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REAL CHRISTMAS

The Purpose of Christmas

C. Tommy Wood

Merry Christmas everyone! , Merry Christmas!


Were going to talk today for a little bit about how you can enjoy the real Christmas. I know
that there are a lot of things that we enjoy this time of the year. Theres a lot of presents that we
enjoy and decorations that we enjoy. But we all know that those things are just a recognition of
the real thing, the real Christmas.
This time of the year, one of the things that we enjoy is we wear different clothes than we
would wear any other time of the year. A lot of you have red on out there. We wear sweaters.
We dont wear this the rest of the year. We wear this at Christmas. That stuff is fun. Its
enjoyable. But its just in recognition of the real thing.
And whats the real Christmas? Its this verse: And she gave birth to her first born, a Son,
and she wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger because there was no room for
them in the inn. Thats the real Christmas. And the closer I can get to that and all that
that means the more real it is in my life. And the more real help and the more real
encouragement and the more real strength I get for my daily life.
Thats what were going to spend just a few minutes doing today. I am glad you are here today.
Theres a million things you could have been doing today but you chose to be here. My prayer
for you and me both is that because of that choice God will give you some real strength, some
real hope and some real encouragement by being here today.
When I think about Christmas and the real Christmas I remember years ago when I was a really,
really young pastor up in Southern Mississippi with a lot less experience and a lot more hair, I
got a call from the local mall.
They told me, We have a store that went out of business and we have an open storefront
window. We wondered if your church wanted to come put up a manger scene in that store front
window so it wouldnt be empty for Christmas. I thought, This is going to be awesome.
Therere more people that go to that mall than come to my church at Christmas. Millions of
people will see this. Tens of thousands will come to our church because we set this thing up.
So we went down and we set up this beautiful manger scene that really was quite
beautiful. It had like a package wrapping around it that said, From God, to all
mankind. We got it all set up. I thought, That looks great! Then I went and grabbed a
bench right beside the window and sat down to watch everyone in the mall be awed by what we
had done.
I sat down. And its Christmas. You know what people do at Christmas. No one even saw it.
Hardly anyone even noticed it. It was zoom, zoom, zoom theyre just going by this thing.
Hardly anyone saw it.
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Every once in a while someone would be rushing by and out of the corner of their eye they
would see a manger scene in a storefront window. Wait that doesnt make sense.
When that would happen they would stop and everyone that stopped, the few that stopped,

they did the same thing. They turned around and they would walk closer and
theyd get on their tip toes and theyd look at the baby in the manger.
Thats what makes Christmas real. Thats what were going to spend a few minutes doing
today. Just get a little bit closer, get on our tip toes and look at the baby in the manger
and what it can mean in my life and what it can mean in your life.
Jesus, when he was born, was given the name Jesus. The angels said, you shall name him

Jesus. Jesus means salvation. It means God wants to rescue us from the worst of
life and for the best of life. But if you really want to understand all that Jesus wants
to do in your life youve got to understand his names. The interesting thing about his
names is he got names seven hundred years before he was born. Jesus got names.

A guy by the name of Isaiah prophesied that Jesus was going to be


born. He says For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
and his name will be called Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, Eternal
Father, and Prince of peace.
What Id like to do for just a few minutes together right now is focus on those two names in the

middle. We could look at all of them but I just want to focus on the two in the
middle. Mighty God and Eternal Father. In the four words of those two names, you
and I, there are some things we can see that can make Christmas more real. And making it
more real there could be more joy in this Christmas for me and for you both as we see what it
means for him to be the Mighty God and the Eternal Father. See it. Sense the significance for
your life.

These are four things that Jesus Christ wants to


offer every one of us this Christmas.
1. He is the mighty God.
In the word mighty theres something to see in that manger.
You see the power thats in the manger.
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This word mighty means strength in battle. It means prevailing over the toughest of
circumstances. Thats the kind of power that God wants to give into our lives.
But lets face it: most of us dont think power when we think of a baby in a manger. When we
think of power we think of other things. Theres other images that come into most of our
minds.
Military power, thats one kind of power.
What other kinds of power? Fuel power.
Political power.
Weight lifting power.
Electrical power. Theres lots of kinds of things that we think of as powerful. Powerful in that
they can move something from here to there. They can make a difference.
The greatest power thats ever come into this world is in that manger. He is the mighty God. A
new strength was born into this world at Christmas. A new strength for your life. A new
strength to win in the toughest of battles.

