MERRY CHRISTMAS! At Skyline Church it has been such a joy to experience Christmas with you this December at our Christmas Tree Lighting events, in worship, daily devotionals, and during services on Sunday. We've been talking about the Christmas story and how it applies to us today. Many of you may be familiar with this story but maybe you do not know how to apply it to your life. Every year, we revisit the historical story of Jesus' birth so that it will become so deeply rooted in us that it transforms us. Because, it's not just a story, it's a story with a purpose. It has a life changing message for anyone who will apply it. So, this year we have been focused on the application of the Christmas story because we truly want you to Experience Christmas.
Here are three things the angels said to the shepherds for us to focus on this Christmas season:
"And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid."
For every day of the year, there is a verse in the Bible that addresses this idea of fear. It's almost like God knew how easily we would be tempted to hear. We talked about this a lot in our Faith Over Fear sermon series. So let me ask you, what are you worried about this Christmas season? Are you worried about bills For every day of the year, there is a verse in the Bible that addresses this idea of fear. It's as if God knew how easily we would be tempted to fear, hmmmm :) We talked about this a lot in our Faith Over Fear sermon series. So let me ask you, what are you worried about this Christmas season? Are you worried about bills ... the kids ... your health ... Omicron, Dexicron, Chevron ... or any other variant that comes out next? The more you believe in what God is capable of, the less fear can come in!
Do. Not. Fear.
"I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people."
The good news keeps getting better and better because the bad news just gets worse and worse. Just take a look at the media. There is a large contrast from what you get from the rest of the world and what you get from Skyline Church. Good news is that you matter to God. He knows the good the bad and the ugly and he still loves you!
Where are you in your relationship to the Lord? As we approach Christmas, we should be reflecting on the year and asking ourselves if we are closer to God this year than we were last year. Does the Christmas story sound better and better each year? Or does it seem less and less significant each year? When we're growing in our relationship with the Lord, this story should cause greater and greater joy!
"Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born for you; he is the Messiah, the Lord."
God didn't sent us a salesman. It says He sent us a Savior. He sent us a Savior because we needed one! Why?... We need a Savior because Heaven is a perfect place where only perfect people are allowed. As you know, at Skyline Church, no perfect people are allowed here. Do you see the dilemma? Some of us are grading ourselves on a curve––thinking, I'm not as bad as that guy. But no one except Jesus has lived a perfect life. He is the only One who can get you and me into heaven (John 14:6). The angel brought great news "... for all the people." We're a church for imperfect people, because all people need to know about the one person who can get them into heaven. Jesus.
Maybe you've seen the famous John 3:16 verse on a bumper sticker or sports attire, "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." But verse 17 is just as important as 16. "For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." God says He came to give forgiveness. This presents a huge opportunity for you and for me to restore our relationship with Him. And maybe you missed our Relationship Rehab series, and Jesus isn't the only relationship in your life that needs reconciliation.
I gave this challenge this Sunday and I want to remind you, to give someone forgiveness this Christmas. That can be your gift to God. Because He wants the relationships in your life to be reconciled. Especially with your family.