December 16, 2019
Anyways, Luke Chapter 2 verses 1 through 7. They have a Bible. Feel free to grab it. Open it Mark Matthew Mark Luke third book in the New Testament get it on your phone. If you want if you're like me at one time. I didn't know where everything was. So if you're kind of like that, like I was at one time, we'll have a lot of the words on the wall. So don't worry about it. But in this series everything has changed and everything is changed because Jesus came because that's what happened when we have a real life encounter with the honest-to-goodness god of the universe. He is the one like we just sang that will fight your battles. And if you're in this room this morning if I'm in this room this morning and you're feeling like you're surrounded by a whole mess of stuff. Remember that you are surrounded by him. I'm surrounded by him. And this is how we fight our battles because of what he's done because of his goodness. I mean the honest-to-goodness god of the universe think about this. He laughed housing and came here for you and for me and if we were the only people on this planet just us the small group of us in this room this morning. He still would have came you still would have came. Let me ask you something this Christmas. We all kind of have some things on our mind. I'll regularly and in our heart is fine on your life store these day like it if you could look at your life these days like what's consuming you what's on if you could write it on the front of your shirt. What is it that you're thinking about? What is it that you're wondering about these days this Christmas season. What's the sign on your door of your life? What direction is your life going on cuz usually your life in my life. They're usually going either your tracks are greased in the direction towards Christ or your tracks are greased in the direction away from Christ. Very seldom Are You & I in this neutral Place usually were growing closer to God or we're not growing closer to God. So this Christmas season where God says, I want to make your life everything changed. What direction I mean, did you ever wonder about this stop and think for just a minute? It's a big question. How did the hotel guy? How did The Innkeeper? Miss that Holy moment. Remember they showed up and at the hotel said what no. Vacancy, right? There's nothing here for anyone. He had a chance to meet the Son of God the Son of God so that in mind let's dig in Luke Chapter 2 starting with verse 1 in those days Caesar Augustus. He issued a decree that a census would be taken to the entire Roman world. He was threatened by this thought of the Son of God entering entering this Earth. This was the first sentence that they had took. When quinary cranius was the governor of Syria and everyone had to go back to their own town to register. And so Joseph also went to the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea tobacco him the town of David because that's where we belong to the house in the line of David when he went there to register with Mary who was pledged to be married to him. And was expecting a child while they wear their they gave birth to a baby to be born and she gave birth to her firstborn a son and she wrapped him in clothes and she placed them in the barn in the manger because there was no room for them at the economy lodge. There was no room for them at the end.
Never stop and think about why there was no room because there was no Christmas yet, right Christmas hadn't happened. So it wasn't like everyone was heading there to be part of Christmas. There was no Christmas yet. And how did The Innkeeper missed the greatest moment in history like the greatest moment in history? I mean for all we know the Innkeeper really could have been a good guy. The chances are not only was he a good guy but the chances are he was probably a religious guy not whatever that meant. And there was a chance they literally he knew that the Messiah was coming and he was waiting for the Messiah if he was a religious guy. He was like the Messiah is going to come.
He probably went to the temple every week. You'll just like we're here in church on Sunday morning.
But he missed it. Keep messed it even though he probably believe the Messiah was going to come. He missed his chance to meet God. Can you imagine if he would have said come on in we'll find a room for you. Keep maybe his name was Bob right heat his Bob would be in the Bible. Right? We would all know Bob's name in 5 said come on in and he gave him a room even though there were hardly Bob gave him his room, right, but we don't know his name we never will. Because he said there was no room at the end. Bethlehem it wasn't built by the way for all these people coming to town to do their senses. It wasn't a tour destination like it is not all kinds of people take to or through the through Jerusalem and Bethlehem that time they didn't it's kind of like you ever been around Brockport when it's graduation time is crazy, right? You don't want to go to Wegmans or Walmart when graduations happening here cuz you got all these people that descend on Brockport and they take over the town. Thank the Lord forgives our kids are graduating but the place just becomes crazy right around graduation time. Well, that's kind of how I probably was there at that time and the manager by the way not being a bad guy but he was preoccupied with other things like pay room 7 need some more pillows the rooms had to be clean. He probably had to go to pay checks to make sure his payroll is getting filled. Right and I need in probably just give you didn't text or facts that you probably had to get on his donkey and head down two paychecks and say, can you get all the paychecks? Take care? There was so much going on. He never even noticed the greatest event in history was happening at his door at his door. So let me ask you let me ask me this morning. What are you preoccupied with right now? Seriously, like what's consuming your mind? What kind of thoughts are going through? What has your attention? What has my attention? Is it work? Is it gif buying by the way? Listen? Listen? Listen. Listen, if you I got nothing for my I don't know what to get my wife Lori. Like I am empty guys if you got a wife and you know better yet if you got a girlfriend listen come to me and tell me what your cuz I need some help. I really do. I need help by the way, Lori and I've been noticing this is really interested in you sit in a restaurant and me and there'll be a couple sitting there and nnn and she and he man if there's no one talking other than pass the salt or an hour like I bet they're married. So we looked at those Rings man if they were all over each other even like inappropriately making out of the restaurant right then on the same side of the booth Lorain Harbor.
