SERMON SEEDS FOR WEEK OF 12/7/2020
December 8, 2020, 7:09 PM

 WELCOME TO

SERMON SEEDS

S49 – WEEK OF DECEMBER 7, 2020

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CHRISTMAS, CROSS, COMMUNION

You might think that this a strange title for a Sermon and wonder what the connection is between the 3, other than beginning with the same letter!

  • Without Christmas there would be no Cross.
  • Without the Cross there would be no Communion Service, or Lord’s Table.
  • Let me explain:

CHRISTMAS – THE SAVIOR ARRIVES

Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 2:8-13, Luke 2:25-35

Vs. 25 – Just = Righteous, Devout = “Pious” or “God Fearing” (MacArthur)

Vs. 2:30 – Jesus is salvation for Jew and Gentile alike.

(THE) CROSS – SALVATION SECURED

Luke 18:31-33, Isaiah 53:10-12, Mark 15:33-39,

John 19:28-30, Psalm 69:21

COMMUNION – THE SAVIOR CELEBRATED

Matthew 26:26-30, 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

Old Covenant Ratified with blood of animals.

Exodus 24:7-8

New Covenant ratified with blood of Jesus.

Hebrews 7:22-28

TO HEAR HOW PASTOR JACK PREACHED THIS MESSAGE, CLICK HERE:

https://www.fbcnhremembers.com/christmascrosscommunion

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ISAIAH SPEAKS OF JESUS

 

JESUS WAS BORN OF A VIRGIN – Isaiah 7:14-16

Matthew 1:18-23

JESUS WAS BORN A SON – Isaiah 9:6

John 1:1-2, 14, 1 John 4:1-10

JESUS WAS BORN TO PREACH – Isaiah 61:1-3

Luke 4:15-21

JESUS WAS BORN TO DIE – Isaiah 53:1-6

2 Corinthians 5:21

JESUS WAS BORN TO RISE AGAIN – Isaiah 53:10

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

JESUS WAS BORN TO RULE - 11:3-10

Luke 1:31-33

 

MATTHEW 2:12-25 – PROTECTED

God made sure that Jesus was protected from Herod.

God still protects His children today. Galatians 3:26

As Jesus was, so we are:

PROTECTED BY GOD’S EXISTENCE

He is eternal – Exodus 3:13-14, Psalm 90:1-2

PROTECTED BY GOD’S PRESENCE

Psalm 139:7-10

PROTECTED BY GOD’S KNOWLEDGE

God new Herod’s plans, before Herod did!  No tragedy or problem ever takes God by surprise. Psalm 139:1-6

PROTECTED BY GOD’S GUIDANCE

Psalm 32:8, Psalm 119:105, John 16:13-14 – The Wise Men and Joseph were guided so Herod was unable to hurt Jesus.

PROTECTED BY GOD’S POWER

Deuteronomy 33:25, 27, Psalm 18:32, Philippians 4:13

PROTECTED BY GOD’S LOVE

Jeremiah 31:3, Psalm 118:28-29

Jesus faced much, but was always loved. We face much but will be ever loved by God.

PROTECTED BY GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY            

Psalm 93

 

CHRIST IS CHRISTMAS

You have heard the expression, “Jesus Is the Reason for the Season.”  This acrostic for our Savior’s position, also shows us what Christmas is all about!

C – CREATOR – John 1:1-5, Colossians 1:13-18

H – HEALER – 1 Peter 2:22-25 – He healed our sin problem and made us fit for Heaven.

R – REDEEMER – Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19

I – INTERCESSOR – Hebrews 4:14-16, 7:24-28, 10:19-22

S – SOVEREIGN – Ephesians 1:19-23, Philippians 2:9-11

T – TEACHER – Matthew 7:28-29, Mark 10:1, Mark 13:31

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LUKE 2:9-14 - THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS

 

As we are have put most of the cleaning, running, shopping and wrapping behind us, it is indeed time to take inventory and ask ourselves, “Do we have the true spirit of Christmas?” What good is Christmas if we haven’t entered into the true meaning of Christmas?

