Pastor Shane Ham : Don’t Miss the Merry in Your Christmas

Joyous · 39:10 · Recorded December 2, 2018

Don’t Miss the “Merry” in Your Christmas

The first Christmas didn’t start “joyous”:

Mary was confused and worried.

Luke 1:29 (NLT2) Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.

Joseph was hurt and brokenhearted.

Matthew 1:19 (NLT2) Joseph, her fiancé, was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly.

The shepherds were scared to death.

Luke 2:8-9 (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.

The wise men were exhausted.

Matthew 2:1 (TLB) At about that time some astrologers from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem.

Their focus changed their feelings:

1. Everything changed for Mary when she focused on God’s promises!

Luke 1:37-38 (MSG) “Nothing, you see, is impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Yes, I see it all now: I’m the Lord’s maid, ready to serve. Let it be with me just as you say.”

Luke 1:48, 58 (MSG) “God took one good look at me, and look what happened— I’m the most fortunate woman on earth! What God has done for me will never be forgotten…” Her neighbors and relatives, seeing that God had overwhelmed her with mercy, celebrated with her.

Ask God to give you clarity.

Ephesians 1:18 (TEV) I ask that your minds may be opened to see his light, so that you will know what is the hope to which he has called you, how rich are the wonderful blessings he promises his people.

2. Everything changed for Joseph when he focused on God’s plan.

Matthew 1:20 (TLB) As he lay awake considering this, he fell into a dream, and saw an angel standing beside him. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “don’t hesitate to take Mary as your wife! For the child within her has been conceived by the Holy Spirit.”

Choose an attitude of humility.

James 4:6 (ESV) God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.

3. Everything changed for the shepherds when they looked up!

Luke 2:10-18, 20 (TLB) 10But the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! 11The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem! 12How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!” 13Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: 14“Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”…15The shepherds said to each other, “Come on! Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this wonderful thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” 16They ran to the village and found their way to Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. 17The shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. 18All who heard the shepherds’ story expressed astonishment… 20Then the shepherds went back again to their fields and flocks, praising God for the visit of the angels, and because they had seen the child.

Expect God to help you!

Matthew 9:29 (ESV) “According to your faith be it done to you.”

4. Everything changed for the wise men when they met Jesus!

Matthew 2:9-11 (NLT2) After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Give yourself totally to Jesus!

If an angel told you (or your parents) that you were going to have a child this year, how would you react?

In what area of your life do you need to believe that nothing is impossible with God? What keeps you from believing this?

Read Luke 1:46-55. Which of these words found in Mary’s Song best describes how you are feeling about your spiritual life? (1) rejoicing, (2) humble, (3) proud, (4) lifted up, (5) hungry, or (6) empty.

What is most striking to you in this story of Jesus’ conception? How have you experienced Jesus as Immanuel in your life lately?

Reflect on Matthew 2:9-11. Note the responses of the Magi upon seeing Jesus. How is that similar to the responses that Christians make to Jesus? How is it different? What would your response be? What is the posture of your heart today?

Which of the points of this message seemed to speak to you most strongly? Which scriptures seemed encouraging to you in your journey?

  • Joy To The World

  • Love So Great

  • Build My Life

  • Seasons

  • Away In A Manger

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