one of the things that we’ve. Try to distinguish as a church. What’s important for us here at Alpine Bible is that we want to be used of God to redeem our culture. You know, we say this and I know we could we could have all kinds of responses to the Christmas season. I know people do, and I don’t want to.

If you’ve got your thing set in stone, I don’t want to change any of that. I do want us to honor God in it. But Christmas, the Christmas season, uh, our culture isn’t going to stop celebrating it, right? But the more the church distanced itself from recognizing the beauty of Jesus in the Christmas season. The more secular it’ll get. And the further it gets away from Christ. A couple of nights ago, my wife and I were sitting around our Christmas tree and our kids had gone to bed and were discussing how we can help our kids to honor the Lord in Christmas. And we started to look at our Christmas tree. And and you may not even think about this when you celebrate the Christmas season, but a lot of what we do traditionally in Christmas time is intended to point us to Christ. And the Christmas tree itself. There’s different reasons that people think that the Christmas tree we bring into our homes. But but one of the first people that they know in history that did it was a man named Martin Luther. The story goes like this, that Martin Luther was walking through through the woods one day, and he he looked up. And by the way, I’m talking about the not not the American Martin Luther, but the Germany Martin Luther that that gave his life for, for the Lord. And and he looks out in the woods and he sees this Christmas tree.

It’s just beautifully green. And through the branches of the tree, he sees the light illuminating through it. And he thought, how beautiful that this tree still has life and the lights coming through it. And God is the light of the world. So he chopped this tree down and he took it home. And he tells that story to his kids about God being the light of the world during the Christmas season, and how this tree still has life even in the deadness of winter. And that’s what God does for us. And so that started the tradition for us as individuals. And what an opportunity if you think about worship and redeeming your culture, why in the world do we continue to do this custom? I don’t know, it’s Christmas, right? But but its intentions were Christ centered, or the time of year that you pull out the candy canes. You’re like, I don’t even like peppermint. Why is it here? Well, it’s there because there was a there was a teacher that was helping these young kids put on a Christmas play, and he couldn’t get the wisemen to be quiet. So he decided that he’s going to create some candy. And the shepherds, he couldn’t get him to be quiet during the play. And so he created a candy cane and the shape of a shepherd’s hook. And he represented, if he ever turn it upside down, it’s in the shape of a J that looks like Jesus, and it’s been striped red and white to represent the blood of Jesus that was shed and the white of the purity of Christ.

That’s that’s coming for us and his sacrifice of his life. Even stockings, even Santa Claus. All of those things are rooted in its original form, in who Jesus is, to point us back to him. I don’t have time to go through all of those, but I’ll tell you this if you’re leaving today and you’re thinking, man, I want to make sure I make the most of Christmas. When you leave on our information table, there’s a booklet that we print out right there on the information table every Christmas. It says Keeping Christ in Christmas. That goes to these traditions and explains to us what they mean as it relates to Christ. You can’t experience the goodness of what Christmas is intended to be. Without worship. But as you look at the Christmas story, God has given us all sorts of ways in which the individuals involved worship, whether it’s rejoicing or singing or sacrificing, it’s to make Christ the center of Christmas. Just thinking about worship in our own hearts and lives. I guess I’ve had a common question often asked of me in worship, and there’s a verse in the Bible that relates to it and Alpine Bible Church, and I’m going to I’m just going to read this to us, and I just want to talk about this verse as it relates to us and worship and Christmas.

But it says this in first Timothy chapter two and verse eight. Therefore. I want the men everywhere to pray. Lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. And God’s desire in this passage. And what Paul’s writing here is, I want men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. Uh, looking at this in the Greek text, there are some passages in the Bible that when it talks about an identity in men in this verse, sometimes it literally means everyone. But in the context of this Greek verse, it actually just means the men. Now, I don’t want to leave you out to dry, ladies, but let me, let me just relate this to the men for just a minute. Guys. I think it’s our responsibility. Um. Especially coming in the Christmas season. I’ll tell you why I’m telling them in this. Um. Don’t let your wife out worship you. I know sometimes. Ladies, you hear verses like that and you’re like, man, the Bible talks about men more than women. And it does. And and I don’t want you to feel left out. But I know sometimes in our hearts, ladies, that we’re in a place where, um. You want to see men worship, right? Paul in this passage, I think knows the same thing. I want the men everywhere to pray.

I’m lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing. When it comes to this Christmas season. I still want your wife out worship you. And you look over the history of the church. And if we’re being honest, statistically, when you look at it, it’s traditionally been more ladies than guys that participate in the worship of the Lord. I don’t say this just to put us down or to make us feel bad. I’m saying this because Paul said the same thing. Guys. God’s called you to worship. In fact, you’re you’re created for worship. And God has designed you that you would connect to him and be inspired by the goodness of who he is. God’s desire for you is to worship. And when it talks about worship in this passage of Scripture, it says to us that God’s desire is for you to to lift your hands. And and sometimes we’re asked that in church we you can worship any way you want. We sing songs, but every once in a while you’ll notice people just raising their hands and praise before God. And and the reason we do that is it’s biblical, right? What? What does it mean? And I’ll tell you, when it comes to raising my hands and worship before God, I can tell you this is my comfort zone right here. It’s like I call this the stinky armpit praise, where if you forget deodorant, you don’t have to lift up your hands too high.