I believe that the Spirit of Christmas is reflected in the Words of the Angels in Luke 2:10-14 - And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. [11] For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. [12] And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. [13] And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, [14] Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Based on this Scripture I would like to suggest to you that,

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF FAITH

Have you noticed how much faith was involved in the first Christmas?

  • Zacharias was disciplined by God because he didn’t believe the message that he would be the Father of John the Baptist.
  • Mary was visited by the Angel and told that she would be the mother of God’s Son. It took faith for her to believe and accept this.
  • Joseph was told by God that his intended wife was pregnant through the work of God’s Holy Spirit. It took faith for Joseph to accept and believe that.
  • Simeon was told that he would not die until he saw the Lord’s Christ. That required faith.
  • The Wise Men followed a star by faith, looking for the Promised Messiah.
  • And the shepherds. They received a message from angels that the Savior, Christ the Lord was born in Bethlehem. They believed that by faith and went to see Him.

Listen again to the message of the Angel to the shepherds.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

The spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of faith.

You can’t truly enter into the Spirit of Christmas with out having faith that a Savior has been born, and that he’s your Savior.

You are a sinner who has broken God’s law.

You deserve eternal punishment.

But God in his love sent His sinless Son, to receive the punishment you should receive.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

The price for your sin has been paid.

It requires faith on your part to apply that payment for sin to your account.

You must accept Jesus as your Savior, as the one who paid for your sin. John 3:16

  1. you haven’t entered into the true spirit of Christmas by trusting the Lord Jesus as your Savior, I beg you to do so this evening.

And I want to remind those of us who know Jesus as our Savior that he is also “Christ, the Lord”. That is something you and I must accept by faith. If Jesus is the Messiah, and if Jesus is Lord (and He is!), then we must accept that by faith and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.

Christian, by faith, let Jesus rule your life.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF JOY

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

God intended Christmas to be a time of joy.

If anybody should have the Spirit of joy at Christmas, it should be you and I who are Christians.

  • We should have joy remembering the birth of our Savior.
  • We should have joy practicing the presence of Jesus in our lives.
  • We should have joy sharing the precious message of salvation with friends and loved ones.
  • We should have the joy of knowing that one day we will be with Him for all eternity.
  • We should have the joy of looking for His return.
  • We should have the joy of allowing Him to lead and guide us.

Philippians 4:4 - Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.

Nehemiah 8:10 - …the joy of the Lord is your strength.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF PEACE

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

The wish here is for peace on earth.

In one sense, right now, Jesus does not bring peace.

Those who share the Gospel often produce unrest in the hearers. That’s the conviction of the Holy Ghost.

And Jesus told his followers that they would be persecuted for His Sake.

But Jesus came to earth to bring peace to anyone and everyone who will accept it. Jesus brought peace.

Sin produces separation between God and man.

Because of his sin, man is God’s enemy.

He shed His blood for us so that we can be declared right with God, or justified. Romans 5:9

When a person trusts Jesus as Savior and is declared right with God, he is no longer God’s enemy, but God’s child. John 1:12

  1. a person trusts Jesus as Savior, but he is no longer God’s enemy he has peace with God.

Romans 5:1

But let’s me honest, although we are at peace with God, we often lack the peace of God. We are often restless, up tight, bent out of shape, worried, and or anxious. Why?

First of all, we lack peace because we fail to focus on God.

We focus on business instead of focusing on Jesus.

We focus on fun instead of focusing on Jesus.

We focus on our problems instead of focusing on Jesus.

But when we focus on Jesus everything else will fall into perspective and we will have peace.

Isaiah 26:3-4

If you don’t focus on reading God’s Word you’re not focusd on Jesus.

If you don’t focus on meditating on Scripture, you’re not focused on Jesus.

If you don’t focus talking about the things of God, you’re not focused on Jesus.

If you don’t focus on prayer, you’re not focused on Jesus.

