Conspiracy 2009 post-series message
Christmas All Year Round
Sunrise Wesleyan Church
December 27, 2009
You know, it’s
amazing to me how quickly Christmas snuck up on us this year, and now
it’s over. Oh, I’m sure there are a few related festivities in the days
ahead. Shera, Nate, Noah and I will be packing up and heading to
Fredericton tomorrow, and I’m sure there will be more gifts and more
food to occupy us there. But for the most part, Christmas 2009 is
We spent a lot of time over the past month talking
about what I believe are some very important issues. We talked about
how the Christmas season really began as a time to worship Jesus. And
so, instead of pushing Him to the sidelines and just remembering Him at
official Church services, we talked about learning to worship Him fully
by keeping Him at the forefront of our celebrations.
enable us to worship fully, we recognized that we would need to learn
to spend less, give more, and love all. And so we talked about shifting
from an attitude of consumerism to one of compassion. Instead of being
pulled into the vortex of holiday spending, we talked about pulling
back on overspending, and instead of buying a bunch of meaningless
gifts create meaningful memories. And coupled along with that, we
encouraged everyone to find a way to give to those in need.
at Sunrise, we emphasized the worldwide problem of a lack of clean
water. That was the need we decided to focus on. And so we received an
offering to go toward providing access to a source of clean water for
people in Sierra Leone.
Actually, there was a video I wanted to
show you on Christmas Eve that I wasn’t able to get working. I’ve got
it working now, so take a look…
VIDEO – Living Waters – disease…
that’s the kind of difference we can make by providing clean water to
people don’t have it already. That’s what we received the offering for,
and you responded to the tune of ________. Good job! I haven’t
sent that in yet, so if you’d like to add to that amount you can do so
this morning. Just use one of the “My Christmas Offering” envelopes
available at the Offering Box.
But as we’ve talked about all
these principles this Advent season… Worshipping fully, spending less,
giving more, loving all… replacing consumerism with compassion… it
occurs to me that they are not just for Advent. These are principles we
can and should be living by year round.
So just very quickly this morning, I want to touch on each of them one
Celebrate Advent All Year Round, I Need To:
Worship Jesus fully every day of the year
talked about how Christmas was about worshipping that Baby in the
manger. But that Baby grew up… He gave His life for you and for me… He
rose from the dead… He proved that He is God and that He deserves our
worship not just at Christmas time but everyday of the year. Read this
verse aloud with me…
1 Peter 3:15 (NLT)
…You must worship Christ as Lord of your life.
does it mean to worship Him? It means that you put Him first in your
life. It means you live the way He wants you to live. It means that you
allow Him free reign in your life. It means that you honour Him in
every way… in every word, thought and deed. Worship Him fully every day.
Spend less and manage what God has entrusted to me wisely
know what they say is the leading cause of divorce, don’t you? Money.
Arguments over money. Problems with money… usually because money has
been managed poorly and the couple has found themselves buried in debt.
the Bible has a lot to say about how we spend our money. There are a
lot of financial principles contained in the pages of this book. Jesus
said more about money than just about any other topic. There’s a lot of
wisdom in here about how to manage your money.
Now, there’s no
guarantee in there that you’ll become rich. Jesus Himself was poor.
Many of His followers were poor. But, if you pay attention to what the
Bible says about managing your money, then chances are you’ll be better
off. You know that old axiom, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?
What does that mean? Does it mean that if you eat an apple a day you’ll
never ever have to see a doctor? No, of course not. It’s not a
guarantee; it’s a principle. It doesn’t mean you’ll never have to see a
doctor, but chances are you’ll be better off than people who don’t.
the financial principles in the Bible are like that. They don’t
guarantee that you’ll become rich or that you’ll never ever have money
problems, but chances are you’ll be better off than people who don’t
follow those principles.
We’ve talked about some of them before,
and we’ll talk about them again. But here are just a few of my
favourites to whet your appetite…
Luke 12:15 (NLT)
“Beware! Guard against every kind of greed. Life is not measured by how
much you own.”
Ecclesiastes 5:13 (NLT)
Hoarding riches harms the saver.
Proverbs 13:11 (NLT)
Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard
work grows over time.
Proverbs 3:9-10 (NIV)
the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then
your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over
with new wine.
Those are the kinds of financial principles that should be followed not
just at Christmas time but all year round.
I brought a gift for you today. It’s a book called The Treasure
Principle. And I actually debated with myself about bringing these here
this morning. (And I won.) Most of you know how cautious I am about
talking about money here on Sunday mornings, because it can be such a
sensitive issue and because churches have that bad rap of always being
after your money. I don’t think that’s necessarily true, but that’s the
reputation churches have with some people. So I almost didn’t bring
these books in this morning.
But this is a book that talks about
some of the Biblical principles about how to manage your money. I read
it a few months back, and it’s pretty good. So I brought enough for
every family to have a copy.
If you happen to be someone who’s
offended when churches talk about money, then I have a solution. Just
don’t take a book. But if you’d like a book, be sure to pick up your
copy when we’re done.
Give more compassionately to the poor
Why? Because when I do so, I am partnering with Jesus.
Proverbs 19:17 (NLT)
If you help the poor, you are lending to the Lord—and he will repay you!
a pretty good deal, isn’t it? By giving to the poor, you are partnering
with what Jesus wants to do to help the poor, and He’ll make sure you
get a return on your investment. That’s basically what Jesus said in
Luke 12:33 (NLT)
“Sell your possessions and give to
those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the
purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be
safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it.”
to get so wrapped up in our own problems that we forget that there are
others who are a lot worse off than we are. So don’t just keep your
compassion bottled up for Christmastime… give more compassionately to
the poor all year round. Give of your time, give of your money, give of
your talents. You can give to needs around the world, and you can give
to needs right here in our city.
Love all with the love of God
We already recognized this morning how much Jesus loves each and every
person. He gave His life for them.
1 John 4:10-12 (NLT)
This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent
his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each
other. No one has ever seen God. But if we love each other, God lives
in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.
each other. This is what we’re going to be talking about starting next
month. On January 10th, we’re going to begin a series called “40 Days
of Love”, and I hope you’ll all be able to be part of that series. And
next Sunday, we do kind of a preview of the series. So be here for that.
Well, we want to take those principles and apply them all year round.
1. Worship Jesus fully every day of the
2. Spend less to be a wise manager of
what God has entrusted to me
3. Give more compassionately to the poor
4. Love all with the love of God
we’re not going to take with us year round is the music. We’re about to
pack that up until next November 28. So I’m going to pray, and then
we’re going to sing a few more Christmas songs before we pack them up.