This study today we’re sharing from Saddleback Church Pastor Rick Warren offers us three major purposes for Christmas:
- A time for celebration
- A time for salvation
- A time for reconciliation
Today we’ll focus on Christmas being a time for CELEBRATION…
Remember that Christmas was God’s idea…he planned that it would happen, he planned when and where it would happen…and WHY it would happen.
We celebrate the message of good news. The good tidings of great joy. What are they? There are three parts to it:
1 – The good news that God LOVES us
God is telling us through the arrival of Jesus that He loves us…and that His love is not based on what we do, but who he is.
38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 – The good news that God is WITH us
God isn’t absent or distant – he’s with us through the Holy Spirit. We may not feel His presence, but He’s here whether we feel it or not.
Psalm 139: 7-10
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”[a]
God doesn’t like loneliness. You don’t have to face anything by yourself. You can, but you don’t have to! You don’t have to be anxious about tomorrow, because Christ’s presence gives us hope.
3 – The good news that God is FOR us
Guilt is what separates us from God. But the Bible reminds us that God didn’t come to condemn the world, but to save it.
17 God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
If we are followers of Christ, it is not our role to condemn the world either! If we want to be more like Jesus, we’re here to point people to Him. Reach out a hand of compassion and show them who Jesus is.
He came to save us, not to scare us – that was how the angel greeted the shepherds. There are 365 ‘fear not’s’ in the Bible – one for every day of the year.
Christmas is also a time for SALVATION and Christmas is a time for RECONCILIATION
Jesus came to erase the misconceptions about God – he was sent to show us what God is really like! Christmas tells us that we matter to God.
Thanks for listening!
– Joe and Lilly