So heres the question. Whats the toughest battle


youre facing right now? Whats the toughest battle
youre facing right now?
Is it in some relationship thats not going like you want it to go? God says I want to give
my power to your life to make a difference at that point in your life.
Is it in some circumstance thats not turning out like you want it to turn out?
Is it in some temptation that keeps getting the best of you? You want to say no but you
keep saying yes.
Is it in some great opportunity that youre not sure youre up to that opportunity?
Where is the greatest battle that youre facing right now? Right there, at that point, God says, I
want to make my power available to you. The manger is not some sentimental story. Its all
about Gods power in our lives.

What kind of power are we talking about?


Ephesians 3:20 With Gods power working in us,
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God can do much, much more than anything we can


ask or imagine. Thats the kind of power were talking about. Much, much more
kind of power. Gods kind of power in our life. God wants to do much, much more than you
could ever dream or imagine. God wants to do whats best in our lives. That means sometimes
he wants to do much, much more than my best idea.
Lets say youre single. And you want Gods power to make a relationship work with that girl.
You need Gods power to cause a relationship to work with that guy. Because theyre hot!
Because of that you want Gods power in your life and you know thats the person for you. But
Gods looking at the situation going, You think theyre hot but a year from now its not going
to be so hot if you get together with them. So he has something that is much, much greater in
our lives. Because he loves us.
Gods power can be released in your life at the very point where you feel the weakest. Thats
what he wants to do. Gods power is available.

But the question is, how do I connect to it? On a daily basis how do I
get connected to Gods power? How do I get charged up with Gods power?
Most of us have a cell phone in our pockets or purse. How many of you have to charge your
cell phone every day to keep it powered up? A bunch of us. How many have to charge it every
second day? How many every third day? How many of you, your cell phone holds a charge for
five days or more?
How about us when it comes to Gods power? How often do you have to connect in order to
stay charged up with Gods power? Its not every fifth day or fourth or third or second. Its not
even every single day.
When it comes to Gods power in my life and in your life, I cant hold a charge. Ive got to stay
connected to him all the time. You cant come to church once a week and think, Ill get charged
up. Itll take me through the week. It can help you but its not enough. You cant even just
read the Bible once a day and pray a little bit and think, Ok, I did the right thing in the
morning. Now Ill stay charged up throughout the day.
I dont know about you but I can have a devotion time in the morning and forget God by ten
A.M. Its easy to do. So Ive got t stay connected to him all the time.
How do I do that? Just like you stay connected in any other relationship. Be aware that hes
there and talk to him throughout the day. It doesnt have to be long conversations. God, help
me with this one. God, I need your wisdom here. God, Im not sure what to do here.
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God! Thats something that just happened. Thank you for that. Thanksgiving is a great way
to stay connected to God by the way, throughout the day. Just thanking him for the little things.
When you stay connected throughout the day then you experience this kind of more than power
that were talking about here. Gods great power.
And when it comes to Gods great power there are many ways we experience it. But one of the
ways is a surprising way that we experience Gods power. Colossians 1:11 says God will
strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but
youll be patient. We think sometimes that our greatest experience of Gods power is when
we do some great thing and everyone sees it and everyone applauds. I believe our greatest
experience of Gods power is when we feel like no one sees and no one notices and we need the
strength to make it through and not give up. And God gives us that strength. Thats the
greatest experience of Gods power.
The greatest experience of Gods power is just to be patient. I dont know about you but its
easy to be impatient. When God gives me the strength and the power to be patient in a tough
circumstance, thats incredible power.
God wants to give you power, strength, this Christmas. It would do us no good just to talk
about this and say its something that happened two thousand years ago unless we thought
about whats going to happen in my life today.
So I put a short place there where you can write in where you could use some strength this
Christmas. This Christmas I need strength to It might be about a relationship. It might be
a circumstance. It might be a conversation. It might be something youre feeling about
yourself. I need strength where do you need strength? This Christmas I need strength
write something in there because hes the mighty God. He wants to give us power. Hes the
mighty God.
I not only need to see the power thats in the manger. I need to see the glory thats in the
manger. The glory is God has come into this earth.
Every year at our house we set up all the manger scenes. We have a lot of them. My wifecollected manger scenes from all over the world. We have eight manger scenes. We set up and
we put up. Theyre were over our house this time of the year.
I still remember years ago. We were setting up a tiny china manger scene and I was going to
put the tiny little baby Jesus in the little manger and put it in the scene. And Rene , at six or
seven said, Can I put Jesus in the manger? I said Rene, its really small and its breakable.
Maybe Id better do it. Oh daddy, please! Please! Can I put Jesus ins the manger scene?
Im afraid you might break it but ok.
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If you tell somebody again and again, Im afraid you might break it, what do you think
happens? Yeah. The little Jesus was not in her little fingers for a nano second until it was on
the marble floor and little baby Jesus head went this way and his body went that way. Id love
to say that as a father I handled it perfectly. Oh, thats not the real baby Jesus. Its ok. I did
not handle it perfectly. So we had to work through that whole relational part. We worked
through that and then we had to do something about the baby Jesus on the floor.
I rediscovered this Christmas miracle called super glue, which is a great thing. We got the
super glue and super glued baby Jesus head back on the body in such a way that there was a
little super glue tear coming out of Jesus eye which is really quite a moment!
Then after I had done that I took baby Jesus and I super glued him into the manger. Because I
didnt want this to happen again so I just super glued him right there!
That story I just told you has nothing to do with the glory of God. Absolutely nothing!
Because you cannot super glue Jesus into the manger. Hell bust out of every manger
you try to super glue him in. You can not put God in a box. The glory of God is that he will
break out of every box that you and I try to put him in. God, could you just stay in this box
here and Im going to be over here doing my thing and you stay in the little box I built for you
doing your thing. Could you do that? And God says No!
The glory of God came into this world at Christmas. Thats whats in the manger. God says
Im going to bust out of every box you ever make because I want you to see what I can really do
in your life. More than you could ever dream. More than you could ever imagine. That is
Gods glory.
The world is always seeing Gods glory. You can see it way back in the Old Testament. If you
read a book like Exodus in the Old Testament, they saw Gods glory. They saw the Red Sea
being split and they saw the pillar of fire going before them to lead the way. Thats why the

