Sermon Blog - Entries from December 2012

    SunSundayDecDecember23rd2012 A Simple Christmas: Loss of Control
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged Luke Philippians 0 comments Add comment

    **No Audio Available**

    On the day before Christmas Eve, we’re finishing up our “Simple Christmas” series talking about Loss of Control.  We’ve looked at the stress that comes from our obligations in life.  We’ve seen how unrealized expectations can rob us of the joy we seek and discourage us from enjoying the present.  We’ve discussed how unresolved conflict, especially among family members, can make us dread Christmas instead of anticipate something special.  Hopefully this series of sermons has helped you resolve to fix some of these issues instead of pushing them into 2013.  But if you’re still struggling today to find a way to enjoy the gift God gave us at Christmas, then hopefully God will speak one truth to you this morning: 

    Jesus gave up control of His life so you could have control in yours.

    This morning’s sermon is going to remind us of three very important facts about God’s gift to mankind:  1)  The Christmas Story Brings Joy and is a Message for Everyone.  2)  The Christmas Story Gives Us the Long Awaited Messiah – Someone to Deliver Us.  3)  The Christmas Story Provides Peace to Those Who Have Faith in God’s Promise.

    JESUS – The one and only true Son of God, born as a helpless child, sent to this world as its Savior

    Luke 2: 1-7

    Philippians 2: 5-11

    Luke 2: 8-15

    SunSundayDecDecember16th2012 A Simple Christmas: Looming Conflict

    Unresolved family conflict can rob us of the joy everyone talks about having at Christmastime.  But it can also rob us of the joy we should have through our relationships all year long. 

    Why are two of the biggest movie weeks on Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays?  Because we’re not used to being cooped up with everyone for that much time.  I’m not saying we’ll ever be ready for 5 days at home with kids bouncing off the walls, but are we ready to spend time with our loved ones at all?

    Christ came as a baby so one day He could forgive our sins.  It’s a shame that we have trouble celebrating this holiday at times because we haven’t sought the forgiveness or extended forgiveness to others.

    If we centered our families or holidays around the message of Christ:  His birth, His sacrifice, forgiveness and love for others – then we’d probably actually enjoy the holiday after His namesake.  I’m not saying we all need to recite the Christmas Story at every stop, but if we made sure to love God by worshipping Him in our home and then made sure to love others by seeking & offering forgiveness, that would simplify Christmas by getting us back to a simple message of Christianity.

    Colossians 3: 12-14

    Ephesians 4: 29-32

    Matthew 5: 23-24

    Luke 17: 3-5

    Audio Pathway_2012_12_16.mp3
    SunSundayDecDecember9th2012 A Simple Christmas: Unchecked List

    Can you ever remember a time when you REALLY wanted a certain gift but you didn’t receive it?  It could have been anything from a toy to a diamond ring.  And what the desired gift was doesn’t really matter but the fact that it was the ONE thing you wanted more than anything else.  And even though you probably already had and then received many other wonderful things, you were disappointed that your biggest wish wasn’t fulfilled.

    A lot of people hit this time of year and instead of being excited, they get frustrated (or depressed) because last year they had said 2012 would be the time that their family problems were fixed.  2012 would be the time they weren’t financially strapped or lacking in time to enjoy life.  This year would be when they were able to make their life into what they wanted it to be.  And then you get to the last few weeks of 2012 and realize your wish list is going to have some empty check boxes on it.  Instead of taking joy in what God has given us, we complicate Christmas because of our unfulfilled wishes.

    God’s remedy is threefold:  first we can find joy & peace in the greatest gift coupled with an amazing promise of everlasting life.  Second, we can find fulfillment if we make sure we have strong, God-centered relationships with those closest to us.  Third, we can know that even though some of our wishes remain unfilled, God still cares and wants us to keep asking in faith.

    Mark 3: 1-6

    John 6: 10-15

    Romans 5: 1-5

    Proverbs 17:17

    1 Peter 5: 6-7

    Hebrews 4: 14-16

    Audio Pathway_2012_12_09.mp3
    SunSundayDecDecember2nd2012 A Simple Christmas: Over Obligated
    byJeremy Flanagan Tagged Luke 0 comments Add comment

    Joseph had an obligation to be counted in the census, plus a responsibility to care for his wife.  Sometimes when we read a story in the Bible we forget that these were people struggling to get through life just as we are today.  Just because they were bringing the Son of God into the world, Joseph & Mary didn’t somehow escape the difficulties that come with childbirth, raising a family, providing for your home, or the social problems they faced with the assumptions people had about Mary’s pregnancy.

    We feel stressed at Christmas because of our obligations, but our responsibility is to care for our family and share Christ with others.  No matter how tired or stressed we are as we meet our obligations, we can take joy in fulfilling our responsibilities as long as we don’t dwell on the stress of our obligations.

    Luke 2: 1-7

    Audio Pathway_2012_12_02.mp3

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