And I swear and I said that we got to be careful. We don't want to get in just one day. You know. That's what you know what I mean. So what are your focus. Is it worth it? Is it gif buying? Is it the squeeze of Christmas? Are you thinking about someone who may have hurt you in the past? And they're still controlling your present.
Maybe you're just do what I do sometimes sometimes I just Daydream I dream about nothing like nothing.
But here's the thing. She messed it and you and I can miss it too because we become preoccupied with right now. I mean so Joseph and Mary they came and it was an inconvenient time. He wasn't ready for them. He wasn't looking for them being that's what that's you know, we light these candles that's what Advent is all about is preparing. To meet Jesus, you know, the Bible is really clear. One day. Jesus is coming back again, and he's going to clean up the mess and he's going to call those that are his home and every day he doesn't, it's God's Gift its graced. It's one more day for you and I to and a humble way, but with a joyful power that comes from God to help people know they matter to him. They matter to him. We have a a professor from Rockford to goes to church here and she was born in China and she goes back so often in China. To I do training and she goes back three or four times a year and when she goes back to China she shares her faith openly in a place. That's very hostile. But it's the joy of God in her. Is it where are you these days God wants you to be living and looking going vertical like 24/7 like LeBron James going vertical looking and waiting for God to speak and to intersect with your life and intersect with my life living so that we're always ready to receive Christ or always ready to experience his joy and his peace and to be surrounded no matter what we're surrounded with to be surrounded by him. That's how we fight our battles ready to know him more ready for a personal relationship daily with Jesus. I'm not somebody even though but it's it's a daily thing a daily relationship with Jesus. It's this daily surrender to Jesus allowing the Holy Spirit. Remember we said a couple weeks ago the holy spirit. It's not like it's not a bolt of lightning. It's not a of when it's a person in the the concept in the New Testament of the Holy Spirit walking with you with his hand on your shoulder guiding you guiding me leading us to daily surrender to the King of Kings to Jesus Christ.
When all was said and done The Innkeeper, he simply didn't expect the Messiah to come to his and he just didn't expect it. Nothing ever happens great around here, you know or nothing really exciting happens around here. I still remember my second year that I was here as a pastor and sometimes it's a pastor. You got to be careful cuz you just start going through motions and you start kind of, you know, damn pastor.
And then it happened.
All these people in their 20s, they're all in the early twenties. They just one after one started showing up and giving their life to Jesus. I'm not kidding you I might door of the office cuz I get confused. So I keep note sometimes playlist personal you like I got to talk to you. I'm in I'm in a mess your name won't be on my door. A hospital is there I got to see this or something remember to call someone so I'll put it on my door so I don't forget it. There were notes on my door. Call Tom. Big chick big big big big guy he wants to give his life to Jesus. And it was crazy. I mean it was I never seen anything quite like that all these people in their twenties who were coming to church here. It all happened because someone invited a little girl that worked at Wendy's to come to church here. She came and she started inviting her friends and one by one. They just started saying yes to Jesus really like 3 years ago. So that's just a passing grade. Wow. This is a good church. But you know and he wants to do things this Advent season. What about us? What are we expecting him to touch your life? He came to touch my life. Emmanuel means God Is With Us. Jesus came to create holy night and holy moments for you. And for me as a matter fact in eight or nine days. Guess what we're going to be here lighting candles at 4:36 or 7:30. We're going to be here lighting candles and we're going to be singing Silent Night and it's always beautiful. It's always powerful. It's always holy. By the way, you know the song Silent Night When It Was Written in 1850 just read this a while ago. It was a colossal bomb. So you know what if anybody gets upset about new music. I don't take it too serious. I listen and I care but you need to know this that went Silent Night came out in 1850 the church Broadchurch said it was a colossal Bob. Here's what they told me. You're a musician and get this Tony. This is what they the church said about Silent Night the critics the church said about silent night. They did now silent night. They said it lacked total musical taste and it was asking it of any religious value whatsoever. It was secular in the whole nature of the song Silent Night and you believe that's true. You know, I wonder sometimes what those guys would have thought about Grandma got ran over by a reindeer and all I wonder how they would have dealt with that song.
