Is God’s Happiness that Lasts!
ADVENT REJOICE IN HIS COMING!
All I Want for Christmas – Preparing for God’s Gift of Jesus!
2 All I Want for Christmas: Is God’s Happiness that Lasts!
Christmas study – All I Want for Christmas. Think about the wish lists we made as children. Now that we’re adults – what do we really want from God for Christmas? First week – we looked at asking God for Good News. Today we’re going to ask God for the gift of Happiness.
On Christmas night – God sent Angels to the Shepherds to give them Good New for the whole world. The Angels said that God’s Good News was bringing great joy to our world. The Choir’s Cantata, Rejoice in His Coming, is a perfect fit to help us understand and celebrate the Great Joy that Jesus brings us.
As you think about the Great Joy that Jesus bring us – I wanted to let you know that the Bible uses the terms Joy and Happiness interchangeably – so I’m going to tweak the message just a little bit – to say that Jesus brings us God’s great Happiness that lasts.
How important is God’s gift of Happiness? Consider for a moment how many times have you heard people say – I just want to be happy? The Good News of Jesus’ birthday is that God feels the same way. God wants the whole world to be happy. Not just a little happy – to experience God’s amazing happiness that lasts and grows stronger.
I promised the Choir that I would get this done in 5 minutes. So you’re going to have to listen fast and I’m going to have to hit just a few key points for you to consider.
The first key point to consider as we ask God to help us to be happy – is can you be happy if you thought someone you could depend upon turns out to be a liar? Over the past few weeks we have all been deeply saddened by people we thought we could depend on in our society who turned out to be liars and criminals.
As we look for God’s gift of happiness. We know that Jesus could not bring us lasting happiness – if He turns out to be a liar or a criminal. So I want to invite you to consider several good reasons for trusting Jesus – that have been examined and confirmed by over 2,000 years of historical inquiry. As you look at this list of good reasons for trusting Jesus to lead you to happiness – you will see that our faith is not based on guess work or wishful thinking. We can find lasting happiness – because we know that Jesus has given us many good reasons to trust Him.
First – Jesus is the Savior – What does He save us from?
SAVIOR: Saves Us from *Sin *An Unfulfilled Life *Death
Second – Jesus is the Messiah. What is a Messiah?
THE MESSIAH = The Anointed One = The King Above All Kings
Why We Believe Jesus is the Savior of the World. The Messiah!
The Bible makes a very bold claim. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the only person who can save people. A bold claim indeed! Why should you believe it?
Acts 4:12 (NLT/NCV) There is salvation in no one else! Jesus is the only One Who can save people. Jesus’ is the only person Who has proved that He has the power to save people from sin and death. The only way to be saved — is through Jesus.
Jesus is the Only Person in All of History — WHO:
- Fulfilled 400 Prophecies
- Performed at least 37 Miracles
- Never sinned. Was never accused of Sin.
- Worked hard to go to Sinners and offer God’s Forgiveness and Restoration.
- Voluntarily died to forgive people who didn’t deserve it.
- Announced He would conquer death for all. Rose from the dead. Over 500 witnesses saw Jesus Resurrected.
Jesus is the only person Who has produced the evidence that He has the power to save people. Jesus is also the only person Who has proven that He can give us gifts that the world cannot give to us.
John 14:27 (NLT) Jesus said, The gifts I give you, are gifts the world cannot give.
As you get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth – and you think about God’s gift of Joy – the Happiness we all desire. It’s important to see clearly the difference between the happiness the world can give you and the happiness that only Jesus can give you. The world can indeed give you happiness – and that happiness can be good and positive. But the world can only give you temporary happiness.
The World Can Only Give Us TEMPORARY Happiness:
Conditional Love — I Love you IF… You are Pretty, Smart, Fun, Rich…
It’s great when someone tells you they love you. The problem is that without God’s help – the world can only give you conditional love. I will love you if you are pretty. If you are smart. If you are fun. If you are rich.
Conditional love can’t give us the security and confidence that we need to find lasting happiness.
- Material things — Gifts, Money, Possessions…
Advertisers are working overtime to convince us that if you will buy the right present – an iPhone 10, a 72” OLED TV – then you are guaranteed to make someone very, very happy. If anyone is interested – I would prefer the 72” TV to the iPhone.
Material things do bring great happiness – but it doesn’t last. Can you remember the Christmas gifts you received 5 years ago? Last year? Material things are nice – but they can’t give us lasting happiness.
- Pleasure — Candy, Drugs, Sex, Vacations…
Pleasure offers instant happiness. And it can be great happiness – I definitely enjoyed the instant happiness from the Peppermint Ice Cream with hot fudge sauce that Dan and Linda Hatch got for us at Wednesday Night Live. The only problem is that instant happiness doesn’t last.
And if we’re not careful those sources of instant happiness can get us into a lot of trouble. This morning – as you get ready to celebrate Jesus’ birth – I want to encourage you to think and pray about the differences between the happiness the world can give you and the happiness that only Jesus can give you. The Bible tells us that the biggest difference is that Jesus’ happiness lasts – not only does it last, it actually grows bigger and stronger!
Jesus Gives Us GOD’S Happiness — That LASTS and GROWS!
- Unconditional Love — I Love You — just as you are. You are My beloved child. I will help you grow to your full potential.
Jesus offers the happiness of knowing you are loved just as you are. You don’t have to earn all A’s to earn God’s love. You don’t have to have $1 million in the bank to earn God’s love. God loves you just the way you are. God will always love you.
And even though God knows that we are imperfect. God never gives up on us. Instead God not only commits to loving us just as we are. God also commits to helping us grow to our full potential.
- Fruit of the Holy Spirit — Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control.
Instead of an iPhone 10 – which will be ancient history in 2 years – God offers us the fruit of the Holy Spirit that never is out of date.
- Sacrificial Love — And the Power to Love Others Sacrificially
Because Jesus sacrificed everything to leave heaven, become a helpless baby, go through all of the challenges of the world and ultimately die on the Cross. Jesus gives us the power that we need to make sacrifices which make it possible for our love for each other to keep growing stronger and more beautiful.
- Victory Over Death — Eternal Life in Heaven!
One thing that makes all of us very happy is knowing that because Jesus came – our future is not a hole in the ground or the fires of hell. Jesus makes us happy by showing that we have good reasons to trust that He will raise us up from death – to eternal life in heaven.
- Abundant Life — That Starts the Minute You Open It!
The last reason I want you to see why Jesus can give you God’s happiness that lasts and grows – is by realizing that the very minute you open Jesus’ gift – it empowers you to have an abundant life. The minute you say yes to Jesus – you know that you are loved unconditionally, you can grow the fruit of the Holy Spirit, you are forgiven by the sacrificial love of Christ, you have the power to make sacrifices for others, you know that you are on the upward path to heaven, God will be with you all the way and help you to celebrate His happiness and joy every step of your journey.
John 10:10 (MSG) Jesus said, I came so all people can have real and eternal life, a bigger and better life than they ever dreamed possible!
I hope you like being happy and receiving from God the happiness that lasts. I pray that you will get very excited as you listen to the Choir and think about the good news of great joy that Jesus came to bring you God’s happiness – that lasts and grows!
Luke 2:10-11 (NLT) I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people! The Savior—the Messiah, the Lord—has been born…!