Bible says in Exodus 15:11 Who is like you- majestic in holiness, awesome in glory,
working wonders.
We read that sometimes today and we think, Id like to see that. That would be cool to see a
Red Sea split, to see a pillar of fire. To actually experience and see the glory of God.
We can. The Bible tells us that in creation you can see the glory of God and who he is. ! But
you go up in the mountains and you see the Milky Way. You see thousands of stars and theres
something in all of us. It takes our breath away. It takes our breath a way because it reminds us
of the greatness of God. Psalm 19:1 says The heavens declare the glory of
God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

What happened in the Old Testament is wonderful. Seeing the stars is awesome. But what
happened at Christmas, God came into our world! Theres more glory of God in that manger
than in a thousand Red Seas being split, than in a million stars in the sky. God came into this
world at Christmas!
But the way were wired as human beings its easy for us to miss the glory of God. Its easy for
us to get focused on the details and miss it.
It happened in the Old Testament. They were having miracles happen around them all the time.
But the Red Sea gets split, theyve got the pillar of fire in front of them, and what are they
doing? Theyre complaining: we dont have enough food! We dont have enough water! They
missed it.
You and I can easily miss it. Christmas comes around every year. We recognize that God came
into this world, every year. But were like too many nuts in the Christmas fudge this year. We
get focused on the little things.
So its worth it to take just a few minutes together for you and for me both to focus on the fact
that God came into this world at Christmas. The baby in the manger is God wrapped in human
flesh. The creator, the sustainer, the ruler over everything, over everyone.
Look at your thumbprint. He made that. He formed, he fashioned, he fingerprinted you.
That is the God that came into this world at Christmas. Hebrews 1:3 says Gods Son shines
out with Gods glory and all that Gods Son is and does marks him as God. Jesus is God. He
came into this world and was born as a baby.
Now the question to our scientific minds is how. How in the world do you fit God into a baby?
Its like trying to fit the Atlantic into a thimble. How do you do that?
The one word that I know to describe how is humility. Humility. He humbled himself.
God humbled himself to become a baby. Philippians 2 says that he humbled himself even to the
point of death for us. Humility.
Somebody has written this about that baby in the manger being God: He who is the creator
became a creature. He who is eternal allowed himself to be bound by time. He whom the
heavens cant contain was enclosed in a womans womb. He who is clothed in majesty was
born in a cattle trough. He who is the sovereign God became dependant on a human man and
woman for his food and clothing. He who had spoken whole worlds and galaxies into existence
had to depend upon baby cries to communicate. The God of the universe became a baby.