So how do we have a potential of everything changed moment? How do we have the power of a of a Holy Night a holy moment? Have you ever missed a holy moment? I have if you ever missed a holy moment. When God comes and he overwhelms a place and he overwhelms a Time. And he shows up. Have you ever got stuck with a vacancy sign kind of on your heart?
You didn't allow God to step in and show you his love and his power and his might.
Because you were bad, but you were preoccupied. Because God really just didn't matter that much sometimes cuz there's a lot of stuff going on. Let's look at a few quick things and then we're done. Number one is simply this. How do you experience and how do you and I experienced than Everything's changed life. How do you experience a life where your heart and your life are open to touches from the holy how does that happen? Number one is God wants to show us the power of a holy moment. One of the things it's just realize that God wants to give you and Everything's changed moment. God wants to give you and I holy moment. Remember the shepherd's let me read this. It's the weed. We don't have the words on the wall, but it's it's the next three verses in Luke. And there were shepherds and they were living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night and an angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord Shone all around them and they were terrified but the angel said hey don't be afraid stalking to the Shepherds. I bring you good news and great. Joy, it's going to be me. Joy for everybody for all people today in the town of David a savior has been born to you and he is Christ the lord.
I could showed up anywhere. He could have showed up at the temple. He could have showed up to the priest. He could have showed up to the religious people. He could have showed up to the ministers and instead he takes this huge. Holy moment that the Shoppers for whatever reason they were ready to receive it and Everything's changed moment. And as a result, he shows up. And the shepherd's hear it. Instead of the priest instead of the Kings instead of the prophets instead of the ministers. He comes to a bunch of Shepherds. And by the way, when we think of Christmas Eve and we have the nights are you see the nativity scenes in the shepherd's Shepherds in that time. We're not seeing is anything special we romanticize about the shepherd's out in the field with the chief Shepherds were seen at that time as the lowest of the low on the totem pole of a well-to-do. The Shepherds were seen on the very bottom is a matter of fact Shepherds were entrusted. I have a farmer that was around the corner from me and he raised beef cows and he was talking about the price of grain and feed and I said, well it was in the summer I said well now it's the summer so this is good for you because they get to eat for free cuz they are good to eat for free. He said to put all that stuff in and you guys feel you know, this more than I do it cost a lot of money to have the fields. So that they can eat. I mean the couch is starting grass. There's all kinds of stuff little Alfalfa different things that you put in there and he said it's expensive. What do you know why Shepherds were viewed as being very distrustful Shepherds would take their sheep and they would take him to other places and they would let them graze on other people's it was there was there a notorious to take their sheet and let them eat on somebody else's land and kind of basically steal from them, right? And then after they ate from their land they would take him somewhere else and let him feed them somewhere else is Landon. They might bring them let them eat on their land take him to somebody else's land. So they were really seeing some of the lowest distrustful people in the universe and yet God still. gives them the holy moment while I probably cuz they were ready to receive the holy moment. Secondly, God also changes things and he does so when he shows up with the power of Hope. And hope is when Humanity gets a peek at what could be? What could be?
Another steam sometimes to be very little hope in the state of the world today. You can look at Isis member what happened a while ago and Ferguson. The political climate right now turn on Fox turn on MSNBC very little good news.
And it does seem in these days that evil tends to win over good quite often, doesn't it? Just seems that way at least. Well, God came, I mean for Every Mother Teresa for crying out loud. There's an Adolf Hitler, right?
