Pastor Shane Ham : The Christmas Stocking

Icons of Christmas · 33:48 · Recorded December 6, 2015

This series of messages will look at the old and familiar Christmas icons that have become part of our beloved holiday traditions. In the olden days, every gift you received for Christmas would fit in your stocking. Can you imagine everything you get for Christmas fitting into a stocking? No X-Box, no Ninja blender, no super-duper socket wrench set? How did we get to this world of "more" that we live in today? What can we do to ensure we have the right perspective - not only of Christmas, but of Christ Himself?

The Christmas Stocking

Galatians 4:4 (CEV) But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law.

Three Myths About “More”

M make you ____.

Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 (NIV) Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them?

M make you ____.

Proverbs 18:11 (TLB) The rich man thinks of his wealth as an impregnable defense, a high wall of safety. What a dreamer!

Luke 12:15 (CEV) Then he said to the crowd, “Don’t be greedy! Owning a lot of things won’t make your life safe.”

M make you ____.

Job 31:24-28 (TLB) “If I have put my trust in money, if my happiness depends on wealth, … and my heart has been secretly enticed… For if I had done such things, it would mean that I denied the God of heaven.”

Managing My “More” This Christmas

1. R_______________________________________________.

2 Corinthians 10:12 (CEV) We won’t dare compare ourselves with those who think so much of themselves. But they are foolish to compare themselves with themselves.

2. R the first __________________.

It teaches you ___________________.

Deuteronomy 14:23 (TLB) The purpose of tithing is to teach you always to put God first in your lives.

It teaches you ___________________.

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NLT) Teach those who are rich in this world not to be proud and not to trust in their money, which is so unreliable. Their trust should be in God, who richly gives us all we need for our enjoyment. Tell them to use their money to do good. They should be rich in good works and generous to those in need, always being ready to share with others. By doing this they will be storing up their treasure as a good foundation for the future so that they may experience true life.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 (NIV) Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign LORD is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights.

3. R what God ________________________.

Psalm 126:3 (NLT) Yes, the LORD has done amazing things for us! What joy!

Luke 1:46-48 (NIV) And Mary said: “My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant.”

Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

4. R your faith on __________________.

Scriptures For Further Reflection

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Psalm 103:1-5 (NIV) Praise the LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits – who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Luke 2:8-14 (NIV) And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

Psalm 73:25-26 (NIV) Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Matthew 1:18-25 (NIV) This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”–which means, “God with us.”

  • Read Ecclesiastes 5:10-11 again. What about money/more is the writer bemoaning here: the addiction to money/more? Its emptiness? The indulgence?
  • What priority does the pursuit of wealth and work have in your life? Is this necessary? What are you expecting your life’s work will give you in the end?
  • In what areas do you tend to compare yourself with others? Does this cause you to feel better about yourself? Worse? What will you do when you find yourself making comparisons? How will you turn that around into gratefulness? Take some time to list some of the blessings you’ve received from God and how they’ve changed or benefited your life.
  • What are your thoughts on tithing? Do you make a regular practice of giving a small (10%) portion back to God? Why or why not? Do you agree with Pastor Shane’s points that committing to giving back a tithe teaches you to put God first and trust him in all things?
  • How will you strive to refocus on the Christ of Christmas? What can you do in your quiet time each day to remember the baby who came with an awesome purpose? How will you eliminate busyness and distractions so you can have some peaceful time with the Savior this season?
  • Especially as we approach the gift-giving time of Christmas, take time to talk with your children about rejoicing in what God has already given them. Talk with them about the good God who gives them love so great that he has made a place for them in heaven. Remind them of the physical needs that God meets for them daily. Help them identify how God has blessed them. Perhaps make time in the car or at dinnertime for each person to name five things they are grateful that God has given them. (Family, friends, church, His word, a home, experiences & memories, etc.)
  • Relentless

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  • Joy to The World (Citizens and Saints)

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  • God With Us

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  • Holy Spirit

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  • Yes You Are

  • Relentless (reprise)

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