Thats the glory of God.


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Some people think its narrow minded to be a believer in Jesus Christ. You have to be pretty
open minded to believe that God would come into this world. That God would care that much
for you. Maybe for you thats a challenging thought, that God himself was born at Christmas.
If youre wondering about this, if youre wondering could that really happen, I encourage you;
this is worth checking it out. This is worth seeking out the truth. Dont depend on internet
legends on this one. Theres two thousand years of history on this. Check it out. Become a
passionate seeker for the truth. Is it really God who was born into this world at Christmas?
I believe that if you will passionately seek the truth God will wonderfully reveal himself to you.
Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, came into this world at Christmas. That is the glory of God.
When I recognize the glory of God I recognize the greatness of what God wants to do in my
life.
To me, more important than the question of how this happened is why this happened. Why did
it happen? Because he loves you. Because he loves you that much. Why would God become a
man? The answer shines clearly. He wants you to understand and know how much he loves
you. Were going to talk about that more in just a minute.

Emmanuel, another of Jesus names at Christmas, means God is with


us. He wants to let you know that hes with you. That he understands what its like to grow.
That he understands what its like to be weary. That he understands what its like to suffer. He
understands what its like to hurt. He understands what its like to have successes and victories
in life. He understands and he wants you to know that he understands. Thats what Christmas,
the glory of Christmas is all about.
But when you think about glory and things that we think of in our culture as glorious, really big
screen kind of moments theyre a little different than this. We know, everyone of us knows that
were in a celebrity driven culture. I think its great to enjoy sports. I think its great to go to a
movie and enjoy a movie. But why is it that people tend to not just enjoy the movie or the sport
but they start to follow the person. They want to know everything about their celebritys life.
They want to pick up everything in the newspaper. They want to get a picture of everything
that happened to them. Why is it that we want to get so close to something we feel is celebrity?
Because of the way were wired, the way were made by God. We all need a wow in our life.
We all need something bigger than ourselves in our lives. If youre not going to find it in God
then you look for it somewhere else. And sometimes you chase after this celebrity culture to try
to find it.
You need a bigger wow in your life. You need a bigger wow in your life than . You just do!
You need a bigger wow in your life than even the greatest catch youve ever seen in the football
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game. Its exciting. It makes you stand up. But its not big enough for who you are and the
greatness of what God wants to do in your life. The manger in Bethlehem? It is a whack in the
side of the head to say, God came into this world!
What does that mean for me? What does that mean for you? It means that God is bigger. It
means that Gods perspective is bigger. God wants to do something even greater in your life.