But good does win in this planet through Jesus psychologists. Tell us that more people suffer depression during the Christmas season than any other the time of the year. Here's a study from USA Today 25% of people said around Christmas. They would prefer to fall asleep on December 30th 23rd and not wake up until at January 1st. 28% of people said if they had unlimited funds and no sense of guilt. They prefer to take a trip over the holidays to some place where Christmas was never mentioned. And 60% of the people said they feel more isolated during the Christmas season than any other time during the year that the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and people feel isolated during that time of the year.
There's also Financial Burns during Christmas their debt problems is overspending problems or depression problems. But Christ is come to pay the ultimate that the dad of our sin and the dead of our guilt his forgiveness his love they are the ingredients that are missing in life. And that's why Jesus is, that's why we celebrate Christmas Christmas isn't about jumping in the car and heading down to Longridge increased. What is it called Long Ridge Greece tide. What's it called? Greece Ridge heading down to Greece Ridge jumping in the car and heading down to Marketplace in Henrietta. I got to tell you that I saw a commercial of the day for sign it over to sign. They got a restaurant Henrietta and right now for $0.99. They have a cheeseburger with chili and Fritos on it since I was driving my wife Lori crazy cuz it was on TV and I'm reversing the night. We got DirecTV. I'm reversing the commercials. Cuz what are you doing? I just want to see it one more time. I hit it in slow motion.
That's not Christmas. It's not that's not the whole thing.
God sent his son to a really messed up world to capture your heart to capture my heart and to fill your heart no matter what you're going through today. Mayor Haas thinking heart with hope everything changed. Because Christ is come the situations might not change.
But with Christ even when life is tough it still good. No matter what you're going through you do more and then we're done the power of repentance. The power of repentance repentance is a fancy word for saying ignoring God. When you ignore God that is sin and God calls us to this thing called repentance and repentance is simply to say to get before the honest-to-goodness. God of the universe say my heart is so messed up and my my proclivity is so bad toward sin. And I Repent Lord. I am sorry forgive me of my sins in the power that moment receiving is forgiveness and feeling clean man. Just feeling clean and what God has done is a powerful moment. And you can't and I can experience the Everything's changed life without having a repentant heart.
Because when you stop ignoring God, he will convict you of your son. You will konvictt me of my son and the answer for sin is so easy. It's not to try harder. It's it's just a go to God and say Lord. I'm a messed up person. I just I'm kind of just I'm a center and I'm in need of your forgiveness and your mercy, it's not my father's not my mother's not my brother no matter how messed up they may have been or not messed up or how many secrets are it's me. Oh Lord. Standing in the need of prayer and then finally everything can be changed when we get this part about Christmas that we begin to live in outward Focus life. I mean, what about this? What if Jesus stayed in heaven, you know, Jesus could have stayed in Alvin. Didn't he he he didn't have to come he's God you could have said I'm not going to do that matter fact when he was here on Earth. Remember, he said Lord father. You can take this cup of the Cross. Can you take it? But Jesus still went to the cross.
Chi-Chi showed us what an outward Focus life looks like by leaving heaven to come be here for you and for me. I just does anybody if you know this I'll be totally amazed. Does anybody know who Edward Kimball is you ever heard of Edward Kimball? I never heard Edward Kimball until this week. Let me know. This is crazy. Check this out. This is absolutely crazy. Edward Kimball was a Sunday school teacher a small class of Junior High kids like a small class five or six kids, right? And he was a shy Sunday school teacher one day. He was going to buy shoes and when he was buying shoes the shoe salesman was going through a tough time. And so Edward Kimball the shy Sunday school teacher said to this guy that shoes salesman he witnessed to him and he said listen you matter to God and if you say yes, God will come in your life and change you and the shoe salesman. His name was d The White Album, Moody. Dwight L. Moody became an evangelist he gave his heart to the Lord that day while selling shoes matter fact, if you go to Chicago, there's the Dwight Moody Bible Institute. It's still there. And there's a publishing company named after Dwight L, Moody who was a shoe salesman who? Edward Campbell shy Sunday school teacher opened up his heart while buying shoes. Do I tell Moody later on was preaching in a man by the name of Frederick B Meyer accepted Christ in Frederick B. Meyer went on to become an evangelist and one day when Frederick B Meyer was preaching a man by the name of Wilbur Chapman said yes to Jesus Robert Tsai Sunday school teacher top of this thing, right?