This leads to the second reason for a lack of peace. We fail to commit all our problems to the Lord in prayer. Philippians 4:6-7

Christian to have the true spirit of Christmas, you must have peace. Focus on the Lord and commit everything to Him in prayer.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOOD WILL

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

One of my favorite Christmas stories is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. The star character is Ebenezer Scrooge, a skin flint old miser who claimed that Christmas was a “humbug”.

At the end of the story Scrooge is a changed man. He then starts showing good will toward men by buying his employee Bob Cratchit a turkey, and generously sharing with people in need. He also raises Cratchit’s salary and he pays for medical attention for Tiny Tim.

And that’s generally our idea of good will towards men.

But for the Christian good will towards men goes further than that.

Yes, we are to do kind deeds to those in need. Galatians 6:10

Having good will towards men means ceasing from anger.

And good will towards men means forgiving others and not holding grudges against them.

Ephesians 4:26-27, Ephesians 4:31-32

If you are unforgiving and/or bitter, you do not have the spirit of Christmas!

And one more thing, “good will towards men” would include seeking the Spiritual well being or all, Christians and non-Christians alike.

A non-Christian can not be truly happy without Jesus.

A Christian can not be truly happy without walking and growing in Jesus. You can help each of them with your personal concern and input into their Spiritual well-being.

Make sure this Christmas that you have the spirit of Christmas.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF FAITH

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF JOY

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF PEACE

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS IS THE SPIRIT OF GOOD WILL

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THE JOYS OF CHRISTMAS

The Bible is very clear that Christmas is a time of joy. Today I want us to see Bible characters who had joy on that first Christmas. Perhaps we can capture some of that joy!

THE ANGELS HAD THE JOY OF REVEALING

As you know, Jesus was born in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary.  Joseph was Jesus’ step-father. 

She wrapped Jesus is swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger.  There was no room in the inn.

Luke 2: 8 – Out on a hillside outside of Bethlehem, shepherds were doing a traditional duty.  They were keeping watch over their flocks.

Vs. 9 – An angel appearing out of nowhere would have been startling enough.  But you can imagine the intense light that must have shone round about him, probably lighting up the night sky. The shepherds were terrified.

Vs. 10 – The angel brings to them good tidings of great joy.

If the good tidings had just been for the shepherds or for the people of Israel, it would have still been good tidings of great joy. 

But this message of joy is for the whole world, including you, me, America, and the people of every tongue and nation.

Vs. 11 – Notice that the shepherds are told that Jesus was born to them.  He was born for their benefit!

He was born in the “City of David”, David’s home town, Bethlehem.

He was born to be the Savior.  That’s exactly what He did when he died on the cross to pay the debt you owe God for your sins.  The prophet Isaiah speaks of Him as Savior when he says in Isaiah 53:4-6

Not only was he born to be the Savior but He was and is “Christ, the Lord”   

Jesus was the promised Messiah, “the anointed one” who was promised in the Old Testament.

Jesus was and is “the Lord”.  He has the authority and power to reign.

Vs. 12 – The babe would be tightly wrapped in long strips of cloth called “swaddling clothes”.  He would also be found lying in a manger.

As a servant of God, I am sure that it was sheer joy for this angel to reveal this great news.  This was God’s plan, and the angel would rejoice in the plan of God.

Vss. 13-14 – As if the message of one angel needed confirmation, and I think because the angels could not remain silent, an angel host filled the sky giving praise to God.

The only way there will be “peace on earth” is when Jesus comes and rules. And He will.

The only way there is true “good will to men” is through the ministry of the Lord Jesus.

HE SHEPHERDS HAD THE JOY OF RECEIVING

Vs. 15- 16 – The shepherds decided to do the logical thing.

They decided to go and see this child.

They received the news from the angel as truth and acted on it. 

They believed what they were told.

And they found things to be just as the angels had reported.

You have been told the story of Christmas.

Do you accept the story of Christmas as true?

More important, have you received the Lord Jesus as your Savior?  Have you trusted in Him as your forgiveness of sin and your only hope for Heaven?

