Parkrose Sermon 29 Dec 2012
Joy to the World, the Lord is come:
We sing these words with enthusiasm each Christmas season and yet this song of Joy should be ours all year round.
We should be rejoicing because Jesus has come into the world.
We have a Saviour who walks and lives and breathes among us.
And yet we mostly fail to recognize his presence.
The whole of creation cries out to us that He is here and has been here.
In the song we sung earlier we sang
“ And heaven and Nature sing.”
We have the beauty of God’s creation all around us and every day the miracle of the birth of a new born babe happens in our hospitals and places all around the world.
So do we have joy or express it?
Do we count our blessings of this past year or do we count the things that caused us grief?
Here are some of the things that we should rejoice about if we are Christians:
WHO ARE WE?
We are the light of the world (Matt. 5:14).
We do have something to share with the world.This passage tells us not to hide our light but let it shine.When we are being Joyful to the world that is what we are doing.
We are children of God (John 1:12).To all of us who have received Jesus he has given us the right to be called Children of God.What a privilege! We see exemplary people and parents in the spotlight from time to time and might say I wish my parents had been or are like them.But we are children of God himself.That should make us leap for joy.
We are members of Christ’s Body (1 Cor. 12:27; Eph. 5:30). We are here today as a body of believers.What a privilege to be part of His body, the Church.
We are citizens of heaven, seated in heaven right now (Phil. 3:20; Eph. 2:6). According to the Bible we are already seated and guaranteed a seat in Heaven with Jesus.It is something that has already happened before our earthly passing.
Is that a cause for Joy or not?
We are joint heirs with Christ, sharing His inheritance with Him (Rom. 8:17). Inheritance humanly speaking can be a wonderful gift from our own families.Think of what it means though to be a joint heir with Jesus.That is hard to imagine but surely a cause for Joy.
We are one of God’s living stones, being built up in Christ as a spiritual house (1 Pet. 2:5).
Last Sunday we attended the Activate Church at Bowden where one our sons and his wife and their 2 boys attend.The Sunday school children did a little play.Our grandson Lucas was dressed up as a construction worker.He was carrying a big papermache boulder.His role involved dropping the rock on the platform and declaring “On this rock I will build My Church!” He announced it with gusto and the whole church burst into applause.
Isn’t it exciting to be a one of the living stones chosen by Jesus to be His disciples on this earth in our communities. A real cause for joy.
Jesus rules the World with Truth and Grace.
His Righteousness is glorious.
His love is wonderful.
When we make room in our Hearts he comes in to dwell with us.
As we approach the new year of 2013 we don’t know what is in store for us.
We may have had things happen in 2012 that were upsetting.
We may have lost love ones.
And yet Jesus is still Lord over all.
His grace has been more than sufficient to enable us to cope with what may have just happened this last year and certainly what may be ahead of us.
Let us resolve to continue to trust Him in days ahead with our whole lives.
Let us rejoice not in the troubles that may come to us but that Jesus enables us to continue with Dignity and Grace and Healing.
Let us also continue to be prayerful,and practically helpful where we can, for others who we know are struggling ,for when we do we are helping to bring the Joy of Jesus to them..
JOY TO THE WORLD, THE LORD IS COME
Have you ever wished you were someone else?
Someone who seemingly had it all together?
Physical good looks?
Lots of friends?
Wonderful family life?
Would these things make us happy?
Would we be full of joy?
Sometimes we get that low in our feelings and our self esteem we wish we were someone else or might even cry ourselves to sleep each night.
The Truth is The Truth will set us free from the darkness we often can feel.
The Truth is Jesus.
“He said I am the Way the Truth and the Life, no one can come to the Father except through me.”
We may have claimed Jesus as our Saviour, but have we claimed Him as our Lord.
Can we say with the Apostle Paul, “It’s no longer I that live but Christ who lives in me”
The Bible says whoever loses his life in Christ will find his true liberated life in Him.
Some people call that the Exchanged Life.
What Jesus has done on the Cross for us enables us to be one with Him.
Let’s celebrate this morning as we take these emblems the Great Exchange that Jesus offers us.
He took our place on the cross so that we can have life,life to the full.
I am (have been) crucified with Christ : never the
less I live; yet not I but
Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in
the flesh I live by the faith
of (or in ) the Son of God who loved me , and gave
Himself for me.”