The Christmas season is upon us again. Lights are up, trees are being cut down, and gifts are being bought. But in all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, the real reason for the season is often lost. Now, I don’t mean lost in the sense of “No one ever talks about Jesus”, like a Christian Grinch may verbalize. No, what I mean is that we can quickly and easily lose sight of the awesome event that happened over 2,000 years ago in a little town called Bethlehem. While newly discovered objects and truths are great, it is quite often the rediscovered objects and truths that can bring the greatest joy. So what I would like to do is simply post our church’s most recent outline from our senior pastor’s messages the next three weeks.*** These messages are entitled: Rediscovering Christmas. And the first installment is: Lay Hold of Hope.
Lay Hold of Hope – The Story of Joseph and Mary – Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 1:18-25
The Miracle in Bethlehem – Luke 2:1-7
- The Time of Jesus’ birth – Caesar Augustus reigning, Quirinius governing, Herod the Great as ruler
- The Circumstances of Jesus’ birth – Ancestral homes, Taxes, Swaddling clothes (Jesus cared for), A Common Name for an Uncommon Person
God’s Word to Joseph – Matthew 1:18-25 (4 Ways Hope conquers Fear)
- Hope conquers fear when we face disappointment.
- Like Joseph we often come to the wrong conclusions about things.
- While Joseph was worrying, God was working. – Isaiah 7:14
- Our fears are unfounded because we forget that God is in control.
- Hope conquers fear when we worry about public opinion.
- Joseph sought to graciously protect Mary from ridicule or worse. – Deuteronomy 22:13-24
- We must not allow public opinion to shape our future, but must simply obey God. – Proverbs 29:25
- The angel of the Lord told Joseph not to fear public opinion, for God was at work.
- Those who are in the center of God’s will need not fear public opinion.
- Hope conquers fear when God’s Word is fulfilled.
- Jesus came to save His people from their sin.
- Jesus came to fulfill the New Covenant – Jeremiah 31:31-37
- Hope conquers fear when we move ahead in obedience.
- Joseph trusted God and obeyed.
- Hope is found not in religion or philosophy, but in a Person – Jesus Christ.
So what should we take away from our effort to Lay Hold of Hope?
- Identify areas in your life in which you feel hopeless.
- Commit to be obedient despite the hopelessness.
- Surrender those areas to the One who gives hope.
Rediscovering Christmas series will be continued next week.
***Sermon preached by Pastor Rick Wilson at Denbigh Baptist Church December 1st, 2013.***