John 1:12 - But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

Romans 5:1 - Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Vs. 20 – Notice the great joy that led to glorifying and praising God for what they had seen and heard.   

They experienced the joy that was a result of receiving the message of the Angel by faith.

 I’ve had many happy days in my life.

It was a happy day when I graduated high school, college and college!

It was a happy day when I was ordained, although I was as sick as a dog.

It was a happy day when I married Dottie.

But on a winter’s night over 40 years ago while listening to Billy Graham on the radio I knelt at my bedside and received Jesus as my Savior. I was filled with such joy!  That was the happiest day of my life. 

If you don’t know Jesus as your Savior, make this the happiest day of your life by trusting in Him.  If you do know Christ as Savior, if you have received Him, I encourage you to continue to receive.

Continue to receive the message of the Angels with joy. Continue to study your Bible and do what it says and you will have the joy that obedience brings.

Continue to abide in Christ, and experience the joy of His daily presence.

Continue to talk to God and experience the joy of answered prayer!

Continue to receive what God has to tell you by faith and continue to feel joy and to rejoice!

THE SHEPHERDS AND ANNA HAD THE JOY OF REPORTING

Vss. 17-18 – The shepherds could not keep silent.

They had seen a miracle.

They had seen God’s Anointed One for themselves.

They had something to report and they did.

Vss. 36-38 – A very old woman named Anna saw the Lord Jesus and praised God. And she told those who were waiting for the coming of God’s Messiah.

Do you think that it was a chore for the shepherds or Anna to report what they’d seen and heard?

Do you think they grumbled about their obligation to share the good news with others?

Do you think that they were afraid of what the ones hearing their message would think or say?

Of course the answer to these questions is a resounding “no”.

Anna and shepherds were so joyful about their own experience that they wanted to report to others!

You realize that one of your obligations as a Christian is to be a “reporter” of the good news about Jesus. Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Peter 3:15

We have a problem.

Our problem is this: We know we should report to others about the Lord Jesus.  We know that we should tell them they need to be saved and we know we should tell them how to be saved.

But we consider witnessing a cold obligation that we’d rather pass up or ignore for fear of the response of others or fear of our own embarrassment if we mess it up.

We fail to consider witnessing as a joy and a privilege.   

It should be a joy to tell people what has happened to us.

It should be a joy to tell people that there is only one way to Heaven, and you can tell them what it is.

It should be a joy to represent as an ambassador for the one who has done so much for us.   

2 Corinthians 5:20

Will you take the time to share your joy with those who need to hear it?

 

MARY HAD THE JOY OF REFLECTING

Luke 2:19 - But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

Do you reflect on your joys?

Do you remember with joy a kindness that was shown you long ago?

Do you remember with joy a past or current friendship?   

Do you reflect on the joys that your children have given you?

Do you reflect on the joys of many years of marriage.

Mary thought on all the events of Christmas.

She pondered them. She remembered them.

In fact, I personally believe that Luke’s account of the Christmas story probably came from Mary herself.

She was able to share many years later because she had pondered them in her heart.

Have you discovered the joy of reflecting in a Spiritual sense?

The more you memorize and meditate upon Scripture the more joy you will have.

And the more you reflect on the Christmas story and what it means to you, the more joy you will have.

Jeremiah 15:16 - Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O Lord God of hosts.

Almost everyone of us will gather somewhere for a present exchange on either Christmas Eve or Morning.

I want to challenge you to do what Dottie and I, and now our kids, do.  Before a single present is opened we read the Christmas story.

And as you drive in your car to go Christmas shopping or do some other Christmas chore, take the time to think about the Christmas story and what it means to you.

Thinking on the birth of the Lord Jesus will bring you joy!

THE WISE MEN HAD THE JOY OF RECIPROCATING

  Matthew 2:1-12 tells the story of the Wise Men who came to visit Jesus.

These mystical men of the east came bearing gifts.

In appreciation for the birth of “The King of the Jews” they brought gifts.

They brought four gifts.

Yes, four!

They brought gold, frankincense and myrrh.

But they also brought the gift of worship.