So write down in your outline, This Christmas I need a bigger


perspective on what? What problem? What reality? What thing
about yourself or someone else? What situation in our world today?
I need a bigger perspective on what?
When you think of what God wants to do in your life, when you have this attitude of awe, it can
set things in perspective. You might be facing right now a problem, youre looking at it and
you say, honestly, that problem is bigger than I am. And it may be. But its not bigger than
God. God is bigger than that problem. So when you recognize that, thats the reality of
Christmas and what God wants to do. Hes the mighty God. You see the power in the manger.
You see the glory in the manger. But you also see a third thing
Hes the Eternal Father. You see the hope thats in the manger. The eternal hope thats in the
manger.
When it comes to hope, just like power and glory, we have our ideas for what makes for hope.
A lot of different ideas. What are some of the things we hope in?
Lottery! Money! Stock market. Career. Politics.
Weve got all kinds of hopes. Heres the deal when it comes to hope. If you put your hope in
something that goes up and down, like the stock market, if you put your hope in something that
goes up and down whats going to happen to your hope? Its going to go up and down.
If you put your hope in something thats not going to last whats going to happen to your
hope? Its not going to last.
If you put your hope in something thats eternal, what happens to your hope? Its eternal.
Hes the eternal Father.
Hope came into our world at Christmas. Jesus says I want to give my hope into your life.
Christmas says that hope is more than some sentimental wish I hope it happens I hope it
happens It says it can be a certainty in our lives.
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2 Corinthians 1:20 The yes to all of Gods promises is in Christ. You know what happened
at Christmas? Jesus coming into the world? He said yes to all of Gods promises.
There are over seven thousand promises in the Bible. In Jesus, the answer to every one of them
is yes. God promises to rescue us from difficult situations, to bring us salvation. Jesus says yes
to that promise.
If youre looking at your life and you say Im struggling with a relationship. I need strength
to know what to do here, how to handle this. Jesus says, yes, Ill give you strength.
Or I need to make a decision over here in my career or my business and I need wisdom for
that decision. God promises wisdom and Jesus says yes to that promise.
When you drive around at Christmas and see all of the Christmas lights, here, out in the trees,
everywhere. Every one of those points of lights can represent a yes from God in Jesus Christ.
Thats the hope of Christmas. Hes saying yes in your life.
You may look at your life and think, hes not saying yes right now in my life. I see a lot of nos
in my life. I see a lot of circumstances that are not working out. Ive got a lot of problems.
How do you see hope when you have a problem? How do you keep hope when you have a
problem?
Heres the amazing thing. God can work hope into our lives even through the problems.
Heres what God says about that. Romans 5:3-4 We also have joy with our troubles, [How
does that work? Heres how.] because we know that these troubles produce patience and
patience produces character, and character produces hope. God says heres how it works. A
problem comes into your life. I dont know about you but when a problem comes into my life
the first thing I want to do is run away. Anybody with me on that one? Thats what I want to
do when a problem comes but God says that instead of running away and trying to find some
place in this world where there are no problems, no such thing, some relationship in this world
where there are no problems, no such thing. If instead of running away youll stick it through
and ask me for strength then Ill give you patience. And as I give you patience in that I will
develop and strengthen your character.
Then an amazing thing happens. On the other side of that problem, God says, Im going to give
you greater hope. You recognize that you cant find hope in that problem anyway. But Ive got
someone Ive found hope in no matter what the problem of life. Thats what God does.
Some of us look at that and go, Im stuck on the first one. The patience one. When Ive got
problems I dont feel patient. I feel impatient. So how am I even going to get started on this?

