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The After Christmas Spirit

Luke 2:17-20 Well, Christmas day is over. The presents are gone from under the tree. It was a wonderful time, no doubt, of giving and receiving gifts. To see the faces of those we love opening packages with eager anticipation is very gratifying. It brings out the child in us, even if we are many years past childhood. All kinds of joyous emotions well up inside of us. Anticipation, enthusiasm, surprise, delight even joy overtakes us. What a wonderful time it can be. After the thrill is over, however, the danger is that a let-down can occur. Even if you received all that you could want at Christmas, you can fall under the grip of the post-Christmas blues. What we want is to experience an after

Prepare Him Room - 4. Receiving the Promise

Luke 2: 21 - 28 Instead of preparing Him room, I wonder if we’ve allowed the Saviour to be stolen from our celebrations. Our society has sanitized the spiritual. For some of us the Saviour has been swiped from Christmas and we haven’t even noticed. Are you aware there’s only one verse in the Gospels that describes the actual details of the birth of Jesus? Luke 2: 7 “And she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” During this time of the year we often turn to the opening 2 chapters of Matthew and the first 2 chapters of Luke to be reminded of what happened at Christmas. I counted the verses that

Prepare Him Room - 3. Glorifying God

Luke 2: 8 – 20 Some of us are so comfortable with the Christmas story it makes us a bit sleepy. Because our culture has sentimentalized this season, it’s easy to skim along on a superficial level, stressing about all the things to do, while neglecting the Nativity. Little girl who misquoted John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only forgotten Son.” Has Christmas become too predictable, too familiar, too forgotten? Have you heard the Christmas narrative so much it no longer astonishes you? Actually, this can be a dangerous time of the year for us. Our annual celebration of Christmas can immunize us to its reality. We hear just enough to inoculate us against the real thing, s

Prepare Him Room - 2. Magnifying the Saviour

Luke 1: 26 - 56 “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” - poem written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. 2 years before writing it, Longfellow’s personal peace was pulverized when his wife was tragically burned in a fire. Then, during the Civil War, his oldest son joined the army without his father’s blessing and ended up severely wounded. He writes about hearing Christmas bells that speak of peace but he doesn’t have any peace in his heart – “And in despair I bowed my head: ‘There is no peace on earth,’ I said, ‘For hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men.’” As the bells ring louder, the words go deeper into his soul until finally he says, “God is not dead, nor does

Prepare Him Room - 1. Breaking the Silence

Luke 1: 1 - 25 “Crazy, Busy, Peaceful, Holy Night” How many of you feel like the Christmas season is crazy busy? It sure seems more hectic than holy, doesn’t it? I wonder how many of us are stressed simply because we’re focusing more on our feelings than on the facts of Christmas. Postmodernism is the prevailing philosophy of our day, which is the belief there is no such thing as absolute truth. Rather, truth is personal and subjective – I have my truth and you have your truth. This philosophy is not only “out there” but also in the evangelical church. Here’s what we’re going to learn today: Build your faith on facts, not feelings. Luke 1: 1 – 4 - Here are few things about the human author a

The Matthew Series - A travesty of justice

Matthew 26:57-68 New International Version (NIV) Jesus Before the Sanhedrin 57 Those who had arrested Jesus took him to Caiaphas the high priest, where the teachers of the law and the elders had assembled. 58 But Peter followed him at a distance, right up to the courtyard of the high priest. He entered and sat down with the guards to see the outcome. 59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death. 60 But they did not find any, though many false witnesses came forward. Finally two came forward 61 and declared, “This fellow said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’” 62 Then the hi

Running to Win - Principles for Finishing Well

1 Corinthians 9: 24 – 27 The early church may not have had a World Cup Final, but they were all familiar with athletic contests. The Olympics started in that part of the world. No doubt wives have been shaking their heads for thousands of years wondering why their husbands get so excited. Athletic contests are important. Paul even used athletic contests to illustrate spiritual truths. The principles which apply to athletics also apply to living the Christian life. Each man on the field will be playing to win. But there is more to winning than what we see on that day. The outcome of the game will be the result of a process begun a long time ago. The same is true of the Christian life. If we d

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