What are you hoping for this Christmas? What’s on your Christmas list? Me, if I could have anything, like I mean ANYTHING, a helicopter would do fine. Imagine going to work without getting snarled in traffic. Perhaps a stealth car that drives slightly out of sync with our current detention. As a kid I wanted a robot toy back in the early 70s. Trains, walky-talkies, Hot wheels, action figures, anything start wars. What did you want as a kid? What gift is it that you just have to have in order for your life to be complete and for you to finally be at peace?
When we get older the gifts we often hope for can’t be bought from amazon.
Through the years what we hope for changes. We still long for gifts that we think will bring us peace.
What Charlie Brown hoped for was something to help bring his life a sense of purpose and fulfillment.
Sally had an extensive Christmas list. There were so many items on her list that she decided to make it easy on Santa and just ask for money.
HER HOPE AND HEART WAS SET ON MATERIAL GOODS.
Her expectation and desire was for cold hard cash, she thought would bring her peace.
Today if we are looking for something that will bring us peace, we have a choice.
1- WE CAN LOOK TO THE MATERIAL GOODS AND WEALTH.
2- WE CAN LOOK TO GOD FOR PEACE.
Sally was a young girl who looked for peace in the world.
Mary was a young girl who looked for peace in God.
She dreamed of marrying a honest God fearing man and having lots of children because these were signs of God’s blessing Like all good mothers she dreamed that her children would grow up to have a life blessed by God and a life that would be a blessing to others. These were all things Mary would have hoped for and these were the things that would bring her life true and lasting peace and like most girls she would have thought these things would all come through the normal channels of life like a husband and marriage, but then Mary had a visit from an angel.
OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO: Luke 1:26-38.
Suddenly Mary is faced with a choice. Would she place her hope for a child, and the hope she had for that child, in herself and trust in her upcoming marriage to Joseph or would she place her hope and trust in God?
MARY TRUSTED GOD TO HELP HER FIND TRUE PEACE.
Q- If we are looking for peace, where will we turn and what will we trust?
Q- Will we trust the material goods of the world to make us complete?
Q- Will we trust the things that make sense to us and the things that don’t bring any risk or will we look for peace in God?
TO FIND PEACE IN GOD MEANS WE HAVE TO COMMIT OURSELVES COMPLETELY TO GOD, and say like Mary, Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word. Mary surrenders herself fully to God and places herself completely in God’s hands and that is the only way to find true peace. To find peace today we have to submit ourselves to God and submission is a totally commitment. Surrendering to God in order to find peace doesn’t mean that everything is going to run smoothly.
Think again about Mary; engaged to be married, but now pregnant by God.
Q- What will Joseph say?
Q- What will the people in the community say?
When it was time for her to give birth they had to take a journey –
when they got to Bethlehem there was no place for them to stay –
when the baby arrived all they had was a manger.
but because she was fully surrendered to God and trusted him, she was able to remain strong. Mary wasn’t looking to things of this world to bring her peace and comfort;
she was placing all of her faith and trust in God.
PLACING OUR TRUST IN GOD MEANS GIVING ALL WE HAVE TO GOD AND THEN STICKING WITH GOD EVEN WHEN THINGS GET DIFFICULT.
OPEN YOUR BIBLE TO: Luke 1:46-55.
We can have peace like Mary when we believe three things.
God could not have done anything in Mary if she had said no.
those who will first bow down to him. James 4:10 Humble yourselves before the Lord
and he will lift you up.
Today peace still comes from God but only when we are willing and able to say,
Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word.
In these days leading up to Christmas we need to surrender to God. Don’t look to the world to bring you peace and make you whole.
Turn to God,
Trust God and
Surrender to God
This the only path that leads to peace, a true and lasting peace that passes all understanding.
- Humble yourself before God in worship and prayer
- Think of others before yourself during the Christmas Celebration.
Q- Growing up, what gift did you think you just had to have in order for life to be complete?
Q- How long did the peace and fulfillment last?
Q- What gift do you want this year?
Q- Is it something that will bring true peace?
Read the story of Mary in Luke 1:26-56
Mary experienced true peace because she surrendered herself to God.
Q- What would complete surrender look like in your life?
Q- What area do you struggle to give to God?
Q- What can you do this Christmas to draw closer to God?
Peace for Mary came in knowing that:
- God knows us – Luke 1:48
Q- Do you find this scary or encouraging? Why?
Q- What hope and dream can you share with God?
- God will do great things in us – Luke 1:49
Q- What great thing has God already done in you?
Q- What great thing would you like God to do in you?
Q- What great thing can you do between now and Christmas? Prayer, Giving, Faith Sharing
- God will lift us up – Luke 1:52
Based on a message from Faith Church and re-imagined by Pastor Matt.