Matthew 2:11 says they …fell down and worshipped him. 

Their worship for the King of Kings and Lord of Lords was the best gift of all.

Do you appreciate what Jesus has done for you?

You could never fully reciprocate for what He has done, but there are some things you can do. These things will bring joy.

  • Joyfully take the time to worship Him.
  • Joyfully help someone else in need in His name.
  • Joyfully continue to support His church and His missionaries.

THE WISE MEN HAD THE JOY OF RECIPROCATING

You too, should have joy this Christmas.

THE JOY OF RECEIVING

THE JOY OF REPORTING

THE JOY OF REFLECTING

THE JOY OF RECIPROCATING

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BEING PATIENT WHEN PATIENCE SEEMS UNREASONABLE

JAMES 5:7-11 – LET’S GET PRACTICAL (James) #13

  • Name some situations in which it is easy to get impatient.
  • Why is it easy to become impatient during troubles and trials?
  • Why should Christians not be surprised when troubles and trials come? Job 5:7, 14:1,                John 16:33, Romans 5:1-5, James 1:2-4
  • The struggles the readers of James faced could have easily led to impatience. James 5:1-5
  • When does being patient seem unreasonable?

Life was not easy for James’ readers, and many were probably close to losing their patience, or had already “lost it”. In these five verses, James gives us an impassioned plea for patience.

BE PATIENT UNTIL THE LORD COMES – Vss. 7-8

  • When are Christians most eager for the Lord to return?
  • The word patience here refers to being ‘long tempered’ as opposed to ‘short tempered’.  It is a call for self-restraint during our trials.
  • Of what value is self-restraint in marriage and family life? The job? Shopping? Church?
  • Consider Philippians 2:14-16 as a description of self-restraint.
  • We are to be patient in light of the Lord’s soon return. Vs. 8
  • The word used to describe the Lord’s coming carries the idea of his arrival and presence with His people.  1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, 2 Peter 3:4, 8-9
  • Jesus could come at any time; therefore we want to be patient as we anticipate His arrival. 1 John 2:28

BE PATIENT LIKE A FARMER – Vss. 7-8

  • The farmer awaited the early rains arriving in late October or early November. They softened the soil for plowing. The greater part of these rains fall between December and February. They are necessary for a good crop.
  • The farmer also awaited the latter rains which fell in late April or May. They helped the crop mature.
  • As the farmer had to patiently wait for the crop to mature with the coming of the rains, we as Christians must be patient.
  • The farmer had to submit to the process by which he got a crop.  We must submit to the process that makes us spiritually mature.
  • James wants us to “establish our hearts”.  This carries the idea of being resolute, or “staying the course” until the Lord returns.  1 Cor. 15:57-58
  • “Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never, never—in nothing, great or small, large or petty—never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force. Never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” Winston Churchill

BE PATIENT WITH OTHERS – Vs. 9

  • It is easy to grumble when things aren’t going well. Why?
  • We are reminded that we will be judged by the standard with which we have judged. Matthew 7:1-2, Luke 6:37, 2 Corinthians 5:10
  • The Judge is standing at the door. What does that mean?

BE PATIENT LIKE THE PROPHETS – Vss. 10-11a

  • Why did the prophets have to be patient? 

· What did the following prophets face in way of trials:

  1. Moses
  2. David
  3. Elijah
  4. Jeremiah
  5. Ezekiel
  6. Daniel
  7. Hosea
  8. John the Baptist

· How were the prophets “blessed” that endured?

BE PATIENT LIKE JOB – Vs. 11b

  • Is there any reason why we could question how patient Job actually was? Job 16:24
  • The ESV accurately uses the word “steadfast” to describe Job’s patience.
  • It is a different word than the word used in verses 7-8. It has the idea of endurance.
  • Job remained steadfast during his trials.
  • Job also humbly accepted rebuke from the Lord. Job 42:1-6
  • Job enjoyed the Lord’s compassion and mercy in the end. Job 42:7-16
  • Romans 8:28 (ESV) - And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  

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