Wilbur Chapman accepted Jesus Wilbur Chapman later on was the chaplain for the Chicago White Sox and one day when he was doing Chapel for the Chicago White Sox a ball player by the name of Billy Sunday who was an amazing bass deal. I think he ended up with well over 250 stolen bases Billy Sunday gave his life to the Lord while sitting at a chapel at the Chicago White Sox before a game on a Sunday Billy Sunday, then went to Charlotte North Carolina and he started sharing the good news and he became an evangelist and when he went to Charlotte North Carolina, he had a crusade and thousands of people came in to be like LeBron James Wright LeBron gets everything with God. He shows up comes to Rochester comes to Brockport and everybody shows up to hear what God's done in his life will people came to hear Billy Sunday. The people came hundreds of people gave her life to Jesus Christ. It went so good that they said the Billy Sunday. Can you come back to North Carolina in three months? And can we do this again? Billy? Sunday said I can't come back. I'm I'm busy but I know someone that can come back. He's a guy that recently gave his life that I led to the Lord and I think you do a great job and his name is Mordecai and bless his parents are Mordecai Mordecai ham. He said tell you what, I will send Mordecai ham and he will come and he will present the gospel and I said well, we'd rather have you but if you can't, I'll take this mortdecai guy somewhere to Cayenne goes back 3 months later to North Carolina the preacher series of revivals. And guess what? Hardly anybody shows up? Cuz no one has an idea who the heck Mordecai ham. Is it be like you got LeBron James this week and then you got a nice ass. You know what? I mean? Like no one knows.
Hardly anybody shows up. One little boys there and that little boy says yes, and you opens his heart to Jesus, you know, that little boy was I think we got his picture right here on the wall. Who is that Billy Graham?
One shot by Sunday school teacher buying some shoes humble and gentle but filled with the love in the power of Christ. Billy Graham is my daughter's I was telling Lori the store yesterday my wife and my daughter care said who's Billy Graham go home and Google It wiki it up. He is. He's like millions of people to Jesus Christ powerful life presidents, and they've all had him. Say the prayer. Sunday school teacher d l Moody Francis Mayer a professional baseball player Mordecai ham. No one shows up. But one little boy says yes, his name is Billy Graham. Listen don't ever despise your face. You are a seriously some of us ought to be running saying I'll serve in the nursery. I don't know how to teach little kids, but I'll go in the room and sit there and be with them this how to make all of us want to go and do something significant right being in the nursery is a powerful thing holding those kids. The power of God's love feels that room last week when I didn't preach I went to every single room. I got to see some people give license. I got to sit on the floors with kids. There are some people I didn't even really know their names yet and and
You got it. Listen, don't be shy with your co-workers about Jesus. I mean, don't be arrogant. Don't be in your face. Don't tell your boss. We don't say Merry Christmas. Don't do any of that garbage, but don't be shy you should be living the joy of Christmas life. Even when it stopped. It's good when crises are you and I are to be living the joy. We got to be ready to have an outward Focus life, whether it be co-workers at work or inviting people to celebrate recovery, or maybe they're just somebody hate just Christmas Eve people come to church that never come to church, but they're coming to church if you ask them because they matter to God if they don't know what else to do. So maybe you got a family member you just need to say hey call me Christmas Eve with us. Maybe you got an elderly neighbor got a neighbor who just she just lost her husband. If you got an elderly neighbor, maybe you got a co-worker. It doesn't start with a pastor. It starts with an ordinary person a shy Sunday school teacher God uses ordinary people that just refuse to give up on the love of Jesus that the people that he uses. So we're about done. Are you desperate this holiday for Holy moment. Like how your tracks grease like, are you moving in this direction? Like Lord. I am looking I am searching for you. I'm anticipating a moment with you from the holy. Or are you like I've been at times just going through the motions and you miss it. He's right at your door, man. He's right there.
Are you desperate for a holy more moment? Do you need a like everything change moment in your life? How desperate are you to turn in from where you are right now for something new and for something more and for something real?