Preparing for Christmas -SermonCentral.

com Selected Passages December 09, 2011 Introduction This is the time of year when everyone starts getting ready for Christmas. The stores are packed with people buying gifts. Elevators are filled with instrumental Christmas favorites. Those boxes packed away months ago are brought out and all of that lovely Christmas stuff is put out. The houses are decorated with lights and trimmings and yards become the showcases of Christmas splendor. What do you do to prepare for Christmas? In my house there is a mass cleaning effort. The whole house is cleaned from top to bottom to get everything in tiptop shape. Before any decorations can be put out the whole house gets a good cleaning. When the cleaning is complete; the house needs to be arranged for the decorating. The dining room gets completely changed for the Christmas tree and all of the other decorations. Bookshelves are moved. Everyday decorations are put away. The whole house is given a new look in preparation for the decorations. After all of the proper arrangements have been made, the decorations come out and everything begins to take on the look of Christmas. The tree is set up with lights strung from top to bottom and ornaments are scattered on the branches. Various other trimmings make their appearance around the house. My wife displays her Sugar Town collection, garland is placed on the mantle and homemade decorations created by a certain four-

year-old are hung on the staircase and woodwork. Maybe none of this applies to you. Matthew 5:8 ³mapalad ang mga may malinis na puso. The final preparation for Christmas revolves around the gifts. From this statement of Jesus we see that the pure in heart are the happy in heart. Multiple trips are made to various stores and shopping centers. there is a receiving and giving of gifts. When all of this is done the work of preparation is nearly finished. Now this sounds really simple. All of this is a great illustration of how God wants us to prepare for Christmas. there is a decorating of the heart. When we truly prepare for Christmas. Why? Simply because they will one day see God. I still get angry when someone cuts me off when I¶m driving on the highway. Lists are created of certain wants or specific needs and the shopping begins. When we truly prepare for Christmas. Maybe you . I still lose my temper over stupid and insignificant problems. doesn¶t it. I. Maybe. because all that you need is a pure heart. When we truly prepare for Christmas. I don¶t know about you but there are a lot of days when my heart seems more polluted than pure. The shopping is done so that we can give and receive gifts on Christmas day. The cleaning of the heart Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God. there is a new arrangement of our priorities. I get frustrated when my best plans come unraveled. there is a personal cleansing. Of course it wouldn¶t be Christmas without four or five trips to the mall. When we truly prepare for Christmas. you aren¶t like me and you have your life completely together in your life. sapagkat makikita nila ang Diyos´ The word ³blessed´ literally means happy in the original Greek. I still get jealous when I hear of others whose achievements out shine my own.

It is then that the blessings of God begin to rapidly flow into our lives and overflow into the lives of others. ng bagong damdamin´God granted David¶s request and gave him a clean heart. II. there is NOTHING you can do to make your heart pure! The good news is that God is the one who cleans the heart and all that you need to do is ask Him. But for those of you. David asked God for this exact thing: Create in me a pure heart and renew a right spirit within me. everything else comes together. bigyan mo. When we make this extra room in the heart. Matthew 6:33´ngunit pagsumakitan ninyo nang higit sa lahat ang pagharian kayo ng Diyos at mamuhay nang ayon sa kanyang kalooban. When Jesus made this statement of seeking the kingdom of God first. God blesses us with more of Christ. I have a question? How can we become pure in heart? What do we have to do? I have some extremely bad news for you. The arranging of priorities But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well. . he was giving the antidote for worry. schedules and other aspects of our lives for Christmas. When we put Christ in the center of our lives. o Diyos. at ipagkakaloob niya ang lahat ng kailangan ninyo´ An essential part of preparing for Christmas involves rearranging. (Psalm 51:10) ³isang pusong tapat sa aki¶y likhain. our focus must be on God first. Jesus makes it clear that if we are to succeed in life. He can do the same for you. God wants us to arrange our hearts for Christmas. all you need to do is ask Him.have no problem with this pure in heart issue. His desire is for you to make more room for His Son in the room of your heart. who are like me and still struggle with being pure in heart. Just as we arranged our homes.

IV. we only give God partial control and we only allow Him to make the changes that we approve. The receiving of gifts Yet to all who received him. When decorates a heart he must have complete control over the whole life. This receiving is not just for part or some of our life but rather it is for every area of our life. The decorating of the heart What does God do to decorate a heart? I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.´ John is making it clear that we are to welcome Christ into our lives. he gave the right to become children of God. However. God decorates a heart by gutting the old and creating something new.We the the are become so busy celebrating the season that we totally miss reason for the season! We become centered on shopping for right gifts and forget to tell others of God¶s perfect gift. God¶s desire is to take your life and make it even more beautiful. to those who believed in his name. he waits for you to give Him permission to begin the work. The receiving and giving of gifts A. . We not prepared for Christmas until our priorities are in line. God desires to decorate your life with his blessing and give you something completely new. God wants to add value to your life. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. III. John 1:12 ³ngunit ang lahat ng tumanggap at nanalig sa kanya ay pinagkalooban niya ng karapatang maging anak ng Diyos´ John speaks of those who received Christ. God wants only the very best for your life and he wants to be the influence of your life. The Greek meaning of the word ³receive´ means ³to welcome´ or ³to accept. Far too often.

Proverbs 23:26´anak. I don¶t always enjoy the shopping or the wrapping of gifts but I love to give the gifts. There is great joy when you give a gift to Christ. You love to watch others tear through the wrapping. It is indeed better to give than to receive. Our citizenship is changed and we gain an interest in heaven. By faith in Christ. making kang mabuti sa akin at tularan mo ang aking pamumuhay´ The greatest gift you can give to Christ is yourself . in Christ. We gain a dwelling place in heaven and divine grace from God the Father. The same may be true for you. we can become children of God. The simple act is life changing and transforming because we become children of God. B. By faith. To believe in the name of Jesus means to put faith in Him as a person and in what he represents. What does Christ want from you? My child. God has given us an incredible gift. Literally we are given permission to join God¶s family.Christ must also be believed. You love to hear the words ³It¶s just what I wanted!´ It might surprise you but this applies to Christ as well. give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways. You love to watch their face light up. When we accept Christ we are ushered into God¶s family. John says that through Christ we are given the right to become children of God. we become a part of eternity. The giving of gifts One of the greatest joys of Christmas is found in giving. Our position in life is changed.

Have you received the gift of Christ and have you given Him your heart. This year the wonder of Christmas can come alive for you in brand new ways if you will open your heart and allow God to prepare you for Christmas. where are you with your preparations for Christmas? Are there some areas of your heart that need to be cleaned? Maybe you need to rearrange some things to make more room for Christ in your life? Perhaps your heart is fairly barren and needs some of God¶s blessings for decorations. .Conclusion So.