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God has an answer for that one too. He tells us where we can find patience. The scriptures
give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope. Thats the value of Gods
truth in the Bible. Im naturally an impatient person. Especially when circumstances arent
going my way. No doubt about that. But God says if youll listen to my truth either by you
reading it or talking to somebody else about it, them telling you about it, my truth will give you
patience in a difficult situation and then character gets developed on the other side of that is
hope. Thats the power of Gods word when Im going through tough times. God wants to
develop hope in your life.
How about you this Christmas? Where do you need to trust him? This Christmas I need to
trust God Because thats where hope comes from trusting God in difficult times. What
situation do you need to trust him with? What person do you need to trust him with? What
feeling do you need to trust him with? This Christmas I need to trust
For some of you its I need to trust that God is working even through my problems. That God
causes all things to work together for good for those who love him. It doesnt make the
problem good. It is not good. Its bad. But it reminds us that God is good. He can take even
the worst that life throws at us and he can work for good.
In a group this size Im certain that there are some of you who are feeling pretty hopeless right
now. Everything Im saying is just a sting because you feel hopeless. You look at your
circumstances and think, thats great for you, Tom, but its not working for me. And you feel
like theres no way out.
Never let a temporary circumstance steal eternal hope from you.
Then I told the kid. So all my friends knew what was going on. My way of handling a problem
was to pretend it wasnt there. That was my favorite way. I know some of you, thats your
favorite way too. Just pretend its not there and it wont affect me.
It was there and it did affect me. I fortunately had some friends who cared about me enough to
tell me the good news of Gods love. We went to church together one night and a guy got up
and explained what it meant to follow Christ. He told me, it doesnt mean that you believe
Jesus lived two thousand years ago. Thats just an historical fact. It means that you have a
personal relationship with him. How do you get that personal relationship? He said just by
trusting him. You trust him with the wrong things youve done. You say God, I trust you to
forgive me. Rather than me making up for them on my own, I trust you to forgive me. And
you trust him for the good things he wants to do in your life. I trust you to lead me and guide
me in the kind of life you have for me.
The guy led us in a prayer and I prayed that prayer that night. I had no idea that prayer I prayed
that night, at the time, that was what was making me a Christian. It wasnt until like a month
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later a friend explained to me, thats when you became a Christian. Not attending church all
your life. That just makes you a church goer. Thats when you became a Christian.
So I had no idea how significant it was when I prayed that prayer. But I did know this:
Something changed immediately. Immediately I had a hope that I didnt have before.
Regardless of my circumstances I had a hope. There was something in my heart that changed.
And I knew that God had a purpose for my life no matter what the circumstances. I knew that
God loved me no matter what was going on in my life. And I knew that God had an eternity for
me that was above and beyond any circumstances in this life.
Do not let a temporary circumstance steal eternal hope from you. Because the hope that Jesus
offers, it is eternal.
He is the mighty God. Hes the eternal Father. I want to see the power and the glory and the
hope thats in the manger but theres a fourth thing I want to see.
I want to see the love thats in the manger. His love for me.
Weve been using that word love, I recognize very well that that word love means
something different immediately to us. We have different pictures culturally when we hear the
word love.
Im all for romantic love. But Gods love is the love upon which all good romantic love is
based. Every good love is based on Gods great love. His love is higher than that. It is a
sacrificial self giving love. He loves you just because he decided to love you. Hes the eternal
Father. The love of a Father is there in the manger.
I know that can be confusing. Hes the Son and hes also the Father? Thats the trinity Father
Son and Holy Spirit. The trinity of God loves you. I could take like five hours to explain the
trinity. Or just take my word for it. The trinity of God Father, Son and Holy Spirit loves you.
Thats the power of Gods love thats in the manger. God loves you. Dont miss that this
Christmas. God loves you.
The most familiar verse about that in the Bible, familiar to many of us, is John 3:16. Listen to
it. Hear Gods love for you in this verse maybe like you never have before. God loved the
world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be
lost, but have eternal life. Thats Gods love for you. When I get to know God through his
Son Jesus Christ that love is experienced in my life.
Gods not going to force himself into your life. He has done everything he needs to do, wanted
to do, in his relationship with you to open the door, to open the gate, to give you the gift. But I
have to go through the door, I have to go through the gate, I have to accept the gift. He doesnt
force himself upon anyone. But once I accept that gift its an incredible love.
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The next verse tells us Nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of
God thats in Christ Jesus our Lord. Human love lets you down. It lets you down far too
often. Gods love will never let you down. But in order to enjoy this love from God you have
to accept it into your life. It wont be forced into your life. In order to enjoy it you have to
bring it into your daily life.
I was thinking about this, this week bringing it into your life and I remember a few years
ago being at the boat parade over in Jacksonville FL and watching some of the boats go by and
something that I saw. I saw this huge yacht going by, one of the biggest yachts in the parade. It
looked like it had a million lights on it. It was all lit up. It had palm trees on it. It looked like it