But sometimes I just enjoy joy worshiping. I put deodorant on, by the way, today. But you hopefully every day. But you enjoy worship when you just just lifting up your hands before God. But what in the world does it mean? When you look within Scripture, you find it especially in the Old Testament, in the book of of Psalms, David lifting up his arms to, to the Lord, and and Psalm 63 and verses 1 to 6. It talks about the goodness of God and being better than life, and his lips glorifying him and his hands extended to God in Psalm chapter 141 and verses one and two, it says this, O Lord, I call upon you, hasten to me, give ear to my voice. When I call to you. May my prayer be counted as incense before you, the lifting up of my hands as the evening offering. And maybe not even thought about this or seen this in scripture. But the Bible tells us it’s not only us who extend our hands to God and worship. The Bible tells us that God also extends his hands to us. And Isaiah 65 and verses one, it said this, I said, here am I, here am I. To a nation that did not call on my name, I spread out my hands all day to rebellious people. God extending his hands to us. The the fact that Jesus came in the flesh during this, this time of year that we celebrate is saying God is extending his hands to you.

And in Psalm 141 it’s saying back to God, God, I am extending myself to you. This this idea of lifting hands. When you look it up in Scripture, it carries all sorts of of thoughts with it. But it says this to God, I want to connect to you. I want to offer myself to you. I need you in this passage of Scripture, lifting up his hands, it’s saying, I’m offering myself to you as an evening offering. It’s extending themselves to the Lord, making yourselves available. Now, I don’t want things to get weird and say, now we’re going to sing a song after the service. Now, everyone lift up your hands. I don’t I’m not trying to do that for you, but what what I want us to recognize is that when it comes to worship, it’s about giving of yourself. Extending to God saying, I need you. I want to connect you. I’m offering myself to you. It’s interesting when you study this thought of of lifting up your hands, and you look at the complexity of all these verses about it. And, and I think it simplifies itself just in one illustration. You ever been around a young child? When you come into a room. And they’re happier there, right? I know when I come home from work, as soon as my kids hear that door slam.

Well or shot. If it’s a windy day, it’ll slam, but they’ll come running in. Yelling my name. One of them trying to jump in front of the other. Extending their hands. It’ll happen throughout the day. Sometimes I’m busy, sometimes I’m not. But, you know, even in the busiest of moments. There’s something about just your child reaching for you. That it doesn’t matter what you’re doing as soon as their hands go towards you. Your heart starts drawing towards them. As a parent. If you experience that, you try to make the most of those moments, right? Because eventually you know they’re going to go away. And you won’t know you’ve missed it. And so long after you realize. Maybe your child’s extended their hands as a young toddler for the last time. Your heart begins to miss that. In fact, you want to be around a little kid again. Maybe yours have gotten older and you can’t quite cuddle, but you want to be around that young child just one more time. So they could just extend those hands and you can experience what that’s like just to be able to hold. Because when those hands are extended, you know, you know what? That child’s communicating without even words. I’m trusting in you. I just want to be near you. I want to spend time with you. I’m giving myself to you right now. This is so important to me.

Would you just. Would you just pick me up and spend time with me? When you look at the lifting up of hands in Scripture. That’s what it illustrates. Got up. I’m giving myself to you. God this this time of year. It’s busy, but it’s free. It’s for you. And I just want to acknowledge you. And I want to be close to you. And I want to trust in you. And I want to find security in you. And I’m offering myself to you. God, would you would you just spend that time with me? Christmas Story. As one of worship. We can tell you in everything that you may do in worship, whether it be lifting up of hands or not, whether it be singing songs or not, whether it would be rejoicing or not, whether it be sacrificing or not. Can I tell you the most important thing you’re offering in all of that? Yourself. Reality is whatever way you want to express worship before the Lord, the most important thing that you give him is yourself. This Christmas season or any Christmas season, it’s especially important to stop and recognize that, because sometimes life gets so busy that the last thing that you want to stop and do is take the time to give yourself. Everything’s pulling you every which way. Christmas. It’s about Christ. And sometimes we can get lost in that mix. And here’s what I think the sad thing is for us sometimes.

There are times in our lives where we can get so burned and so worn out, and and even the holiday seasons can become stressful for us, or even religiously. Maybe you’ve had things pull away that that we allow other things keep us from the one thing God created you for, and that’s him. Can I tell you? There comes a time where you just get worn out and you just want to sit on the sidelines and you want to give up on everything else. But can I just tell you, when you try to prioritize what is significant and what isn’t? Can I say into your heart this morning, the most important thing, if you could just not give up on one thing and you just not quit on one thing, I’m not asking you for religion. I’m not asking you for a holiday. What I’m asking is just Jesus. Just give your heart room for Jesus. There’s a thought that says you missions exist because worship does not. God came on mission into this world. For your heart. Because it was created for worship. It was created to appreciate a God who was glorious. And lift your hands in connection to him. You know, one of the beautiful things about the church, and one of the reasons we want to redeem the culture is because missions exist, because worship does not. God calls us into a world that may not understand what Christmas is about.

Just to take those moments and not only direct our own hearts back to him. But others as well. You don’t even have to make it complicated. I mean, you, next time you’re celebrating with your family for a holiday, you just stop for a minute and say, hey, I just want to. Because God gave us this, this holiday, and we we just get together as family or friends or whatever it is to honor him. I just want to pause and just point out the importance of what a Christmas tree is, or what the candy cane represents, or or why we’re doing what we’re doing, and how God gave his life for us as the ultimate gift. And during this whole holiday. The best gift you can give to him. The only gift he wants. It’s you. God wants you. So my encouragement for you this morning. When you present your gifts for Christmas. And when you celebrate the holidays. Do it because Christ is the center. And make sure you’re giving the best gift that you can to him. Which is yourself, because we recognize this holiday season. He’s already given us the best gift that he has to offer. Which is himself, that we may enjoy him for all eternity.


Christmas Refuge