had a hundred or so people on it all drinking margaritas and yelling at everybody on other boats
and on the shore and everything. A big party going on.
Then at the end of this huge yacht I saw this rope going down from the end of the yacht. At the
end of the rope was this little rubber raft. In this little rubber raft there was a manger scene.
There was a Joseph, a Mary and a little baby Jesus.
I thought, what a perfect parable for life. Here we are on our boat having our party and weve
got Jesus back here in the dingy. Thats where were putting Jesus, because we might need him
someday. Weve got him attached with ropes and we can pull him in if we really need him.
Get him in to save the situation then back in the dingy for Jesus.
If you want to enjoy Gods love in your life youve got to get him out of the dingy and on to
your boat. When you get him on to your boat youre going to enjoy a kind of love that youve
never experienced before. And by the way, the party that Jesus wants to throw on your boat is a
lot better than the party they were having that night. That party is the party where you drink a
lot, you do silly things around people you dont even know, you wake up in the morning feeling
like a fool and with a bad headache.
The party that Jesus throws on your boat, its the party where you live a life of significance.
Where you know that youre loved. Where you have people around you that youre living with
in community. Its the party where you know this is what I was born for. This is what Im
supposed to live for. Not only now but in eternity. Not only that but you dont wake up with a
headache. Its a good party that Jesus wants to throw in your life.
But for that to happen it cant be this in case of emergency break glass Jesus. You know what
Im talking about. Jesus, you stay behind the glass. Dont interfere with my life. If things go
really bad Im going to break the glass, bring you out long enough to save the situation and then
back behind the glass, Jesus.
No, the glory of God is greater than that. Hes not going to accept that kind of relationship. He
wants to do so much more. Theres this feeling sometimes that if I really let Jesus on my boat
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hes going to ruin my life. Do you think he would have humbled himself to become a baby like
that if he wanted to ruin your life? Why would he humble himself like that? Because he knows
you and he loves you and he wants to be at work in your life.
I know what its like to not trust God with things in my life, to think that I know better. I do it
all the time. But every time I do it I get a wake up call and I realize that God really does love
me and his love wants to make a real difference in my life. He wants to make a real difference
in your life.
So how is it going to make a difference in your life this Christmas? Write it in on your outline.
This Christmas where do you need Gods love? I need Gods love for And you might even
write in some person there. It might be a persons name, somebody in your family. God, if
Im going to love that person Im going to need your strength. No doubt about it.
I need Gods love maybe for somebody at your office. Maybe its even an enemy. God I
need your love for that enemy. How do you love an enemy? You begin by praying for them.
Thats how you begin to love an enemy. God I need your love for this person in this
situation. Start there.
And by the way, one of the greatest ways you can express Gods love at Christmas is by
inviting people to hear the good news. I see some of you that I know that you began a
relationship with Jesus Christ on a Christmas Eve at Saddleback Church. What a great gift to
give to somebody that you love, to invite them to come and watch and hear and then watch
them respond to what only God can do. Who do you need to invite? Invite people and watch
God do what only he can do.
It begins, this love by expressing it to other people. But if Im going to do that I need Gods
love in my life. So before we close let me make sure that youve got his love in your life.
I talked a minute ago about having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Are you sure that you have
a relationship with God through Jesus Christ? If youre not you can be sure before you leave
here today. How? Because hes already done it all. Hes already done whats needed to be
done and hes offering you the gift. Hes already lived for you, died for you, was born for you,
was resurrected for you, and hes offering you the gift of a relationship if youll just trust him.
So I want to lead you in a prayer of trust right now. But I dont want you to bow your head and
I dont want you to close your eyes. Did you know that you can pray with your eyes open?
Jesus did it all the time. Its one of the most common ways he prayed.
So with our eyes open right now if youre not sure youve begun a relationship with God
through Jesus you can be sure right now. Just trust him. Just say to him, Jesus Christ, right
now I want to begin a relationship with you. I trust you with the wrong things that Ive done to
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forgive me. Rather than me trying to make up for them. And I trust you with the good things
you want to do, to grow me, to change me and to use me. Jesus, thank you for loving me.
Then with our eyes still open I want to encourage all of us to pray another prayer, a very simple
prayer. Jesus, this Christmas Im getting you out of the dingy and Im putting you on my boat.
I want you right in the middle of my Christmas.
With our heads bowed and our eyes closed, Id like to pray for you.
Prayer:
Jesus, help us to see it. Thank you for this opportunity today to come together and get on
our tip topes together and look in the manger and see the reality of what you want to do.
Help us to see it this week. Help us to see the strength that you want to give us through
your power. Help us to see the perspective, the different way of looking at things that you
want to give us through your glory. Help us to see the hope that you want to give us as we
trust in you and God help us to see it like weve never seen it before this Christmas, how
deeply you love us. We ask this, Jesus, in your name. Amen.

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lifecommunitychurch.us
1241 "D" S Military Trl, West Palm Beach, FL 33415
Telephone: (561) 247-8590

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